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The Wall Street Journal Backfiles to Be Digitized and Distributed on the Web by Bell & Howell

  Full Page Images of Issues Dating Back to 1889 to Become Available Online

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Bell & Howell's (NYSE: BHW)
Information and Learning unit and Dow Jones & Company announced an agreement
today from the floor of the Midwinter meeting of the American Library
Association that will bring the backfile of The Wall Street Journal to the Web
as part of the ProQuest Historical Newspapers(TM) project of Bell & Howell's
Digital Vault Initiative.  This landmark agreement allows for Bell & Howell to
digitize the backfile of this critical business news source -- some
1,700,000 pages in total -- and to make full page images of the original print
publication available to educational institutions and libraries around the
    "We're delighted to work with Dow Jones on this incredible opportunity to
create full page images of the backfile," said Joe Reynolds, president and CEO
of Bell & Howell Information and Learning.  "Now researchers around the world
will be able to access in a new way important business information from the
definitive source of business news.  Best of all, they will be able to find
information in its original context -- the most informative, engaging way to
review information."
    The electronic file, which will be available via the ProQuest(R) online
information system, will be released in segments covering 10 years each.  The
digitization is expected to be completed in just 15 months, with monthly
releases beginning in March.  The resulting database, which will be sold as an
annual subscription to libraries and schools, will feature full-text searching
and article and full page images display format.

    Page Images Provide Greater Research Value
    As part of the Digital Vault Initiative, Bell & Howell will digitally
reproduce each issue of The Wall Street Journal from cover to cover -- not
just the news stories and editorials, but also the photos, graphics, and
advertisements.  Searchers will be able to enter terms [keywords, such as
"Black Monday" or "Microsoft," or Boolean operators such as "keyword(coca
cola) and doc_type(display ad)" or "title(Exxon) and date(1989)"] to search
the full file.  A results list will supply bibliographic information,
including date, page number, and writer's name (where given).  To see the
text, the user simply chooses the article, and the article image is displayed.
Users will also be able to display the full page image of any page in any
issue.  The archive will be accessed using the ProQuest(R) online information
    The page images are being digitized from the existing Journal microform,
allowing researchers to benefit from seeing the content as it was originally
published as well as use the latest technologies to access the content.
    "Making The Wall Street Journal available in full image format will
provide library researchers with rich opportunities," said Robert F.
Firestone, vice president, Dow Jones Interactive Publishing.  "We're excited
about being able to offer searchers a complete look at past issues of the
Journal -- in context and as originally published -- similar to microform
products, but using the latest technologies."
    In the second release of the product, expected in June 2001, the database
will be completely browseable by issue, allowing searchers to browse through
entire issues as they would a printed paper.

    Dates of Coverage
    The historical backfile database will initially cover the years 1889 to
1986 -- a full span of issues currently not covered by any existing electronic
    In addition, the entire backfile is available from Bell & Howell in
microform, as well as ASCII full text from 1986 to the present via ProQuest
and Dow Jones Interactive.  Bell & Howell will continue to provide ongoing
access to these formats.

    The Interface
    The award-winning ProQuest(R) online information system features a
user-friendly interface that allows beginners to pinpoint highly specific
information.  The ProQuest interface is familiar to many users; it is
currently available to millions of higher education, K-12, and public library
users globally.

    Free Trials Available in March
    Free trials will be available in March.  A demonstration of the database
will be available soon for review at .
Libraries may receive more information by contacting their account
representative at 1-800-521-0600, ext. 3183 or 3452 (outside the U.S., call
+44-1-223-215-512) or .  Editors may call
1-800-521-0600, ext. 3805 or email .

    About Bell & Howell Information and Learning
    Bell & Howell Company (NYSE: BHW), headquartered in Skokie, Ill., is a
leading information solutions and services provider to industries worldwide.
In each of its businesses, the company transforms information through software
and services, helping its customers operate more effectively and efficiently.
Additional information on Bell & Howell Company can be found at .
    Bell & Howell Information and Learning (formerly UMI) is a world leader in
collecting, organizing, and distributing information worldwide to researchers,
faculty, and students in libraries and schools.  Known widely for its strength
in business, general-reference, humanities, and social sciences content, the
company develops premium databases comprising periodicals, newspapers,
dissertations, out-of-print books, and other scholarly information from more
than 8,500 publishers worldwide.  Users access the information through
ProQuest(R), the company's Web-based online information system,
Chadwyck-Healey(R) electronic and microform resources, and UMI(R) microform
and print reference products.  For more information about Bell & Howell
Information and Learning, visit .

SOURCE  Bell & Howell Information and Learning

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