Word is slowly spreading about Ancestry.com's new grant program for state archives. Ancestry is promising to provide $1.5 million dollars in digitization services (though no money) to state repositories. Best of all, it has promised to keep the application requirements simple. The program is described at http://www.ancestrydps.com/programs.htm.
No archives has enough money for digitization, so the natural question to ask is whether this is a good deal for archivists and for the public. Unfortunately, the terms described in the agreement appear to be a step back from the terms Ancestry recently negotiated with NARA. And even those terms came under sharp criticism. Archivists thinking about the Ancestry program may wish to move cautiously.