Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Breaking News - Ancestry Expands Groundbreaking Collaboration with Family Search

I received this press release from Ancestry.com this morning:

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Ancestry.com Expands Groundbreaking Collaboration With FamilySearch
Additional 1 Billion Global Records From 67 Countries to be Available on Ancestry.com

PROVO, Utah, Jan. 21, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Ancestry.com announced today an extension of their collaborative efforts with FamilySearch International that will make more than 1 billion additional records from 67 countries available on Ancestry.com. These already digitized records, provided by FamilySearch, are in addition to the agreement the two largest providers of family history resources announced a few months ago that will help digitize, index and publish an expected 1 billion global historical records never before published online from the FamilySearch vault over the next five years.

These additional records, which are already digitized collections, represent a significant expansion to Ancestry.com, which hosts the largest collection of global records available online. The records also add to the aggressive international digitization efforts already in place by Ancestry.com.

As stated previously by the company, Ancestry.com has a long-term content strategy, which is committed to investing $100 million to digitize and index new content over the next five years. The company is focused on providing access to a global collection of records and expand family history interest in its current markets and worldwide.

The additional collections include more than 1 billion digitized and indexed records and over 200 million images containing birth, marriage, death, census and church records from Europe, Latin America, South Africa, South America, Asia and more. These collections will provide Ancestry.com customers with rich details that will help them discover new information about their ancestors from around the world.

"We are excited to be expanding our exclusive, groundbreaking agreement with FamilySearch. In addition to the previously announced plan to together digitize 1 billion records never before published online, we're thrilled to be able to provide our members with access to this additional 1 billion records from 67 countries," said Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com. "These new global records will mean even more discoveries for our members."

A focus on adding global content isn't new to Ancestry.com, who has offices around the world and 12 billion global records already on the website. The site currently hosts record collections dating back to the 1300's that include records around the census, immigration and naturalizations and military, just to name a few. In fact, hundreds of millions of records from Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Eastern Europe have been added in recent years to the billions of records from the company's primary operating markets and record digitization projects are underway for collections from many more countries.

These 1 billion additional records are expected to be available on Ancestry.com starting in January and fully published over the next few months. To search records from around the world currently available on Ancestry.com visit www.ancestry.com.

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This is, of course, great news for subscribers to Ancestry.com - they will be able to access more digitized records that will show up in search results.  My guess is that these records are the extracted vital records that are in FamilySearch's International Genealogical Index (IGI) collections, which have been split up on FamilySearch into countries and then into "Births and Baptisms," "Marriages," and "Deaths and Burials."  Or, it may be some other set of records - I don't know for sure!

Of course, there will be the usual complaints of people that say that "Ancestry stole these records and are putting them behind their subscription wall."  Of course, any records they obtain from FamilySearch will still be freely accessible on FamilySearch, so they haven't "stolen" them - they reached an amicable agreement with FamilySearch to add them to the Ancestry.com collection.  

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copyright (c) 2014, Randall J. Seaver


Michigan Girl said...

Great news as far as I'm concerned. Thanks for sharing Randy.

Dawn said...

From the press release, it is not apparent that these are records that familysearch already has online (it only says previously digitized not online). It may instead be records that won't ever make it online to familysearch if the agreement is ancestry.com gets to put them online instead. It is not necessarily a boon for those without paid access to ancestry.com.