After more than a year collaborating with institutions around the globe, JSTOR’s Open Community Collections initiative now hosts over 450 collections. These contributions are digitized from the special holdings of more than 135 libraries, museums, universities, and other archives, bringing rare primary source items into the research workflow, alongside related essential scholarship.

These freely available collections cover nearly every discipline, documenting the history of universities, territories, companies, and notable figures, while chronicling important events and movements throughout the ages. Other collections feature items that provide unique windows into different eras and communities, such as coins, maps, and postcards, as well as student artwork and literary magazines, and photographs of communities in academia and beyond.

There’s bound to be a collection for everyone, regardless of research area, disciplinary focus, lesson plan, or niche interest.

Explore the community collections and take a closer look at trending themes:

Campus history and architecture

Image and data from Trinity College as part of the Archives of Trinity College (Images), an Open Community Collection.

Functioning as glimpses of time past, these collections uncover campus life and history through yearbooks, photographs of buildings, students, community events, and notable individuals, in addition to architectural documents and blueprints, and other materials.

Fine art collections

Image and data from Minneapolis College of Art and Design as part of L’animal dans la décoration by Maurice Pillard Verneuil and Eugène Grasset (1897), an Open Community Collection.

Contributed from art galleries and exhibits at universities, museums, and other organizations, these collections cover a wide range of cultures, periods, movements, and artists, showcasing fine art created by students and well-known artists alike. Standouts include artist’s books, etchings, graphic design, illustration, and encyclopedic collections.


Image and data from University of Stirling as part of the Musicians’ Union Leaflets, an Open Community Collection.

Offering band photographs, programs and handbills for public recitals and private soirées, and journals devoted to the interests of musicians, these collections are of particular value to those interested in popular culture and local history. Included materials cover the performances and entertainers of the day, while additional collections make rare plates, musical notebooks, and sheet music from notable collectors and musicians available.


Abe L. Plotkin Collection

Image and data from University of Scranton as part of the Abe L. Plotkin Collection, an Open Community Collection.

Chronicling wartime throughout history and around the world, these collections include manuscripts, flyers, articles, political pamphlets, poems, music scores, sketchbooks, and more, while other selections focus on notable individuals and their military careers. Also included are correspondence to and from servicemen and women, in addition to propaganda posters, both in support of and against the war effort.

For more collections, check out our previous roundups featuring other content themes: