Bridget Williams Books Limited is the culmination of many years of publishing by Bridget Williams. This began in the UK with Oxford University Press, continuing in New Zealand from 1976 (also with OUP). Bridget Williams’ first independent company was Port Nicholson Press (in the early 1980s), and she was the managing director of Allen & Unwin New Zealand Limited for six years, before purchasing that company’s New Zealand list to form Bridget Williams Books Limited in 1990. Bridget Williams has also worked with Auckland University Press and (as a consultant) Te Papa Press.
Marked by many awards, this distinguished list of New Zealand books includes groundbreaking reference works – The Oxford History of New Zealand, The Book of New Zealand Women/Ko Kui Ma Te Kaupapa, The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, The Dictionary of New Zealand Sign Language, to be followed in 2013 by Tangata Whenua: An Illustrated History.
Scholars with international reputations appear alongside emerging writers and journalists – Atholl Anderson, James Belich, Judith Binney, Giselle Byrnes, Lloyd Geering, Aroha Harris, Jane Kelsey, Colin James, Adrienne Jansen, Trevor Richards, Andrew Sharp, Te Maire Tau, Alan Ward, Marilyn Waring.
Bridget Williams’ long commitment to publishing with and for Māori includes work particularly with Ngāi Tahu and with Ngāi Tῡhoe. Many with knowledge and expertise in Māori history have lent their strength to this publishing.
Books on New Zealand history, Māori history, women’s issues and contemporary topics have steadily expanded the boundaries of what New Zealand readers can expect to discover.