RootsTech 2014

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Ancestry and ProQuest Announce Expanded Distribution Agreement

I had only just recently written a blog post about who owns the major genealogy companies, when Ancestry.com and ProQuest announced an expanded distribution agreement. If you do research in libraries, especially with their online offerings, you should be acquainted with ProQuest. Here is a description of their services:
The company’s cloud-based technologies offer flexible solutions for librarians, students and researchers through the ProQuest®, Bowker®, Dialog®, ebrary®, EBL® and Serials Solutions® businesses – and notable research tools such as the Summon® discovery service, the RefWorks® Flow™ collaboration platform, the Pivot™ research development tool and the Intota™ library services platform. The company is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with offices around the world.
Here is a quote from the blog post from ProQuest:
PROVO, UT and ANN ARBOR, MI, June 27, 2014 – Ancestry, the world's largest online family history resource, and ProQuestannounced today an expanded agreement to create broader and deeper opportunities to deliver premier genealogy resources to libraries worldwide. Under the new multi-year agreement, ProQuest will be distributor of both existing products, including Ancestry Library Edition, and future Ancestry products. The agreement also allows for significant content and feature improvements to ProQuest’s HeritageQuest Online. These enhancements will be developed in the coming months and powered by Ancestry. 
“We are pleased to announce our expanded strategic relationship with ProQuest,” said Brian Hansen, Ancestry vice president of emerging businesses. “We look forward to working together to create new and enhanced resources for libraries that uniquely respond to the needs of this growing market.” 
“This new agreement expands on our 10-year relationship with Ancestry to deliver leading solutions for our customers," said Simon Beale, senior vice president and general manager, ProQuest. "We're leveraging the synergies between our companies, bringing together skills and talents in way that will advance the family history services libraries can offer their patrons.” 
Ancestry Library Edition, powered by Ancestry and distributed by ProQuest, brings the world’s largest online family history resource directly to libraries. Featuring more than 13 billion records in more than 8,000 unique databases, Ancestry Library Edition is an unparalleled online global record collection from North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and beyond. 
HeritageQuest Online, which can be accessed from anywhere, is a strong complement to Ancestry Library Edition. HeritageQuest Online is a treasury of American genealogical sources, including the digitized version of the popular ProQuest Genealogy & Local History book collection and other valuable content.
I am very interested in the outcome of this agreement because of its impact on HeritagQuest. This is a valuable website, usually available for free access through a library with your library card number. The website has languished for the past few years with little added content and a poor interface. Perhaps the agreement with Ancestry.com will freshen up this valuable website a bit.

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