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“A reference magnum opus”* garners expanded access with 21st-century technology

When The Annual Register debuted in 1758, libraries were still scarce around the world and protective of their holdings, which were often chained to desks as a safeguard. During the ensuing 254 years, the chains were broken; libraries evolved even further by pushing content outside their walls, providing patrons with 24/7 remote access via computers. That “liberation” continues as the 253rd edition of The Annual Register, one of libraries’ most trusted references, makes its debut as an e-book via ProQuest business unit ebrary.

For more than two centuries, The Annual Register has been a "go-to" for librarians who value its year-by-year record of both major and minor world events, with text hearty enough to satisfy serious researchers and straightforward enough to answer a general query. The complete archive of the reference became available as an online tool through ProQuest in 2007, enabling researchers to scan the full-text of every edition in a single search. Now ebrary, the leader in strategic e-book acquisition, will enable libraries to make contents of the last ten editions available as e-books, supported by its rich features and functionality, such as notes, highlights, and shareable bookshelves. The Annual Register can be ordered as an individual e-book — through perpetual archive and patron driven acquisition models — or as part of the most scholarly Academic Complete subscription collection. As an e-book, the Annual Register will not only be accessible on any web-enabled device, but it will go mobile via ebrary's dedicated iOS and Android apps.

"The opportunity to provide this content via e-book will allow us to significantly increase its reach to even a broader audience," said Mary Sauer-Games, ProQuest vice-president, publishing. "Librarians continue to advise us that providing offline access to e-books is more or equally important than providing online access and that non-fiction titles have surpassed fiction in user demand. Opening access to The Annual Register to e-book users was just another logical step in this work’s evolution."

From its earliest days, The Annual Register has been considered an essential resource for journalists, politicians, historians, and any individual with an interest in the world's current affairs. Major events and their historical contexts are provided by specialist contributors; more than 80 were involved with the 253rd edition. Covering 2011 in depth, the new edition explores political developments, obituaries, extracts from critical documents, photographs, and expert analysis in such areas as economics, international organizations, the environment, science and the arts, religion and the law. In addition, the reference remains loyal to its first publishers whom intended The Annual Register to be entertaining as well as enlightening allowing for documentation of less dramatic matters such as public holidays and celebrity weddings.

Significant events of 2011 that are covered in the new edition include:

  • Japan's earthquake and tsunami
  • Killing of Osama bin Laden
  • Extremist massacre in Norway
  • Final space shuttle mission
  • Worldwide "Occupy" protests
  • Phone hacking damage to Murdoch media enterprise
  • Political crisis in Greece
  • Growth in global population to 7 billion
  • Royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton

In addition to its electronic versions, the Annual Register is also available in its traditional hardcover format.

*American Reference Books Annual

About ProQuest and its business unit ebrary
ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company has forged a 70-year reputation as a gateway to the world's knowledge — from dissertations to governmental and cultural archives to news, in all its forms. Its role is essential to libraries and other organizations whose missions depend on the management and delivery of complete, trustworthy information.

ProQuest's business unit ebrary helps customers acquire e-books strategically through a three step approach: Transition, Diversify and Streamline. The company believes that by challenging the e-book status quo, organizations can effectively serve the diverse and growing needs of researchers and maximize their budgets. Founded in 1999, long before e-books were popular, ebrary is located in Palo Alto, CA, USA.

An energetic, fast-growing organization, ProQuest also includes the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, and Serials Solutions® businesses and notable research tools such as the RefWorks® and Pivot services, as well as its' Summon® web-scale discovery service. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.

24 September 2012

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