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Ancestry’s Library Edition is a version of 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!


Just a heads-up that some of the services we’re reviewing here have affiliate partnerships with us, so we may earn a commission if you visit one of them and buy something. You can read more about how this works at

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, 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

In addition, you cannot buy any extra products from while using Library Edition, and there are certain databases that will be unable to access, including:

  • Historical Newspaper Collection

  • Family and Local History Collection

  • Obituary 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 Library Edition

Access to Library Edition is provided through a company known as ProQuest.  In order to sign up for an 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

Although, if you have a library or genealogical society in your area, you may want to talk to them about getting a subscription to 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 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 Library Edition from inside the institution itself, using their private Internet connection.


And that’s a quick primer on Ancestry Library Edition!

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