January 28, 2016 — New York, NY — James Shulman, President of Artstor, and Kevin Guthrie, President of ITHAKA, today announced a new strategic alliance between the two nonprofit organizations that will benefit thousands of colleges, universities, schools, museums, and other educational institutions. Artstor, the provider of the Artstor Digital Library of images and the Shared Shelf platform for cataloguing and digital asset management, will now function under the umbrella of ITHAKA, which currently operates the services JSTOR, Portico and Ithaka S+R.
Artstor, JSTOR and ITHAKA were all created as mission-driven nonprofit organizations with initial support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation—a history reflected in the co-operation that has existed to date between Artstor and JSTOR in working to build and preserve shared academic resources. Now, with both operating under the ITHAKA umbrella, Artstor and JSTOR will be better able to collaborate in developing new tools and in taking advantage of core capabilities.
Under the new alliance, Artstor will retain its identity as a 501(c)(3) organization, with management and financial responsibility assumed by ITHAKA. Artstor's extensive network of relationships and terms will remain in place, and its existing products and services will continue to be made available for current and new subscribers.
Kevin Guthrie said, "The heart of ITHAKA's mission is to use new technologies to strengthen the work of educational institutions while lowering their costs. Bringing Artstor alongside ITHAKA's services will enable us to provide important new solutions to our community, and to do so at a lower cost than would otherwise have been possible."
James Shulman said, "This alliance will allow us to bring together deeply complementary efforts: Artstor has supported the visual, where JSTOR has emphasized textual materials. Artstor has supported teaching and learning primarily, while JSTOR has been an indispensable part of research. Together, working under ITHAKA, we will now have exciting opportunities for combining our capabilities, particularly in advancing the networked flow of content, so primary and secondary source material can be discovered, contextualized and advanced in ways that further empower researchers, teachers and students."
ITHAKA pursues its mission through three main avenues. Through Portico, it preserves the scholarly materials that are the building blocks of knowledge. Through JSTOR, it provides access to these materials, while working with researchers, teachers and students to create better tools for their use. And through Ithaka S+R, it conducts research and offers strategic guidance to the people who are primarily responsible for improving higher education around the world.
JSTOR was established in 1997 and merged with Ithaka in 2009, after which the combined entity was renamed "ITHAKA". JSTOR is a cloud-based library where scholars, students and the public can access thousands of journals, books, images and other primary source content, as well as tools that promote research, teaching and sharing. On average, 6 million unique visitors use JSTOR each month from nearly every country in the world. More than 2,000 publishers and content contributors are partners, and nearly 10,000 universities, high schools, cultural organizations and institutions of all kinds work with JSTOR to encourage usage and engagement within their communities.
Artstor was created in 2001 to work with museums, artists, and photographers to aggregate high-quality image collections and make them available for non-commercial educational use by teachers, scholars and students. Today, the Artstor Digital Library makes more than 2 million images available to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities, and schools around the world, democratizing access to the world's cultural heritage. With more than 300 collections, the library and software supports pedagogy and research across the humanities and social sciences. In 2009, in response to the desire for institutional collections to be used alongside Artstor content and in some cases to be shared more widely, Artstor worked with nine institutional partners to develop its Shared Shelf platform. This cloud-based cataloging and publishing service is in use by nearly 200 academic libraries and museums. In keeping with Artstor's mission to broaden access to our shared cultural heritage, Artstor also serves as a hub for the Digital Public Library of America.