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JSTOR completes General Science Collection (News Release)

D-Lib magazine [January 2001]


Copyright (c) 2001 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

For Immediate Release: December 27, 2000
JSTOR Completes General Science Collection
More Than 350 Years of Scientific Literature Now Available Online
JSTOR Home Page: <>

Sir Isaac Newton's first published papers and Benjamin Franklin's legendary experiments with electricity are just two of the scientific treasures that students, faculty, researchers and scholars will be able to access over the Internet through JSTOR's General Science Collection, which was completed on December 21, 2000. The Collection contains the archives, reaching as far back as the 17th century, of seven leading scientific journals that have been reproduced electronically exactly as they were originally designed, illustrated and published.

The General Science Collection was completed earlier than its original target date of December 31, 2000. Over the past year, pages from the Collection have been released in chronological segments and made available to researchers at participating libraries and institutions worldwide.

"The General Science Collection is an invaluable information resource for researchers, scientists, and historians of science, as well as a rich teaching and learning tool for faculty and students," says Kevin M. Guthrie, President of JSTOR. "With scholars and students becoming ever more reliant on content available electronically, JSTOR's mission to archive and preserve this material serves to reinvigorate these important materials. We are pleased to take on the task of ensuring future access to this literature and look forward to hearing about the many 'discoveries' that will be made through the use of this resource."

The Collection contains the complete back-runs of the following journals:

Royal Society of London:

  • Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (1665-1886), continued as Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences and Series B: Biological Sciences (1887 to the moving wall, five years from the present)
  • Proceeding of the Royal Society of London (1832-1904), continued as Series A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences and Series B: Proceedings: Biological Sciences (1905 to the moving wall, five years from the present)

National Academy of Science:

  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (from 1915 to the moving wall, two years from the present)

American Association for the Advancement of Science:

  • Science, (from 1880 to the moving wall, five years from the present)
  • Scientific Monthly, (from 1915 to 1957)

Some of the discoveries that researchers will be able to find in the Collection's 1.4 million journal pages are:

  • Van Leeuwenhoek's observations through the earliest microscopes;
  • Some of the first published descriptions of dinosaur fossils;
  • Marconi's research leading to the development of radio;
  • Sightings of Halley's Comet throughout history.

Notes Elizabeth Bennett, JSTOR Production Coordinator: "Modern science was just getting invented in the 17th century. What is wonderful about the General Science Collection is that you can watch this take place and see the development of the scientific method by the people who made the rules."

The age of the journals created new challenges for JSTOR's production team at Princeton University. Illustrations in many of the articles were more complex than any JSTOR had worked with before, and the text included letters such as the "long-S" that are no longer used. As a result, journal pages from 1665-1799 were both scanned in and then typed in to ensure accuracy. JSTOR received support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, The Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to help offset the costs of creating the General Science Collection, which is JSTOR's third complete collection of journal archives. JSTOR's original Arts & Sciences I Collection was completed in November 1999. The Ecology & Botany Collection was released in December 2000. There are 900 libraries worldwide and more than 115 publishers participating in this cooperative effort.

View Citation
Publication Year:2001
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: D-Lib magazine
Publication Info:Volume 7 Number 1
Issue:January 2001
Publisher:Corporation for National Research Initiatives
Products: JSTOR
Online access:
Record Number:8406
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00