Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fix coming for personal Ancestry.com accounts at Family History Library (FHL)

Thanks to an alert tipster, we've learned that a fix may be in the works for those wishing to use personal Ancestry.com accounts at the Salt Lake City, Utah Family History Library (FHL) and at other libraries. Domain registrar, Dotster.com, reports that The Generations Network (owner of Ancestry.com) has acquired a new domain address, AncestryInstitution.com.

Theoretically, the Ancestry FHL Edition login could exist on AncestryInstitution.com simultaneously with a person logging in to Ancestry.com. I visited AncestryInstitution.com and found this theory probably correct when I received a message stating, "Access all of Ancestry through Ancestry.com. The AncestryInstitution.com domain is for institutional access only, not personal accounts." To make this work, the IP-style login used at the FHL would have to be disabled on the Ancestry.com domain. If that's the case, then all institutions using the same IP-style login would benefit from the ability for individuals to login with their own accounts on Ancestry.com. Since the message doesn't refer to the FHL specifically, this may be Ancestry's plan.

I was able to login on AncestryInstitution.com with my personal account. The UI looks somewhat like it does at the FHL, except the tabs along the top were replaced with the message, "If you are not using a login account from an institutional account, go to Ancestry.com". Also, the Log Out link was still present.

A contact inside Ancestry confirms--in general--these plans and says to expect these changes to start later today! It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Post your experiences here or confidentially to AncestryInsider@gmail.com.

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