Coincidentally, a post on the APG mailing list asked a similar question about the differences. Suzanne Russo Adams, AG, of Ancestry's Professional Services Desk answered the query and several follow-on questions. Her summary of the content on the different Ancestry products was:
1. Ancestry.com (home subscription):
* US Deluxe ($155.40 annual, $29.95 monthly)
*** US Records Collection
*** US Immigration Collection
*** US Census Images and Indexes
*** Family and Local Histories
*** Historical Newspapers
*** US Public Records Index
* World Deluxe ($347.40 annual, $39.95 monthly)
*** All US Content
*** UK and Ireland Records Collection
*** Canadian Collection
*** Other countries added in the future
* UKI Localized Site (www.ancestry.co.uk) £69.95 annually/£9.95 monthly
* Canadian Localized Site (www.ancestry.ca) CDN $99.95 annually/CDN $14.95 monthly
2. Ancestry Library Edition - has US Deluxe Ancestry.com content, except it DOES NOT have:
*** Family & Local Histories Collection
*** Historical Newspapers Collection (including the new newspaper release)
*** Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (PILI)
*** Biography & Genealogy Master Index (BGMI)
*** Freedman's Bank Records
3. Ancestry at LDS FHCs - has all Ancestry.com content except for Canadian content (including census data) added since February 2006.
While this list tells what is NOT on Ancestry Library Edition, it doesn't help us much unless we know what ALE does include. I found a web page listing the content, and will list it in the next post.
Suzanne allowed me to post the above from her APG posts, and she also mentioned:
When you use Ancestry at a library or a family history center ... it is less personalized for obvious reasons. ALE and the FHC versions do not have a link to the Ancestry shops because we wouldn’t want people putting in their credit card and then the next person coming in and using that, too because the computer saved the information. Again, probably pretty obvious why there are limited to no personal capabilities on these public versions.
I thank Suzanne for her patience and responsiveness for clarifying these issues. I know they have helped me understand the differences, and, hopefully, our CVGS members will have a better understanding also, not to mention my worldwide audience who have wondered about this.