Anyone can use the extensive online resources of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) without leaving home. Simply point your web browser to http://www.familysearch.org. However, anyone who visits any of the more than 4,500 Family History Centers around the world can also access additional online databases at no charge, databases that normally are either not available to private individuals or else available only for a fee. Thousands of people access these databases by using computers at nearby Family History Centers or at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
The Church offered access to Ancestry.com from each of its Family History Centers and from the Family History Library until recently. That agreement was terminated a few weeks ago, as described in an earlier article in this newsletter at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/03/ancestrycom_ter.htm. However, the Church now is moving rapidly to offer new online content. The rumor mill says that several new online services will soon be made available through the Family History Centers as well as to anyone who visits the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Indeed, one information provider has already made an announcement of a new partnership. See the article on "Godfrey Memorial Library and FamilySearch Centers Announce Partnership" at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2007/05/godfrey_memoria.html.
More announcements are expected in the next few days at the annual National Genealogical Society Conference in the States and Family History Fair. I expect to write about each announcement as the information is released.
This should be a very interesting week for anyone who uses online genealogy resources!