Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Book and Newspaper Dilemma

Some of the Genealogy Bloggers noted Google's announcement that it was discontinuing its newspaper archiving efforts. The announcement was also all over the tech sites online. The original project was launched in 2006. However, the main issues turned out to be the rights to republish freelance content from the pre-internet era. See The Telegraph.

How many of you even knew the project existed or had used the digitized resources? Have you ever done a Google News search for archived information? That was the real problem. Lack of demand.

What wasn't noted, was the comment by ProQuest. ProQuest formed a partnership with Google back in 2008 to help digitize the newspapers.  Are you aware of the ProQuest's newspaper holdings? Have you used ProQuest in your genealogical research? Back in 2008 ProQuest held more than 10,000 newspaper titles as pristine master film copies. Quoting from ProQuest:
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as Chadwyck-Healey™, UMI®, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.
More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.
For more information, visit or the ProQuest parent company website,
In response to the Google announcement, ProQuest is quoted as saying:
ProQuest is willing to work further with publishers to secure and archive their files that Google digitized and indexed. ProQuest is working now with publishers to build more value for their historical content. The Google News Archive has been an ambitious undertaking; and the company looks forward to expanding its foundation to increase opportunities for researchers and publishers alike.
Publishers are invited to contact ProQuest for further information. Visit the company at
The Google Newspapers will remain online and ProQuest will continue to digitize and make available its huge collections online just as it has for the last 70 years.

You say you are not familiar with ProQuest? Here is a partial list of their genealogy products, which, by the way is a only a very small portion of what they do:

ProQuest - HeritageQuest Online

ProQuest - Ancestry Library Edition
ProQuest - Digital Sanborn Maps, 1867-1970
ProQuest - ProQuest Sanborn Maps Geo Edition
ProQuest - ProQuest Research Library
ProQuest - ProQuest African American Heritage
ProQuest - Educational Reform in the Age of Enlightenment
ProQuest - State Census
ProQuest - ProQuest Civil War Era
ProQuest - ProQuest Obituaries


  1. Thank you for this valuable information! Just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your blog regarding ProQuest. Keep up the good work.

  2. I have done several GOOGLE newspaper archive searches, but it was never easy to find the appropriate place from which to search. Sorry to see the program ending.

  3. Google has digitized the local newspaper in the area of my interest and I have spent many (probably hundreds) of hours reading through it. I've found much information and had a wonderful time doing it. And I'm not done, by a long shot.

  4. My local library allows access to a few ProQuest databases but they are extremely difficult to locate (in the library's web site) and quite hard to search. With de-funding of our library system, this minimal access will probably vanish. What good is it for ProQuest to have these resources if one cannot access them? There is no way for individuals to 'subscribe'.