Swarthmore Libraries Now Offering JSTOR, Project Muse Access to Alumni

by Peggy Seiden
Peggy Seiden
College Librarian Peggy Seiden

In September 2012, the Swarthmore College Libraries joined with nearly 50 other institutions in offering JSTOR archival content access to alumni. Alumni now have access to an ever-expanding group of online journals in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences through the College's Online Community. In February, the College extended alumni access to materials from Project Muse, including over 500 current journals, as well as a collection of ebooks in political science and film and media studies.

"We've found that graduates may need to do research either for themselves or their work and that strategies and resources they learned as undergrads inform their research behavior after they leave," College Librarian Peggy Seiden notes. "However, many of the resources they used as undergrads are not widely available to individuals and corporate or public libraries do not typically subscribe to these types of materials. JSTOR was often the first place many undergraduates would turn to. The breadth and depth of coverage is unparalleled."

"These are wonderful new online resources for our alumni, whose passion for learning never abates," agrees President Rebecca Chopp. "I'm very pleased we can provide them, and look forward to being able to add to the offerings in the future."

Already alumni have taken advantage of access to JSTOR and their enthusiasm for the service is evident both in the number of times they have searched the database as well as in how many times they have retweeted the announcement. Alumni searched JSTOR over 800 times and accessed over 200 different journal titles during the four-month pilot phase. 

"I'm so excited about JSTOR access for alumni," Corey Baker '10 says. "As a librarian, and knowing how much information is out there and inaccessible to the public, I'm always looking for tools I can use to access research, especially at the college level or higher. I'm so excited to see that my alma mater is committed to making sure all members of its community can stay informed and connected to a world of information that often sits behind closed doors."

"You can take a Swattie out of school, but it's hard to take school out of a Swattie!," agree Evelyn Khoo-Schwartz '05 and Benjamin Schwartz '06. "We both enjoy working on independent research projects and having quick and easy access to JSTOR with its full-text articles has been helpful to keep our toes in academia for our own interest, even if it's not specifically for work."