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# Thursday, September 23, 2010
More on Ancestry.com's Acquisition of Footnote
Posted by Diane

Does it feel like Ancestry.com’s been on a shopping spree, with this year’s acquisitions of Swedish records site Genline, research firm ProGenealogistsand now iArchives, parent company of historical records subscription service Footnote?

iArchives started in 1994 and provides document digitization services to libraries, universities, archives and newspapers across the country. Footnote launched in January 2007 as a way to bring that content to home users.

We suspect that even more than the Footnote website, Ancestry.com values the relationships and contracts that iArchives has already established with record-holding institutions. That would make it easier for Ancestry.com to negotiate content digitization agreements.

We love that when it launched, Footnote provided something different for genealogists at a time when online genealogical innovation seemed to have stalled. Footnote’s search interface, records viewer, social networking options and emphasis on history in addition to genealogy still distinguish it from other genealogy database sites.

We just hope Footnote doesn’t turn into another Genealogy.com, a site Ancestry.com purchased in 2003 and still maintains, but has allowed to languish while it pours resources into the stronger Ancestry.com site. We’re also curious how this acquisition will affect another Ancestry.com competitor, Archives.com, which offers Footnote’s census indexes to its subscribers.

The genealogy of the genealogy industry does seem to always lead to Ancestry.com. Rather than a long explanation, here's a quick sketch of the acquisitions and major content partnerships I could think of (Ancestry.com has formed content partnerships with many organizations; I listed only two).


Ancestry.com | Footnote | Genealogy Industry
Thursday, September 23, 2010 11:56:23 AM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)  #  Comments [6]
Thursday, September 23, 2010 1:23:25 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I like the sketch. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this one really put all of the marriages and other relationships into perspective.
Thursday, September 23, 2010 2:01:35 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Perhaps Ancestry is buying all these other companies in an attempt to offer as much as possible, in view of the exploding resources available FREE at Family Search. Could one say that Ancestry is afraid of the competition, because eventually there might be more available FREE than what one could obtain by a subscription?
Joseph
Thursday, September 23, 2010 5:57:00 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
It has seemed for a while that the future may be between FamilySearch and Ancestry.com and now that new innovative companies or those will small, but excellent, content bases will be ignored by genealogists in favour of these two 'biggest' sites. Like the Insider, I worry that Footnote, and Genline too, both sites I love, will become 'poor cousins', but let's be optimistic. I'm much more concerned though about Ancestry's restrictive content agreements with government institutions, like Library and Archives Canada.
Thursday, September 23, 2010 10:46:48 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
On the surface I like this merger (now I don't have to renew my Footnote subscription), but I share the concerns that now Footnote will stop putting out new content just because Ancestry has bought out another competitor...no threat, no need to keep pumping out the Footnote content.
Scott
Friday, September 24, 2010 5:19:27 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
I am concerned about an absence of competition as much as I am concerned about resource use for duplicative work. The purchase announcement made no indication about the future of Footnote and how it will be integrated. This is a striking absence and makes me wonder, just what is Ancestry.com up to.
EW Tordella
Sunday, September 26, 2010 12:42:43 PM (Eastern Daylight Time, UTC-04:00)
Weirder still, the Familysearch pilot site links to Footnote for census images. Wonder how long that will last?
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