Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Family trees online?

They’re not even on paper - Times Online:

"It was supposed to be the project that would drag one of the nation’s favourite hobbies into the 21st century. More than 250 million records of births, marriages and deaths - a family history of Britain since 1837 - should have been freely available to search online by next May. However, the multimillion-pound scheme has suffered the same curse as many Government IT projects.

It is now running over a year late, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and “mid to late 2009” is the new best guess for when the online index will be available.
Meanwhile, the traditional method of finding the information is about to get harder as the longstanding paper versions are removed from public view - a move that has infuriated historians, genealogists and amateur sleuths trying to trace their family trees.
This normally mild-mannered band, swollen in recent times by the many people inspired to trace their ancestors by Who Do You Think You Are?, the BBC TV programme, are unhappy.

. . . .

In October the Family Records Centre in London will begin boxing up the huge bound volumes of indexes that for many years have been the starting point for thousands of historical hunts.

They will be sent to storage in Dorset and from then until the new Digitisation of Vital Events (Dove) online scheme takes flight, researchers who need to conduct a national search for a “vital event” before 1984 will have to rely on examining a microfiche on the upper floor of the centre. There will be even more disruption in March when the facilities are moved from their home in Islington, North London, to the National Archives in Kew, West London.

The closure of the Centre’s office in Islington has been brought forward from March 2008 to November in part because the ONS, which must vacate its present site in Pimlico, needs a new building.



Post a Comment

<< Home