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Weekly News Digest

July 22, 2002 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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ProQuest Completes The New York Times Backfile Digitization

ProQuest Information and Learning ( announced that it has fully digitized the complete backfile (1851-1999) of The New York Times as part of its ProQuest Historical Newspapers program. With this project's completion, the national newspaper becomes the first paper in the program to be fully digitized and available to library and education customers.

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.

"This was an unprecedented conversion effort, comprising nearly 3 million pages and over 25 million articles covering 148 years of history," said Joe Reynolds, president and CEO of ProQuest Information and Learning. "Newspapers present unique challenges for conversion, given their large page format, multiple article types, varying lengths, and page jumps. To accomplish the conversion, we pioneered new techniques in digitization, zoning (identifying areas of relevant text and relating them to each other), and image quality enhancement. The result is a fully searchable file that allows users to view articles in their original context. It is the most ambitious newspaper conversion project undertaken, and we are excited about the quality of the resulting product."

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

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