Sunday 19 August 2012

Scottish Catholic Archives reprieved

I've received a Tweet this morning from historian Michael Turnbull, one of the more prominent voices campaigning against the dispersal of the Scottish Catholic Archives collections in Edinburgh, to say that the facility has now been reprieved. Sure enough, an article from the Edinburgh Evening New earlier in the week has quoted Andrew Nicoll, the keeper of the archive, as saying that he is now confident that the facility will remain open for business and intact. The full article is at

In the piece the press office for the Catholic Church is still saying that no decisions have as yet been taken on the long term future for the archive, whilst Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti of Glasgow has come out with an "it wasn't me guv" comment on the handling of the issue.

The SCA's website now has the following message on display:

The Scottish Catholic Archives is currently operating reduced reading facilities at Columba House in Edinburgh during August. It is hoped to increase access further during September before resuming normal service as soon as possible. To make arrangements for visiting the SCA and conducting research, please email in the first instance, and staff will be in contact as soon as possible.

A recent online petition generated by genealogist Janet Bishop against the closures (see, which this blog and many readers supported, generated 745 names and was presented to the Catholic Church last weekend. To all who supported it, a huge thanks - Edinburgh now retains both a great archive and a great archivist.

Good luck to Andrew and to the SCA for the future!

(With thanks to Michael Turnbull)


Check out my Scotland's Greatest Story research service
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)

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