In a blog post Friday (6 September 2013), FamilySearch addressed some concerns raised by the recently announced Ancestry.com/FamilySearch agreement. (For the original announcement, see “Ancestry.com Announces Extensive Partnership with FamilySearch.”)
FamilySearch addressed concerns that records might no longer be free.
“FamilySearch will continue to make our records available to the public for free,” said FamilySearch. “It remains our commitment to make as many genealogical records and resources available at no cost.”
My chief concern was the impact on the FamilySearch indexing volunteers.
I can guess their biggest concern: “Would Ancestry.com make money as a result of my hard work?” FamilySearch said, “Records that are indexed by FamilySearch volunteers will continue to be available at no cost to visitors of FamilySearch.org. In addition to this, many of these records will also become available through partner sites such as Ancestry.com.” I can’t tell from this response if the records would be available on Ancestry.com for free, but they seem certain to be available.
I hope there are record swaps.
“Hundreds of millions of records have already been shared and are available on Ancestry.com and FamilySearch.org,” said the initial announcement. I like swaps. For indexers, it’s a two for one deal. A FamilySearch indexer indexes one record and gets free access to two.
FamilySearch hinted that the deal is international in scope.
“This partnership will result in making significant global historical records available,” said FamilySearch. In the initial announcement, Ancestry.com’s Tim Sullivan said the two will “share international sets of records more collaboratively.” (I’m glad they’re sharing collaboratively. Non-collaborative sharing is so… so… non-collaborative.) “A significant part of our vision for family history is helping provide a rich, engaging experience on a global scale,” said Sullivan.
I think FamilySearch said there will be collaboration in acquiring new records.
“Both organizations expect to add to the already digitized records shared across the two websites in addition to new record projects to be completed over the next five years,” said the initial announcement.
FamilySearch hinted there might be agreements coming with other organizations.
“Building strategic partnerships is and will continue to be an important part of our vision, and we look forward to additional exciting announcements in the future,” said FamilySearch. “We look forward to more exciting developments as we continue to work with leading organizations in the genealogy community.” FamilySearch said that records indexed by FamilySearch will “become available through partner sites such as Ancestry.com.”
“We look forward to more exciting developments as we continue to work with leading organizations in the genealogy community. The future of family history is truly exciting.”