Now in public beta, the World Archives Project allows individuals to transcribe information from images of original historical records and to create indexes that will remain accessible for free on Ancestry.com and on Ancestry's localized sites in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Sweden, and Italy. Active contributors* will soon be able to access all original images that are part of the World Archives Project. Organizations can also partner with the World Archives Project and sponsor indexing projects. Ancestry.com will donate a digital copy of the sponsored index and images back to partnering organizations.
"As a global society, we are falling further and further behind when it comes to digitizing historical records," said Tim Sullivan, president and CEO of The Generations Network, parent company of Ancestry.com. "The World Archives Project allows us to work collectively as a community to preserve and to digitize records that will otherwise surely be lost to the wear and tear of time. By providing free access to these indexes on the world's most popular family history website, we will provide millions of people with access to records that might help them unlock new clues about their ancestors."
Already, several thousand individuals have joined the World Archives Project private beta, indexing Wisconsin Mortality Schedules and Nebraska State Censuses. Participants provided feedback and recommendations for this public beta release.
"We are thrilled to be a part of this cause and to help spread the world about this new initiative," said Wendy Elliott-Scheinberg, president of FGS. "The World Archives Project is a great way for enthusiasts and genealogical societies to directly impact and further family history research."
"FGS has been enormously helpful in the development of our vision for the World Archives Project," said Sullivan. "The 500+ genealogy societies that FGS represents are absolutely critical to the continued health and growth of genealogical research. We've been searching for years for the right way to partner with genealogy societies, and we think this project will allow us to help them attract new members by leveraging the popularity of Ancestry.com. We appreciate the encouragement and support FGS provides and look forward to continuing our relationship as this project marches forward."
For more information about the World Archives Project or to get involved, visit www.ancestry.com/worldarchivesproject.
*Specific guidelines must be met to be considered an active contributor. For more information, visit http://landing.ancestry.com/wap/learnmore.aspx.