Wednesday, 21 October 2009

ScotlandsPlaces website online

A major new resource is now available online in the form of the ScotlandsPlaces website, a partnership site created by the National Archives of Scotland, the Royal Commission for the Ancient and Historical Records for Scotland, and the GIS department at the University of Edinburgh, with assistance from the Scottish Government. In short, ScotlandsPlaces is the geographical equivalent of ScotlandsPeople, and is currently in beta testing form.

The site lets users search across different national databases using geographic location, either by entering a place-name or a co-ordinate to search across its collections or by using an online maps to refine and define a search. The site offers information about Scottish places past and present, selected from the holdings of the partner organisations, including the following digital collections:

Maps and plans of cities, towns, villages, farms, roads, canals, harbours, churches, schools, public buildings, private houses, mines and quarries

Photographs of the built environment in The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland

Archaeological reports on historic and prehistoric sites

Manuscript records and printed books from millions of pages in government and private records, including tax rolls, owners of land and heritages, and the annual reports of county Medical Officers of Health.

Amongst the holdings are the 1797 Farm Horse tax returns for the country, the 1872-3 Royal Commission on the Owners of Lands and Heritages, 1891 Medical Officer of Health reports, and Hay Shennan, Boundaries of Counties and Parishes of Scotland 1892.

Believe me, you should brace yourself for a serious amount of fun...! The site can be accessed at

The site has been launched this week as part of the Scotland's Global Impact Conference at Inverness. The following news announcement is on the site:

RCAHMS and the National Archives of Scotland are proud to launch as part of the Scotland's Global Impact Conference taking place at Eden Court Theatre in Inverness this week.

The website will be officially launched by Culture Minister Michael Russell MSP this evening at Bishop's Palace Chapel. RCAHMS Head of Education and Outreach, Rebecca Bailey said, "As an educational resource it will add immense scope to local history projects or research into Scotland's past. It will also have great appeal for those people trying to unlock their own histories or the stories of their communities." Keeper of the Records of Scotland, George Mackenzie added, "We're delighted to be launching this website in Homecoming year because it will be of interest to Scots abroad as well as at home."

To celebrate the launch, visitors to Eden Court on 22-24 October can drop into the ScotlandsPlaces research clinic in the Bishops Palace Chapel, to try out the new website for themselves.

Well done to all concerned, and a huge thanks.

Professional genealogical problem solving and research

No comments: