Friday, 11 March 2011

National Records of Scotland - official announcement

As announced here on February 28th, the GROS and the NAS are to merge to form the National Records of Scotland. The Scottish Government website has now made an official announcement at

National Records of Scotland

A new body - the National Records of Scotland - will start work on April 1, Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop announced today.

The date will mark the official merger of the General Register Office for Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland, as part of the Scottish Government's programme to simplify and streamline public bodies.

The National Records of Scotland will be responsible for :

* Preserving, protecting and promoting Scotland's national archives
* The registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships, deaths, divorces and adoptions
* Running the census
* Publishing information about Scotland's population and households
* Connecting everyone with Scots ancestry to information about their past

Ms Hyslop said:

"At a time when it has never been more important to maximise the value of public spending in Scotland, the Scottish Government is determined to make our public services simpler, sharper, better co-ordinated and more responsive.

"The new body will build on the excellent work which is already being done, continuing to reach out to everyone interested in Scotland's demography, history and family history. It will have an important role to play in promoting Scotland's unique culture and in supporting Scotland's economy, both through the statistics it publishes and its contribution to ancestral tourism.

"This merger is entirely in line with the Government's commitment to simplify the public bodies landscape in Scotland. Through our Simplification Programme, we have already delivered a reduction in the number of public bodies from a baseline of 199 to 147 (at 1 April 2011).

"We are on track to reduce this further to 115 by the end of 2011, as well as delivering estimated net savings of around £125 million by 2013 and net recurring annual savings of around £39 million thereafter.

"The merger of the General Register Office for Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland will help us to achieve that aim, making savings for the taxpayer while maintaining the high quality of services provided."

The amalgamation will see the existing functions of the General Register Office for Scotland and the National Archives of Scotland continue under the National Records of Scotland.

The two bodies already work closely to provide a service to family historians, both at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh and online at That cooperation will be strengthened, and widened to other functions, offering the opportunity to streamline administration, particularly on the finance function.

The new body will be headed by the Registrar General for Scotland, Duncan Macniven, and the Keeper of the Records of Scotland, George MacKenzie.

NB: I asked a member of staff about the impact of the merger on the general public when at the NAS on Wednesday, and was informed that on a day to day level, the public will not notice that much of a change at the user level, the real differences will be when it coems ot internal management, procurement etc. However, expect some rebranding on the NAS and GROS websites in the near future, and I suppose it's not impossible that they may both join together in a single website - we'll just have to wait and see!

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

Tracing Your Family History on the Internet (Even newer book!)

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