Written on: 26/01/2012
I have been involved with beta testing FindMyPast since it first started putting records online as a small family concern - Title Research. To me, the biggest selling point is that they put quality before quantity and are very customer orientated. As they have become more commercialised, they have still retained this concept.
The indexes are easy to use, easy to copy from the screen into a spreadsheet, and when you compare the cost to that of visiting distant repositories it represents good value for money. Errors in transcription are easy to correct and acknowledgement very timely. Spot checks have shown that transcription is more accurate than most of the other sites and any 'mass errors' have been immediately corrected, and more importantly, measures put in place immediately to make sure the same errors do not appear in the next set of records.
All conditions and costs are clearly laid out on the screen before you subscribe and the help files (which people rarely read!) are excellent. There are nearly always 'special offers', 'loyalty offers', and discounts that Societies can pass on to their members.
My main criticism is that the site is not as robust as some and there are frequent 'timeouts' at busy times.
There are a few small niggling things on some of the screen that are not consistent - one of which we have been asking for for some time and that is 'Return to Search Results' should be both at the top of the results and also the end. I would also like to see buttons across the top of each subset screen rather than pull down options or links hidden at the bottom of the page.
One thing I think is a great shame is that since its tie up with brightsolid, FindMyPast is having to take a lot of criticism for the poor OCRing of the British Newspaper Archives index. Parts of the index are quite frankly 'not fit for the purpose ...etc' and this is beyond the control of FindMyPast.
All in all, I am very happy with FindMyPast and frequently recommend it to other Family Historians.
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