Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ancestry.com free at BYU

Ancestry.com's parent company, the Generations Network (TGN), announced today that they are giving Brigham Young University (BYU) Libraries access to Ancestry's Library Edition. This is good news for Family History Center (FHC) users in Utah Valley. Many databases taken away from FHCs will remain available at BYU. The Ancestry Library Edition is normally available as a product of ProQuest, so I'm interested to see how the product is packaged for BYU. Will TGN deliver the product directly to BYU as it did in the past, or will they go through their normal distribution channel? The previous method bypassed ProQuest and gave access directly to the firewall IP address at each BYU campus (Provo, Idaho, Hawaii, and the LDS Business College in Salt Lake City). As a result, all students and faculty anywhere on campus had near-full Ancestry.com access. I'll explore the Ancestry Library Edition in more detail in a later post. For now, here is the full text of the announcement:



Free Access Honors Only School in Nation with Family History Undergraduate Degree; Recognizes Leadership in Transforming Genealogy Landscape

PROVO, UTAH – July 3, 2007 – The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com, the world’s largest online resource for family history, today announced it is providing Brigham Young University, BYU Idaho, BYU Hawaii and LDS Business College with free access to Ancestry Library Edition.

“In an effort to recognize the tremendous influence the BYU Library and its unmatched faculty has had in transforming the genealogy landscape through technology-based education, we are pleased to offer the students and faculty free on-campus access to Ancestry.com,” said Tim Sullivan, CEO of The Generations Network. “BYU is a unique academic institution that is continuing to make significant advancements in genealogical studies, and we are grateful for the many graduates who are now employed at our company. As next-door neighbors, we will continue to tap the knowledge and experience of professors and students, all at the cutting edge of this booming category, to improve our offerings.”

“As the only university in the United States to offer an undergraduate degree in the field of family history, BYU is dedicated to providing our faculty and students with premier resources,” said Robert Murdoch, BYU Assistant University Librarian for Collection Development and Technical Services. “Ancestry.com plays a leading role in family history research. At BYU, Ancestry.com helps more than 600 students each semester with their coursework. This technology is enabling us to go farther, faster than we could have imagined just a few years ago in the ever expanding quest to understand our past. We appreciate the generosity of The Generations Network, recognizing the major multi-million dollar investment they’ve made in transforming family history category for everyone. We look forward to continuing our long-term collaboration and breakthroughs in this great endeavor.”

About Ancestry.com

With 24,000 searchable databases and titles, Ancestry.com is the No. 1 online source for family history information. Since its launch in 1997, Ancestry.com has been the premier resource for family history, simplifying genealogical research for millions of people by providing them with many easy-to-use tools and resources to build their own unique family trees. The site is home to the only complete online U.S. Federal Census collection, 1790-1930, as well as the world’s largest online collection of U.S. ship passenger list records featuring more than 100 million names, 1820-1960. Ancestry.com is part of The Generations Network, Inc., a leading network of family-focused interactive properties, including MyFamily.com, Rootsweb.com, Genealogy.com and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive 10.4 million unique visitors worldwide and over 450 million page views a month (© comScore Media Metrix, March 2007).

About Brigham Young University Library

The Harold B. Lee Library is located in the center of the BYU campus in Provo, Utah. The library's collection includes more than 8 million items. The collection includes monographs, periodicals, manuscripts, diaries, photographs, family histories, scholarly publications and art images. Many items have been digitized and are available to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. Visit them at www.lib.byu.edu. The David O. McKay Library at BYU Idaho, The Joseph F. Smith Library at BYU Hawaii, and the LDS Business College Library in Salt Lake City are benefactors of this agreement.

Media Contacts

Julia Burgon

Coltrin & Associates (for Ancestry.com)

212-221-1616 ext. 124


Tola St. Matthew-Daniel

Coltrin & Associates (for Ancestry.com)

212-221-1616 ext. 101


Roger Layton

Communications Manager for The Harold B. Lee Library




  1. The sad thing about this is that if you own a personal ancestry.com account, then you can't access it from anywhere on BYU campus.

    I work for BYU producing The Generations Project BYUTV program and, consequently, need to use ancestry.com a lot. The family tree functions are particularly important to my work but I can't use them at work because you can only access them through a personal account (not the library account) and there is no way to access the personal account on campus.

    It really frustrates me. I know a lot of my friends and colleagues who are BYU genealogists are also very frustrated with this.

    I hope The Generations Network fixes this.

  2. One way to work around this is to make a new tree on Byu's account. I don't own a subscription service, so being at the library is the only way for me to see other people's trees. I made a new one, made my other account and editor, and am adding away. when i can no longer use the network, it will only be a matter of updating my original tree with the information and sources i have found on campus. hope this helps!


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