The centre now has 20 terminals, 15 of which can be pre-booked and 5 of which can be obtained on a first-come first served basis. As before the opening hours are 9.30am-4.00pm, Monday to Friday, though I’ve been told that may be reviewed in due course to tie in more with the opening hours of the Mitchell itself, though nothing is on the cards just now. The cost for a day’s access to the records, still available through the old DIGROS system, and not the new ScotlandsPeople system (as used at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh), remains £14. The following are the new contact details:
Genealogy Centre, Mitchell Library, Third Floor, North Street, Glasgow, G3 7DN
Telephone: 0141 287 8364
One further advantage to the new service, apart from additional seats, is the additional microfilm back up for OPR records. Previously at Park Circus this was for records for the Strathclyde region only; however the Mitchell has its own set of OPR microfilms covering much further afield, including parishes in Perthshire, Invernessshire and beyond. The old Park Circus collection of microfilms was not yet in the building, but will be from tomorrow I have been told, so nothing has been ditched! The Mitchell, of course, also has its own very substantial collection of monumental inscription books. All of these resources are based in the room next door to that occupied by the Genealogy Centre.
Equally helpful now at the Mitchell are two terminals within Glasgow City Archives carrying the new kirk session records collections, as digitised by Scottish Documents (through an agreement by the NAS in partnership with the Church of Scotland). As well as the session minutes there are also digitised returns for presbyteries, synods and the General Assembly, as well as many nonconformist registers as handed in to the NAS in 1929, when the United Free Church rejoined the Church of Scotland. Those churches which remained independent (Wee Frees etc) are not included. There are only two terminals providing access, and the monitors are rather small compared to those at the NAS, which is a slight disadvantage, and the computers were quite slow in launching the collections – not sure if that is because the computers are a bit old or whether some connectivity issue. However once the collections were launched I found it relatively easy to step through a page at a time, so this is another very welcome tool for the family historian in the Glasgow area. I suspect having only two terminals with the record sets may be optimistic though once word gets out! Bear in mind that Glasgow City Archives is on the second floor, and not the third.
For those like myself based in the west of Scotland, this will now provide a more integrated family history research service at the Mitchell, making it less imperative to have to visit Edinburgh on all occasions. The ScotlandsPeople Centre does remain a slightly superior set up, simply because it has a great many miscellaneous records and with the NAS available to hand; nevertheless for researchers like myself, this does mean that for a great deal of work can now be done in Glasgow, which should make some client work slightly cheaper simply through the savings in travel costs. And for the great and the good of Glasgow - it's all there waiting to be explored now on your own doorstep!
One other quick update - if you don't fancy lunch at the Mitchell's cafe, there is now a new Tesco Metro on Kent Road just across the road, where you can get sandwiches etc!
Professional genealogical problem solving and research
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)
Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)