Ancestry®, the global leader in family history, announced a new multi-year agreement with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to digitize, index and publish tens of millions of NARA records on their platforms over the next five years. This will be Ancestry’s largest public-private and archive collaboration to date.

During the course of the project, Ancestry will digitize NARA collections that have previously not been available to search and view online. In the first phase of the project more than 65.5 million records will become available on Ancestry’s website, including WWII U.S. Morning Reports, draft cards from the Korean War era, Naturalization and Immigration records, Asian American records, and Native American records, among others. The scope and depth of these collections reflect the richness and diversity of America’s people.

In digitizing these records, Ancestry customers will have access to historical records previously unavailable online that could be critical pieces of their family stories. Ancestry’s efforts to scan and digitize millions of physical paper records and microfilm will help ensure that this important information is accessible to the public.

Howard Hochhauser, Chief Operating Officer at Ancestry, commented:

We’re honored to take a leading role in preserving the story of America through this partnership with the National Archives. Given their role as the holder of the country’s largest and most distinguished collection of records, this collaboration reinforces Ancestry’s commitment to expand accessibility to historical records.

Howard Hochhauser, Chief Operating Officer at Ancestry

This agreement builds on more than two decades of collaboration between Ancestry and NARA to preserve, index and digitize hundreds of millions of records. As Ancestry and NARA are both respective experts in their fields, this latest investment also includes enhanced training and development for NARA’s digitization staff.

Yesterday, the two parties convened at the National Archives in Washington D.C. for a signing ceremony capturing the official agreement of the two organizations and Ancestry’s financial commitment to digitizing records.

Dr. Colleen Shogan, Archivist of the United States, commented:

The National Archives is the nation’s record keeper, and we hold billions of stories in our collection. Our mission is to preserve, protect, and share those stories with all Americans. Our collaboration with Ancestry is a great example of a public-private partnership. By working together, we will digitize millions of records from our holdings and make them available to the public.

Dr. Colleen Shogan, Archivist of the United States

Additional collections and projects will be identified, agreed and announced between the parties per this agreement. The scanning of the first set of records is expected to begin at The National Archives at San Francisco this month.

Image Source:

  • Photo by Charles Forerunner: instant images