2016 Press Releases

National Archives Renews Digitization Partnerships with FamilySearch and Ancestry
Press Release · Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Washington, DC

The National Archives today announced the renewal of digitization partnership agreements with FamilySearch and Ancestry.com.

The National Archives works with partners to digitize and make available National Archives holdings. These partnerships make millions of historical records more easily available to the public through the increased availability of information technology products and services. See NARA's Principles for Partnerships for more information. A list of current partnerships is online.

The National Archives first partnered with FamilySearch in 2007 and with Ancestry in 2008. Since that time, FamilySearch has made more than 128 million and Ancestry has made more than more than 170 million images of National Archives records available online. Many of these records were only available by request in original form in the research rooms of the National Archives.

Under the renewed partnership, both partners will continue to digitize historical content that includes birth, marriage, death, immigration and military service information. However, now partners will be able to post segments of large collections immediately, rather than waiting for the entire collection to be completed. This change will provide critical access to these important historical records at a faster rate than ever. Also, the updated agreement outlines the National Archives’ ongoing commitment to protecting personally identifying information (PII), and specifically spells out the partners’ responsibilities if and when PII is identified. Additionally, the renewed partnership agreement with Ancestry shortens the embargo period by 12-24 months. Now, the “embargo clock” will start after scanning is completed, not when the collection is published.

As with the earlier agreements, the National Archives will continue to receive copies of the digital images and metadata for inclusion in its online catalog. Once digitized, the public will be able to access these materials free of charge from National Archives research facilities nationwide. Ancestry.com makes the digitized materials available via subscription.

The U.S. National Archives is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and online.

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


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