HeritageQuest Online Now Provides Data from Ancestry.com

(From Dick Eastman’s Daily Newsletter – March 9, 2015)

HeritageQuest Online (a division of ProQuest) has supplied genealogy information to libraries for years. Many public libraries subscribe to HeritageQuest Online and make the information available to patrons who visit the library. Some libraries also offer in-home access to library card holders through the library’s website.

HeritageQuest Online has now announced that the genealogy information within its service is being replaced with information from Ancestry.com. Indeed, I logged onto my local public library’s web site this morning, went to the HeritageQuest Online database, and performed a search for an elusive great-great-grandfather of mine. When a census page appeared on the screen it looked clearer than what I have seen before and it also had an Ancestry logo in the upper-left corner:

The changes will be uncomfortable to those who are used to searching through the old menus. They may have to learn to use new menus. However, the census image that appeared on my screen appeared to be sharper than what I have seen before. So did a few other pages I looked at although I obviously could not check all the millions of pages to see if they were all the same or not.

Parent company ProQuest did issue a press release about the change five days ago although I apparently missed it. Here is the announcement that I found this morning after performing a Google search to look for it:

ProQuest Advances Genealogical Research with HeritageQuest Online

Authoritative family history resource is now powered by Ancestry

ANN ARBOR, MI, March 4, 2015 – ProQuest is advancing the research experience for family history enthusiasts and genealogical experts with a new version of its popular HeritageQuest® Online, a treasury of high quality genealogical and historical information. This authoritative family history resource, which can be accessed from the library or remotely through the library portal, has a new interface powered by Ancestry, enriching the search experience and streamlining the research process.

The new HeritageQuest Online offers new capabilities and benefits to patrons:
•The intuitive interface provides a fresh user experience that will be familiar to Ancestry.com users.
•The U.S. Federal Census 1790-1940 – a highly valued resource that now includes complete every-name indexes and unique interactive maps.
•Census data exceeding 700 million records that can now be discovered using Exact Match, Phonetic, Variant, Soundex, Wildcard and Keyword Searches.
•Searching full-text of the expanded collection of more than 40,000 family and local history books – is now enhanced with thumbnail images and hit highlighting.
•A new Image Viewer offers basic and advanced capabilities without any plug-in, making it easy to share images with family and friends.
•Image resolution that is significantly improved with the addition of greyscale and color.

“The enhancements in HeritageQuest Online illustrate a commitment to transforming the research experience for the growing community of genealogists,” said Andon Baltakov, vice president, product management, ProQuest. “ProQuest’s comprehensive collection of family history resources and historical news delivers a winning combination to help library patrons discover their family history.”

The enhancements are a result of the expanded partnership and distribution agreement between ProQuest and Ancestry announced last June. Extensive training services and materials from both companies provide learning opportunities for library staff and patrons alike. For example, the new Research Aid will replace the Learning Center and include topics such as Getting Started, Census, Beyond the Basics, Military and Ethnic.

ProQuest also publishes LibGuides and 2-minute videos, and hosts complimentary full-day workshops and webinars for genealogy librarians. Register for webinars here.

The new version of HeritageQuest Online is available now to all subscribing libraries. ProQuest offers libraries a broad portfolio of quality genealogical products with breadth and depth in content that delivers a complete research solution for beginner and advanced family historians.

About ProQuest (www.proquest.com)

ProQuest connects people with vetted, reliable information. Key to serious research, the company’s products are a gateway to the world’s knowledge including dissertations, governmental and cultural archives, news, historical collections and ebooks. ProQuest technologies serve users across the critical points in research, helping them discover, access, share, create and manage information.

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.

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