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JSTOR Subjects and Collections

JSTOR Primary Source Collections

Collection Guide

JSTOR as an institution manages a small selection of primary source collections. Primary source collections currently available on JSTOR are multidisciplinary and discipline-specific and include select monographs, pamphlets, manuscripts, letters, oral histories, government documents, images, 3D models, spatial data, type specimens, drawings, paintings, and more.

Global Plants

Global Plants ( is a database of plant type specimens, reference works, and primary sources (diaries, correspondence, illustrations, photographs) and is an essential resource for research in botany, ecology, and conservation studies.

The Global Plants database contains more than two million high-resolution type specimens, and this number continues to grow. Partner-contributed reference works and primary sources, such as collectors’ correspondence and diaries, paintings, drawings, and photographs, are also housed in Global Plants. Highlights include reference works and books such as The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa and Flowering Plants of South Africa; illustrations from Curtis's Botanical Magazine; and Kew’s Directors' Correspondence comprising handwritten letters and memoranda from the senior staff of Kew from 1841 to 1928.

Recently added collections include:

  • Drawings of the Royal Botanical Expedition to New Spain, by M. Sessé, V. Cervantes & M. Mociño (1787-1803) 
  • Engravings for Flora Peruviana et Chilensis by Hipólito Ruiz & José Pavón (1792-1822) 
  • Fruits, seeds and barks from the Royal Botanical Expedition to the Viceroyalty of Peru, by Hipólito Ruiz & José Pavón (1777-1816) 
  • Botanische Staatssammlung München Artwork - Water Colours of Fungi by Fritz Wohlfarth
    Dr. Fritz Wohlfarth (1906–2005) studied at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (Germany) and obtained a Ph.D. degree in chemistry. For many years he worked as a field sales representative for a varnish company in Munich. During his tours around Germany and adjacent countries, he collected fresh plant and fungal material and pursued his passion of painting nature, a major interest that he continued after his retirement in the 1970s. 
  • Botanische Staatssammlung München Artwork - Water Colours of Fungi by Konrad Schieferdecker
    Konrad Schieferdecker (1902–1965) studied geodesy at the College of Agriculture in Berlin. For 40 years, his outstanding personal interest was focused on the study of mycology, botany as well as numismatics and prehistory of the region of Hildesheim. He published a number of scientific contributions on various subjects, including the descriptions of some fungi new to science.
  • Erich Nelson Orchid Illustrations
    Erich Nelson was a German artist, designer, and botanist who specialized in European orchids. His precise and detailed illustrations document characteristics of orchids to such a level of detail as to illustrate the variation within a single species of orchid, which has contributed to an understanding of orchid speciation.
  • Franz Josepf Ruppert Original Drawings of German Orchids
    Franz Joseph Ruppert (1864-1935) was a German pharmacist, plant collector, and botanical illustrator who specialized in German orchids. During his lifetime Ruppert made drawings of all Orchids of Germany, and wrote a number of articles about European Orchids that included some descriptions of new species and varieties.
  • Flora Graeca Sibthorpiana
    Flora Graeca Sibthorpiana is the earliest of the modern Floras, consisting of 10 volumes of hand-coloured engravings of the plants of Greece and Asia Minor, authored by the English botanist John Sipthorp and illustrated by the Austrian botanical artist Ferdinand Bauer.
  • Stirpes Novae
    Stirpes Novae is a flower book published between 1784 and 1785 by the French Linnaean botanist Charles Louis L'Heritier de Brutelle. It contains copper engravings of different plants by the leading botanic artists of the day.

19th Century British Pamphlets

19th Century British Pamphlets is a corpus of primary sources for the study of sociopolitical and economic factors impacting 19th-century Britain. Created by Research Libraries UK (RLUK) with funding from the JISC Digitisation Programme, the collection is comprised of more than 26,000 important pamphlets held in research libraries in the United Kingdom.

Struggles for Freedom: Southern Africa

The collection consists of more than 190,000 pages of documents and images, including periodicals, nationalist publications, records of colonial government commissions, local newspaper reports, personal papers, correspondence, UN documents, out-of-print and other particularly relevant books, oral histories, and speeches.

World Heritage Sites: Africa

The collection links visual, contextual, and spatial documentation of African heritage sites. It includes more than 57,000 objects, including photographs, 3D models, GIS data, site plans, aerial and satellite photography, images of rock art, excavation reports, manuscripts, traveler’s accounts, historical and antiquarian maps, books, articles, and other scholarly research.

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