Tuesday, May 15, 2007

FamilySearch and Footnote team up

Another press release from FamilySearch and Footnote.com provides information about their teaming up to digitize and index records. The press release says:

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Footnote.com Teams with Family Search to Release Revolutionary War Pension Files

LINDON, Utah-(Business Wire)-May 15, 2007 - Today, Footnote.com announced an agreement with FamilySearch, historically known as the Genealogical Society of Utah, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch is the world's largest repository of genealogical information.

This new partnership brings together two organizations that will utilize their combined resources to digitize and make available many large historical collections. The first project will be the three million U.S. Revolutionary War Pension files which will be published for the first time online in their entirety. "The Revolutionary War Pensions will provide an intimate look into the historical events and individuals that shaped our country's history," said Russell Wilding, CEO of Footnote.com. "We are excited about this relationship which enables us to put many more historical collections online."

The Revolutionary War Pension Files feature original records that include muster rolls, payrolls, strength returns and other miscellaneous personnel pay and supply records of American Army Units from 1775-1783. They provide a wealth of new information for historians and genealogists which they can share with other colleagues and family members.

"We are excited to partner with Footnote.com to provide historians and genealogists alike a tremendous source of data that will assist greatly in putting puzzle pieces together to create a rich family history," said Paul Nauta, manager of Public Affairs for FamilySearch. "This affiliation allows us to better meet one of our goals to provide as much data online as fast as possible for those working on their genealogy."

Also, as a part of this agreement, Footnote.com will be accessible for free in all FamilySearch operated centers worldwide. FamilySearch has more than 4,500 Family History Centers in 70 countries.

Since partnering with the National Archives in January 2007, Footnote.com has digitized over eight million historical records. Each month an additional two million documents are digitized and added to the site. Footnote.com estimates that by the end of 2007 it will have made over 25 million digitized documents available on its web site.


To see free examples of the Revolutionary War Pension Files, go to
www.footnote.com/revolutionary-war.php.

Footnote.com has now begun offering free seven-day trial memberships. To start a free trial, visit www.footnote.com/freetrial.php

About Footnote, Inc.

Founded in 1997 as iArchives, Inc., Footnote is a subscription-based website that features searchable original documents that provide users with an unaltered view of the events , places and people that shaped the American nation and the world. At Footnote.com all are invited to come to share, discuss, and collaborate on their discoveries with friends, family, and colleagues. For more information, visit
www.footnote.com.

About Family Search

FamilySearch (historically known Genealogical Society of Utah) is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through FamilySearch.org, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

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The FamilySearch strategy for expansion of their resources becomes a bit more evident. Dick Eastman has another post concerning this that is very interesting. Dick also has an earlier post about Godfrey Library (http://www.godfrey.org/) being a partner to FamilySearch also.

The important issues for me as a researcher in these announcements are:

1) FamilySearch will have the indexes to the digitized images online.

2) The FHL/FHCs will have free access to the actual images on Footnote.com.

3) Footnote.com is now offering 7 day free trials.

4) The Revolutionary War Pension Files will be the complete records, not selected records found online at HeritageQuestOnline.

5) The companies working with FamilySearch will have the images online for home or library users, but will probably require with a subscription or per-image fee.

The FamilySearch strategy for their future is being slowly unveiled - it looks like they will partner with commercial companies to help digitize and index new records and then provide free access to the images at the FHL/FHCs. There will be good reasons to go to the FHL and FHCs in the future!

What other companies or institutions will partner with FamilySearch?

What will become of the other commercial genealogy companies - Ancestry, WorldVitalRecords, GenealogyBank, FindMyPast, etc.? Will one or more of them partner with FamilySearch? What about major educational or research repositories like NGS, NEHGS, NYGBS, Allen County PL, Sutro, etc.? What about software companies?

Have you noticed that the pace of startup commercial genealogy companies has increased, and how the established companies/institutions are reacting to the changing marketplace?

We are seeing competition in action - and that can only be good for the genealogy researcher. Competition will drive these companies to digitize and provide more records as time goes on, and that is very good for researchers. We want more competition!!!

1 comment:

Dave Grow said...

Great summary. The next couple of years will completely transform the landscape for genealogists. It will be an incredible feat once FamilySearch digitizes most of their records.