Tuesday, 19 May 2015

What is the Scottish Archive Network?

Last Friday I attended the latest AGM of the Scottish Archive Network Ltd charitable trust, having been appointed one of the directors of the trust in 2013. The aims of the body are to "advance, promote, maintain, improve and encourage the education of the public in the education of the public in the appreciation of Scotland's history and in particular its documentary heritage by providing public access to Scotland's archives".

One of the key ways that we are trying to do this is in supporting the Scottish Council of Archives with the Scotland Online Catalogue Project (http://www.scottisharchives.org.uk/scotlandonline), which is attempting to modernise our access provision to online catalogues for many archives across Scotland. This is still a work in progress, but the long term purpose of the project is to hopefully update the holdings of, and eventually replace, the Scottish Archive Network catalogue available at www.scan.org.uk/catalogue.

We still have some way to go, but until this is achieved, the SCAN catalogue remains one of the most important workhorses for Scottish based genealogical research. Established in 1999, at present there are currently about 59,000 catalogue entries from some 52 archive based repositories across Scotland that are accessible on the site, of which some 28,000 are at fonds (collection) level, and about 18,500 at file or item level (i.e. the sort of description at which a person's name might pop up, a much more useful but more time consuming means to index a record). The site is at present maintained by the National Records of Scotland (www.nrscotland.gov.uk).

Equally valuable are the generic resources available on the main SCAN website at www.scan.org.uk, including glossaries of old Scots terms, currency converters, and various other useful tools and digitised collections 

So if you are carrying out Scottish research, in addition to using the National Records of Scotland's own dedicated catalogue at http://catalogue.nrscotland.gov.uk/nrsonlinecatalogue/welcome.aspx, it is always well worth searching the SCAN catalogue also for any research enquiries.

Good hunting! 


The latest British GENES podcast is available at http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/podcasts.html. For details on my latest book Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis, and my other genealogy guide books, please visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html.

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