ProQuest has formed a partnership with Google to digitize hundreds of millions of pages of local newspaper content for the open web. This should become a great resource for genealogists as many of these papers would never have been digitized without this program.
The old newspapers which are now digitized will be accessible by searching the Google News Archive or by using the timeline feature offered through Google News. Google’s overall goal is to make billions of newsprint pages accessible online.
The following announcement was written by ProQuest:
ProQuest and Google Partnership Will Unlock Newspaper Content
ProQuest brings content; Google brings access
September 8, 2008 (Ann Arbor, Mich.) -- 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 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 pre-eminent dissertation collection, and various other scholarly collections. Users access the information through the ProQuest®, CSA Illumina™, Dialog® and Datastar® 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 RefWorks/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, www.proquest.co.uk, and www.csa.com.