The ever-vigilant Jim West notes that Yale University Press and Anchor Doubleday have reached an agreement to transfer control of the acclaimed Anchor Bible series (consisting of the Anchor Bible commentary series, the Anchor Bible Reference Library, and the six-volume Anchor Bible Dictionary) from the latter to the former. Based on my experience in the bookstore world, I think that this could be a very positive development--both for YUP and for readers everywhere. YUP takes over a popular, well-established series that greatly enhances their presence in the biblical studies market; also, as a smaller academic publisher, they may be better equipped to give the series the attention it deserves. Over the past several years, many of the key commentaries (e.g., those of Raymond Brown and Joseph Fitzmyer) have quietly gone out of print, with no immediate plans to republish. Doubleday lamely attempted to fill the gap by providing print-on-demand paperback editions of some older titles, but these were expensive and shoddily made. My copy of Joseph Fitzmyer's The Gospel According to Luke, I-IX (which we used in a Greek exegesis course with Prof. Adela Collins last semester) fell apart after just a few weeks. Hopefully YUP will reprint most, if not all, of these titles in the sturdy hardcover editions they--and we--deserve!
While I'm indulging in wishful thinking, it would be nice for YUP to borrow a few features from Hermeneia (Anchor Bible's major competitor in the scholarly commentary market), such as the use of actual Hebrew and Greek fonts rather than transliteration, and a larger layout. But I probably shouldn't get too greedy too fast. ;-)