JSTOR (a non-profit service that is part of the ITHAKA organization) has announced that it is teaming up with several university presses to expand its catalog to include digital books in its searchable online database. The five university presses currently involved in the project are Chicago, Minnesota, North Carolina, Princeton, and Yale. Books from these presses are expected to be available in 2012. According to the JSTOR press release, “'Books at JSTOR' will make front and back list titles available to libraries around the world in flexible ways that encourage purchase, adoption, and use." JSTOR is already familiar to many of us as an excellent source for digital academic journals and scholarship.
The President of ITHAKA explains that longevity and stability is an important focus of the initiative. “Authors, users, and librarians need to know these books and related work will be available over the very long term. Preservation is fundamental to our mission and a critical part of what we have worked with the scholarly community to achieve since 1995.” All of the books will be preserved in ITHAKA's Portico digital archive. "Books at JSTOR" will eventually be open to all kinds of publishers, whether non-profit or commercial, so long as the share the collaborative spirit and values of JSTOR and ITHAKA.