ProQuest has formed a partnership with Google that has the potential to bring millions of pages of newspaper content to the open web. The program allows web access to archives of both large and small newspapers. Without this initiative, these newspapers might never be digitized.
"Newspapers are the lifeblood of every community-with a wide ranging interest for a myriad of users. The demand for digitized newspaper archives is clearly there. The problem is it that, until now, finding a workable economic model for libraries and publishers has been challenging," said Rod Gauvin, ProQuest senior vice-president of publishing. "This model overcomes that hurdle, unlocking a wealth of content for libraries and internet users with unique research needs."
The ProQuest/Google partnership does not impact ProQuest's other digital newspaper offerings such as its acclaimed ProQuest Historical Newspapers, which will continue to be strongly developed for use by serious researchers. Users of such products require robust application and search tools provided by the power of the ProQuest platform. The content delivered via Google's platform will be supported with a variety of advertising and e-commerce models that are standard in an open web context.
ProQuest will contribute content to the partnership, and will introduce newspaper publishers nationwide to the program. ProQuest will also supply from its microfilm vault newspaper content that can be delivered effectively in the less formal framework of the open web. The company currently holds more than 10,000 newspaper titles, most of which are pristine master film copies. This high level of microfilm quality allows for the creation of better scanned images, which will ultimately deliver more accurate OCR results for users.
While ProQuest's film vault will be tapped, the open web model does not replace or diminish ProQuest's commitment to microfilm. "The open web program is about access to content and has no impact on preservation, where microfilm is the 'gold standard,'" said Mr. Gauvin. "Microfilm is a technology-neutral format, so no matter the state of future technology, anything preserved on it can be read and stored effectively. It's an essential for preserving local history and culture, as well as the world's scholarship."
The work of the ProQuest/Google partnership commences immediately and is expected to be ongoing over multiple years.
For more information about ProQuest and its work to unlock all types of content for serious and casual research, visit www.proquest.com.
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as Chadwyck-Healey™, UMI®, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.
More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.