Information Today
Volume 17, Issue 8 • September 2000
ProQuest Archiver, Qpass Partner to Offer Content Commerce Solution

Bell & Howell’s Information and Learning division has announced that it has selected the Qpass Digital Commerce Service to provide the content commerce solution for its ProQuest Archiver electronic archiving service. The agreement will enable Bell & Howell to offer publishers a complete solution for the archiving and sale of content online.

The ProQuest Archiver publishing service creates a digital archive of a publisher’s content, provides a powerful search engine, supplies technical support, and hosts and maintains the data center. The partnership with Qpass provides ProQuest Archiver with a comprehensive commerce infrastructure—including transaction support, credit card processing, billing and remittance, end-user registration, and account management—to support Web-based content sales.

The first publisher using the Qpass/ProQuest Archiver service to sell premium content online is USA TODAY, reportedly the nation’s second-largest daily newspaper ( The USA TODAY archive contains the full text of top national and international news; editorials; and financial, sports, and entertainment information. The content from the print edition currently dates back to 1995, and will soon be expanded to include articles dating to 1988.

USA TODAY is pleased to be the first publication for the Qpass/ProQuest Archiver partnership,” said Phil Abashian, director of technology for “Implementation was quick and seamless since our content was already loaded into the ProQuest information system. This kept demands on our technical staff to an absolute minimum.” Actual development and deployment of a publisher’s archive can reportedly take as little as 1 day.

“There is a great need for traditional publishers to turn their highly valuable content into electronic assets that can be commercialized and distributed to the broader Web audience,” said Joe Reynolds, president and CEO of Bell & Howell Information and Learning. “With the addition of the Qpass Digital Commerce Service, ProQuest Archiver truly becomes a turnkey solution that allows publishers to digitize, post, and sell their content on the Web, all while providing a straightforward and simple end-user experience.”

With content from nearly 6,000 publications already digitized and available in the ProQuest online information system, a Web-based resource available via thousands of libraries around the world, many publishers can take advantage of the ProQuest Archiver service and quickly make their archives available from their own Web sites. The addition of Qpass technologies allows an e-commerce function to be available immediately.

Qpass provides the commerce infrastructure for a number of companies on the Web, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times,, Corbis, and Factiva. The company also developed and markets the Qpass digital PowerWallet, a service designed to improve the security and simplicity of online consumer purchases. Founded in 1997, the company is headquartered in Seattle. For more information about Qpass, visit

Source: Bell & Howell Information and Learning, Ann Arbor, MI, 800/521-0600, 734/761-4700;

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