UC Press Journals and JSTOR have combined forces with the Society of Architectural Historians to launch the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Online. In the journal’s online archive, audio, video, 3D models, and other multimedia enhance articles and reviews. You can explore the Roman Forum in 3D, zoom in on a Panorama of Constantinople from 1559, listen to the music of an ancient Roman funeral, and more, and browse the SAH’s archives back to 1941. Learn more and read a sample multimedia article.

Here’s the press release:

Society of Architectural Historians Launches Bold Electronic Initiative in Partnership with University of California Press and JSTOR

The Society of Architectural Historians (SAH) is proud to announce the launch of the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians Online (JSAH Online). Developed in partnership with University of California Press and JSTOR, and using software from Atypon Systems, JSAH Online offers access to JSAH from the first volume published in 1941 through the present. The current issues provide leading research articles and reviews about the built environment accompanied by extensive multimedia content including images, videos, and GIS-driven visualizations.

JSAH Online is the first online journal devoted to the arts and humanities that incorporates cutting-edge multimedia features and heralds the launch of the next generation of scholarly communication. Such features in the inaugural issue include recreated music from an ancient Roman funeral, a zoomable image of a 37-foot-long Panorama of Constantinople from 1559, and a 3D model of the Roman Forum and environs overlaid on a Google Earth map.

“JSAH Online is an incredibly significant communications initiative – not only for SAH but broadly for scholarly publishing in the arts and humanities,” says Pauline Saliga, SAH Executive Director. “The features and functionality in JSAH Online allow scholars and the public more immediate and deeper understanding of leading-edge work being produced in architectural history.”

Rebecca Simon, Associate Director, University of California Press and Director of the Journals + Digital Publishing Division, echoes this sentiment: “This launch realizes a bold and exciting vision for integrating multimedia features to enhance the study and understanding of the built environment. We are honored to partner with the Society in this endeavor and excited about the opportunities the new digital environment creates not only for JSAH but for other disciplines as well.”

JSAH Online is the culmination of several years of collaborative work among its partners. Funded by an initial planning grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and followed by an additional Mellon foundation grant, JSAH Online was conceived from the outset to take full advantage of the latest developments in online publishing. Professor Hilary Ballon of New York University, who conceived of and spearheaded the project as Editor of JSAH, collaborated with scholars at SAH and computer programmers at ARTstor, the New York-based online digital library, to develop an initial prototype for JSAH Online. “We knew that our vision had incredible potential for the wider scholarly community,” said Professor Ballon. “We also knew that to fully realize that potential, we needed to align ourselves with partners best positioned to help bring JSAH Online into being.”

JSAH Online’s inaugural issue, which was released on March 1, 2010, was developed by current JSAH Editor David Brownlee, Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania. Articles in the first issue were subjected to the rigorous peer review process, and in addition were particularly groomed to utilize the innovative multimedia platform. “The integration of multimedia elements in these pieces dramatically increases the depth and breadth of the communication between authors and readers,” says Professor Brownlee. “Victor Hugo judged that the publication revolution of the Renaissance (moveable type printing) had annihilated the art of Gothic architecture. Happily, we can report that the digital publication revolution of our time is marvelously supportive of the study, appreciation, and creation of the built environment.”

SAH selected University of California Press as its partner in publishing JSAH in early 2009. That decision was followed quickly by announcement of a new effort called the Current Scholarship Program, initiated by University of California Press and JSTOR. JSAH Online is the first journal to be launched online as part of the Current Scholarship Program.

“The Current Scholarship Program has come to life with JSAH Online,” commented Michael Spinella, JSTOR Managing Director. “From the beginning, we have shared a vision with University of California Press and SAH for this effort to be a catalyst to help many publishers create new opportunities for their authors to publish media-rich scholarly works and for their readers to engage their arguments in novel and compelling ways. We are on our way.”

JSAH Online will be available exclusively to SAH members during 2010. Beginning in 2011, all JSAH content, features, and functionality will be incorporated into a new JSTOR platform where it will be available to SAH members as well as to non-member faculty, researchers, and students working at subscribing institutions around the world.

For more information about JSAH Online and to view a freely available multimedia article, see http://jsah.ucpress.jstor.org/. Media interested in full site access should request access through the SAH office at membership@sah.org. Please include your name, publication name, mailing address, telephone and email address. Your user name and password will be emailed to you.