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     March 2005


Welcome to this month's product news bulletin for ProQuest Platinum™ subscribers. This newsletter is designed to help teachers, librarians, and administrators stay informed about the latest changes to your subscription, while providing classroom resources and giving tips for using your subscription in a variety of settings.

Don't miss our online archive for access to past issues, and to make changes to your newsletter options.


Our product development team is constantly reviewing customer feedback and making changes to our learning resources to meet your needs. No new updates have occurred within the last 30 days. Check back next month for the latest news.

Three New ProQuest K-12 Resources Available

A trio of new ProQuest K-12 digital teaching and learning resources are set to debut this month! Here's a sneak peek at our new offerings. Be sure to click the thumbnail images below to enlarge the interface captures.
eLibrary Science™

Get ready to experience science in a whole new way! eLibrary Science offers laser-focused science content and tools along with unique video and dozens of manipulatives found in no other online science reference product. Student will love updated science news links, information about famous scientists, a today in science history feature, interactive periodic table, and more.

eLibrary Science, in partnership with premier reference publisher Salem Press, will also include more than 20 of Salem's high-quality, high-interest reference titles, such as Animal Life and Plant Life from the Magill's Encyclopedia of Science program; science-related titles from the Great Events in History series, and other award-winning titles such as the Encyclopedia of Genetics. Most of these works are available for the first time in electronic format via eLibrary.

SIRS Decades™: 20th Century

Go beyond textbooks and encyclopedias to get primary-source information about the 20th century! Our SIRS editors have painstakingly assembled a collection of top-quality resources, perfect for classroom use.

SIRS Decades offers:
  • Keyword searches + browseable by decade, topic and timeline

  • Documents from the UMI® vault offered digitally for the first time

  • Thousands of primary-source documentsSample "Document Based Questions" (DBQs)

  • Introductory essays offer background and place documents into context

  • Essays link to reference and article resources
CultureGrams: World Conflicts Today™

You already know that CultureGrams™ offers concise, reliable, and up-to-date country reports on more than 182 cultures of the world.

This new offering focuses on seven key world conflicts at initial release:
  • Chechnya
  • Colombia
  • Darfur
  • Jammu & Kashmir
  • Korean Peninsula
  • Northern Ireland
  • Palestinian Territories
These conflicts are unresolved, protracted, regionally situated, and have important regional and global implications. World Conflicts offers excellent, concise, editorially created summary, history, and explanation of the conflicts, along with:
  • Maps and timelines
  • 150 documentary photos
  • Teaching tools
  • Review questions
  • Questions for further research
  • Classroom activities
In-depth information about all three new products will go live soon in our Product Information Center. To obtain trial, pricing, or discount information, call 1.800.521.0600, ext. 3344.

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Experience the history of life in America from three diverse regional viewpoints: New England, the Midwest, and the New South. Our ongoing newspaper digitization initiative brings researchers three new titles that deliver the "backfiles of record" in living page image—exactly as they appeared to the original readers decades ago.

The Boston Globe is considered the mainstay for Boston and New England. This 17-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize has long been respected for its local and regional coverage. Trace the historical development of Boston and New England at the turn of the century throughout its pages. This new offering provides:
  • Coverage of Boston’s growth into one of America’s leading educational and cultural cities

  • Insight into the changes and tensions created by massive late 19th century immigration of the Irish, Italians, and others into Boston’s Yankee culture

  • Sensational stories of crime and catastrophe, including the grisly details of the Lizzie Borden trial of 1893 or the tumultuous Boston Police strike of 1919

  • Sustaining value – we will continue to add more content to increase the database past 1922

The Chicago Tribune is one of the nation's oldest continuously published newspapers. The Historical Chicago Tribune gives students quick, accurate Web access to nearly 135 years of a newspaper intimately tied to the development of the historic city of Chicago and the growth of the Midwest and the nation. Explore firsthand:
  • The election and presidency of Illinois native Abraham Lincoln, who the Chicago Tribune endorsed in 1861

  • Early feminist and social reforms such as Jane Addams Settlement House Movement, established in Hull House in the Chicago slums in 1889

  • The extravagance and innovation of the 1893 World’s Columbia Exposition, where people first witnessed the electric light bulb, electric motors, and the Ferris wheel

  • The two sides of early twentieth century debate on Prohibition through the Progressive Movement and the notorious gangsters like Al Capone

Known as the "Voice of the New South," The Atlanta Constitution offers a Southern perspective on regional and national news dating back to 1868. It was led by a series of outstanding whose influence and political involvement had a significant impact on the development of Atlanta and the Southeast. This new offering provides:
  • Extensive coverage and analysis on the development of Atlanta and the South as they rebuilt after the Civil War. Since its inception in 1868, the Constitution took a leading role in shaping Southern opinion well into the 20th century.

  • An excellent resource for scholars researching the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, the development of modern civil rights legislation, and the evolution of American internationalism.

  • Sustaining value – we will continue to add more content to increase the database past 1925.

  • Content from the key Reconstruction period of 1868–1880 is now 100% complete.

Don't miss out! Sign up for a free trial to gain instant access to this material. Contact ProQuest Sales with any questions at 1.800.521.0600, ext.3344, within the U.S. and Canada, or via email to

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April is National Poetry Month. English Language Arts teachers are always looking for resources and ideas to engage students in the reading and writing of poetry, particularly in April. Recently, there has been a national initiative to increase the frequency of writing activities, including poetry.

Scientific research indicates that writing helps students "connect the dots" between their world and the ideas and concepts that are presented in school. This writing initiative in schools will be further accelerated by the major revision of the SAT test in 2005 which will include a major writing component for the first time.

Writing poetry has and will continue to be powerful means of personal expression. It integrates higher-order thinking and develops language arts skills. And maybe most of all, writing poetry in various forms can be fun whether students are in elementary, middle, or high school.

Teachers can always use ideas on helping students to write poetry. ProQuest Platinum has a collection of many magazines and journals that support teachers as they strive to enrich their lessons and assignments so that students learn and achieve at higher levels.
1. Open Platinum and click the Topic Guide tab.

2. Type "Writing" in the Search box then click Search Term button.

3. Click Narrow by related topic under the heading Writing.

4. Scroll down to Poetry, then click View articles.

5. Explore the articles for ideas about how to structure your assignment on poetry.

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ProQuest Information and Learning has acquired ExploreLearning, producers of the world's largest online simulation library for math and science education. With an objective of helping learners make sense of complex scientific and mathematical principles, ExploreLearning offers modular, interactive math and science simulations (manipulatives) for teachers and students in grades six through 12. Its growing base of support materials provides a powerful enhancement to the way teachers teach and students learn.

"ExploreLearning brings research-based instructional methods for math and science to the classroom. The simulations, called Gizmos™, are designed to supplement curriculum materials and fully support state and national curriculum standards," said Al DeSeta, President of K-12, ProQuest Information and Learning. "The use of manipulatives in science and math are proven to aid student success. With more than 400 Gizmo manipulatives online, ExploreLearning has helped thousands of students to grasp complex concepts.

ExploreLearning has garnered a number of awards, including a Diamond Award in Mathematics from District Administration Magazine and an E-Learning Innovation Award from Macromedia Corporation; the company was also listed three times in Eisenhower National Clearinghouse's Digital Dozen.

ExploreLearning operations will remain in Charlottesville, Virginia. Customer service and technical support contacts will remain unchanged for customers. Free 30-day trials are available to educators.

Find out more about ExploreLearning at their website, and read the full press release.

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Our ProQuest product trainers are standing by to help you get the most out of your subscription--and learn more about our other digital learning resources! We offer a wide variety of online training sessions each month.

Now there's another reason to check out our top-quality, free online training offerings! Whenever you sign up for and attend an online training course during the month, you'll be automatically entered into a drawing for a set of CultureGrams™. One winner will be chosen per month.

You can download three ready-to-print versions of forthcoming training dates and times in PDF format.

Our training sessions cover after-school hours within several time zones. Best of all, there's no cost to participate. All you need is a computer with Internet access, a phone, and one hour. Register for a course today!

You may also sign up for a new enewsletter to receive training dates each month via email as soon as they're available.

Finally, don’t miss our new Training Center! You’ll find information about our online and in-person training offerings, along with training packs for use with our full line of learning resources, and more.

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CultureGrams can help you broaden your students' understanding of the world and its peoples. Our World Edition includes 182 country profiles, written for junior high students and older. CultureGrams also has a Kids Edition and a States Edition, geared for upper elementary students. These editions include kid-friendly profiles of 66 countries and all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia.

CultureGrams goes beyond mere facts and figures to deliver an insider's perspective on daily life and culture, including the history, customs, and lifestyles of the world's people.

Country: Russia

+ Capital City: Moscow
+ Population: 144,526,278
+ Area: 6,592,734 square miles (17,075,200 sq km)
+ Real GDP per capita: $7,100
+ Adult literacy rate:
99% (male), 99% (female)
+ Infant mortality:
20 per 1,000 births
+ Life expectancy: 61 (male), 73 (female)

Did You Know?
  • When entertaining, Russians put more food on the table than they can eat to indicate abundance.

  • Soccer is the favorite sport in Russia.

  • Most of Russia’s 120 ethnic groups are small. Ethnic Russians form 81.5 percent of the population.
Land & Climate
Russia is the largest country in the world. It is nearly twice the size of the United States. Four of the world's largest rivers (Lena, Ob, Volga, and Yenisey) and the deepest freshwater lake (Baikal) are in Russia. Russia's climate varies considerably by region. Russian winters last from November to March except in Siberia, where winter can last nine months.

Giving gifts is a strong tradition, and almost every event (birthdays, weddings, holidays, etc.) is accompanied by presents. For casual visits, it is common (but not required) for guests to bring a simple gift (flowers, food, or alcohol) to their hosts. The object given is less important than the friendship expressed by the act. Flowers are given in odd numbers; even numbers are for funerals. If friends open a bottle of vodka (literally, "little water"), they customarily drink until it is empty.

Traditional Russian foods include borsch (vegetable soup), pirozhki (a stuffed roll, eaten as "fast food"), golubtsy (stuffed cabbage leaves baked with tomato sauce and eaten with sour cream), pelmeni (a pasta dish), and shi (soup with sour cabbage).

New Year's Day is the most popular holiday in Russia. Almost everyone decorates fir trees and has parties to celebrate the New Year. Grandfather Frost leaves presents for children to find on New Year's Day. Easter and Christmas observances, long interrupted by communism, regained some prominence in 1990. Christmas is on January 7, according to the Julian calendar used by the Russian Orthodox Church. Women's Day is on March 8. Solidarity Day (May 1, also known as May Day) is a day for parades. Victory Day (May 9) commemorates the end of World War II and is deeply important to most Russians. Every profession (teachers, miners, police, etc.) has its own special day each year to celebrate.

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Each month, our SKS WebSelect™ and Discoverer WebFind™ editorial teams scour the Internet for top-quality sites that help teachers teach and students learn. Although no Internet site can supplant a quality research database, these vetted resources offer unique resources that are sure to be of interest.

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience
Organization: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience presents a new interpretation of African-American history, one that focuses on the self-motivated activities of peoples of African descent to remake themselves and their worlds... [This site] presents more than 16,500 pages of texts, 8,300 illustrations, and more than 60 maps. The Web site is organized around thirteen defining migrations that have formed and transformed African America and the nation." (SCHOMBURG CENTER FOR RESEARCH IN BLACK CULTURE)

My Art Gallery
Organization: Seattle Art Museum

"My Art Gallery is your chance to discover how Museums put together art exhibitions by doing it yourself online. By choosing art from our collection you will learn the curatorial process: how to look at art, ask questions, research, compare and interpret. We will be recording all of your ideas in an online notebook. You will be able to launch your own exhibit and send email notices to your friends!" (SEATTLE ART MUSEUM)

Saving the National Treasures
Organization: Public Broadcasting Service

"Get an insider's look at the extraordinary engineering efforts that are safeguarding the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights....Log onto our interactive 3-D Web animation 'The Case;' explore the meticulously constructed case experts designed to protect and display America's three most treasured documents." (PBS)

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What features of ProQuest Platinum do you and your students find the most useful? Have you recently used or are planning to use Platinum as part of an assignment or student research project? How do you and other curriculum leaders in your institution use your ProQuest educational resources?

Share your experiences with peers working in schools across the country and around the world--through an upcoming Product News Bulletin! We're waiting to hear from you. Please send your ideas and stories to:

If we choose your submission, we'll contact you for additional information and permission to use your story in a future issue.

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Increase the usage of your digital learning resources! Our forward-to-a-friend service makes it easy to instantly send this product bulletin -- and all the great ideas and information it contains -- to others in your subscribing institution with a click of your mouse.

Also, be sure to encourage them to sign up for our SIRS®, CultureGrams™, ProQuest®, ProQuest Historical Newspapers™, eLibrary®, eLibrary Curriculum Edition™, and additional enewsletters as appropriate.

To subscribe to any or all of these offerings, click here.

To change your email address, unsubscribe, or modify your subscription settings, click here.

ProQuest offers a growing family of K-12 classroom-focused, subscription-based online research tools. Many of these education solutions offer reading level-linked (lexile) content, support 21st-century information literacy skills, and help schools differentiate instruction across all curriculum areas.

Learn more about all of our tools here, tap into our training resources and videos, and don't miss our new eLibrary research tool (more). We also have a pair of special resource pages just for teachers (with lesson plans) and librarians.


Your ProQuest K-12 Team

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