Wednesday, September 10, 2008

FamilySearch Re: Ancestry's World Archives indexing

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friend Paul Nauta at FamilySearch.org. Please address all inquiries to support@FamilySearch.org . While Ol' Myrt does not offer an opinion either way, I have added bold to the bulletted items for clarity.

From: Paul Nauta
Sent: Wednesday, 10 Sep 2008 - 11:37am

FamilySearch Indexing is not affiliated with Ancestry’s World Archives indexing program.

FamilySearch welcomes the efforts of all institutions and companies that provide more economical access to more genealogical and historically significant records. Following is a summary of what FamilySearch believes are its indexing program’s strengths.
  • More quality indexes, faster. FamilySearch already has over 100,000 volunteers indexing about one million names per day. All projects use FamilySearch’s signature process of indexing each record twice and arbitrating discrepancies to ensure the highest possible accuracy.
  • Greater volume and variety of projects. FamilySearch has 15 high speed scanners digitizing 2.4 million rolls of microfilm from its current collection and 200+ digital camera teams filming new records daily in 45+ countries. The result is a greater number and variety of ongoing projects for volunteers.
  • Access to more images. Qualified FamilySearch volunteers will have free access to all affiliate images under contract (Footnote.com, WorldVitalRecords.com, Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com, etc.) with FamilySearch, not just the collections a volunteer personally helped index.
  • Greater free public access to images. The general public will have free access to all FamilySearch volunteer-generated indexes through FamilySearch.org. All images that are free of records access restrictions will also be free to the public. All otherwise fee-based or restricted access images with commercial affiliates will be available for free through FamilySearch’s 4,500 family history centers worldwide.
  • More partners and language interfaces. FamilySearch has long standing relationships with national, religious, government, and societal archives in over 80 countries and will offer its indexing tool in multiple language interfaces (currently in Spanish and English. Portuguese, German, French, Italian, and Russian are in progress). That means a larger and more diverse volunteer force.
  • Established society relationships. FamilySearch has already had great success working with genealogical and historical societies (Ohio, Indiana, Utah, NEHGS, AAGHS, Arkansas, Belgium, Nova Scotia, etc.) in indexing projects while still in its initial phase. It has many more society projects under development and looks forward to many more collaborative efforts with societies in the future.
  • Single access point. Indexes from all FamilySearch Records Access agreements will be available for free on a single website—FamilySearch.org.
  • MAC compatible.