This month, the Open Community Collections initiative marks a new milestone with more than 700 contributed collections. With this achievement, we have announced the extension of the Charter period for all Community Collections participating institutions until December 31, 2022.

Spark unexpected discoveries

705 collections from 180 contributors (and growing). The top ten most used collections cover a wide range of content types, disciplines, time periods, and geographic territories:

  1. South Asia Open Archives (SAOA)
  2. A Medical History of British India from National Library of Scotland
  3. Encyclopedia Britannica (1768-1860) from National Library of Scotland
  4. Victorian Knitting Manuals from University of Southampton
  5. Nickel Weeklies from Bowling Green State University
  6. Middlebury College Historic Texts from Middlebury College
  7. Walt Reed Illustration Archive from Dowd Modern Graphic History Library
  8. Queens College Yearbooks from Queens College
  9. Visual Resources of the Middle East from Yale University
  10. Historical Directories of England and Wales from Queens College

What have we learned so far?

The reach of these collections is global. By collaborating with 180+ institutions worldwide, we have amassed rare primary source materials that render nearly every corner of the globe, capturing diverse cultures, landscapes, and artifacts throughout time.

Similarly, these collections are discoverable by millions of JSTOR users around the world. In the past year, 7,760 unique institutions have accessed the Open Community Collections from over 180 countries. As these collections are accessible without a paywall, they have also reached researchers who are not JSTOR participants on the open web, with 69% of item requests from non-JSTOR IP ranges.

“Because of JSTOR’s compatibility with text materials, our use of JSTOR allowed us to digitize materials that would have otherwise remained accessible only to those who could come to the Archives in-person.” — Digital Initiatives Coordinator

Getting started is easy and making connections is seamless. When a scholar begins a search on JSTOR, the relevant Open Community Collections appear in results alongside related text-based scholarship, as well as Artstor images and other primary source materials. With these combined resources, users can discover something new while strengthening the depth and quality of their research.

“We believe that making this content available in the JSTOR channel will increase its usage footprint. Co-locating these primary source collections alongside important secondary literature already on the JSTOR platform will allow researchers to find this content in context and make the research process more seamless.” — Head of Special Collections & Archives

To host resources on JSTOR, institutions simply determine which materials they’d like to share and we do the rest. With many harvesting options, our platform and technical staff migrate and publish special collections onto the JSTOR platform, where it is preserved for generations of researchers to come.

“We have increased digitization of records, manuscripts and publications because we now have a platform that supports these formats.” — Digital Initiatives Coordinator

Publish for free (through December 2022) and see the results. During this Charter Member period, institutions can join the Open Community Collections initiative and host their special collections on JSTOR for free, with support for content management and discovery.

If your institution would like to make the most out of this offer, contact us to learn more. We’d love to work with you!

Browse collections by theme. We’ve rounded up popular content types to give you a sense of the variety of content you can discover. Uncover campus history, coins, fine art, maps, photographs, postcards, textiles, and much more:

Looking for a deep dive into collections? JSTOR Daily, our free online magazine, contextualizes materials in the Open Community Collections by providing background and historical information through Open Access scholarship.

Images in these collages have been contributed by partner institutions as part of the Open Community Collections initiative. Collage 1) Dowd Modern Graphic History Library, Queens College, and Yale University. 2) London Metropolitan University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, University of Central Lancashire, and University of Warwick. 3) Images from Brigham Young University, Queen’s University Belfast, and University of Divinity.