Melbourne University Press, Australia's first scholarly publisher, began as a second-hand book selling agency, a stationery store, a post-office and gown-hiring service. The first books to bear the MUP imprint, Myra Willard's History of the White Australia Policy and D.K. Picken's Number System of Arithmetic and Algebra, appeared in December 1923.
With the appointment of Frank Wilmot (the poet 'Furnley Maurice') the standard of book production was raised, but it was not until after Word War II, under Gwyn F. James and with the support of Russell Grimwade, that the machinery to print these works was secured An endowment from Grimwade made possible the development of the Miegunyah imprint.
The publishing arm later took premises in Carlton, leaving the retail bookroom on-campus, though for a short period there was an outlet in the city as well.