Free Access to World Archives Project Images Now Available!

Active contributors can now receive free access to the original images for databases keyed through the Ancestry World Archives Project!   Active contributors are participants who have keyed  more than 900 records in the last 90 days.  If you are an active contributor, you will automatically receive access to these images while you remain above 900 records for the last 90 days.

Our first database keyed through the World Archives Project was the Wisconsin Mortality Schedules so active contributors can now access images in the U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1880

As always, indexes keyed through the World Archives Project are free for everyone on  Thank you for all the work you do to help preserve these records!

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Given the amount of databases on Ancestry will it be claer to all that these data bases are free.

What about people who arbitrate? Or will we also have to keep up our keying to receive the access?

I think there should be a special section in the Ancestry card catalog with links to all of the completed World Archives Projects so that there is no confusion as to which databases we can access and which we cannot.

Does this also apply to those on Also where do we find these databases?

Hi Skip.

I can’t imagine to many Arbitrators don’t keep their hand in Keying, I know I do. I suppose it’s only 10 records a day.

Now that I’m an arbitrator, I have noticed my record for items keyed in is going down! I keyed in 10 more records and the number still went down. Has this happened to anyone else ?

This is based on my observation.
Arbitrated records are counted in your total if the record status indicator in the left hand window changes to “Arbitrated”. So you would only receive credit for one record if you download a set of 30 New England records and only one requires arbitration.

Also note that correcting entries that should have been left “Blank” will not change the status to “Arbitrated”. About half of the New England records have a state entered when it should have been left blank. You will not receive credit for correcting this record (I noticed the same thing happening Ann in her Webinar).

Can a list of databases be published on the World Archives site

It’s not working for me.

I am in the UK and have keyed over the 900 records in the last 90 days and arbitrated over 3000 records in the same time but when I try to look at an image in that database it tells me I need to upgrade to world deluxe membership.

I hope this is for all members not just those based in the US ?

I should have tried this first before posting – I logged out of Ancestry completely and then logged in again and I can now see the images just fine 🙂

That is SO Good! Thank YOu

Is the Alabama Census project ready for viewing?


Are you looking at your number keyed for the last 90 days, or your total records keyed? The 90 day number is a rolling total, each day the number keyed from 91 days ago is dropped out, and the number keyed today is added in. So, if you had keyed 100 records 91 days ago, but today only keyed 10, your total would go down by 90.

On the other hand, the total since you began keying should not decrease.

I’m confused because I’ve had access to the Mortality Schedules already. Also, I thought keyers were supposed to be getting some kind of discount off of the subscription fee. Does anyone know what happened to that?

I did receive a 10% discount on my annual fee. I had to call the customer service – they were not sure but checked on it and then placed the discount. I had to pay the discounted amount then – my annual was coming up. But that was they said had to be done to get the discount

I received the discounted renewal also. My renewal date was in February. Yes, you must call, and the person who answers must check your standing, but there was absolutely no problem.

I think there is going to have to be more thought and consideration given to the eligibility rules for contributors or I think after the intitial burst of enthusiasm a lot of contributors will drop by the wayside. This will be after contributors realized that the deck is stacked heavily against them and like a tread mill, the faster you run, the faster you have to run to keep up. Some contributors will continue regardless of the rewards and so be it. Most of us started this without any idea of rewards. But the way it is set up it suggests that the contributor should only key 900 records and stop because there is no incentive to key more. That overlooks the time urgency connected with getting these records finished and available as soon as possible. And why should contributors choose to only arbitrate as has been suggested because they only get credit for finding the errors of others and correcting them and so penalizing the keyers. Ancestry has a valuable source and asset with the volunteer contributors but there has to be some balance and feedback to those same people or it can not continue indefinitely.

I wish that a special section is added in the Ancestry card to access
world Archives. This would be a great help finding information quicker.

I’m not sure if this has anything to do with this but today I discovered that once I had arbitrated about 300 records I was told I had reached my daily limit. I’ve had a great deal of time on my hands lately and have been keying and arbitrating alot…maybe 500-1000 records a day. I don’t do it for freebies I do it because I can. Anyone else noticed this problem?

I key and arbitrate for ancestry and the LDS.

The LDS gives nothing in the way of incentive. They have no forums and there is no way to know how good or bad you are doing.

Here, they give you a little bit of knowledge and people are more concerned about scores and whats free and what isnt.

I find that when I arbitrate for the LDS, I do my job without a care in the world, about those who did the keying. When I arbitrate here, I am concerned about the person who keyed. This is one reason why I wasnt crazy about being able to see an accuracy score.

I think most of us who volunteered, did it because we feel it is important to get these records out there, no matter who is putting them there.

I dont feel that I need to be rewarded..I am rewarded in knowing that I am contributing.

I do feel, that allowing the volunteers access to what they have worked on, is the right thing to do..and a nice way to say thank you. However, I would not slow down or speed up, because I need to stay between certain numbers to take advantage of whats being offered. I work at my own pace…and whatever my numbers are..they are.

Well said Starrgazer!
That’s what it is all about, preserving records for future generations. And doing it as accurately as possible not as fast as you can to save money.

Also, IMO, you should not be arbitrating records in a project if you have not keyed a number of records in that particular project. How will you know what is correct or incorrect if you yourself have not keyed information?

I just finished a slave manifest that extended over several sets of images. The person who filmed the manifest captured duplicate images, so the shipper was listed only on the first page. By the time I got to the next captain’s declaration, I could no longer go back to the first image to verify the ship and shipper. This is a suggestion to the next keyer – if you come across a manifest that refers to more than 100 slaves, note the ship, date, and shipper so you can enter them on the remaining pages. You will recognize the file to which I’m referring – it looks like it was written on Kleenex!

Thanks everyone for your comments! Here are the answer to your questions:

– This free access should be available to contributors in any country as long as you maintain 900 records keyed in the last 90 days.

– We are currently working to list Ancestry World Archive databases on the Dashboard page. We are also investigating the other ways give users quick access to World Archives keyed databases.

– Currently, the only live database that was keyed by the World Archives Project is the Wisconsin Mortality Schedules mentioned in my post. Other projects that have completed indexing and arbitration are being processed internally here at Ancestry in preparation to going live.

How do you become a arbitrator?

Where does one go to view these indexes.I am meeting the requirements to be allowed access but don’t know where to find them, I assume they aren’t in the general listing yet.

Can you please clear up the confusion. I have only so much time that I can spend on this and have been arbitrating for a few weeks, over 4000 record but my keying has gone down to only about 400 in the last 90 days, do my arbitrating record count towards this total of 900 records needed, or is it just keying records that count, because I don’t have time to do both

Now I am confused, I originaly thought that any records keyed by the numerous volunteers would be free for all to view not just the keyers. So it appears to me that we are keying for free and then Ancestry make the money, this seems very unfair when there are lots of other sites out there who are appealing for keyers also. The only difference is that there sites will then be free for all to view; i.e. no membership fee to pay. I can understand Ancestry needing money to cover their costs, but given the cost of the annual fee they are making a profit from people who give their time for the love of our history. I am currently keying thousands of records like others winter is a bad time. But next winter I will be helping one of the totaly free sites as I feel that they are the ones who are genuinaly concerned about our history and not the profit margin they can earn from it.

How do you become a arbitrator? Can someone please help me wiht this?

This reply is for comment #26. Sylvia Watmough

You need to key 900 records, during the time your up for renewal, arbitration does not count towards the total. See comment #23

Also, the number only reflects the previous 90 days entries, so if you don’t key any records your numbers will continue to go down. To keep your numbers up you need to key a little every day.

So does the answer by mphilips mean we don’t have access yet. Because I still do not know how to find the records. Thanks

i somewhat agree with Kath #27. The keyers put in hundreds of hours for a service that makes a profit. In this day and age, money is tight especially for extra items such as computer programs. Ancestry is expensive and World Wide access is prohibitive. I would prefer for all my time that I be given an option to have some free time to be able to access information from the world wide ancestry. It is so frustrating not to be able to even get Canadian records.

If only keyed records count I will only be keying and not arbitrating in future. I find keying a lot easier and arbitrating takes a lot more concentration and time to do as the program is set up for keyers not arbitrators.

I also will have to stop arbitrating and just keying, because I don’t have time to do both. and arbitrating seems to count for nothing

For those wanting to finds the Archives records. Click on the Ancestry main page where it says CARD CATALOG. The Keying Projects that are up on Ancestry have Archives Keying Project listed beside them and it says that they are free(to anyone).

My understanding is that we are creating a free index–an index that anyone can see, and that the images that are attached to the index require a subscription to view. I also had the impression that those of us who were keying would be given access to the images as well as the index for free. I could be wrong about that, though.

To answer #24 about arbitrating: There should be a link somwhere in your stats section that says “Click here to become an arbitrator”. Click on it to let the staff know you’re interested. They will let you know when you’re able to arbitrate.

What exactly am I getting access to for all the keying in I do? I’ve tried to get access to Irish extraction records and several others and am still told I need to upgrade?

George Prinkey

I’m an active UK contributor keying an ave. 40+ records a day. However I cannot access WAP original images. Instead I trigger a message saying in order to view the image, I need to upgrade my subscription.

I contacted Ancestry Support, who confirmed that they could log into my account by proxy and were able to view the original images for the WAP collections. They went on to suggest that I cleared IE internet cache and cookies to see if that would allow me proper access.

Unfortunately this didn’t work, nor did accessing via other Internet browsers e.g. Safari, Firefox, Google Chrome

My PC has Windows XP and I typically use IE 7 as a default internet browser. Standard Norton Anti-Virus and personal firewall is running as background security.

I wondered whether this might be a server synchronization problem. i.e. maybe the server that Ancestry Support are logging into has more up to date user authentication details than the one I’m logging into. In order to directly emulate their proxy login route, I’ve asked Ancestry if I can have the IP address of the server they are using…..Currently awaiting feedback.

In the meantime, has anyone else encountered this problem? Any suggestions would be appreciated.