Friday, July 09, 2004

Ancestry and ProQuest Team Up

ProQuest and MyFamily.com, operators of Ancestry.com, used to be considered rivals. That is, until a few days ago, when the two announced a business partnership.

ProQuest is a major supplier of high-quality census images and digitized copies of thousands of genealogy books. The same company also provides the online version of the powerful PERSI genealogy database. ProQuest traditionally has sold services only to libraries. To access ProQuest's online databases of U.S. Census records, digitized books, and the PERSI database, most genealogists had to visit a library who could afford to pay for the databases.

Ancestry.com and ProQuest have now apparently signed a two-way agreement: ProQuest will market the Ancestry online products to the library market under a service named Ancestry Library Edition. In return, ProQuest will supply 20,000+ genealogy and local history books to Ancestry.com's genealogy customers. How Ancestry.com will price and position these new online books has not yet been announced.

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