Monday, 29 December 2008

Ulster Historical Foundation and IFHF records - rate of exchange

For some time, the Ulster Historic Foundation has bizarrely made available the same birth, marriage and death records at two separate websites, and at two separate tariffs. On the UHF's pages at the Irish Family History Federation website (Antrim at and Down at each record costs 5 Euros to view. The main UHF website at has the same records available for £4 each, or £2 if you are a guild member (i.e. if you are happy to pay an annual membership of £30).

For a considerable time I had advocated a boycott of both the IFHF and UHF sites on cost grounds and on the lack of fields to help narrow searches down. However, with its considerably improved search interface and its reduction in prices, I recently came around to the much improved IFHF site, but with the rate of Sterling now plummetting fast against both the Euro and the Dollar, I should advise that it is now unfortunately much more expensive to use the IFHF sites to search for records for counties Antrim and Down. Five Euros is now worth about £4.80, which means if you use the IFHF site, each record will cost an extra 80 pence compared to the UHF site.

This is a real pity, as the IFHF have made considerable leaps and bounds with their site in recent months, and until just a couple of months ago, it was much cheaper to use than the UHF site. The reality of the credit crunch is that the exchange rate has unfortunately undone a great deal of the organisation's recent good work. It is to be hoped that the IFHF may look again at its rates in light of recent developments, as it is becoming increasingly more difficult to afford from a British point of view.

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