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Jisc partners with Wiley to bring History of Science archive to life


Leading UK universities sign up to digitize previously uncatalogued, scientific archive materials on Wiley Digital Archive platform

HOBOKEN, N.J.— November 19, 2020— John Wiley and Sons Inc. (NYSE: JWA) (NYSE: JWB), a global leader in research and education, and Jisc, the not-for-profit technology provider, today announced the expansion of their partnership with leading UK universities and the British Science Association (BSA) to create a new digital collection: the British Association for the Advancement of Science - Collections on the History of Science (1830s-1970s).

This partnership empowers Jisc-affiliated university libraries to take part in the program and provides free access to the online collection for their professors, researchers and students. Participating universities, whose content was selected on the recommendation of prominent academics in History of Science, include:

The newly formed collection will be hosted on the Wiley Digital Archives platform, which uses leading technology to transform centuries-old, primary source content into clear, crisp, and searchable documents. Wiley Digital Archives enables researchers and students to find, group, translate, download, manipulate and share historical materials globally. Tools that support virtual teaching, foster learning and power research are needed now more than ever. Wiley Digital Archives is one such tool—enabling researchers and students to peer into the science of the past to create scholarship for the future.

Featuring in this new online collection are 150 years of materials relating to the work of the British Association for the Advancement of Science; extensive correspondence from Sir Charles Wheatstone, co-inventor of the electric telegraph; the lecture notes of Nobel prize winner Sir William Ramsay, whose work led to a new section of the periodic table and the papers of Lord Kelvin covering his huge contributions to the study of electricity, magnetism and thermodynamics. Upon its completion, the digital collection will comprise of one million pages.  

Paola Marchionni, Jisc’s head of digital resources for teaching, learning and research, says: “We are delighted to have found a new way to give institutions the opportunity to open up their unique collections for the benefit of the academic community and in a financially sustainable way. This innovative partnership is the first in the world to enable university libraries and archives to influence the content selection of a commercial product that is free to access to all UK members.”  

Jay Flynn, Chief Product Officer, Research at Wiley adds, “The importance of giving academics access to research wherever they are in the world has become even more critical. Our partnership with Jisc continues to reflect the importance of collaboration to bring new solutions to our communities. We are thrilled to be pioneering a new business model for digitization of special and archival collections.”

Jisc and Wiley continue their strong relationship to provide UK research and education institutions with freely available digitally archived content, expanding upon the announced open access partnership from February 2020.

To learn more about the History of Science collection please visit our Wiley Digital Archives website or register for a free webinar. In the UK, Jisc members and affiliates can access the collection for free through Jisc.


About Jisc

Jisc’s vision is for the UK to be the most digitally advanced education and research nation in the world. At its heart is the super-fast national research and education network, Janet, with built-in cyber security protection.  Jisc also provides technology solutions for its members (colleges, universities and research centres) and customers (public sector bodies), helps members save time and money by negotiating sector-wide deals and provides advice and practical assistance on digital technology. Jisc is funded by the UK higher and further education and research funding bodies and member institutions.

For more information, contact, or call 07443 983571.

About Wiley

Wiley drives the world forward with research and education. Through publishing, platforms and services, we help students, researchers, universities, and corporations to achieve their goals in an ever-changing world. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to all of our stakeholders. The Company's website can be accessed at

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