As its content-unifying new search platform rolls out to libraries around the world, Ann Arbor-based ProQuest has acquired acclaimed e-book pioneer Ebrary, setting the stage for significant acceleration of the process of serious research. 

The agreement will marry both companies’ inventive, user-centric technologies and add a growing pool of a quarter-million e-books to ProQuest’s monumental content offerings. 

The combined collection will enable users to search seamlessly across multiple formats – books, journals, dissertations, newspapers, video, and more – and across eight centuries of the world’s knowledge. 

“This is a game-changer for global research,” said Marty Kahn, ProQuest CEO. “While a natural next step has been to enhance e-book discovery for ProQuest platform users, there’s also far greater potential here. We’re primed for imaginative technology mash-ups that will energize users and accelerate the knowledge industry. The creative minds and deft technologists of ebrary are a welcome and fitting addition to our future-oriented business.” 

Founded in Palo Alto, Calif. in 1999, Ebrary is a fast growing leader in the rapidly evolving e-book industry, having increased its 2010 revenue by more than 30 percent over the previous year.  Keys to its success are its flexible models including subscription, perpetual access, and patron-driven acquisition; a growing selection of digital books and other valuable content from some 500 of the world’s top publishers; and cutting-edge technology including InfoTools and Dash, designed by some of Silicon Valley’s most talented engineers.  

ProQuest officials said they plan continued investment in Ebrary’s popular products and services for the academic, corporate, and public library markets including Academic Complete the company’s flagship product.  Academic Complete is noted as one of the best e-book values in the industry with multi-user access to more than 52,000 titles. 
ProQuest will also expand Ebrary’s selection of research tools and ability to support new e-book devices as well as broadening language coverage from its current support of major European languages to include Chinese, Arabic and others. Further, the company will accelerate the indexing of e-book content on its own all-new platform where books offered by Ebrary will be searchable along with ProQuest’s highly-sought research content. 

Ultimately, as part of the ProQuest family, Ebrary will be positioned to drive new levels of e-book discovery and usage, enhancing value for both publishers and end-users. 

Ebrary founders Christopher Warnock and Kevin Sayar will remain to lead the business in its Palo Alto headquarters.  

Said Warnock, Ebrary CEO: “There is tremendous synergy between our products and services as well as our teams. Together, we know that we can provide best-of-kind services to libraries worldwide and the users they serve.”

Added Ebrary president Sayar: “This is the next chapter for Ebrary. We are happy to be part of an organization with a broad range of strengths and we’re looking forward to collaborating in ways that will inspire entirely new information solutions and captivate new users.”

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