Unlimited Priorities Coordinates Institutional Cooperation As Accessible Archives Adds The Virginia Gazette

Malvern, PA (July 7, 2009)Accessible Archives, Inc.©, a publisher of electronic full-text searchable historical databases, has announced that a fully-searchable version of The Virginia Gazette, 1736–1780, will be added to its online database collection. The newspaper currently is available only as an image file on the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library website at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Published weekly in Williamsburg, VA between 1736 and 1780, The Virginia Gazette contained news covering all of Virginia and included information from sister colonies, Scotland, England and other European countries. The paper appeared in several iterations from a succession of publishers, the final issue being produced April 8, 1780, after which the paper was moved to Richmond. Not all the issues survived. Those available were assembled and microfilmed in1950, and a subject index was created at the same time. This microfilm was the basis for the current image-only database.

The ability to search the full text will yield far more comprehensive results than those based solely on a subject index, and will greatly benefit both our students and faculty. — Bea Hardy

Unlimited Priorities, a company specializing in support for organizations within the information industry, is coordinating the project in a consultative capacity. Unlimited Priorities first approached The John D. Rockefeller Library to determine the feasibility and interest level for full-text search capability. The library encouraged Unlimited Priorities to contact the College of William and Mary who spearheaded the original microfilm project and supplied the majority of the issues. Bea Hardy, Director of the Special Collections Research Center, was immediately interested and arranged contacts with representatives of the several institutions who also had contributed materials. The following organizations are cooperating in an unprecedented manner with a commercial entity and have committed to the enhancement of The Virginia Gazette database and its distribution through Accessible Archives: The College of William and Mary; Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; The Johns Hopkins University; Maryland Historical Society; Massachusetts Historical Society; Virginia Historical Society.

Working from the existing images Accessible Archives will create a full-text file in an XML tagged format, the industry standard. Each located article also will be linked to its corresponding page image. In addition, a number of issues have surfaced since the microfilm reproduction. Accessible Archives will create image and text files from all available issues and add them to the database in a timely manner. The resultant file will be the most complete and only fully searchable version of the Virginia Gazette.

The Virginia Gazette file will be produced as several parts with initial availability on the Accessible Archives website in late-2009. The database is scheduled for completion by mid- 2010.

Bea Hardy commented on the project: “William and Mary was surprised and pleased when Unlimited Priorities approached us, and is gratified to be a part of this next step in the evolution of the Virginia Gazette database. The ability to search the full text will yield far more comprehensive results than those based solely on a subject index, and will greatly benefit both our students and faculty.”

Iris L. Hanney, Unlimited Priorities President, responded, “Unlimited Priorities is pleased to have been able to arrange a multi-party licensing agreement between the private and public sectors. We hope that this is just the first of many future collaborations in this area.”

Tom Nagy, Accessible Archives COO, added, “Accessible Archives is looking forward to adding such an historically important collection to our database offerings. The contributing institutions have all been very cooperative, which we appreciate. We hope to uncover additional projects such as this.”

Bob Asleson, Chairman of Paratext and one of the creators of the 19th Century Masterfile, the leading federated search tool for pre-1925 studies, suggested Unlimited Priorities’ initial approach to this project: “As one of – if not the – preeminent newspapers of the colonial era, the addition of The Virginia Gazette to Accessible Archives’ line up of full-text newspapers is a boon to all scholars and researchers of early American history. The cooperation of so many not-for-profit organizations with a pioneering commercial firm is reminiscent of the attitude that prevailed in the early days of nontraditional publishing and is to be admired.”

About Accessible Archives Inc.

Founded in 1990, Accessible Archives utilizes computer technology to provide vast quantities of archived historical information previously available only in microformat. Diverse primary source materials reflecting broad views across American history and culture have been assembled into comprehensive databases. Developed by dedicated instructors and students of Americana, these databases allow access to the rich store of materials from leading books and periodicals then current. Accessible Archives will continue to add titles covering important topics and time periods to assist scholars and students at all academic levels. Accessible Archives has retained Unlimited Priorities Corporation as its exclusive sales and marketing agent.

About Unlimited Priorities

Unlimited Priorities is attuned to the management requirements of companies in the information industry. We provide executive level support services by utilizing a highly skilled group of professionals with abundant experience in sales, marketing, finance, operations, production, IT and training. Unlimited Priorities believes that sales and marketing effectiveness combined with operational excellence are the keys to successful market penetration and growth. By coordinating our talents with your team’s knowledge and experience, we can help you build your business and attain your goals in an efficient and cost effective manner.

Media Contact:

Tom Nagy
610-296-2040 or 866-296-1488
Accessible Archives, Inc.

Iris L. Hanney
Unlimited Priorities

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