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HHMI Grant to Bring Historical Archives to the Web

Summary

$800,000 HHMI grant will enable JSTOR to offer online access to all past issues of Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and other journals.

Several of the world's leading scientific journals will be archived back to their very first issues and made available on the World Wide Web through a new grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).

The $800,000 two-year grant will enable JSTOR to archive all past issues of Science and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). In addition, the Royal Society of London has expressed its intention to include Philosophical Transactions (Series A & B) and Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (Series A & B). Proceedings was initially published in 1665, Science dates back to 1880 and PNAS to 1915.

JSTORa name derived from "Journal Storage"is a not-for-profit organization in New York City that has worked closely with publishers and the academic community to create digital archives of scholarly journals. The material is made available via the World Wide Web to participating institutions. JSTOR already has produced digital archives of more than 50 journals, ranging from The American Economic Review to The Journal of Military History, and will increase this total to at least 100 journals by the end of 1999. More than 300 university libraries have signed up for access to the service, which is described at www.jstor.org/about.

The new journals will be included in a JSTOR "cluster" that focuses on the natural sciences. The material will include scanned images of all of the approximately 900,000 pages and will be searchable by title, author, abstract, keywords and phrases. JSTOR expects the archiving process to be completed within two years. The effort is also being supported with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

"Much of the history of science is written in the pages of these journals," said Purnell Choppin, HHMI's president. "These new archives will enable libraries to broaden their collections without paying for costly storage systems, and make it possible for scholars to search the material much more easily. As a philanthropy that is actively engaged in biomedical research, we are pleased to help preserve the scientific record that made our own work possible."

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Jim Keeley
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