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Competences: 23 Things Reference - Thing #5

What is ProQuest

ProQuest is a database platform that can contain all sorts of periodicals, but the Library System of Lancaster County only subscribes to the Lancaster Newspapers collection.  This includes full-text access to the New Era, Intellegencer-Journal, and Sunday News going back to the mid-1990s. 

There are 2 seperate Lancaster Newspapers databases that use the ProQuest platform.  Each contains different newspapers, so for most effective search results use both databases.  These two databases will give you access to the following:

Publication Dates
Intellegencer-Journal Jan 2, 1995 - Jun 26, 2009 
New Era Jan 2, 1995 - Jun 26, 2009
Intellegencer-Journal/New Era Saturday Edition Mar 1, 2008 - Jun 27, 2009
Intellegencer-Journal/New Era Jun 29, 2009 - present
Sunday News Jan 1, 1995 - present

In the past, we have had access to more newspapers through ProQuest, but these were removed due to budget cuts.  The ProQuest platform is also how we had access to the ABI/Inform business database, which was also eliminated.

How Do I Access ProQuest?

1) Go directly to or click on the POWER LIbrary link at the bottom of our homepage (

2) Enter your Library Card number in the box at the top and click on the GO TO ONLINE RESOURCES button

3) The select the database you wish to use from the menu by clicking on the icon to the left of each database description.  ProQuest is closer to the bottom.


Use the ProQuest database to answer the following patron questions.  Your answers should be sent as an email attachment to

1) A patron comes to the desk and asks for the obituary of Richard Davis Winters, who died in 2011.  Find this obituary and use the date it appeared in the newspaper as your answer.

2) A patron comes to the desk and asks for the score of the boys state basketball playoff game between Donegal and Imhotep Charter that was played in Reading on March 19, 2013.  Find the article that appeared in the Intellegencer-Journal the day after the game and use the title as your answer.

3) A patron comes to the desk and asks for information on Ephrata High School's 2009 graduating class.  Use ProQuest to find how many members the Class of 2009 had in it.

4) A patron comes in and asks for information on the Ephrata Fair.  Find an article from the 2012 Fair and use the title as your answer.


ProQuest Basic Search

ProQuest Advanced Search


ProQuest is especially good for finding obituaries.  There is a module that can be used specifically for finding these.   It is located near the Advanced and Basic Search features in the one of the menus across the top.  See the red arrow below.

You can search by the name of the deceased or by other.  You can also use limiters like date range and publication.  Remember to use variations of names (for example James instead of Jim or Robert instead of Bob).