The following announcement was written by ProQuest, Inc. Please note that the method of accessing the information will be through your local library:
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - June 23, 2007 - ProQuest announced today that it will offer digital access to a select group of Colonial State Papers through a partnership with The National Archives (TNA). Up until now, researchers wishing to study these documents in full color have had to visit The National Archives in the UK. This exciting new project will vastly improve access to these valuable hand-written materials, offering new insight into British trade, history and overseas expansion between the 16th and 18th centuries.
ProQuest's Vice-President of Publishing, Mary Sauer-Games, said: "Colonial State Papers allows ProQuest to continue to bring the most valuable research materials direct to the desktops of scholars in ways that increase their potential and open up new methods of study and teaching. To collaborate with The National Archives in such a way that employs the strengths of both organizations is a great opportunity."
Dan Jones, Head of Business Development at TNA said: "The National Archives is very excited to see the publication of this hugely informative and fascinating collection in its entirety. The archival standard, high-resolution color images represents a major step forward for a product of this type, and will be of huge benefit both to those researching the material, and for the long-term preservation of the originals."
The National Archives' collection 'CO 1' (full name - Privy Council and related bodies: America and West Indies, Colonial Papers) contains thousands of papers that were presented to the Privy Council and the Board of Trade between 1574-1757, and which relate to England's governance of, and activities in the American, Canadian and West Indian colonies. ProQuest's Colonial State Papers, from ProQuest's Chadwyck-Healy™ publishing unit, also includes the digitized Calendar of State Papers Colonial - an advanced bibliographic tool providing over 40,000 records of bibliographic description, covering not only CO 1, but also documents from many other collections, all relating to the American colonies. Calendar of State Papers Colonial consists of bibliographic entries along with full transcriptions, extracts and abstracts, in fully keyed XML.
All of the documents digitized from CO 1, including a number of contemporary hand-drawn maps, have been reproduced as full color, high quality images directly from the original documents. Users will have a choice of searching or browsing the database and will be able to limit their view to just collection CO 1 or expand it to include all documents recorded in the Calendar of State Papers Colonial.
Noteably, the release of this collection, scheduled for this fall, coincides with 2007's 400th anniversary of the founding of the first British colony in Jamestown, Virginia.
About ProQuest ProQuest combines the strengths of two leading and historic information technology firms: ProQuest Information and Learning and CSA. The company provides seamless access to and navigation of more than 125 billion digital pages of the world's scholarship, delivering it to the desktop and into the workflow of serious researchers in multiple fields, from arts, literature, and social science to science, technology, and medicine. ProQuest is part of Cambridge Information Group (www.cambridgeinformationgroup.com ).
ProQuest's vast content pools are available to researchers through libraries of all types and include the world's largest digital newspaper archive, periodical databases comprising the output of more than 9,000 titles and spanning more than 500 years, the preeminent dissertation collection, and various other scholarly collections. Users access the information through the ProQuest® and CSA Illumina Web-based online information systems, Chadwyck-Healey™ electronic and microform resources, UMI® microform and print reference products, eLibrary® and SIRS® educational resources, Ulrich's Serials Analysis System™, COS Scholar Universe, and Serials Solutions resource management tools. Through the expertise of business units Serials Solutions and COS, ProQuest provides technological tools that allow researchers and libraries to better manage and use their information resources. For more information, visit www.proquest.com and www.csa.com .
About The National Archives
The National Archives is a government department and an executive agency of the Secretary of State for Justice. It brings together the Public Record Office, Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Office of Public Sector Information and Her Majesty's Stationery Office.
The National Archives is at the heart of information policy, setting standards and supporting innovation in information and records management across the UK, providing advice on opening up and encouraging the re-use of public sector information. Through our efforts in promoting best practice in information management, we look to ensure the survival of today's information for the future.
The National Archives is also the UK government's official archive, containing 900 years of history with records ranging from parchment and paper scrolls through to digital files and archived websites. The National Archives makes open records available to all, either onsite or online, continuously developing new tools to make history tangible for everyone.