29 April 2012

Quick Source Review: JSTOR

JSTOR presents a unique researching opportunity for genealogists and family historians. In the academic world, it is a commonly used and reliable source. From their own website, “…JSTOR is one of the world’s most trusted sources for academic content” (www.jstor.org). It is a part of ITHAKA, an academic preservation not-for-profit. So, what is it, exactly and how can it help me in my genealogy research?

Simply, it is a collection of articles. Journals covering a wide range of topics; publications on Law, Film Studies, Folklore, History, Music, Irish Studies and a vast collection of Scientific Journals… they have thousands of titles available in their database. Run a search, find an article of interest, and download in PDF format. Citation is made easy with their automated cover page for each article. A truly simple system.

The benefits to your research can be truly outstanding. A quick search for “Chicago” resulted in nearly 62,000 hits. An article dated 1867 came up within the first ten results. The historical perspective can add a wealth of knowledge and information to your family history.
The database has free content, and they have a relatively standard agreement policy. When you conduct a search, start by choosing the Advanced Search option. Enter your terms, and then select the “Include Only Content I Can Access” option. This will display only the free results.

It is most certainly a site worth exploring.