Monday, September 24, 2007

Ancestry Titles Available in FHCs

FHC Edition correct list of 43 databasesLast Wednesday the Insider reported that Ancestry.com had decreased the number of titles available to patrons of FamilySearch's Family History Centers (FHCs). The Insider has learned this morning that the change was a display glitch; Ancestry had not changed the databases available to FHCs. Users were still able to use all 43 databases, even though only 9 were displayed on the availability list.

Display glitch showed just 9 databasesThe two screen shots to the right show the correct 43-database list and the incorrect 9-database list that was displayed for a number of days.You can see this page for yourself here. The Insider understands that the Salt Lake Family History Library enjoys a little larger list. He'll post that list when he gets a chance.

In addition to these 43 databases, there are dozens of free databases at Ancestry. See Cyndi's list of free Ancestry databases and databases marked FREE in the Ancestry card catalog. While the Ancestry Family History Center edition blocks access to most free databases, one can switch to www.ancestry.com to view them at a Family History Center.

Most everyone knows that earlier this year Ancestry cut back on the number of databases it made freely available to patrons of FHCs. The Insider has received tips of FHCs or individual staff members that have purchased full Ancestry subscriptions for patron use and carefully administer the subscription within a narrow interpretation of Ancestry's terms and conditions. The Insider understands that both Ancestry and FamilySearch frown upon this practice. While no known security holes exist, there is always the possibility that a patron could discover confidential information about the subscriber.

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