Readex (a division of NewsBank) is the third major publisher of commercial news databases to contribute metadata to CRL’s International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) database. Readex has provided title- and issue-level information for the entire contents of several of its historical news databases That metadata is now available at http://icon.crl.edu.
Readex supports a number of digital full-text and page-image databases of significant newspapers dating from 1690 to the present. Notable products include America's Historical Newspapers, African American Newspapers, American Ethnic Newspapers, and various modules of CRL's World Newspaper Archive. Taken together, the collections provide access to nearly 4.5 million issues of news content from over 5,000 titles.
The ICON database presents metadata for libraries to use in determining the scope and comprehensiveness of important news databases, and for making decisions about preservation, digitzation and retention of newspapers in local collections. By exposing title and issue-level information about the contents of electronic databases, ICON reveals what content has been digitized, how complete that content is, and where the originals digitized are held.
Granular information on the Readex newspaper collections can be retrieved through the ICON interface, allowing in-depth exploration of title coverage. Users can locate Readex holdings in ICON in several ways: browsing the complete list of publications reported to ICON; browsing the titles represented in a particular collection (for example: Early American Newspapers, Series 3, 1829-1922); or conducting a search query using title keywords or advanced settings for more detailed search parameters.
CRL is analyzing the metadata contributed by various digital publishers including Readex to identify overall strengths and gaps in digital collections, in terms of the geographic and chronological scope, depth of coverage, and uniqueness of database content. CRL will share these findings in future content reports.