Thursday, 20 January 2011

Scottish censuses to join FindmyPast

So here's a bit of a development and a half...!

FindmyPast has uploaded a new blog post entitled What's in Store for 2011? at . Included in a series of UK wide developments are the following announcements of particular interest to Scottish research:

We’ll also be adding the 1841-1901 Scottish censuses to this year to expand our collection even further

We’ll launch exciting new records in association with The National Archives: Militia records, merchant seamen records and crime, courts and convicts records

Our hugely anticipated project with The British Library continues: digitising up to 40 million historic pages from the national newspaper collection. This is the most significant mass digitisation of newspapers ever in the UK

The addition of the census records, if it is to be on the same subscription basis as the English and Welsh records, will be a seriously useful development for those in Scotland who have been unsure about whether the site is worth the subscription fee, with the site at present mainly covering English and Welsh records.

At present, Scottish census records exist only in their entirety from 1841-1901 on two sites - ScotlandsPeople and Ancestry. The former site has the original images available, whereas Ancestry has a transcribed database but no images. The ScotlandsPeople site is in fact hosted by Brightsolid, FindmyPast's parent company, so it looks very likely that the images may appear on FindmyPast also. If so, and if included on the same subscription basis as the English records, this could turn out to provide seriously good value, particlarly considering the excellent job already done by the site on the military collections and the forthcoming additions of a significant amount of the British Library's newspapers.

More news when it comes...!

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


Caroline Gurney said...

This is fantastic news. The very big drawback of the Scotland's People site is that there is no subscription option. I never use it for speculative searches, or to trawl for distant cousins, as I do FMP and Ancestry, because the cost of buying credits quickly ratchets up. I know that paying an annual subscription is not everyone's preference but I do wish Scotland's People would give us the option, as most other sites do.

Chris Paton said...

Hopefully it will be included in the regular FMP subscription. I can't quite see what the point would be if they just added the records on the same basis as they already are via the SP site!

The GROS did announce a good while ago that it was looking to potentially license collections to other parties - I wonder if this was what they meant?!

Interesting few months ahead as we await more details!


genebrarian said...

I can hardly contain my excitement here! I find Scotlands People incredibly frustrating for the reason that Caroline mentions. No subscription option. The credit scheme is incredibly expensive, and I've put my Scottish research on hold for the last couple of years, due to the expense. The credit scheme is an incredibly old-fashioned model!

Chris Paton said...

SP is about to get more expensive - it rises to £7 for 30 credits from April.


Frank Hartles said...

It's now September 2011 and FMP are keeping very quiet on the release of the promised Scottish census records. Will it happen this year and will they be included with my present 'full' subscription?

Any thoughts?

Chris Paton said...

No reason to doubt they won't appear, but there is no timetable on their appearance. Most new records end up in the usual subscription, but again, no details have been announced.