• 1995

    JSTOR founded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation with a broad mission to help the academic community take advantage of advances in new technologies.

  • 1997

    JSTOR launches a pioneering shared online library of high quality digitized journal back issues to help academic institutions save costs associated with the preservation and storage of library materials and to improve access to scholarship.

  • 2002

    JSTOR launches The Electronic-Archiving Initiative with a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The purpose of the Initiative is to build a proof-of-concept model for a sustainable digital archive of scholarly literature originally published in electronic form; this initiative lays the foundation for Portico.

  • 2003

    Ithaka is founded by Kevin Guthrie, original president of JSTOR. JSTOR focuses on providing a growing shared online library and access expansion while Ithaka carries forward a range of new activities in support of JSTOR’s founding mission. The Electronic Archiving Initiative is moved from JSTOR to Ithaka.

  • 2005

    Portico—born from the Electronic-Archiving Initiative—is launched as a long-term, large-scale, third-party digital preservation solution that balances the needs of publishers and libraries.

  • 2009

    Ithaka and JSTOR merge. The combined not-for-profit organization, known as ITHAKA, provides three services (JSTOR, Portico, and Ithaka S+R) that help the academic community effectively use digital and networking technologies.

  • 2010

    JSTOR and University of California Press announce The Current Scholarship Program, making current and archival journals available on a single, integrated platform for librarians and end users.

    Portico offers e-books and digitized historical collections (d-collections) services in response to the library community and publisher participation.

  • 2011

    JSTOR announces Books at JSTOR, a program that developed out of a year-long investigation into the needs of the publishing, library, and scholarly communities. It offers a solution that includes overcoming limitations on use and offering flexible purchase models for libraries, while developing a sustainable model for publishers.


JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources. JSTOR helps people discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico.

We collaborate with the academic community to achieve the following goals:

  • Help scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of scholarly content on a dynamic platform that increases productivity and facilitates new forms of scholarship.
  • Help libraries connect patrons to vital content while increasing shelf-space savings and lowering costs.
  • Help publishers reach new audiences and preserve their scholarly content for future generations.


JSTOR was conceived by William G. Bowen, then-President of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, to help university and college libraries challenged to provide adequate space for an ever-growing amount of published scholarship. Bowen's solution: convert printed scholarly journals into electronic form and store them in a centralized digital archive that can be shared, accessed, and relied upon by libraries and their users. Participating libraries and their institutions could free local “bricks and mortar” space, reduce capital and other costs associated with collection storage, and vastly improve access to scholarly papers and other content. There would also be other benefits: Material would never be lost or checked-out, small institutions could have access to large collections, and ultimately trust in digital preservation could help to bring about acceptance of electronic publication.

In 1995, following a pilot launched under the direction of the University of Michigan, JSTOR was established as an independent not-for-profit organization. In 2009, JSTOR merged with and became a service of ITHAKA. ITHAKA is also home to Portico, a digital preservation service for e-books, e-journals, and other scholarly e-content, and Ithaka S+R, a strategy and research service that focuses on the transformation of research and teaching in an online environment. Ithaka S+R's goal is to identify the critical issues facing our community and act as a catalyst for change.


JSTOR was founded to be a shared digital archive serving the scholarly community. We understand the value of the scholarship and other material on the platform and that the future accessibility of this content is essential. Libraries around the world rely on us and contribute Archive Capital Fees to JSTOR for preservation activities.

We actively pursue long-term preservation in several ways. Learn more


JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization that also includes Ithaka S+R’s and Portico. ITHAKA currently offers exciting career opportunities to motivated and innovative people who thrive in a results-driven and energetic work environment. We are enthusiastic about our mission and our culture, which is based on collaboration, transparency, and the desire to provide exceptional products and services to the community. Check it out on ITHAKA