17 October 2013

FamilySearch does it in partnership

Then there were three!  In early September Ancestry and FamilySearch announced a partnership. A few days ago it was MyHeritage and FamilySearch. Now I read an announcement about DC Thomson Family History, the new parent organization name for Findmypast, and FamilySearch. Who's next, Google?

The latest announcement is termed "a major new partnership ... that will give family history enthusiasts access to billions of records online and new technology to collaboratively research their family roots."  13 million records are added immediately to findmypast.com "including major collections of births, marriages and deaths covering America, Australia, and Ireland. Around 600 additional collections, containing millions of records, will follow."

The two organisations have previously worked together. They were partners in indexing 132 million records of the 1940 US census. As far back at 2008 they were partners in making indexes for England and Wales censuses available on FamilySearch with links to findmypast's images.

The announcement with MyHeritage was that their users will "gain access to 2 billion historical records and family tree profiles from FamilySearch. In return, FamilySearch’s users will be able to use MyHeritage’s technology (through that company’s API) for matching family trees with historical records."

The Ancestry announcement on 5 September was heralded as a "Groundbreaking Agreement to Deliver Valuable Historical Content Over the Next Five Years", "expected to make approximately 1 billion global historical records available online and more easily accessible to the public for the first time."  "The two services will work together with the archive community over the next five years to digitize, index and publish these records from the FamilySearch vault."

This all looks like good news to me. Hopefully the Canadian skeptics who oppose LAC entering into partnerships with other organizations will think again about the benefits of tapping outside-organisation resources to open up the archival vaults.

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