Thursday, 6 May 2010

ScotlandsPeople Centre update - and the next ten years

Some interesting news from the ScotlandsPeople Centre.

The GROS is in the process of amending the search criteria for the OPR indexes so that it is possible to search for entries after 1854 in the ScotlandsPeople Centre. This is because there are instances after 1854 where birth, death or marriage information is included in the Old Parish Registers but not in the statutory records, most likely because some local registrars were not in place when civil registration commenced in 1855. The ScotlandsPeople Centre hopes to have its software amended in the next few weeks so that searching is permitted beyond 1854. The pay-per-view website ( automatically displays indexes for OPR entries made after 1854 that match the relevant search criteria.

The 1911 census is hoped to be launched simultaneously both at the Centre and at the pay-per-view website "no later than the 4 April 2011".

I mentioned before that the NAS was intending to increase access to its digitised wills collection. I was not sure if that was going as far as 1915 or 1925 - in fact, the good news is that it is the latter! These should be online by the end of the year but may be available first on the pay-per-view site prior to being available in the centre. Not sure if they might be available earlier at the NAS, which may be an option if they are slightly delayed for the centre?

The new ScotlandsPeople computer system is making itself further present in the Dundas Room, at seat D26, which can be used by season ticket holders if the Centre is not very busy, though during peak periods the seat will be sold to a customer. This seat is additional to seat D29, which is for the exclusive use of season ticket holders. I've commented often that I greatly favour the new system, as I think it offers much more potential for researchers at any one sitting than the old DIGROS terminals still running in the Dundas Room, though I know some prefer the search parameters of DIGROS, many of which are now being introduced to the new system.

The centre is holding a workshop on the May 11th to consider where ScotlandsPeople could be in 10 years time. I have very kindly been asked to attend - if anybody has any suggestions I will happily take them along. What would you like to see in the next decade from ScotlandsPeople, both from the Centre and/or the pay-per-view site? You can comment on this post (anonymously if you wish) or e-mail me privately, and I'll be happy to add your input if I can.

(With grateful thanks to Dee Williams)

Professional genealogical problem solving and research
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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