Dear Ancestry Insider,
My wife and I have been asked to teach a class of newbies “How to use AncestryLibrary” and while doing a little research on the difference between the library version and Ancestry.com, I looked in the card catalog for each and found that Ancestry.com claims 32,396 collections (25,698 of these are USA) while the CC for the library version claims 9,853 collections (3,872 are USA).
The Library version also has this “Ancestry Library Edition is available in the U.S., the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland and Norway, and provides access to billions of historical documents, millions of historical photos, plus local narratives, oral histories, indexes and other resources in over 30,000 databases that span from the 1500s to the 2000s.”
Which of these is really true and which is just hype? Seems to me that the last statement is a form of “bait and switch” if the CC is correct. If the CC is not correct, then there must be a lot of databases NOT cataloged in the library version–why?
I asked Ancestry.com’s Kim Harrison to answer your questions. Her response follows. (I’ve edited it slightly, so blame me for the english erors.)
---The Ancestry Insider
Ancestry comes in all sizes and shapes to fit our customer needs. Here is the break out of the different types of Ancestry being delivered.
Ancestry Library Edition:
This is offered by ProQuest to libraries. The content is U.S. and International. It has some limitations and restrictions:
- You cannot build online trees.
- The Ancestry Library Edition cannot be accessed remotely (at home). [You must visit the library.]
- There are some U.S. Content exclusions. These are titles that are already offered in the library setting by other library vendors. For example: 70 Genealogical Publishing Company titles (these titles usually are abstract or indexes affecting some of the east coast states), some county histories (these are offered by ProQuest in HeritageQuest), Gale (now known as Cengage) titles (Filby’s Ship & Passenger List and Biography & Genealogy Master Index [BGMI]), and some newspaper content that we licensed from ProQuest (such as their ProQuest Obituary database).
- Community features are not available, such as sending messages to other members, posting on message boards, buying DNA products, and so on. Most of the message boards are read only.
Ancestry Institution Edition:
This edition is offered in places that have a special relationship with Ancestry such as the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), FamilySearch, and state archives. There is no content exclusion in this offering. However, this offering can be restricted by regional interest. In the U.S. this offering is restricted to U.S. only for K12 schools.
As with the Ancestry Library Edition, it cannot be accessed remotely (at home). You cannot build online trees. And there are the same restrictions on community features.
This is offered to the individual for at home use. Content offerings can be purchased by region of interest such as the U.S. The World Explorer subscription includes all international content.
Ancestry.com offers the most robust of what I call the “connection” features:
- Share and build online trees
- Use message boards
- Interact with company experts using social media sites
- Explore your DNA ethnicity and matches with others that share your DNA makeup
All these editions have:
- the same search functions, including filters
- the same ability to print, cut & paste, save to jump drive, or e-mail home
- the same Learning Center