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Database Support

The New Hampshire State Library provides or serves as the fiscal agent for a number of online databases. In this guide, librarians will find resources for managing their databases.

About ALE & HQO

Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest Online are separate group purchases by those New Hampshire public libraries that wish to offer the database to their patrons for in-library use only. 

Similarities & Differences

Until a few years ago, the HQO database was a standalone collection of US Census records that were indexed by Proquest for head of household only. While the collection may have been considered by some to be less comprehensive than the Ancestry records, some genealogists found value in a second set of records with different indexing. 

A few years ago, Proquest ceased using their independent collection of records and now uses the Ancestry records. The US Census records and indexing are now identical; however...

  • HQO can be viewed from home
  • HQO only contains US Census records, city directories, and the 1890 Veterans Schedule
  • HQO does not provide links to additional records, as seen in the ALE database

ALE is the global edition of the commercial -- with one very important difference. As there is only a single account for an entire community, it is impossible for library patrons to create their own account and save their records on a family tree. Library patrons must download the records, take screenshots, and/or manually create a family tree independent of ALE. 

  • ALE can only be viewed at the library
  • ALE contains US, UK, and Canadian Censuses 
  • As well as vital, military, church, and immigration records, as well as territorial census records 

Tip: If you have never viewed the Card Catalog in ALE, search for a location by title to find lesser known collections. 


Librarians can run usage reports from the library network by following the reporting links. Note that the IP address for the library network must be submitted to the vendor to collect these statistics. 

Ancestry Library Edition

HeritageQuest Online

Updating the Library's IP Address

Both Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest Online can be set up to allow for no-login access from the library's network. As of January 2022, remote access to the ALE database will no longer be allowed and all users must be on the library's network to use ALE. 

  1. Visit from your library network (i.e. while at the library).

  2. Are you given access to the site or presented with a login?

  3. If you are presented with a login, your library’s IP address may have changed.

  4. Find out your IPv4 address:

  5. Submit the new IP address to Proquest:

    1. Visit Proquest’s Submit a Case.

    2. Select “Proquest Databases…” from the service/platform option.

    3. [Next]

    4. Product: Ancestry Library Edition

    5. Case type: Authentication

    6. Priority: Medium

    7. Provide your contact information and include a statement about needing to update your library’s IP address in the description box. Be sure to include the IP address.

Tech Support

For technical support on the Ancestry Library Edition database, submit a case with the vendor at

Self-Guided Training Assignment

Researching People of the Past

The purpose of this assignment is to motivate librarians without previous experience in genealogy to learn more about this area of research with the goal that NH public librarians are able to provide general genealogy assistance to their patrons. 

This assignment can be done as self-study or as a group project. Librarians are encouraged to find a similar subject to study from their own communities for their own patron genealogy workshops. 

Please contact the Technology Consultant for genealogy training. The training can be an informal overview of the genealogy databases (available through a statewide group purchase) over Zoom or in-person staff or co-op training. 


Be aware of issues related to the "ad" for on the Ancestry Library Edition site: 

The new StoryScout box in ALE and HQO is problematic and confusing for some patrons. It leads searchers where they are not logged in to do more searches. 

Ad to


Instead, remind patrons to start with a census search:

Image showing Search US Census


Marketing Materials

Find marketing materials from Proquest for ALE and HQO:

ancestry library edition logo

HeritageQuest Online logo

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the New Hampshire State Library.