29 May 2008 News Releases

Launch of New ProQuest Obituaries Search Tools Bring Researchers Closer to Their Ancestors

ProQuest introduces two new major enhancements for ProQuest® Obituaries, indexed expanded Name Search and enhanced Search Results Display.

ProQuest introduces two new major enhancements for ProQuest<sup>&reg</sup> Obituaries, indexed expanded Name Search and enhanced Search Results Display. Both features allow for greater content discovery, as users can more easily search through indexed names and locations as well as the text of the obituary itself. 

"We pride ourselves on being the leading provider of genealogical and local history online research solutions to libraries and their patrons," said Chris Cowan, vice president of publishing. "These new search indexes further our commitment to providing the critical resources necessary to track personal histories."

The new search and interface features will help reduce the time it takes to search and bring forward key result elements users need to review and locate family records.  The Name Search allows users to search across indexed names as they appear on the death notice, or expand the search to the full-text of the obituary.  The new Search Results Display highlights important information, such as full name, location of death, and relation of the name to the record-all in a clear and sensible format.

ProQuest Obituaries brings the 'story of you' to light more than ever before. An obituary is often the only "biographical sketch" ever devoted to an individual and can provide valuable genealogical clues including proper full name, maiden name, names of relatives, occupation, cause of death, and more. No other product offers access to obituaries and death notices from the complete historical runs of major national newspapers.

ProQuest Obituaries contains more than 10.5 million obituaries and death notices in full-image format from the entire uninterrupted runs of top U.S. newspapers. Dating back to 1849, ProQuest Obituaries draws records from over 150 years of titles spanning key population and immigration centers of the United States, including:

  • The New York Times (from 1851)
  • Washington Post (from 1877)
  • Atlanta Constitution (from 1868 -1929)
  • Los Angeles Times (from 1881)
  • Chicago Defender (from 1909 -1975)
  • Chicago Tribune (from 1849)
  • Boston Globe (from 1872 - 1923)


ProQuest Obituaries is constructed with the level of accuracy needed specifically for finding people.  ProQuest's editors combed the electronic files of seven newspapers and extracted both the paid death notices and the obituaries of lesser-known people. Editors manually checked and entered names, and producers digitally enhanced the original images. This allows for precision results, even if the researcher doesn't know the exact first name or year of death. 

Users can search by name of the deceased person, by date, and by keyword in the full-text contained in the obituary and death notice, using terms to describe location, cause of death, occupation, hobbies, family members, other personal information, and more.

For more information on ProQuest Obituaries visit www.proquest.com.

About ProQuest
ProQuest creates specialized information resources and technologies that propel successful research, discovery, and lifelong learning. A global leader in serving libraries of all types, ProQuest offers the expertise of such respected brands as Chadwyck-Healey™, UMI®, SIRS®, and eLibrary®. With Serials Solutions®, Ulrich's™, RefWorks®, COS™, Dialog® and now Bowker® part of the ProQuest brand family, the company supports the breadth of the information community with innovative discovery solutions that power the business of books and the best in research experience.

More than a content provider or aggregator, ProQuest is an information partner, creating indispensable research solutions that connect people and information. Through innovative, user-centered discovery technology, ProQuest offers billions of pages of global content that includes historical newspapers, dissertations, and uniquely relevant resources for researchers of any age and sophistication—including content not likely to be digitized by others. Inspired by its customers and their end users, ProQuest is working toward a future that blends information accessibility with community to further enhance learning and encourage lifelong enrichment.

For more information, visit www.proquest.com or the ProQuest parent company website, www.cig.com.