Ancestry Digitisation Grant Program 2021

During 2021, Ancestry.com is offering a series of grants to support the family history & archival community within Australia and New Zealand.

–  2 x Gold Grants up to the value of $100,000 AUD for digitisation services to be awarded within Australia and New Zealand to assist with digitisation within the archival & family history community. Also included is five years of free Ancestry access.

The individual grants have a maximum value of $100,000 AUD but can also cover works of any lesser amount up to that total figure. The grant will be for imaging of records only, meaning that the services provided are for scanning of paper or microform collections.

–  2 x Silver Grants up to the value of $25,000 AUD for digitisation services to be awarded within Australia and New Zealand to assist with digitisation within the archival & family history community. Also included is five years of free Ancestry access.

The individual grants have a maximum value of $25,000 AUD but can also cover works of any lesser amount up to that total figure. The grant will be for imaging of records only, meaning that the services provided are for scanning of paper or microform collections.

–  1 x Bronze Grant up to the value of $15,000 AUD for digitisation services to be awarded within Australia and New Zealand to assist with digitisation within the archival & family history community. Also included is five years of free Ancestry access.

The individual grant has a maximum value of $15,000 AUD but can also cover works of any lesser amount up to that total figure.

The grant submission period will begin immediately and your questions and submissions are encouraged. The deadline for submissions is Saturday 31 July 2021.

In the meantime, please find some initial Q&A below.

Q: How do I apply?
A: For now, simply review the documentation and ensure you agree to the terms contained within. If so, please send an email to jreeve@ancestry.com containing information on the collection / content you wish to see digitised – the more information the better but as a minimum;

  • Collection Name(s)
  • Date Range
  • Record Count / Image Count
  • Existing Format (i.e. paper, volumes, microfiche)

Q: If my submission is successful, does Ancestry take ownership of the records I’ve put forward?
A: No. Original record rights will remain with the organisation or entity providing the records. However, it’s important that you do have the necessary rights to share the records being submitted.

Q: Will I get a copy of the digital images created by Ancestry?
A: You will be provided with a digital preservation copy of all images taken from the original records.

Q: Who will own the digital images?
A: Within this program, we seek to create an easy, rewarding opportunity for the archival community to achieve their digitisation goals and therefore recognise that obtaining ownership of the digital assets forms an important part of those goals. The provider will receive ownership of the digital images.

Q: What’s in it for Ancestry?
A: You will retain the ownership of the originals and the digital images. Ancestry simply asks that you agree to allow us to publish the images in perpetuity & that you will not share those digital images outside the organisation for a period of 5 years.

Q: What records will help me be successful in securing a grant?
A: Ancestry’s focus is Family History. Therefore, records that are relevant to that endeavour are the most appropriate for this program. Ideally rich on details at an individual level – the records would cover a collection of individuals in some aspect and will therefore include information such as, but not limited to;

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Date of Death
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Relations
  • And so on…

Q: How do you select the successful applications?
A: Grant winners will be selected completely at the discretion of Ancestry – however, making sure the records fit the guide above will ensure you have the best possible chance for success.

Q: I’m from a small historical society – can I still apply?
A: Yes, you can apply for any of the grants.

Q: The $15,000 AUD grant appears different to the others, what does this cover?
A: It can be applied just like the other grants, or instead, it can be applied to a philanthropic or important community objective – with the latter being the priority for this grant option. Preferential selection will go towards collections or projects that will assist the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander family history community.

Published online 6 July 2021