Friday, July 10, 2009

ProQuest® Announces African American Heritage Resource

From a ProQuest® News Release . . .

ANN ARBOR, Mich., July 10, 2009 - ProQuest announces the first digital library resource dedicated to the unique needs of African American genealogical research. Available fall 2009, ProQuest® African American Heritage is a groundbreaking new resource that provides key genealogical and historical records specific to tracing the lives of African Americans. The resource goes further to set itself apart by including a critical set of research and social networking tools that address the common genealogy need for research guidance, personal assistance, and mentoring.

Genealogical research for African Americans can be more challenging than other genealogical inquiries as a consequence of slavery and the changing legal status of African Americans. Records made prior to the Civil Rights era were segregated and are difficult to find, and oral histories passed down from generation to generation may be incomplete or inaccurate. Chris Cowan, vice president of publishing for ProQuest, notes that “With limited local resources and no dedicated electronic library resources for African American family history research, libraries have found it challenging to meet the unique needs of their users. Now, ProQuest African American Heritage helps to fill that gap by bringing together genealogical and historical resources critical to researching African American heritage back into the 18th century and helps people put together missing pieces of their past. ”

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