Monday, January 28, 2013

TRIAL: Ancestry Library Edition

We have a trial of Ancestry Library Edition until February 24, 2013.

To access this trial, go to:

https://www.proquest.com/trials/trialSummary.action?view=subject&trialBean.token=1DDO1Q9BOI3DP3JAIV5N.

Ancestry Library Edition is a new genealogy research tool created for the library market and provides instant access to a wide range of unique resources for genealogical and historical research. With more than 1.5 billion names in over 4,000 databases, Ancestry Library Edition includes from census records; military records; court, land and probate records; vital and church records; directories; passenger lists and more. These collections are continuously expanding, with new content added every working day.

After trying Ancestry Library Edition, please leave your comments below. You can choose the anonymous option to comment without needing to have a Blogger account, but it helps if you include your name in your feedback so that we can follow up on comments.

13 comments:

Sam Boult said...

This is worth keeping, considering the expense that I would be put to if I bought ancestry.com for a year. I'm not sure how it benefits my course but I have traced my family name back to 1800 and shed some light on the mystery of my great grandfather. You could argue that its an interesting way to develope research skills as sometimes you have to be very specific and observant to find what you're looking for at the same time you can have fun and the consequences of mistaking people for your ancestors is less embarrasing when learning how to research is less embarrassing than putting wrong or dodgy information in an essay becuase you haven't had much experience at researching things. Sometimes census images don't load, not all birth records have original images so you have to take the site's word for it and there is a heavy focus on american resources, even if you explicitly state that the person you are looking for lived in a location in the uk at one point you get american documents at the top of the list after the most likely results.

Anonymous said...

I've been a personal subscriber to Ancestry.co.uk for some years and this is essentially just repackaging by ProQuest of Ancestry's product - with the very important proviso that it appears to be the full worldwide version and not the UK-centred version that most of us have to make do with on grounds of cost.

Yes, Ancestry is mostly used by those pursuing family history and, arguably, it is the best of the commercial sites. For those of us with Liverpool families it is particularly good.

However, speaking now as a history PGR, this resource is genuinely valuable. First, it does not just contain the usual births, marriages and deaths: for instance, there are criminal registers from the assizes. Secondly, it is a wonderful research and reference tool for exploring the social background and networks of prominent individuals (and the lower classes too). My own thesis will be immeasurably better for containing this sort of information rather than being based solely on speeches and writings. Conversely, without access to such a resource online, historical detective work is vastly more labour-intensive (or even impossible).

I imagine this product will command a high price but I shudder to think how many members of the university are already paying over £100 a year for an inferior version.

Andrew Davies (History) said...

This is a wonderful resource for those of us conducting research in history and seeking to promote research-led teaching. For students taking the 'Digital Histories' modules in the History department (HIST359/HIST360) it opens up a wealth of possibilities for independent research ranging across British, American and Australian history. For graduate students and members of staff, too, the ancestry collections provide access to an invaluable range of primary sources. Having access to the library edition would make these rich and varied collections accessible to all students and staff by removing the barrier that currently prevents their wider use: the high cost of an individual subscription.

Anonymous said...

This resource is really invaluable for any member of the university concerned with the social and cultural history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Particularly for undergraduate students, this resource will offer a rare opportunity to conduct primary research on a wide range of materials, many of which are usually held in national repositories some distance from Liverpool. The individual subscription fee of well over £100 per year is often far too much for students to afford, a library subscription to the key collections from ancestry.com would enable valuable material such as the complete U.K census collection, Parish records for local history, and a range of criminal and administrative records to be used more regularly in the teaching of undergraduates, and in the research of dissertation students, postgraduate students, and scholars alike.

Anonymous said...

Please please please consider making this a permanent tool at the library. As a history student the information available on this resource is absolutely incredible, and would have really made a difference to my course and my dissertation. Paying the full £100+ for a personal subscription is just too much for the majority of students, but it really would make a massive difference.

Craig Stafford said...

Ancestry is an invaluable resource for students and teachers of history. The continuing growth and popularity of family history has led to a wealth of primary sources being released onto sites such as this. Consequently this has enabled historians to access sources that have previously been located miles away from campus. I use both Ancestry and Find My Past in my work as a PGR and both are invaluable. A university subscription to this site will benefit students immensely due to the sizeable annual fee that the would otherwise have to pay.

Anonymous said...

I think this resource is definitely one which the University should get on a permanant basis. I recently done a 30 credit project based almost solely on statistics taken from this website. On the one hand it allows you to track your own family etc. but on the other hand it allows you to do some fantastic original research on local areas for example, enabling access to census records and the ability to track a individuals social background. I would strongly recommend the University to subscribe permenantly particularly considering its pride in being a research university.

Jim Hinks said...

I think that this is a vital resource for History students.

It is an essential component of two third year courses. It has been used to wonderful affect by students to produce original research of astonishing breadth and quality. It has deepened the understanding of how ordinary people's lives were shaped by large scale events.

I think that this should form the cornerstone of Liverpool's collection of digital resources for history.

Anonymous said...

This is an essential tool for history students of all levels.

Sadly the cost of the individual version is prohibitively expensive at £100 a time.

Richard Huzzey said...

This would be hugely valuable for a number of modern British history modules we run for undergraduates, but also for all of us undertaking social history research. This must rank amongst the highest priorities for resources in history.

Charlotte Harrison (History) said...

This is an excellent resource, both for academic research and for use in teaching. Resources such as Ancestory provide a means of introducing students to archival sources which may be otherwise physically inaccessible to them or daunting to use, and so to help them to explore new avenues of research and to enhance their understanding of the broader historical context by the exploration of local and individual history (already encouraged in a number of mandatory and optional modules offered by the Department of History).

Mark Peel said...

As the co-developer, with Andy Davies, of the 'Digital Histories' module, I endorse my colleagues' comments on the significance of this for undergraduate and postgraduate work. It is a vital tool in introducing undergraduate students to research, not least because they become fascinated, and if we can make digital histories something of a Liverpool 'thing', it might also be a useful recruitment tool. The same is true for postgraduate researchers, where I would be keen to see History build a reputation and focus on digital histories as method, focus and topic.

Anonymous said...

Simply to reiterate all that has been said above about the value of this resource for historical research. As well as the inclusion of American material, the main difference between this package and the individual package is that it does not seem possible (unless I'm missing something), to create personal family trees. This is regrettable from the point of view of those wishing to use the resource for personal genealogical purposes.