Our Mission

Transformative uses of new technologies in higher education

ITHAKA is a not-for-profit organization that helps the academic community use digital technologies to preserve the scholarly record and to advance research and teaching in sustainable ways. ITHAKA provides three innovative services that benefit the academic community: JSTOR, Portico, and Ithaka S+R.

Our Partners

We work with a wide range of organizations in the academic community: foundations, universities, libraries, colleges, scholarly and learned societies, publishers, and others, including individual researchers.

Our Inspiration

The poem “Ithaka” by C.P. Cavafy is a source of inspiration and a touchstone for our organization as we pursue the intelligent application of technology in academic environments.

Ithaka

C.P. Cavafy

As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon-don't be afraid of them:
you'll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon-you won't encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

Hope the voyage is a long one.
May there be many a summer morning when,
with what pleasure, what joy,
you come into harbors seen for the first time;
may you stop at Phoenician trading stations
to buy fine things,
mother of pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
sensual perfume of every kind-
as many sensual perfumes as you can;
and may you visit many Egyptian cities
to gather stores of knowledge from their scholars.

Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.

Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.
And if you find her poor, Ithaka won't have fooled you.
Wise as you will have become, so full of experience,
you will have understood by then what these Ithakas mean.
 

 

Ithaka is reproduced here from C.P. CAVAFY SELECTED POEMS, edited and translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard, © 1992 by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. For permission to reproduce this poem in any format, contact Princeton University Press: permissions@pupress.princeton.edu. More information about the life and poetry of C.P. Cavafy is available online at the University of Michigan archeological museum and at other sites.