Press/Journalists

Press Release
May 20, 2008

National Archives Announces Digitizing Agreement with The Generations Network

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Washington DC…Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein and Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com, today signed and announced a five-year agreement to digitize selected records from the vast holdings of the National Archives. The Generations Network’s Ancestry.com web site currently has the largest online collection of digitized and indexed National Archives content, including the complete U.S. Federal Census Collection, 1790-1930, passenger lists from 1820-1960 and WWI and WWII draft registration cards.

This agreement allows for the ongoing digitization of a wealth of historical content that will include birth, marriage, death, immigration and military service information. The new agreement will allow Ancestry.com (a division of The Generations Network) to place its technicians and scanning machines at the National Archives to digitize content for online access. Ancestry.com will make the digitized materials available via subscription. The Generations Network will provide free online access to the digitized materials in all National Archives research rooms nationwide. In addition, The Generations Network will donate to the National Archives a copy of all the digital images and technical and functional metadata that will enable retrieval of the material at the level of archival control. See more information about this agreement.

“The mission of the National Archives and Records Administration is to provide access to the nation’s historical records, and we are proud to have The Generations Network among our valued partners,” said Professor Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States. “With this new agreement, citizens can discover and learn from these records in remote locations faster than ever before.”

“We are honored to be a part of NARA’s progressive vision to provide access to our nation’s historical records through this kind of public-private partnership,” said Tim Sullivan, Chief Executive Officer of The Generations Network, Inc., parent company of Ancestry.com. “We hope the Ancestry.com-NARA relationship can help millions more Americans learn about their own family’s history and then pass these stories to their children and grandchildren.”

This agreement is one of a series of agreements that the National Archives has reached or will reach with partners to digitize portions of its holdings.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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