Getting Started with Ancestry Library Edition

Ancestry Library Edition logo

Ancestry Library Edition is a database of genealogical resources for finding vital records, census records, immigration records (birth/death registrations), land and tax records, wills, selected military records, voting lists, etc.. The resource is especially for U.S. and Canadian records, and also includes some European, Australian and New Zealand records.

Ancestry Library Edition contains over 30,000 record collections which span much of the globe and together hold over 11 billion records, some going back to the 1500s.   Ancestry Library Edition contains more records than the free site but slightly less than the full premium site. Please note, the information you will be able to find will vary depending on where and when your ancestors lived. In addition, not all records will be available for each of your ancestors being researched.

Please note: Access to Ancestry Library Edition is restricted to library computers.  As is it not available remotely, this resource cannot be accessed through the A to Z List of Databases or through the Ancestry Library Edition webpage on 

How to Access Ancestry Library Edition

    1. From a computer in a library branch, select Articles & Online Resources on the Welcome to Computer Access menu.  
      Articles & Online Resources
    2. Select A from the list and click on Access Online under Ancestry Library Edition. 
      Access Online, 'A' highlighted
    3. Click on the green Begin Searching button to start your search
      Begin Searching

To perform a general search

You perform a general search on Ancestry when you do not specify any one particular record set to search on. Let’s use a general search to find information about the Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery.

  • Click on the green button Begin Searching.
  • In the search boxes for First & Middle Name(s) and Last Name, type in “Lucy Maud” “Montgomery.”
  • In the search box for Place your ancestor might have lived, type in “Prince Edward Island”
  • In the search box for Birth Year, type in “1874”
  • Click on the Search button.

Search box

Our search gave us over 200,000 results. Not all of them pertain to the person we are looking for.  There are several census records for Lucy Maud Montgomery on the first results page. 

Record abstract - includes name, gender, racial or tribal origin, nationality, marital status, age, and birth date

  • Hover your mouse over the blue link to each record, you can see an abstract of the information the record contains.
  • To see a record, click on See More on the abstract or click on the blue link and then click on View. A digital copy of an original document will open.
  1. You can use the slider on the right-hand side of the document to control the image size
  2. Show Filmstrip icon will show all the filmstrips for this record
  3. Show Index lists other people in this record
  4. Left arrow gives the details, related records, and Source information
  5. Gear icon allows you to print, download or set the orientation of the image to print.

Navigation Features


To Print

  • Click the Gear icon and click Print to select Print entire image or Print zoomed view . You can select Also print index and source data.


To Save

  • Click the Save button at the top right to Send image home – where you provide your email and access the image when you are at home OR Save to this computer – where you can Save as to a usb. 


To start a new search, click on the Ancestry library logo and then Begin Searching.



Related resources

If you’re interested in genealogical research, you may also want to check out these other online resources:


For more information or for help, visit the Humanities and Social Sciences Department of the Toronto Reference Library or contact our Answerline service.