Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Ancestry.com and ProQuest Announce Generalities

imageLast Friday Ancestry.com and ProQuest announced the expansion of their partnership. This week is the American Library Association 2014 annual conference in Las Vegas, so it’s an opportune time for library vendors like ProQuest to make announcements. The announcement was long on generalities and short on specifics, however. Perhaps they were hoping to announce something more substantial and it wasn’t ready in time. The announcement states

ProQuest will be distributor of both existing products, including Ancestry Library Edition, and future Ancestry products. The agreement also allows for significant content and feature improvements to ProQuest’s HeritageQuest Online. These enhancements will be developed in the coming months and powered by Ancestry.” (Italics added.)

The word both makes me think there was to be a second Ancestry.com product distributed by ProQuest. The idea of Ancestry.com adding content to HeritageQuest Online is interesting. I wonder what they would add that won’t conflict with the Ancestry Library Edition product.

The Ancestry Library Edition contains most of the content available on Ancestry.com. As I recall, the content not available is that which ProQuest charges for separately. (See my 2007 article, “The Ancestry Library Edition.”) It also lacks personal features such as member trees and DNA tests. If you don’t have an Ancestry.com subscription, check your local library to see if they have the library edition.

I noticed in the press release that for the first time, Ancestry.com called themselves just “Ancestry” instead of “Ancestry.com.” I wonder what that means. In December last year Ancestry.com filed for a trademark with just the word “Ancestry” next to their trademark leaf design. They already have one for “Ancestry.com” next to it. The United States Patent and Trademark Office tentatively rejected part of their request: they want to use it with their DNA test kits. But this doesn’t have anything to do with dropping “.com” from the way they speak of themselves. And I digress…

You can read the complete text of the Ancestry/ProQuest announcement on the ProQuest website.


  1. My local library has had Ancestry library version for use in the library, and Heritage Quest available from home with a library card & pin. Today they replaced Heritage Quest with World Vital Records, also available from home with a card.

  2. HeritageQuest could add more accurate indexing to Ancestry - can't count how many ancestors I have found using HeritageQuest that Ancestry never could find with their off-shore, English as a second language indexers. Can't think if much Ancestry could add to HeritageQuest.


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