Discover the history of you.

Available inside the library only.

About Ancestry, Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition, provided exclusively by ProQuest and powered by, is a comprehensive online family history resource available in libraries. It offers access to over 20 billion records from various countries, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and more, making it ideal for both professional historians and hobbyist genealogists. The platform features a user-friendly interface and extensive indexing that simplify the process of discovering personal histories.

Key collections include census records from several countries, extensive military records, immigration and naturalization records, and vital records of birth, marriage, and death. It also includes unique databases like the Canadian Genealogy Index and the Drouin Collection of French-Canadian records. Ancestry Library Edition is particularly notable for its passenger lists, which detail the arrival of over 100 million passengers at American ports, and it is estimated that 85% of Americans can find an ancestor within these records.

Additional resources enrich the user experience with biographies, historical photos, maps, and specialized collections such as Jewish family history. The platform also offers tools and resources through its Learning Center to help users start building family trees and effectively use historical records.

Ancestry Library Edition not only helps trace family lineage but also connects users to the broader historical context, helping to uncover the lives and impacts of notable individuals like Canadian heroine Laura Secord and Native American WWII hero Ira Hayes.

What it’s great for:
  • Building Family Trees
  • Accessing Historical Records
  • Discovering Ancestral Stories
  • Geographic and Historical Context
Works best on:
  • Computers
  • Tablets

Frequently Asked Questions

Ancestry Library Edition is a version of the popular genealogy service, tailored specifically for use in libraries. It provides access to a vast range of resources that can help individuals trace their family history. This includes census records, vital records (birth, marriage, and death certificates), military records, and immigration lists, among others.

The key difference between Ancestry Library Edition and the personal subscriptions to is the mode of access. The Library Edition is designed to be used on-site at libraries that subscribe to the service; patrons cannot access it from home. This service is a valuable tool for both amateur and professional genealogists, providing a rich trove of historical data that can be accessed for free through participating libraries.

All you need to do is be inside the library and using one of our public computers or bring your laptop/tablet and connect to our free public wifi.

HeritageQuest and Ancestry Library Edition are both valuable resources for genealogical and historical research, but they have distinct features and strengths that differentiate them:

  1. Access and Availability:
    • HeritageQuest is often available both in-library and remotely, allowing users to access it from home with a library card. This makes it particularly accessible for library patrons.
    • Ancestry Library Edition typically requires users to be physically present in the library to access its resources, which can limit its use to on-site visits.
  2. Content Collections:
    • HeritageQuest includes unique databases such as the Freedman’s Bank records, U.S. Indian Census Rolls, and a specific collection of family and local history books. It focuses more on U.S. census records, historical books, and various specific collections such as city directories and wills and probate records.
    • Ancestry Library Edition offers a broader range of international records, including more extensive global census, military, immigration, and vital records, making it more suitable for researching non-U.S. ancestors.
  3. Search and Interface:
    • HeritageQuest provides a robust search interface powered by Ancestry®, but it is generally considered simpler and more straightforward, which might be easier for beginners or casual researchers.
    • Ancestry Library Edition has a more complex search interface with advanced filtering options, which can be beneficial for more experienced genealogists or those needing detailed search capabilities.
  4. Educational Resources:
    • HeritageQuest includes specific educational materials like research aids and how-to guides that help users understand how to make the most of census and other genealogical data.
    • Ancestry Library Edition might offer similar guides, but its primary focus is on providing access to a wider array of records rather than educational content.
  5. Special Features:
    • HeritageQuest has interactive maps showing U.S. county boundaries over time and includes access to The Census Book for a detailed understanding of historical U.S. censuses.
    • Ancestry Library Edition excels in offering a larger volume of data and records, which is critical for in-depth genealogical research that spans multiple countries or regions.

Overall, while both platforms are rich in historical and genealogical data, HeritageQuest might be better for U.S.-centric research and for users who need remote access, whereas Ancestry Library Edition is ideal for more comprehensive, global genealogy research requiring in-library use.

You can also visit ProQuest’s website to get more help.

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