Chapters from U.K.’s Past

Instead of letting historical books and papers fall victim to the ravages of time, ProQuest Information and Learning is continuing its efforts to digitize some U.K. treasures. In fact, ProQuest will have preserved nearly 10 million pages when it completes archiving The House of Commons Parliamentary Papers from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. Users of all research abilities can see first hand the government’s actual working documents, from census reports and battles plans from past wars to the Treaty between H.M. and Argentine Confederation for Abolition of Slave Trade.

Amazingly enough, the labor-intensive archiving process has been completed quickly. Earlier this year, ProQuest started indexing 19th-century House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, and by August, full text was added for the years 1840-1859. By the end of 2005, the full-text archive will reach to the year 1889. Documents include bills, committee reports, command papers, commissioners’ reports, among other records. Preserving these primary sources lets researchers get a chance to see "original" charts, maps, and illustrations via high-quality scans along with the text.

Barbara Brynko, Editor in Chief
Information Today
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