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TOPIC: Shock closure of Scottish Catholic Archives

Shock closure of Scottish Catholic Archives 01 Jul 2012 06:38 #467

  • Ian Scott
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Shock closure of Scottish Catholic Archives

A major shock to the Scottish archival community today - the Scottish Catholic Archive (www.scottishcatholicarchives.org.uk) at Columba House has suddenly been closed indefinitely. The full story as carried by The Herald is available at www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/an...ch-archives.18001562.

UPDATE: Further coverage at www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind...-GROUP&F=&S=&P=11830, and in a letter from Michael Turnbull in the Scotsman at www.scotsman.com/news/letters/archive-butchery-1-2382312

With thanks to Chris Paton's Blog at britishgenes.blogspot.com.au/


Ian Scott 7105
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Shock closure of Scottish Catholic Archives 01 Jul 2012 09:00 #468

Thanks for posting this Ian. I too am shocked to read of the closure the the Scottish Catholic Archives. I visited it in 2004 after meeting Andrew Nicoll at the Tay Valley FHS, were I was a member at the time. He gave me a personal tour and I was certainly impressed with his passion, energy and determination to make the SCA accessible to all. It was also certainly clear at the time he was probably shouldering a huge workload, and I think was the only paid staff member.

Unfortunately the Catholic Church appears to be short sighted when it comes to helping family historians. Despite numerous attempts over the past 30 years I have never had any joy or help from the Catholic Archives in Adelaide either.

I'm constantly amazed the church doesn't realise genealogy is a profitable business. Whilst I know they're not in that business, if the SCA is in financial trouble then surely they can insitute a small fee for use, or a subscription as has several County Record Offices throughout the UK. Recently the Essex Archives introduced subscriptions for varying time periods from a day to a week and longer. I paid the equivalenet of $20 for a week long subscription and was able to trawl 10 parish registers on line at any time I wanted. Consequently I have successfully traced another three generations of a hitherto elusive line. To have ordered 10 films through the LDS (if they have been allowed to film them at all) would have cost me nearly 4 times as much. I have no doubt these pay for view subscriptions are now helping the Essex Archives to pay for the filming of more records, not just the PRs and the wills. Surely the Catholic Church could think of allowing its Archives to do simiilar if finance is an issue?

And let's hope Andrew Nicoll's health improves as he is a great boon to the genealogical community. I was sorry to read he had been on long term sick leave.

Robyn Hukin
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