Friday, February 24, 2012

FamilySearch/Ancestry.com Cooperating?


Credit: Featurepics
On 17 February FamilySearch issued a press release announcing the last month’s newly published record collections. FamilySearch released 6.5 million indexed records and 5.6 million images.

What I found interesting is that the indexes of several of the collections were noted as “courtesy of Ancestry.com.” You’ll recall back in November 2011 I found that Ancestry.com published a bunch of vital records they obtained from FamilySearch. (See “Ancestry.com’s Vital-ity.”)

This suggests that perhaps the two exchanged record collections. On the other hand, there was three month difference in the two events so maybe the two are not related. Or maybe Ancestry.com is more agile than FamilySearch.

Another interesting observation made from the press release regards the indexes and images. All the indexed records were from Ancestry.com. All the images had no indexes.

As I’ve previously reported, FamilySearch has stated its intension to publish images as soon as possible after the camera operator clicks the shutter button. If you figure 800 images per microfilm roll, 5.6 million images for the month is the equivalent of 7,000 rolls of microfilm. That’s exciting stuff.

But it reveals a big need. FamilySearch’s indexing work force can’t keep up with the amount of cool stuff coming from the field. Lest anyone misunderstand, I don’t want to decrease the number of camera clicks. I want to increase the number of indexing volunteers.

That requires your help. Visit http://indexing.familysearch.org and volunteer.

2 comments:

  1. I know FamilySearch has added a lot of "browseable" collection. Overall, its website now has 1064 collections. Does anyone know what percentage of its microfilm collection that is? My thought is it's probably 3% or less. What does everyone else think?

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  2. It was mentioned in several FS sessions at the 2010 NGS meetings held in SLC that FS and A.com were entering a period of cooperation towards the common goal of as much indexed/ on line as quickly as possible with there even being some effort at, at least initially,for the two entities to avoid replication of indexed databases. I know that collections on line very early at the then embryonic, beta, familysearch.org site only recently have popped up on A.com. I also know that in the beta testing phase of familysearch.org I found, by chance even, records that literally solved mysteries that had plagued my family for decades.
    This kind of cooperation can only be beneficial to the end users, folks like me. These two entities do have much the same end purpose, albeit the business model differs greatly.

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