Ancestry’s Library Edition is a version of Ancestry.com that libraries, genealogical societies, and other institutions can use and purchase subscriptions to at more economical prices. This lets people in the surrounding area briefly use Ancestry free-of-charge, without having to sign up for a personal subscription!
Some limitations of Ancestry Library Edition
Ancestry is a genealogy research website designed for personal use, so there are certain features that are unavailable in the Library Edition. For example, you cannot build your own family tree, nor can you contribute information to someone else’s family tree. You also cannot post a message on the message boards for Ancestry.com, or send a private message to another Ancestry user. However, you can still view information that others have put on their family trees (assuming that they have made their family trees public), and you can still view messages that others have left on the message boards for Ancestry.com.
In addition, you cannot buy any extra products from Ancestry.com while using Library Edition, and there are certain databases that will be unable to access, including:
Historical Newspaper Collection
Family and Local History Collection
Filby’s Passenger and Immigration Lists Index (P.L.I.)
Biography & Genealogy Master Index (B.G.M.I.)
Freedman’s Bank Records
How to access Ancestry.com Library Edition
Access to Ancestry.com Library Edition is provided through a company known as ProQuest. In order to sign up for an Ancestry.com Library Edition account, you will have to contact the company directly. This will probably be a no-go for you, as you’re just an individual user of Ancestry.com.
Although, if you have a library or genealogical society in your area, you may want to talk to them about getting a subscription to Ancestry.com Library Edition, and direct them to this page for contacting ProQuest in that regard. In fact, your local library or genealogical society may already have a subscription to Ancestry.com Library Edition. You may want to ask them about this, as well as ask about providing you with access credentials and/or instructions.
Note that most institutions will only allow you to access Ancestry.com Library Edition from inside the institution itself, using their private Internet connection.
And that’s a quick primer on Ancestry Library Edition!