Thursday, November 29, 2012

First Look at

Despite a straight-forward name like, announced a few minutes ago by its parent organization, several questions come to mind about this new US newspapers website. Most significantly, why would Ancestry spin off a newspaper collection when "newspapers" are a significant part of's World Deluxe and other membership plans at Probable answer: More paying subscribers ($75US annual) and a different "doorway" for folks to find an property.

Ol' Myrt pays for an $299 annual subscription at the "World" level, which includes both a US Newspaper and UK Newspaper collection.

Source  of screen shot above:

Access to only the US Newspaper collection at would run $12.95 monthly or $155.40 annually. So Ancestry values its US Newspaper collection at nearly half the value of it's "World" access. 

Source  of screen shot above:

It would appear from the landing page description at the new website that the collection is US newspapers, covering the 1700s-2000s (see screen shot below), and it is roughly the same as the description of the US Newspaper Collection at (per screen shot above).

Does this mean Ancestry is spinning out its US newspaper collection to the website? Why would a "World" subscriber pay an additional $79US for annual access to Why wouldn't a US Newspapers Collection subscriber at jump ship in favor of a similar subscription at (Maybe because one could not then link a newspaper article to an ancestor's profile in an Member Tree.)

It would appear so, though I'd like a line item comparison of the newspaper collection titles with those at Me thinks the 1,000 titles listed at may include 200 "web" searches, if this listing from the catalog is any indication. (See below.)

Scenario 1: If the newspapers collections are indeed the same, should provide free access to its World and US Newspaper Collection subscribers at their new web property This affords us a different "skin" or "interface" with which to find ancestors. However, if the search algorithms are the same at both sites, it won't matter, but access would be nice for comparison purposes.

Scenario 2: If wishes to promote and will eventually funnel all additions to newspaper collections there, as it appears primed to do, and if Ancestry doesn't add to it's US Newspaper collection, then our subscriptions should be reduced by the cost of the annual subscriptions so that we may subscribe there.

I think it's all about the number of paid subscribers. If can spin off parts and require membership, then it is the "owner" of more subscriber sites, even though many of those subscribers are duplicates. Why not just KISS and make it period?

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt     :)
Your friend in genealogy.

Twitter: @DearMYRTLE
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