Saturday, 10 November 2012

Hawick Heritage Hub - ScotlandsPeople access

At the last meeting a question was asked about the ScotlandsPeople computer system and where access may now be possible in Scotland. The system has been accessible for a while at Edinburgh (obviously!), but also at the Mitchell Library  in Glasgow and the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock. There was something of a question mark about the Heritage Hub at Hawick (www.heartofhawick.co.uk/heritagehub/visit/), in that there was a Government announcement about this gaining access in June, and Fiona Hyslop was there for a launch, etc. All then seemed to go quiet for a bit and I was told by one person that this had been a bit of a pre-announcement and that they weren't quite ready!

However, I have just contacted them to ask what the situation is currently, and now have an update. The system is available at Hawick - but only on Thursdays and Fridays. It is actually even more restrictive than that, in that you can only gain access via two sittings between 9.30pm - 12pm, and then 2pm - 4.30pm (closed for lunch apparently). You can pay £15 for access to the morning session, and if the computer is free in the afternoon, you can continue to use it after it opens again. If booked for the afternoon, you lose your spot. If you choose to book an afternoon session only, it will still cost you £15. This is considerably less favourable access than Glasgow and Kilmarnock.

One other thing to note about the system outside of Edinburgh is that it does not include access to the digitised Roman Catholic records from the SCA, and from memory I think the records of Arms may also be missing (best to check in advance on that one!).

I was informed by a student the other night that Falkirk also had access - however, I called the archive there a couple of days ago and they denied all knowledge.

If anyone is aware of access being granted elsewhere in the country, please let me know and I will happily share the information.

Chris

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