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Universal Images Group Awarded Contract by Encyclopaedia Britannica
Universal Images Group, the distribution business unit of the Virtual Picture Desk (VPD), has been awarded a contract by the Encyclopaedia Britannica to provide them with over two million images for their picture library which is required for their Britannica Image Explorer online subscription service. UIG, working under Britannica's editorial direction, is sourcing, selecting, editing, aggregating and reprocessing the images provided by multiple image providers to create an educational library. The source of the images include Amana in Japan, Bridgeman Art Library, De Agostini Editore, DK Images, Lebrecht Music & Art, Mondadori Electa, the National Geographic Society, the National Portrait Gallery, the Natural History Museum, the Nature Picture Library, News International, Oxford Scientific, Photo Researchers, the Science & Society Museum, Science Photo Library, The Granger Collection, and Wellcome Images. The library will also include content owned by Britannica.

"UIG has provided us with a unique library of content which is extensive in its coverage of subject matter. Schools, colleges, universities and public libraries can access this content online as an educational reference tool as part of our online subscription services," said Michael Ross, Senior Vice President of Encyclopaedia Britannica. "We were delighted that UIG is able to deliver the library on time, thus enabling us to meet our planned launch date."

The Britannica Image Explorer will enable students and teachers to find and incorporate high-quality photos and video into homework assignments, research projects and lesson plans. It will simplify the search for suitable images by providing access to millions of them in one place, along with reliable identifications, captions, sources and other data. The Web-based product will be available by subscription to schools and school districts beginning later this month in the USA and will be launched internationally during the 1st quarter of 2011.

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