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Bell & Howell Information and Learning Acquires Chadwyck-Healey
Posted On October 11, 1999
October 11, 1999 Bell & Howell Company's Information and Learning unit ( has acquired U.K.-based Chadwyck-Healey Group (, a publisher and database provider primarily to the library market that focuses on the humanities and social sciences.

Joe Reynolds, president and CEO of Bell & Howell Information and Learning, said: "Like Bell & Howell, Chadwyck-Healey is a premium information provider to the library market, known as much for its quality abstracting and indexing as for its unique content. The humanities and social sciences information will perfectly complement our own holdings and balance our depth of content in business and general reference databases. In addition, Chadwyck-Healey has developed innovative backfile products similar to our own ProQuest Digital Vault project. For customers, the opportunities for improved access to unique primary source information from these two content powerhouses together are almost limitless."

Bell & Howell Information and Learning plans to incorporate Chadwyck-Healey's primary source materials into its electronic databases and into curriculum support products, such as ProQuest CoursePacks and ProQuest ClassMate. It also expects the acquisition to strengthen international sales, marketing, and product development. "With the European and Asian Internet information markets on the verge of significant growth, we'll be poised to better serve emerging marketplaces with deep content and innovative delivery systems," said Reynolds.

Chadwyck-Healey was founded in 1973 by Sir Charles Chadwyck-Healey. Today it produces a number of scholarly reference and full-text databases, available on the Internet, CD-ROM, and microfilm. They focus on literature, history, art, social and political sciences, economics and statistics, bibliographies, and reference works. The company's new Internet products include LION (Literature Online); KnowUK, a comprehensive resource on the United Kingdom; and Periodical Contents Index (PCI). In addition, Chadwyck-Healey has been the leading publisher of electronic texts in the humanities worldwide.

During the transition, founder and chairman Chadwyck-Healey will continue to serve as an advisor to Bell & Howell. "I am pleased that Bell & Howell Information and Learning is the buyer of Chadwyck-Healey," he said. "It is the oldest and most respected electronic publisher in the library market, and under Bell & Howell ownership, Chadwyck-Healey will consolidate its position as the major player in the U.K. and the rest of Europe. We're working to ensure a smooth transition that will not affect any of our current relationships with customers or publishing partners."

Bell & Howell intends to retain the Chadwyck-Healey brand on many products. "The name is meaningful to customers and conveys a level of quality they've come to expect," said Reynolds. "The brand Chadwyck-Healey will join our existing information product brands, UMI and ProQuest." Chadwyck-Healey employs approximately 175 people in Cambridge, U.K.; Spain; and Alexandria, Virginia. Customers will continue to be supported by the respective customer support organizations of the two companies until further notice.

Headquartered in Skokie, Illinois, the parent Bell & Howell Company ( is a leading information solutions and services provider to industries worldwide. Bell & Howell Information and Learning (formerly UMI) collects, organizes, and distributes information worldwide to libraries and schools. It offers access to periodicals, newspapers, dissertations, out-of-print books, and other scholarly information from more than 8,000 publishers worldwide through ProQuest, Bell & Howell's Web-based online information system, and with UMI microform and print reference products. Bell & Howell Information and Learning employs over 1,100 peoples in its headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and its editorial division in Louisville, Kentucky. Its primary customers are academic, public, school, and government libraries.

Barbara Quint was senior editor of Online Searcher, co-editor of The Information Advisor’s Guide to Internet Research, and a columnist for Information Today.

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