Genealogy is all about relationships, so perhaps it was fitting that several newly forged business relationships were the buzz of last week’s NGS conference. Why all the hype? These partnerships promise to put a plethora of new genealogical records on the Web, and expand online access to existing resources.
Leading the partnership parade is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which has teamed up with World Vital Records
, the Godfrey Library
and ProQuest CSA
to make those organizations’ subscription databases available for free at its Salt Lake City Family History Library and 4,500 branch Family History Centers. (Note: ProQuest’s HeritageQuest Online
won’t be accessible in every center—call yours to check on availability.) The church hopes these databases will help fill the void left after the discontinuation of free Ancestry.com access in the library and centers (read our coverage
In addition to on-site access, LDS is collaborating with WVR and Footnote to enrich both sites’ paid content. With the church’s help, Footnote is in the process of posting 3 million Revolutionary War pensions, making the full files available online for the first time. WVR will be posting selected records (likely including—you guessed it—births, marriages and deaths) from both LDS microfilm and the digital document images church cameras have captured in recent years. Although the record images hosted by WVR will require a subscription, indexes to them will be available free on FamilySearch (and you’ll be able to view them free at LDS centers).
In the meantime, WVR is adding content from two more partners: The Ellis Island
database of 22 million passengers and crew arriving in New York from 1892 to 1924, courtesy of the State of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation (results link you back to www.ellisisland.org
to view the original records), and Quintin Publications
’ catalog of 10,000 books—which encompass compiled genealogies, local histories and other material previously unavailable online.
That’s not all: Thanks to a collaboration with LexisNexis
, ProQuest CSA is adding portions of the US Serial Set—representing 480,000 page images from 150,000 government documents dating back to 1789—to HeritageQuest Online. Those records complement the censuses, family books and other databases already on HeritageQuest, which is accessible through subscribing libraries.