Saturday, 14 November 2015

How effective is the Ancestry / LAC Partnership?

Ancestry digitizes and/or indexes some Library and Archives Canada databases in exchange for a time limited exclusive right to host the databases on their subscription website. These are usually databases LAC does not have the resources to index so access would otherwise be limited to microfilm or perhaps digital microfilm online. At the end of the exclusive period databases, like censuses, become freely available on the LAC website.

With the arrangement Ancestry subscribers get immediate indexed access, without additional burden on the tax base, Access is also available without charge at many local public libraries, family history centres and some other locations.

How effective is the arrangement?

In the 12 months ending October 2015 there were more than 33.6 million searches of LAC data, and 33.1 million page views, through Ancestry. That's approaching one use per Canadian.

Month by month statistics show a large drop in December. Not many people search Ancestry during the Christmas festive season. There's a smaller drop in July and August. The most active month is March with April and February not far behind.

These usage figures are provided by Ancestry and made available here with permission of LAC.


Donald Davis said...

It would be interesting to compare the number of 1911 or 1916 searches on the LAC site to the number of 1921 searches on Ancestry for any given month as a way to measure how effective the partnership is.

jabalong said...

Public-private partnerships are fine in principle. It's entirely reasonable that have an exclusive period for the public documents it digitizes, which might not otherwise get digitized (at least not in the foreseeable future). But what's reasonable has limits. So how long does this exclusive period last?