Fathom.com, formed to launch a new paradigm in onlineknowledge, recently announced the formation of six strategic alliances thatwill help bring fully integrated e-commerce services into its distinctivevision of an interactive knowledge and education envir
Fathom.com debuted in April as a first-of-its-kind initiative to project the world's leading academic and cultural institutions onto the Internet. The company's Web site will introduce the first home for authenticated knowledge on the Internet, offering unprecedented opportunities for discovery through courses, information, and learning tools and resources.

Fathom will work with Blackwell Retail, The British Library, Cambridge University Press, EBSCO Information Services, ecampus, and Taylor & Francis to offer high-quality knowledge e-commerce opportunities in the context of Fathom's public knowledge content. Visitors to www.fathom.com will thus have a simple, immediate way to purchase books, journals, periodicals, and articles that are directly related to the subjects in which they are most interested.

Fathom will be the first home for authenticated knowledge on the Internet, presenting the best public content and courses from universities, libraries, and museums on a wide variety of professional, cultural, and academic subjects to a worldwide audience of business and individual users. Fathom will enable consumers to purchase knowledge-related goods while they access the unique content, learning opportunities, and online courses offered by Fathom's knowledge content partners. These content partners currently include Columbia University, London School of Economics and Political Science, Cambridge University Press, The British Library, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, and The New York Public Library.

"Forging these e-commerce alliances is a major step in our drive to build an unrivaled online knowledge center," said Ann Kirschner, Ph.D., CEO of Fathom. "Visitors to Fathom will be able to obtain exceptional products and services directly relevant to their areas of interest, while our commercial partners will have a pipeline to a vast, informed, motivated consumer audience."

For example, a visitor to Fathom who is interested in architecture and related fields could purchase Between Two Towers: The Drawings of the School of Miami by Vincent Scully from ecampus, subscribe to an architectural journal such as Building Design through EBSCO, buy a guide to historical buildings of South London or a monograph on the construction principles behind the International Space Station from Blackwell and enroll in a related course. Visitors will eventually be able to reserve tickets for a tour of archeological sites of Greece or Egypt, take an interactive virtual journey through 20th century architectural masterworks, and access experts in modern architecture in real-time.

"Partnering with these respected and innovative providers of books, journals and documents forms a strong initial base for knowledge e-commerce on Fathom, " said Ryan Craig, vice president of business development at Fathom. "By offering these and other products in the context of distinctive content from our partner universities, museums, libraries and research institutes, Fathom is creating an environment of unparalleled knowledge opportunities. "

Working directly with the prominent faculty and curators of these institutions, Fathom will provide content on a diverse range of subjects, such as business, law, economics, social sciences, medicine, computer science and technology, the arts, journalism, and physics. Much of Fathom's content has never been available outside of the participating institutions, and will include multimedia lectures, seminars, databases, publications, and performances. An advisory board, selected from Fathom's partners, will oversee content.

"For centuries, the Press has extended the research and teaching activities of Cambridge University through its printing and publishing. Fathom extends this reach by offering Cambridge an exceptional and innovative channel to a whole new community of potential subscribers" said Michael Holdsworth, press business development director at Cambridge.