UMI and National Library of Canada Sign Major Agreement

Dec 12, 1997, 00:00 ET from UMI

    ANN ARBOR, Mich., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- UMI, a Bell & Howell company
 (NYSE:   BHW), and the National Library of Canada today announced that they have
 reached an agreement giving UMI rights to publish print and microform editions
 of doctoral dissertations and masters theses written at universities
 throughout Canada.  The agreement also gives UMI potential rights to publish
 electronic editions as well.
     Under terms of the agreement, UMI becomes the worldwide agent for the
 National Library of Canada (NLC) which publishes dissertations and theses
 through its Canadian Theses Service.  Approximately 4,000 dissertations and
 7,000 theses are written annually at colleges and universities in Canada.
     UMI is the world's foremost publisher of doctoral dissertations, with over
 99 percent of the accredited institutions of higher education in North America
 participating in its dissertations program as well as a growing number of
 universities throughout Europe and Asia.  UMI's Dissertation Abstracts(TM)
 database, compiled during the past 60 years, surpassed 1.5 million titles last
     Benefits Cited
     "This is a major agreement that benefits everyone," said Bonnie Lawlor,
 Senior Vice President and General Manager of UMI's Library division.  "UMI
 will provide Canadian colleges and universities with the same scholarly
 publishing services that we have been providing for nearly 60 years to
 colleges and universities in the United States who participate in UMI's
 dissertation publishing program."
     Among the more recently available services that will be provided is access
 to ProQuest Digital Dissertations, UMI's online electronic library of doctoral
 dissertations and master's theses.  Available on the World Wide Web
 (, ProQuest Digital Dissertations offers
 libraries and their patrons bibliographic citations and abstracts of all
 dissertations and theses in UMI's Dissertation Abstract database.  ProQuest
 Digital Dissertations also offers access to the full text of all dissertations
 and theses written from 1997 forward.
     ProQuest Digital Dissertations also allows users to preview the first 24
 pages of each title in digital format.  The full text of documents can be
 downloaded or ordered using UMI's Web-delivery service for these publications,
 Dissertation Express.
     Lawlor also said, "students can expect publication of their work to occur
 within two to three weeks after receipt at UMI.  We hope to reduce that to a
 matter of days in 1998."
     Important Benefits for Canadian Universities
     David Balatti, Director of Bibliographic Services for the National Library
 of Canada, said, "We believe Canadian universities will be pleased with the
 terms and conditions of this agreement since it provides two important
 benefits.  The first is that it provides the known stability of microfilming
 technology to ensure long-term preservation.  At the same time, it opens the
 door the acceptance and use of dissertations and theses in electronic
     UMI will also create catalog records for all manuscripts received from
 Canadian universities and include those citations in its bibliographic
 products and services, which are published in print, on CD-ROM, or online.
 UMI will also provide each Canadian university submitting a thesis or
 dissertation with its own Web address to enable the institution to showcase
 citations, abstracts, and previously published documents.
     UMI collects, organizes, and delivers value-added information to customers
 in universities, libraries, schools, and businesses in more than 160
 countries.  A deep and growing content base includes periodicals, newspapers,
 newswires, business journals, broadcast transcripts, and dissertations
 available online through ProQuest Direct(R) as well as on CD-ROM, microform,
 and other media.  More information about UMI is available on the Internet at
     Bell & Howell, headquartered in Skokie, Illinois, is a leading worldwide
 provider of solutions for information access and high-volume mail processing.
 Additional information about Bell & Howell is available on the Internet at
     The National Library of Canada is responsible for collecting, preserving,
 and promoting access to Canada's published heritage.  A major resource for
 research in Canadian studies, and for the promotion of Canadian literature and
 music, the National Library also plays a key role in fostering library
 development and facilitating resource sharing among Canadian libraries.
 Additional information is available on the Internet at