Wednesday, 13 April 2011

SAFHS newsletter now available

The latest newsletter of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies has been published at

In his Chairman's report, Bruce Bishop has noted that there has been a slight decline in membership across several societies and drops in product sales, possibly attributed to 'over-exposure' in Homecoming 2009 or possibly the current economic climate. A rather large elephant in the room might also be the increasing availability of resources online, not because the resources are online, but because of the false impression that may exist that everything can be achieved online. If you are currently trying to do your research online, society membership is still extremely useful, with many societies having impressive library facilities and above all, local knowledge. The report also adds a reminder to society members that possession of a membership card does allow you free access to other societies' libraries.

Amongst other news, the SAFHS conference on June 25th in Edinburgh is also discussed, and individual societies have added reports on their past year's activities, with some interesting developments. These include the Borders FHS Poor Law project in conjunction with the Scottish Borders Archives and Local History Centre in Hawick, which I've previously commented on as a great resource, and an interesting piece by Alloway and South Ayrshire about consideration of adopting a Creative Commons type approach to the members only area on its website, to facilitate the possible sharing of materials between societies.

One other piece of news is that Diane Baptie is retiring from ASGRA after many years as a member. I'm often asked about particular brick walls in research, often on the church records front, and Diane's guide Registers of the Secession Churches in Scotland is of one the most valuable books I have in my library. You can find it for sale through SAFHS (, and best of luck to her for the future.

(With thanks to the BI-Gen blog for announcing the report's availability)


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