UMI's ProQuest Direct(R) Honored by the Smithsonian Institution

Feb 27, 1998


    ANN ARBOR, Mich., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- UMI, a Bell & Howell company
(NYSE: BHW), today announced that its ProQuest Direct(R) online information
system will become part of the Smithsonian Institution's Permanent Research
Collection on Information Technology Innovation, housed at the National Museum
of American History.  A ceremony for all members of the 1998 collection will
occur April 6 at the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall in
Washington, D.C.
    "UMI is using information technology to make great strides toward
remarkable social achievement in education and academia," said Dr. David
Allison, Chairman of the National Museum of American History's Division of
Information Technology and Society.
    Bell and Howell Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, James Roemer, who
commissioned the development of ProQuest Direct when he was president of UMI,
said, "We are extremely proud to have ProQuest Direct included in the
Smithsonian Institution's Information Technology Innovation Collection.  This
recognition certainly speaks highly of the time, effort, and dedication of UMI
associates who were involved in moving this from a concept to one of the most
popular online systems today."

    User Friendly
    ProQuest Direct combines extensive yet convenient search capability with
simple, efficient information delivery in a single package.  With a Web
browser, or from a Windows platform, users can access information from all of
UMI's electronic databases, which are updated daily.
    Answers are delivered in progressively detailed formats:  citation,
abstract (article summary), ASCII full-text, page image (an electronic
photocopy of the page) and Text+Graphics(TM).  With the unique Text+Graphics
format, students, librarians, professional researchers, and others can
retrieve photographs, charts, diagrams, and other select images.  Answers to
questions are delivered immediately and directly to the desktop, or can be
printed locally, or conveniently faxed to another location.
    Nominated by Richard Egan, chairman of EMC Corporation, UMI's ProQuest
Direct is part of a collection that includes more than 400 innovative
applications of technology from 40 states and 19 countries.
    The Computerworld Smithsonian Chairman's Committee annually nominates
companies who use information technology to improve society.  Nominees are
included in the Smithsonian's Permanent Research Collection on Information
Technology Innovation.  Case studies from the 1998 collection, as well as
those from previous years, will be made available to the public on June 8 on
the Innovation Network web site (http://innovate.si.edu).
    Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian Institution is dedicated to the increase
and diffusion of knowledge.  According to Dan Morrow, executive director of
the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards program, "The materials submitted by UMI
will enrich the Smithsonian's growing permanent collection on the Information
Age, and help the Institution build an accurate historic record of the truly
outstanding achievements being made in these remarkable times."
    UMI is a global leader in collecting, organizing, and providing value-
added information worldwide to libraries (academic, public, government, and
business) and schools (K-12).  A deep and growing archive of periodicals,
journals, newspapers, dissertations and other sources of information is
available online through ProQuest Direct(R), on CD-ROM, microform, print, and
other media.  More information about UMI is available on the Internet at
http://www.umi.com.
    Bell & Howell, headquartered in Skokie, Illinois, is a leading worldwide
provider of solutions for information access and distribution.  Additional
information about Bell & Howell is available on the Internet at
http://www.bellhowell.com.

SOURCE  UMI




CONTACT: News Media: Jerry Mastey, Manager, Public Relations of
UMI, 800-521-0600, ext. 3340, 734-761-4700, ext. 3340, or e-mail:
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Treasurer and Investor Relations of Bell & Howell, 847-470-7620
Web site: http://www.umi.com http://www.bellhowell.com
http://innovate.si.edu
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