The agreement between The National Archives and Ancestry.com

FOI request reference: F0050106
Publication date: October 2017

1. Does the agreement between the TNA and Ancestry.com LLC referred to in F0047176 provide an exclusive right for Ancestry.com LLC to digitise the records made available in the agreement – thus excluding the possibility that some other organisation could also digitise those same records?

Answer: No, there is no exclusive agreement with Ancestry.com LLC that would preclude the records identified in F0047176 being made available elsewhere.

2. If the agreement does offer such exclusive access, is the arrangement time limited by date – so at some point the records will once again become available for digitisation by a different organisation?

Answer: Although our agreements with Ancestry.com LLC are on a non-exclusive basis, from time to time we do agree with them periods of primacy for specific projects. Primacy is only usually applied for large digitisation projects where the cost is significant. During the primacy period, the content will not be published by other organisations.

3. If there is such a deadline what is that deadline?

Answer: The primacy period is subject to contractual agreement and may vary depending on the size of the specific project. Ancestry currently do not have any records that fall under a primacy period i.e. all content currently published by them is available to other organisations for licensing.