How it works

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  • We gather historical records and scan them into our system.

  • You enter facts from records to create a searchable index.

  • We add your index to Ancestry FREE to everyone.

  • Everyone gets better hints and better search results.

World Archives Project

With a few keystrokes,
you could bring a family together.

You can play an important role in helping people find their family history. And all it takes is a computer, some basic software we provide and a little of your time. The Ancestry World Archives Project is thousands of volunteers from around the world with a passion for genealogy and a desire to help others discover their roots. Details and people long ago forgotten are found and stories are preserved for generations to come. And you can be a part of it in no time.

Just register, download the free software and you're ready to go.

Get Started

Want more details?

Watch what you can do as part of the World Archives Project.

Take a look at the historical collections we're currently working on.


Featured World Archives Projects

  • Project Name Difficulty Project Progress

    • Cartes électorales de Paris et ses environs et d’autres villes françaises, 1900-1932 (France Electoral Cards)
      Average
      47%
    • Illinois, Chicago and North Western Railroad, 1935-1970 (Part 2)
      Easy
      69%
    • New South Wales, Australia, Government Gazettes, 1853-1899 (Part 2)
      Average
      57%
    • New York and Vicinity, United Methodist Church Records, 1791-1945
      Advanced
      42%

All Active World Archives Projects

  • Project Name Difficulty Project Progress

    • Cartes électorales de Paris et ses environs et d’autres villes françaises, 1900-1932 (France Electoral Cards)
      Average
      47%
    • Illinois, Chicago and North Western Railroad, 1935-1970 (Part 2)
      Easy
      69%
    • Ireland, Famine Relief Commission Papers, 1844-1847
      Average
      6%
    • Kansas, City and County Census, 1919-1978 (Part 2)
      Average
      49%
    • Medway, Kent, England, Poor Law Union Records, 1837-1937
      Average
      15%
    • New South Wales, Australia, Government Gazettes, 1853-1899 (Part 2)
      Average
      57%
    • New South Wales, Australia, Land Records, 1856-1859 (Part 2)
      Average
      35%
    • New York and Vicinity, United Methodist Church Records, 1791-1945
      Advanced
      42%
    • New Zealand, The New Zealand Gazette, 1860-1894
      Average
      25%
    • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, The Ottawa Journal, 1885-1980 (Part 2)
      Average
      39%
    • Tennessee, Early Land Registers
      Average
      30%
    • U.S. Southern Claims Commission, Disallowed and Barred Claims, 1871-1880
      Average
      30%
    • USHMM - Kraków, Poland, ID Card Applications for Jews During WWII, 1940-1941 (Part 7)
      Average
      35%
    • USHMM - Poland, Lodz Ghetto Register Books, 1939-1944 (Part 3)
      Average
      11%
    • USHMM - Prague, Czechoslovakia, Selected Holocaust Records, 1939-1945
      Average
      47%
    • USHMM - Romania, Selected Holocaust Records, 1940-1945
      Average
      12%
    • West Yorkshire, Roman Catholic Oath Records, 1714-1787, 1829
      Average
      28%

How does it work?

You simply take digitized historical records and key in information to create free, searchable record indexes.

Watch a quick slideshow