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Artstor, Public Collections, and Artstor Digital Library – What’s the Difference?

Artstor refers to the software platform that includes the tools, functionality and environment within which Forum subscribers view both Artstor Digital Library and JSTOR Forum content.

The Artstor Digital Library refers specifically to content that is contributed to Artstor. This content is stored on Artstor servers with normalized metadata (to every degree possible), and made available to all Artstor Digital Library subscribers.  In addition, the contributed content undergoes legal review in order to provide indemnification to users of the Artstor Digital Library.

Public Collections content lives on its own site ( and is also available in  Artstor. However, from a legal standpoint, this content is different from the Artstor Digital Library content in that the copyright is owned by (or made available according to fair use principles) by the institutions that have published the content from a Forum project.  Artstor acts as the online service provider for Public Collections content and does not provide indemnification to users like Artstor does for Artstor Digital Library content.