Getting Started with JSTOR

JSTOR is a full-text digital archive of scholarly books, journals and research reports. Subjects include area studies, arts, business and economics, history, humanities, law, medicine, science and mathematics and social sciences.   

JSTOR also includes access to many primary source collections and image collections, including Artstor. Artstor features millions of high-quality images and media which have been rights-cleared for use in education and research.

Sign into JSTOR

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Access Online 
  3. Enter your library card number and PIN
  4. To save documents or images for later review, create an account with JSTOR by clicking on Register.   Once signed in, click on Save to store the item to your JSTOR Workspace. 

JSTOR Books, Journals and Research Reports

JSTOR provides access to thousands of academic books from scholarly publishers as well as more than 2,600 top scholarly journals from over 50 countries. These archive journals are available from the first issue up to the most recent 2-5 years.  JSTOR also contains open access books and journals, with new content being added all the time.  More information on the JSTOR Book collections and the journal collections is available on About JSTOR

JSTOR's Research Reports are collected from over 140 policy institutes around the world. They provide current analysis on many issues from a diversity of perspectives. More information is available on the Open Research Reports webpage on the About JSTOR website. 

Search JSTOR

The first time the JSTOR homepage opens, two search boxes will be visible (centre of the screen or upper-left in the menu bar). Either one can be used for searching. Enter search terms to search all content (including images) in all subjects.  


To narrow the search results further, use Search within results to enter additional search terms and use the filters to limit by content type, publication date, and subject.  

Use Advanced Search to limit a search by a specific field (author, title, abstract or caption), type (articles, books, reviews etc.), language, publication date, journal or book title, ISBN and journal discipline. 

Search tips

  • Put the search terms in quotation marks to search for an exact phrase (e.g. "Winnipeg General Strike").
  • Use the question mark (?) as a wildcard for one character (e.g. wom?n) or the asterisk (*) as a wildcard multiple characters  (e.g. pharmac* for pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmaceutical)
  • Use Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) to construct complex searches (e.g. "tea trade" AND smuggling)
  • Search results default to "Content I Can Access".  To include all JSTOR results, select "All Content." Content not included in Toronto Public Library's subscription is marked with an 'x' next to the check box for that item. 
  • A link to JSTOR Search Help is available through the Advanced Search
  • JSTOR Support has created resources specifically for helping students and independent researchers

Working with documents in the search results

Select one of the items in the search results by clicking on the title. This will open the detail page for that specific item (book, article, chapter etc.). 

  • The item will be available as a PDF. Use the arrows to page through the document. 
  • Select Download to save the article as PDF. Once the document is downloaded, it can be printed. 
  • Select Save to save the document to your Workspace. 
  • Select Cite to see the citation for the document in various formats, including MLA, Chicago and APA. The citation can be exported to reference manager software. 
  • Browse other articles in the same journal issue using Previous item or Next item under the picture of the journal cover. 
  • View the table of contents for the journal issue by clicking on the volume and issue numbers above the journal title at the top left of the screen. 
  • Click on the journal cover or the name to view all issues of the journal that are available in JSTOR.
  • The search results are sorted by relevance by default. The sort can be changed to sort by newest or sort by oldest.

JSTOR image collections

Images on JSTOR are available through Artstor and JSTOR's Open Community Collections.  The Artstor collection features millions of high-quality images and media for educational and scholarly use. It brings together visual media from top museums, archives, scholars, and artists. The Open Community Collections are from partnering institutions such as universities and museums as well as community and private collections. For this reason, image quality and size can vary.  

Each image in JSTOR has a Rights Notes with information on the license restrictions for that specific image. Images available through Artstor have Creative Commons Licenses listed and all have been rights-cleared for education and research.  More information about Artstor on Jstor is available on the About JSTOR website. 

Search JSTOR images

  • Select the Images tab in either the basic or advanced search box. 
  • Use the advanced search to limit by specific fields (creator, title, subject, work type, style or period, location, culture, material), classification (drawings, paintings, prints etc. ), by date range, country or collection. 
  • Artstor collections are included in the results of image searches. At the moment, an option to limit search results to just the Artstor collections is not available. To search the Artstor image collections alone, scroll down the homepage and click on Search Artstor's collections

Primary Source Collections

JSTOR has over 1400 primary source collections available. These include newspapers, programs, catalogues, pamphlets, promotional materials, and other documents from libraries, museums, archives, and historical societies around the world. 

In addition to the open access collections, JSTOR Primary Sources collection is available through Toronto Public Library's subscription. This collection consists of the 19th century British Pamphlets, Struggles for Freedom: South Africa and World Heritage Sites: Africa collections.   

19th century British pamphlets19th Century British Pamphlets collection was created by Research Libraries UK (RLUK) and contains over 25,000 of the most significant British pamphlets from the 19th century held in research libraries in the United Kingdom. It includes the Earl Grey Pamphlets collection which was largely accumulated by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Earls Grey. The 4th Earl Grey was a Governor-General of Canada. The Greys were particularly interested in parliamentary reform, colonial affairs and Catholic emancipation.  It also contains the Wilson Anti-Slavery Collection, a collection of 19th-century anti-slavery pamphlets collected by Henry Joseph Wilson (1833-1914), a Liberal Member of Parliament for Sheffield. 

Struggles for FreedomStruggles for Freedom: Southern Africa focuses on the complex and varied liberation struggles in southern Africa, with an emphasis on Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. It brings together over 27,000 items from various archives and libraries throughout the world documenting colonial rule, dispersion of exiles, international intervention, and the worldwide networks that supported successive generations of resistance within the region. There are dozen of collections available, including the Anti-Apartheid Movement collection, the Canada and Southern Africa collection and the South African History Archive Poster collection

Asante ceremoniesWorld Heritage Sites: Africa links over 87,000 items of visual, contextual, and spatial documentation of African heritage sites for researchers in African studies, anthropology, archaeology, architecture, art history, Diaspora studies, folklore and literature, geography, and history, as well as those focused on geomatics, advanced visual and spatial technologies, historic preservation, and urban planning. It includes the Asante Ceremonies Collection from the University of Ghana, Earthen Architecture of Mali, Morocco and Egypt collection from the Getty Conservation Institute and the Timbuktu Manuscripts collection which holds over 300 manuscripts from Mamma Haidara and Imam Essayouti Libraries in Timbuktu.

Search JSTOR primary sources:

To search specifically within the primary source collections, click on Browse in the menu, then select Collections.

Search primary sources

To search the contents of all the primary source collections, type search terms into the first search box. 

To search at the collection level, use the second search box to search by name (e.g. 19th Century British), type of document (pamphlet) or other search terms. 

Browse JSTOR:

Use Browse feature to find lists of resources available in JSTOR. Select By subject for a list of relevant journals, books or research reports on a subject. Select By title to browse journal, book and research report titles or Publisher to browse a list of publishers.  Select Images to browse images by classification or geography.  

Help with JSTOR

Updated October 24, 2022