Information Today
Volume 19, Issue 8 September 2002
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ProQuest Unveils HeritageQuest Online, Completes New York Times Digitization

ProQuest Information and Learning has announced the release of HeritageQuest Online, a Web-based genealogy resource developed specifically for library patrons. The company also announced that it has fully digitized the complete backfile (1851­1999) of The New York Times as part of its ProQuest Historical Newspapers program.

HeritageQuest Online
HeritageQuest Online combines primary source materials from the UMI Genealogy & Local History Online product and multiple resources from genealogy publisher Heritage Quest (which was acquired by ProQuest last summer). It includes the following attributes:

  • High-quality census indexing (all names are verified before indexing, for a 99-percent accuracy rate)
  • Remote access for library patrons
  • Access to all available U.S. census records (with full page images that allow users to see handwritten entries in early census data)
  • Multiple search elements, such as personal name (first and/or last), place (state, county, town, or other), demographic information (age, sex, race, and birthplace), type of material (periodicals, monographs, obituaries, and census), and keywords (company names, topics, dates, or other)
  • Full-text searching and full page image display
In this first release of HeritageQuest Online, complete census data from 1790, 1800, 1810, and 1870 is fully indexed and viewable in full page image. In addition, 1840 census data is fully browsable by locality (with name indexing to be included soon).

Also available are 16,000 family and local histories (8,000 titles will be added). Remaining census images for census years from 1790 to 1930 are scheduled to be added later this year. Family and local histories come from all 50 states, as well as from Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland, and other countries. The collection will be ongoing, with new materials to be added weekly. Other genealogical information will also be integrated, including obituaries from 150 newspapers, Freedman's Bank Records (an African-American resource), and Revolutionary War Pension Files.

The New York Times Digitization
Every backfile issue of The New York Times has been digitized from cover to cover, including news stories, editorials, photos, graphics, and advertisements. Searchers can use basic keyword, advanced, guided, and relevancy search techniques to locate information. Or they can browse through issues page by page, as one would browse a printed edition. Search results lists provide bibliographic information, including date, issue, article headline, page number, and byline (where given). Users may choose to display the full page image of any page in any issue.

Full text of The New York Times dating from 1999 is also available electronically from ProQuest in ASCII. Both the archive and the current file are available by subscription on the ProQuest service.

Source: ProQuest Information and Learning, Ann Arbor, MI, 800/521-0600; http://www.il.proquest.com.

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