APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2004-02 > 1076719125
From: "Mills" <>
Subject: Re: [APG] Repositories, Sources, and Citations
Date: Fri, 13 Feb 2004 18:48:14 -0600
> The Clayton Library in Houston contains numerous genealogical sources.
> It is the keeper of that information, regardless of who created or
> published the information originally. Ancestry is also a keeper of
> information created/published by others. Like the library, the
> information is physically kept and maintained by Ancestry regardless of
> the media (printed vs electronic). If Clayton Library is a repository,
> then why isn't Ancestry? If Ancestry publishes a "refined SSDI" then I
> would expect them to be both the source and the repository for this
> specific case.
Jerry, Ancestry's website (and others of its type) is not a "keeper of
information created/published by others." Ancestry is a publisher and it
publishes in two versions--online and in print. For some of what it
publishes at its website, it is also the "author."
Clayton Library is a repository that shelves works physically produced
elsewhere. Whether you go to Clayton, LC, Fort Wayne, Dallas, or Timbuctoo,
a published book, film, or whatever is going to be exactly the
same--regardless of the library (repository) that you use.
When you go to Ancestry (and others of its type) and use a book or database
that was originally produced elsewhere, you get Ancestry's digitized edition
of that product. Ancestry has created a different product, which could have
enhancements or (heaven forbid!) it could have glitches. Their edition is a
different source from the original edition you would use at a library. It is
a new Ancestry edition of that source. That's what enables Ancestry (and
similar publishers with websites) to hold a copyrights on its digitized
When you go to Clayton, or any other library, does that library hold a
copyright on the books and films that it shelves? Yes, libraries can be
publishers or even vice-versa (Craig Scott says folks regularly come into
his WillowBend/Heritage storefront and use his Willow
Bend/Heritage-published books just like they were at a library <g>), but
there is a fundamental distinction between libraries and publishers.
The focus on Ancestry, however, is misleading. The issue is a policy or
procedure or format that will apply to any website, regardless of which one
you use. The hierarchy that I outlined last night will do that.
P.S. Jerry, I know everybody on this list who is familiar with how many
times you and I go back and forth on a subject before we reach a consensus
or else wear ourselves out <g> will be disappointed to hear this, but this
time I'll have to forego the dozen or so exchanges. I'm in a time crunch!
Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG
Author, *Evidence! Citation & Analysis for the Family Historian*
Editor/Author, *Professional Genealogy: A Manual for
Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians*
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