Ancestry.com Starts Volunteer Indexing Project

Ancestry.com Starts Volunteer Indexing Project

The subscription service Ancestry.com is launching a volunteer indexing project that looks to compete with FamilySearch’s records indexing project.The Ancestry 24/7 Family Circle Blog announced in March that Ancestry.com was planning a volunteer indexing initiative. The anonymous Ancestry Insider blogger recently reported that the just-launched-in-beta World...

The subscription service Ancestry.com is launching a volunteer indexing project that looks to compete with FamilySearch’s records indexing project.

The Ancestry 24/7 Family Circle Blog announced in March that Ancestry.com was planning a volunteer indexing initiative. The anonymous Ancestry Insider blogger recently reported that the just-launched-in-beta World Archives Project will recruit volunteers to index Ancestry.com’s digitized records using an online tool. Then Ancestry.com will publish the index free. The record images will be part of Ancestry.com’s subscription services.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ FamilySearch was first to start a large-scale project for volunteers to index records using an online tool. FamilySearch Indexing is producing both indexes and record images that will be available free (you can access some now at FamilySearch Labs).

Other FamilySearch indexing initiatives will make indexes free online, with record images available free at FamilySearch research centers, or for a fee from record repositories or third-party database sites.

I’m curious how you all feel about Ancestry.com—a for-profit business—using volunteer labor. Does the free index make the idea palatable? What about the possibility that actual genealogists will create a better-quality index than Ancestry.com currently offers?

Click here to sign up for Ancestry.com’s e-mail notifications about the World Archives Project.