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Weekly News Digest

May 2, 2008 — 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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Old Bailey Proceedings Boosts Records Online

More rich detailed historical sources have been added to the Proceedings of the Old Bailey online ( The digitized collection now covers the years 1674 to 1913 with nearly 200,000 cases in its fully searchable text that represents the largest body of texts "detailing the lives of nonelite people," according to the site. In addition to the new trial documents, the site has been redesigned with a variety of new search enhancements, including advanced keyword and structured searching.

Now, 197,745 criminal trials at London’s central criminal court are accessible, as well as digital images of the court documents that originally appeared in the pages of Old Bailey Proceedings and Ordinary of Newsgate’s. Detailing the trials of robbers to sheep thieves, the cases had to be manually retyped, along with the use of optical character recognition (OCR) to bring the pages to digital life. Despite the age and defects in some of the originals, the collection has recreated the documents with an accuracy rate of more than 97%.

The project is a collaboration of the Open University and the universities of Hertfordshire and Sheffield that was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council and the Big Lottery Fund. Directors of the project include Professor Tim Hitchcock (the University of Hertfordshire), Professor Clive Emsley (Open University), and Professor Robert Schumacher (University of Sheffield).

Source: Old Bailey Proceedings

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