Wednesday, 3 August 2011

West Calder's Poor Law Inspector

Here's a new one on Twitter - the Poor Law Inspector. From the blurb on his profile page:

I am Councillor Alexander Smith; Poor Law Inspector for West Calder Parish. I decide upon lives brought to the point of dependence by illness and injury.

The Twitter feed provides a semi-regular update in real time of cases and notes as recorded in the West Calder poor law records. The tweets are unfortunately not dated, but do provide an idea of the kinds of material that can be found. The address if you wish to follow is @PoorInspector

For more on West Calder's poor law records, visit - the records are held by West Lothian Archives. NB: There is a one hundred year closure period for access.

(With thanks to Kirsty Wilkinson and Carole Riley for the Twitter feed)

UPDATE: The original records referred to in the tweets date to 1896. There is more on the project at

(With thanks again to Kirsty)



Alison said...

Thanks for this. Just to note, hashtags have a specific meaning in Twitter i.e. start with #whateverhere

@username is someone's Twitter u/n.

Chris Paton said...

Sorry Alison, more haste less speed! Have changed it.


The Professional Descendant said...

There's a little more about Alexander Smith and his twitter feed on the Lothian Lives website at

I'm surprised the twitter account doesn't give a link to the archive where the original records can be consulted (or at least a bit more information), but it seems an innovative way for an archive to increase awareness of its holdings.


Chris Paton said...

Thanks Kirsty, I see the feeds date to 1896, so will amend my original post.