May 18, 2022

National Archives (NARA) Renews Digitization Partnerships with FamilySearch and Ancestry, Deals Include a Few Changes

From Today’s National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Announcement:

The National Archives today announced the renewal of digitization partnership agreements with FamilySearch and

The National Archives works with partners to digitize and make available National Archives holdings.  These partnerships make millions of historical records more easily available to the public through the increased availability of information technology products and services.

The National Archives first partnered with FamilySearch in 2007 and with Ancestry in 2008.   Since that time, FamilySearch has made more than 128 million and Ancestry has made more than more than 170 million images of National Archives records available online.  Many of these records were only available by request in original form in the research rooms of the National Archives.

Under the renewed partnership, both partners will continue to digitize historical content that includes birth, marriage, death, immigration and military service information.

[Our emphasis] However, now partners will be able to post segments of large collections immediately, rather than waiting for the entire collection to be completed. 

This change will provide critical access to these important historical records at a faster rate than ever.  

Also, the updated agreement outlines the National Archives’ ongoing commitment to protecting personally identifying information (PII), and specifically spells out the partners’ responsibilities if and when PII is identified. 

Additionally, the renewed partnership agreement with Ancestry shortens the embargo period by 12-24 months.  Now, the “embargo clock” will start after scanning is completed, not when the collection is published.


As with the earlier agreements, the National Archives will continue to receive copies of the digital images and metadata for inclusion in its online catalogOnce digitized, the public will be able to access these materials free of charge from National Archives research facilities nationwide. makes the digitized materials available via subscription.


About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.