Alexander Street Press

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Alexander Street
Privately held company
Industry Database publishing, audio and video streaming
Founded 2000
Headquarters Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Number of locations
Alexandria, VA; New York, NY; Reading, UK; Brisbane, Australia; Shanghai, China
Number of employees

Alexander Street is an electronic academic database publisher.[1][2][3] It was founded in May 2000 in Alexandria, Virginia, by Stephen Rhind-Tutt (president), Janice Cronin (CFO), and Eileen Lawrence (vice president, sales and marketing). As of January 2016, the company had grown to more than 100 employees with offices in the United States, China, Australia, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.


The company's first product was North American Women's Letters and Diaries, a collection of 150,000 pages of letters and diaries by women from colonial times through the 1950s.

In 2000, in collaboration with the ARTFL project at the University of Chicago,[4] the company began using semantic indexing techniques in its humanities databases. It created metadata elements for gender, age, and sexual orientation of characters within plays; author nationality, birth and death place, as well as where and when an item was written. These elements were then combined with full-text search to allow material to be analyzed in new ways.[5][6][7]

In 2003, the company began a major partnership with The Center for the Historical Study of Women and Gender at the State University of New York to publish Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600-2000. This has subsequently become a leading site for the study of women's history.[8][9]

In November 2004, Alexander Street acquired the principal assets of Classical International,[10] a London and New York-based publisher of streaming music for libraries. This led to a new range of music publications, including a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution to provide Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries and African American Song.

In November 2005, Alexander Street acquired the range of religious products produced by Ad Fontes, including The Digital Library of Classic Protestant Texts and The Digital Library of the Catholic Reformation.

In October 2006 the company acquired the assets of University Music Editions, a small microfilm publisher specializing in the publication of scores, journals and other musically oriented publications. These collections were subsequently released as part of Classical Scores Library.

Late in 2006 the company began development of online collections of video. Theatre in Video was published in April 2007 and has been followed by a succession of online streaming video collections. Using techniques such as semantic indexing, initially developed for textual databases, it was an early provider of synchronized, scrolling transcripts that allow the watcher to read ahead. At the 2010 Midsummer American Library Association the company advertised 9 streaming video collections spanning more than 9,000 individual video titles.[11]

In April 2007, Alexander Street acquired the principal products of HarpWeek, publisher of Harper's Weekly and Lincoln and the Civil War.

In September 2010 Alexander Street acquired Microtraining Associates, a specialist producer and distributor of therapy and counseling video. In December 2010 the company acquired Filmakers Library, a distributor of issue based documentaries. In 2012 it acquired the principal assets of Asia Pacific Films.

In November 2013 Alexander Street announced the acquisition of Insight Media, a New York based vendor of DVD and streaming media, bringing the ASP catalog to more than 50,000 academic video titles.[12]

In one of the first and largest independent surveys[13] on streaming video in North American academic libraries by deg farrelly (Arizona State University) and Jane Hutchison (William Paterson University, Alexander Street emerged as the leading vendor, used at more than 60% of sites.[14] Insight Media was present at some 10% of sites.

In 2014 the company launched a series of case study databases which combine books, audio, video, reports, pamphlets and other primary sources. The first two of these were Engineering Case Studies Online which documented major accidents of the 20th Century and Psychological Experiments Online which documented seminal experiments on and about humans.

In 2015 the company secured an arrangement with CBS to publish episodes of Sixty Minutes from 1996-2014.[15] It also announced open access initiatives in Anthropology (The Anthropology Commons) and Music (The Open Music Library).[16]

As of 2016 the principal products of the company are Academic Video Online, (50,000 academically oriented video titles), Music Online (a collection of 8m tracks of music, together with scores, and reference works),over 120 primary source collections offerings across the curriculum, and over 60,000 video titles. These materials are made available using a wide range of business models, including demand driven (EBA, PDA, Access-to-Own), subscriptions and perpetual licenses.


  1. ^ "Alexander Street Gets Personal". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  2. ^ Alexander Street: Kuyper-Rushing, Lois, The Charleston Advisor, Volume 3, Number 4, April 2002 , pp. 12-12(1)
  3. ^ Literary Market Place: The Directory of the American Book Publishing Industry, 2005.
  4. ^ The ARTFL Project. "ARTFL Collaborations | The ARTFL Project". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  5. ^ Shlomo Argamon, Charles Cooney, Russell Horton, Mark Olsen and Sterling Stein, " Gender, Race, and Nationality in Black Drama, 1850-2000: Mining Differences in Language Use in Authors and their Characters", Digital Humanities Quarterly, Spring 2009, Volume 3 Number 2.
  6. ^ How Semantic Tagging Increases Findability, Heather Hadden, EContent Magazine, October 2008.
  7. ^ Rhind-Tutt, Stephen. "Different Direction for Electronic Publishers: How Indexing Can Increase Functionality." Technicalities 21(3):1,13-15, May/June 2001
  8. ^ "Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930 Web site. A Journal for MultiMedia History Web site review". 1999-05-07. Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  9. ^ Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1600–2000 Bonnie S. Anderson, Women's History Review, 1747-583X, volume 19, issue 5, 2010, pages 795 – 797
  10. ^ "Database Marketplace 2005: Shopping for Information". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  11. ^ "Webcast Report: Video in the Library: Trends and Best Practices". Retrieved 2012-12-15. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "the first large-scale and most comprehensive effort to date to collect data on streaming video funding, licensing, acquisition, and hosting in academic libraries"
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

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