Tuesday, 8 February 2011

NAS: closure of West Register House

The National Archives of Scotland's premises will be opening its doors for the last time to the public on Friday 25th February 2011. From Monday 28th, access to National Archives collections will be exclusively available at General Register House.

I have to admit I will see this as a sad day. The premises at West Register House always felt a bit more modern, and with a smaller search room, just a bit more intimate and condusive to research. In preparation for the move the NAS has moved many key collections to General Register House, these being as follows:

AD14: Crown Office (criminal) precognitions, 1801-1900

BR/CAL/15: Caledonian Railway staff records, 1867-1935
BR/EDP/15: Edinburgh Perth and Dundee Railway and Scottish Central Railway staff records, 1856
BR/GNS/15: Great North of Scotland Railway staff records, 1870-1929
BR/GSW/15:Glasgow and South Western Railway staff records, 1890s-1930s
BR/HR/15: Highland Railway staff records, 1878-1957
BR/LMS/15: London Midland and Scottish Railway staff records, 1924-1948
BR/LNE/15: London and North Eastern Railway staff records, 1923-1947
BR/NBR/15:North British Railway staff records, 1867-1936

CS17: Court of Session: Printed General Minute Books, 1782-1990; Court Rolls1953-1973; Register of Decrees in Consistorial Causes, 1971-current.
CS96: Court of Session: productions in processes, 1495-1947
CS271: Court of Session: Bill Chamber Processes, Old Series, 1670-1852

JC26: Criminal Processes, 1550-1995

RH4: Microfilms of material not held by NAS, 12th - 20th centuries.

For those requiring access to the NAS plans collection, this will have to be done at Thomas Thomson House, though the service will not be available until the spring. I have been informed by a fellow genealogist that the ability to take photographs of original materials, trialled at West Register House, will continue to happen in the Historic Search Room, but without a camera stand, though I have yet to get official confirmation of that.

There is more on the development at the NAS website at www.nas.gov.uk/about/110202.asp

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all those at West Register House who have made it such a pleasurable environment within which to work over the last few years, and for all your unfailing assistance whenever asked for, whether that was the security team at the door or the archivists in the search room. I've no idea if staff will be redeployed in General Register House or Thomas Thomson House, but if not, best wishes to all for the future.


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Anonymous said...

Very sad news indeed. I have a few friends who work for the NAS and they say the reason given for closing is financial though all admit money is not going to be saved. Sadly, they also say that the NAS is no longer the happy place to work that it used to be in days gone by.

Anonymous said...

Not only is the West Search Room closing, but the NAS will disappear following a merger with the General Register Office for Scotland on 1st April (No joke,m in spite of the date!)

See link http://www.nas.gov.uk/about/101101.asp

Chris Paton said...

Yes, the merger was announced in December last year - see http://scottishancestry.blogspot.com/2010/12/more-on-gros-and-nas-merger.html


Anonymous said...

I used to work at the NAS (though not at WRH)and I'm still in contact with some people there. They say that morale amongst the staff is very low. If the truth be told, the NAS started going down hill after Patrick Caddell retired as Keeper.

Anonymous said...

"the NAS will disappear following a merger with the General Register Office for Scotland on 1st April"

So we will be the only nation in the world without a National Archives. The date, April 1st, was well chosen, it is a joke, and the whole world will laugh at us.