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Weekly News Digest

May 22, 2006 — 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 ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

ProQuest Introduces Historical Annual Reports

ProQuest Information and Learning ( has released what it calls the first-ever digital archive devoted solely to capturing historical data from American businesses. ProQuest Historical Annual Reports via the ProQuest platform offers desktop access to business information dating from the mid-1800s to the present day. The archive comprises 160 years of continuous coverage for more than 700 U.S. corporations. Coverage spans the history of influential American businesses including: Mutual Life of New York (160 years), Ford Motor Co. (93 years), General Electric Co. (112 years), Coca Cola Co. (85 years), Texaco (85 years), and Sears Roebuck & Co. (98 years).

ProQuest developed Historical Annual Reports in consultation with university faculty and librarians, who said access was one of the most significant barriers to researching pre-1970 company information. Until now, these retrospective reports were scattered around the country on film, fiche, and tattered paper. ProQuest responded to this need by gathering, digitizing, and indexing these business records for seamless access. This new application is designed to meet the needs of scholarly, legal, and corporate researchers—allowing them to trace a company's family tree, including name changes and acquisitions, product life cycles, developments, financial data, statistics, and corporate self-images across time.

Historical content comes from a variety of sources including ProQuest's digitized microfiche collection, as well as content partners like Purdue University and Harvard Business School. Data from 1995 forward is provided by Mergent, Inc., a provider of business and financial data on global publicly listed companies. The collection of reports will continue to grow as new reports are added annually.

Source: ProQuest Information and Learning

Castle Harlan to Acquire Baker & Taylor

Castle Harlan, Inc. (, a New York-based private equity investment firm, announced that a private-equity investment fund it organized and manages has agreed to buy privately-held Baker & Taylor ( in a transaction valued at $455 million. Baker & Taylor, founded in 1828, is a distributor of books, video, and music products to public and academic libraries. It also distributes books and entertainment products to many of the country's leading retailers, including Internet retailers, as well as thousands of independent book, music, and video stores.

Baker & Taylor is based in Charlotte, N.C., and is ranked in the top 200 U.S. private companies by Forbes magazine. It serves customers in 98 countries around the world and has six distribution facilities strategically located throughout the country.

Castle Harlan invests in controlling interests in the buyout and development of middle-market companies in North America and Europe. Castle Harlan's current portfolio companies include Ames True Temper, a manufacturer of lawn and garden tools; Horizon Lines, a shipping company; and Perkins Restaurant & Bakery.

The company is being sold by an investment partnership organized by Willis Stein & Partners (, a private equity firm in Chicago. It had acquired Baker & Taylor for $255 million in 2003 from The Carlyle Group (see the NewsBreak at Consummation of the transaction with Castle Harlan is contingent upon the satisfaction of customary legal and business conditions.

Source: Castle Harlan, Inc.

Thomson West Adds Tribune Publications

Thomson West ( announced an agreement with Tribune Co. ( that brings full-text coverage of the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune to Thomson customers. This new content will be available via Westlaw and Thomson Business Intelligence, the current-awareness and market/business intelligence service of The Thomson Corp. Thomson West said the addition is designed to further strengthen its portfolio of news and current-awareness offerings, which are important elements for legal professionals. The company said the agreement also adds a respected, authoritative national news franchise to Thomson Business Intelligence and is a strong complement to the current-awareness, business, and broker research content delivered by this service.

Among the nation's top 10 daily newspapers in readership, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune have searchable archives to January 1985 on Westlaw and Thomson Business Intelligence. Also as part of the agreement, the following six additional Tribune publications are now available to Thomson customers:

Orlando Sentinel (Fla.)—archived to April 1985

South Florida Sun-Sentinel—archived to January 1985

The Hartford Courant (Conn.)—archived to July 1991

Daily Press (Newport News, Va.)—archived to 1989

El Sentinel (Orlando, Fla.)—archived to August 2001

El Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.)—archived to October 2002

Another five Tribune newspapers will release soon, including Hoy (Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York); The Advocate (Stamford, Conn.); and Greenwich Time (Greenwich, Conn.).

Source: Thomson West

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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