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“The presentation of the Filby Award is always a particularly proud moment for ProQuest,” said Chris Cowan, Vice President, ProQuest. “We are committed to successfully connecting people to information; and, we honor the critical role librarians play in helping researchers conduct family history research. ProQuest is pleased to sponsor this year’s NGS Filby Award recognizing Randy Riley for his outstanding contributions at the Library of Michigan.”
Mr. Riley is Special Collections Supervisor at the Library of Michigan, nationally known for its support of genealogical research. A 20-year veteran of the library, Mr. Riley is being honored for his long track record of support of the many family historians who rely on the Library’s collection. A trainer and mentor to the Library’s local history staff, he has played an integral role in making the collection more accessible through digitization and innovations on the Library’s web site. For example, Mr. Riley oversaw the digitization of the 1870 Michigan census as well as the digitization, indexing and publication of approximately 1,000,000 death certificates that can be searched on the Library’s website. As editor of the Michigan Genealogist electronic newsletter – which has a subscriber base of more than 2,000 – Mr. Riley keeps genealogists up to date on resources at the Library of Michigan and advances in the field.
Ann Arbor-based ProQuest -- which supports genealogical research through major web-based products such as HeritageQuest Online and Ancestry Library Edition – has sponsored the Filby Award since 2006. The annual award -- presented to the librarian who has made the most significant contribution to the field of family history – honors the memory of P. William Filby (1911 – 2002), whose bibliographic and historical research enabled thousands of libraries to serve family historians in new ways. Mr. Filby, who was also director of the Maryland Historical Society, is best known for his work to index nearly every published list documenting immigration to the United States and Canada.
ProQuest’s sponsorship of the Filby Award is part of the company’s ongoing commitment to libraries and librarians that serve patrons researching family and local history. ProQuest continues to make contributions to genealogical research by unlocking collections for researchers. Most recently, ProQuest has added North Carolina and West Virginia marriage and cohabitations records, U.S. Colored Troops Service Records (1861-1865), and Ohio, Louisiana, and Pennsylvania registers of slaves and free persons of color (1780-1864) to ProQuest African American Heritage.
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