Ancestry Collections and the World Archives Project

We’ve received a few questions regarding projects that are currently being keying through the World Archives Project that are already online at and wanted to provide some clarification.  There are a few projects that fit this category to some degree (some are partially available on and the reasons why we would add these collections to the World Archives Project are: to provide better quality images, to provide a more complete, and higher quality index and to create a free index so more researchers have access to these collections. 

Recently we introduced images to that are part of the projects we are currently keying, on the front page of these collections we let members know that this collection is being keyed by the World Archives Project and invite them participate.  Examples of this type of project are the Naturalisation Indexes which can be viewed here

From time to time we may introduce additional collections that are already partially available on one of the Ancestry sites – we think this is a great opportunity to add additional free indexes and to produce a better research aide.

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Reader Comments

How exciting that we can get a look at what we’ve been keying!
Unfortunately, as I tried to look up an ancestor in the NE naturalizations, it came to me that only the index is free, not the images. (I am not currently a subscriber -very sorry I had to cut it out of the budget.) A bit disappointing, but I guess I’ll just have to wait til the full index is available; it won’t be long.

Once the new index is online, with the images, if you maintain an active keyer status you will be able to view the images.

I have been keying the British Criminal Records, having found on the 1891 British Census that my great grandmother was in prison – now I want to know what crime she committed – so roll on when these records are available to search.

I want to get access to the Andrews Index to check out all my 1940s colonial service family. Roll on that day!


You said “Once the new index is online, with the images, if you maintain an active keyer status you will be able to view the images.”

So does that mean that non-keyers will NOT be able to view the images and the index? I ask because I thought all records in the Project would have free access to everyone, not just keyers. IF not, keyers are creating an index for which Ancestry will charge other people to view the images.

Please clarify this point. Is Ancestry charging anyone to view the indexes and images of any project that volunteer keyers work on to create the index?


Anyone visiting will be able to view the indexes for free.
The images do require a subscription, but if you are an active keyer for the World Archives Project you will also have access to the images of the collections we have keyed.
The information here,, provides more information on the World Archives Project.

I was quite disappointed in to find out that our keying/arbitrating is to produce free indexes only. This was not made clear. Usually, indexes do not give you enough data to differentiate one person from another of the same name.
In of themselves they are of little value. Of course, if you are a subscriber…. I guess I will go back to keying more at LDS than here. Although I am not a Mormon they saved my ancestors records from being lost. I key there also, to give back. I keyed here to make it easier for future generations. I guess I am naive.

I too am keying both here and LDS as I feel the same as you Elizabeth & others regarding future researchers and to give back, and I am addicted to researching as well.
I am in Queensland Aust, and our local libraries and also some of the FamilySearch centres (LDS) have Ancestry connected as a free service to the community. This gives everyone the opportunity to search online for information regarding ancestors.
I am sure that this type of service is available in more countries than Australia. Check out your local libraries etc.

I do not know as yet as this is day one