12 March 2009 News Releases

ProQuest Supports Historically Black Colleges and Universities during Economic Crisis

News release regarding ProQuest's response to a fiscal crisis among Historically Black Colleges and Universities. To address the impact of the economic crisis on American Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's), ProQuest is offering full year subscriptions to its acclaimed Black Studies Center free of charge or at reduced rates to all HBCU libraries. From March 12, 2009.

To address the impact of the economic crisis on American Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU's), ProQuest is offering full year subscriptions to its acclaimed Black Studies Center<sup><small>™</sup></small> free of charge or at reduced rates to all HBCU libraries. Depending on the size of each school's full-time enrollment (FTE),   all participating HBCU libraries will enhance their interdisciplinary research and teaching with 50% discounted or free access to the Black Studies Center’s foundational essays, full-text journals, multimedia, historic indexes, and the Chicago Defender, a premier Black newspaper of record.

“While these challenging economic times have a broad impact, the magnitude of the burden HBCU libraries are facing requires urgent action.” said Marty Kahn, CEO of ProQuest.  “Black Studies Center is a cornerstone resource – a significant foundation for HBCU libraries in ensuring research goes on uninterrupted.  As a partner to libraries and students, we’re committed to ensuring access to it.”

 “This outstanding resource will be a tremendous asset to the libraries of Historically Black Colleges and Universities at a time of great need,” Janice Franklin, University Dean of Library Services, Alabama State University, and board member of the HBCU Library Alliance.  “Our students and faculty will have an opportunity to access valuable information about the history, culture, and contributions of African-Americans from a single, comprehensive, knowledge resource.   We are indeed grateful to ProQuest for this remarkable gift that will serve our institutions as an important research tool for scholars seeking to learn the rich heritage of African-Americans, worldwide.” 

ProQuest conceived the plan in response to customer reports of dire financial circumstances, which are so rampant that they’re attracting the attention of national media.  The New York Times reported on the financial crisis facing America’s HBCUs in February.  The article notes that “historically black institutions have two significant disadvantages when it comes to weathering hard times: smaller endowments, which mean heavier reliance on tuition and fees, and a higher proportion of disadvantaged students who are now facing a credit crunch when they apply for loans.” 

HBCUs with an FTE of 2,000 or less, the group at the greatest financial risk, will receive one year’s free access to Black Studies Center. HBCUs with an FTE higher than 2,000 will receive 50% off Black Studies Center’s one-year subscription price if they order by December 15, 2009.   Nearly half of all HBCU libraries qualify to receive free one-year subscription access.

A finalist for a 2009 CODiE Award, Black Studies Center is a digital core collection of primary and secondary sources that record and illuminate the Black experience, from ancient Africa through modern times.  Students at HBCU libraries will have access this comprehensive resource, which includes:

  • Schomburg Studies on the Black Experience—These exclusive studies from leading scholars are the product of a partnership between ProQuest and the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. The collection features commissioned essays from leading Black Studies scholars with links to full-text key resources, images and newsreel footage.
  • The Chicago Defender archive, 1910-1975—Presented in full text and full page image archive of the Chicago Defender, the nation’s most influential Black newspaper, provides unique insight and perspective into events that shaped the African American experience in the United States through the Depression era, both World Wars, the Korean and Vietnam wars, and the entirety of the 20th century civil rights movement.
  • International Index to Black Periodicals-Full Text (IIBP-FT)—A comprehensive, scholarly resource offering more than 100 full-text periodicals, coverage of 262 titles, and a citation backfile from 1902 to present, covering Black periodicals from North America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.
  • Black Literature Index --A renowned source for Black literary heritage that contains more than 70,000 bibliographic citations for fiction, poetry, and literary reviews published in 110 Black periodicals and newspapers between 1827-1940.


For more information, HBCU librarians may contact their ProQuest representative at pqsales@proquest.com or 800-521-0600, ext. 73344.


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.