Maine’s Digital Library (available at library.digitalmaine.org) is a collection of useful, free databases that I encourage you to explore. Today, however, I am going to focus on just one of those databases: Ancestry Library Edition. Specifically, “Ancestry Library Edition (ProQuest) – For Use in Public Libraries”.
The comically long name is necessary to differentiate the service from Ancestry’s traditional “retail” offering. Ancestry Library Edition offers most of the same features as Ancestry.com, but does not require users to login with unique account credentials. The “For Use in Public Libraries” portion of the name makes plain the fact that the service only works when accessing it from within a public library (in this case, a public library in Maine). You do not have to be connected via a library computer, you can use your own device, but you do need to be connected via the library’s internet connection (wifi) or the service will not work.
Once you are surfing the internet on our network, Ancestry Library Edition will allow you to search by a relative’s name, date of birth, location, and more. You do not need exact dates and locations as Ancestry allows you to search within a range of years and places, but the more detail you have the quicker you will find accurate results. The information that Ancestry makes available is massive and, at times, surprising. In some cases, users have found pictures of relatives for whom they believed no pictures existed.
We welcome anyone interested in researching their family tree to join us in the library. If you have any questions about Ancestry For Libraries, don’t hesitate to ask a librarian!