HeritageQuest is a genealogical website available through many local libraries which usually let you access it from home. In the state of Utah, you can access it through the Utah Pioneer Library. Connect at http://pioneer.utah.gov/research/databases/heritagequest.html using your library card number.
Yesterday I mentioned that I first heard from a reader that something was afoot with HeritageQuest and Ancestry.com. Sure enough, the footer on the HeritageQuest website now sports an Ancestry copyright.
I posed several questions about the situation to Ancestry.com’s and received the following replies from Kim Harrison, senior account executive for the Ancestry Library Team.
What happened between Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest?
Last Jun. 2014 at the American Library Association ProQuest and Ancestry announced the renewal of our contract to have ProQuest remain our license vendor in the non-consumer market. This would be selling Ancestry Library Edition to public libraries, academic, corporate and non-profits. With this contract renewal ProQuest will also be able to offer Fold3 (in May 2015) and Newspapers.com (coming 2015) to these markets as well. The upside for ProQuest is that Ancestry will help to expand and update the Heritage Quest Online (now co-branded but not sold to Ancestry).
Did ProQuest sell something to Ancestry.com?
There was no sale of anything.
Will the databases available on the old HeritageQuest website continue to be available on the new website?
The Heritage Quest Online database does have all the same components but expanded. The census now includes every year index, plus added the non-pop and the Indian Census. The Freedman Bank Records and the American Revolutionary Collections are now the full set, not a sub-set. The Local History & Genealogy books now have a more robust search interface. PERSI and the Serial Set is there on Heritage Quest Online in their current format. So, yes all the content from the Heritage Quest Online is on the new interface, but expanded.
Some people have expressed concerns about a change in the underlying search technology. Does the new website utilize the old HeritageQuest search technology or the Ancestry.com search technology? Will HeritageQuest searches return the same results as before or can users expect changes?
The new interface is based on the Ancestry search form platform/technology.
Because the HeritageQuest census images were different scans than the Ancestry.com images, there were times when one company's scans showed more information than the other's. Is there a way to access the old HeritageQuest census images?
Because of the new Ancestry technology there is not a way to host the old census images or to access them.
Dollarhide's The Census Book, was available on the old website. Is it still available?
[Yes.] The new interface also makes the wonderful Dollarhide Census Maps easier to find. [Comment frome me: Dollarhide’s census book with its maps is an indispensible resource that sits on many serious genealogists’ bookcases. Now, to have it basically free, online, is a tremendous value. To find it, click Maps on the reddish header. The chapters can be found underneath the U.S. map.]
Harrison also proffered some links to further information.
- The ProQuest press release http://www.proquest.com/about/news/2015/ProQuest-Advances-Genealogical-Research-with-HeritageQuest-Online.html
- Heritage Quest Online LibGuide http://proquest.libguides.com/heritagequestonline
- Heritage Quest Online Product page http://www.proquest.com/products-services/HeritageQuest-Online.html
- ProQuest also hosts free webinars for librarians and volunteers on using Heritage Quest Online. Their training calendar can be found at http://www.proquest.com/customer-care/training-webinars/.
She welcomes further questions and asks that I let you know that your public library librarians are more than happy to help you understand these changes.
However, not all librarians are welcoming the change. Tomorrow I’ll share some of their concerns.