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April 12, 1999

California Digital Library gets new online databases

By Terry Colvin
UC Office of the President

The California Digital Library (CDL) has chosen Chadwyck-Healey Inc. to provide University of California students and scholars with important electronic resources in the humanities and social sciences.

These collections will be accessible by computer to more than 165,000 students and 140,000 faculty and staff on the nine UC campuses, as well as future scholars at the planned 10th campus. The agreement marks continuing success in collaboration and co-investment among UC libraries to benefit the entire University of California system.

This is the first systemwide acquisition of Chadwyck-Healey products by the CDL. Among the research and full-text databases acquired are Literature Online and Periodicals Contents Index.

"Chadwyck-Healey's databases in the humanities are significant resources for UC's scholars and students," said Beverlee French, CDL's associate director for shared collections and services. "CDL and its campus partners are thrilled to expand digital resources in this area and provide the associated enhanced access and convenience to the UC community."

"Chadwyck-Healey is pleased by the CDL's decision to make Literature Online and Periodicals Contents Index accessible to students and faculty at UC member institutions," said Stephen Rhind-Tutt, president of Chadwyck-Healey. "For more than 25 years, we have focused our efforts on building comprehensive full-text databases that support scholarly research in the humanities.

"Now, with the advent of the Internet that allows for more affordable subscription pricing, these databases --which contain not only the best-known works of literature, but hundreds of lesser-known and out-of-print works--can be searched by the widest possible audience," Rhind-Tutt said. "The determination of the CDL to make these resources available systemwide is a validation of the years of work and research that has gone into developing Literature Online and Periodicals Contents Index."

Literature Online is the largest virtual repository of literary texts, focusing on American and English literature. It contains more than 350,000 full texts of classic and contemporary prose, poetry, and drama. Chadwyck-Healey is continually adding critical editions of English and American literature to update the database. Literature Online also includes a comprehensive bibliography of commentary on literature and language, and an index to more than 200 literary journals. Additionally, it links to more than 16,000 other resources on the World Wide Web.

Periodicals Contents Index is a reference tool that provides author, title, and keyword access to the table-of-contents pages of more than 2,000 journals covering a wide variety of subjects. Journals date from 1770 to 1990 and cover history, literature, linguistics, political science, archaeology, ethnic studies, and geography. The index includes separate citations to more than nine million journal articles from North America, the United Kingdom, and the rest of the English-speaking world. It also contains journals in other languages, including French, German, Italian, and Spanish.

CDL, which collaborates with the campuses to select and provide access to digital scholarly resources, was established in 1997 and opened its digital doors on the Web in January 1999. Its aim is to build shared digital collections and innovative scholarly information services for the UC campuses. These include UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Riverside, UC San Diego, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, and a new campus planned to open in 2005 at UC Merced.

Chadwyck-Healey, Inc. is a leading academic publisher of scholarly reference and full-text databases. Its products--available on the Web or on CD-ROM and microfilm--cover literature, history, art, social and political sciences, economics, music, and the performing arts. The company is currently developing full-image databases in history, including Historical Newspapers Online and the Digital National Security Archive: Fifty Years of U.S. Policy Online. Chadwyck-Healey has offices in Alexandria, VA; Cambridge, England; and Madrid, Spain.

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