Author Topic: Suffolk parish registers to go online?  (Read 19062 times)

Offline helvissa

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Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« on: Tuesday 10 June 14 09:32 BST (UK) »
Hello all,

Someone I know who lives in Suffolk says that her husband saw in the paper that Suffolk parish registers are to go online sometime this year.

This would be AMAZING, but does anyone know anything more about it? I've tried looking for Suffolk newspapers to look the story up myself, but I can't find it.

It occurred to me that it's possible it might be part of FindMyPast's "100 record sets in 100 days" thing, but maybe they'd put them online themselves like wot Essex have done?

Has anyone heard anything? I'm on the verge of ordering some more microfiche, but digital images would be preferable.

Helen.

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Offline smudwhisk

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Re: Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 10 June 14 13:20 BST (UK) »
I saw something on the County Council website, probably the bit to do with the RO, that suggested they may be doing it in house so fingers crossed it'll be colour scans of the original registers and not the usual digitisation of the greyscale fiche/films of which a lot aren't that clear (as we own copies of quite a few on fiche). ;D  If they are due online later this year, I doubt it would be with FindMyPast unless they're not going to be indexed as it would take much longer to index them.  I've no issues with unindexed registers, no different to going through them at the RO or on fiche at home. ;)

The piece I saw suggested they wanted to rationalise opening hours, closing on a Wednesday each week, which would allow staff to digitise "the most popular collections". 

While in house may mean another SEAX, at least the RO would get all the income and would benefit the Record Office service.  Still cheaper than a regular trip to one of the Records Offices for most of us.
(KENT) Lingwell, Rayment (BUCKS) Read, Hutchins (SRY) Costin, Westbrook (DOR) Gibbs, Goreing (DUR) Green (ESX) Rudland, Malden, Rouse, Boosey (FIFE) Foulis, Russell (NFK) Johnson, Farthing, Purdy, Barsham (GLOS) Collett, Morris, Freebury, May, Kirkman (HERTS) Winchester, Linford (NORTHANTS) Bird, Brimley, Chater, Wilford, Read, Chapman, Jeys, Marston, Lumley (WILTS) Arden, Whatley, Batson, Gleed, Greenhill (SOM) Coombs, Watkins (RUT) Stafford (BERKS) Sansom, Angel, Young, Stratton, Weeks, Day

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Offline helvissa

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Re: Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 10 June 14 14:18 BST (UK) »
Ooooohhhhh!!! This is fab news!!!

I'd be happy with another SEAX - it wouldn't surprise me if they went down that road, seeing as they're right next door to Essex and can easily get some best practice tips from them about the best way to go about doing it.  The other thing is, it'll make it easier for people like me to access the images and transcribe them for things like FreeREG - at the moment, I am transcribing Suffolk parishes from my fiche, but I can only do it at work for half an hour at lunchtime, and then only because I happen to work in a library that has fiche reader! A lot of the older registers are quite hard to read on fiche where the ink has faded, so would be a bit better as a colour scan.

The other thing of course is that digital preservation is a really important thing to do, and it's possible these days and should be exploited. I mean, even down to me scanning every photo in my Grandma's album, even down to the most random thing!

Offline smudwhisk

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Re: Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 10 June 14 14:39 BST (UK) »
Problem with the fiche, and not just with those from Suffolk, is that when they were microfilmed (often by the LDS) whoever was doing it wasn't really interested in quality control unfortunately.  So many are blurred or they've let to much light into the images in places.  Then on some the ink on the reverse page has bled through and affects the readability.  Really annoying and doesn't help when both ancestry and FindMyPast seem set on mainly digitising from the fiche.  We've had to look at quite a few original registers at times in the Suffolk RO because the fiche have been unreadable.  It would really be nice if they did digitise the originals in colour but only time will tell.

Yes we're were thinking of ordering some more fiche but will probably hold off now to see if this does go ahead. ;D
(KENT) Lingwell, Rayment (BUCKS) Read, Hutchins (SRY) Costin, Westbrook (DOR) Gibbs, Goreing (DUR) Green (ESX) Rudland, Malden, Rouse, Boosey (FIFE) Foulis, Russell (NFK) Johnson, Farthing, Purdy, Barsham (GLOS) Collett, Morris, Freebury, May, Kirkman (HERTS) Winchester, Linford (NORTHANTS) Bird, Brimley, Chater, Wilford, Read, Chapman, Jeys, Marston, Lumley (WILTS) Arden, Whatley, Batson, Gleed, Greenhill (SOM) Coombs, Watkins (RUT) Stafford (BERKS) Sansom, Angel, Young, Stratton, Weeks, Day

Offline helvissa

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Re: Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 10 June 14 14:42 BST (UK) »
It really defeats the object when they eschew quality-control.....  >:( "Marvellous, thank you for this illegible cobblers."

Wonder if it's worth dropping SRO a line to ask what's happening? Would they tell us, or is it top secret?

Offline smudwhisk

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Re: Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 10 June 14 15:09 BST (UK) »
Just found this via google, they're unconfirmed minutes from a 12 March 2014 Committee Meeting - http://www.rootschat.com/links/0138a/.  Unfortunately I get the impression that the inhouse digitisation may be for less "popular" collections, and they may use one of the 3rd party companies like FindMyPast or ancestry to digitise the parish records. :(  I hope this isn't the case because if they just digitise the fiche, all that will happen is that people will still have to view the originals because of the poor quality of quite a few of the fiche. :-\  Which appears to defeat the object they want on reducing the use of these collections.  The agenda relating to these unconfirmed minutes can be found here under Scrutiny Committee 12 March 2014 Agenda Item 5 - http://www.rootschat.com/links/0138b/.

Oh well, fingers crossed they decide to do a SEAX rather than working with one of the 3rd party companies. :-\ 

The only plus side may be with FindMyPast because in the case of the recently released Shropshire PRs, they are in colour but were digitised apparently by Worcester RO's Digitisation Service, and Devon PRs (or at least the ones I've looked at) are also in colour.  Although in the latter I don't know if FindMyPast digitised them or they were done for the RO.

Although the initial digitisation costs would be higher, if they digitised them themselves and hosted them in-house, I would imagine they'd make far more money than if it went to a 3rd party company.
(KENT) Lingwell, Rayment (BUCKS) Read, Hutchins (SRY) Costin, Westbrook (DOR) Gibbs, Goreing (DUR) Green (ESX) Rudland, Malden, Rouse, Boosey (FIFE) Foulis, Russell (NFK) Johnson, Farthing, Purdy, Barsham (GLOS) Collett, Morris, Freebury, May, Kirkman (HERTS) Winchester, Linford (NORTHANTS) Bird, Brimley, Chater, Wilford, Read, Chapman, Jeys, Marston, Lumley (WILTS) Arden, Whatley, Batson, Gleed, Greenhill (SOM) Coombs, Watkins (RUT) Stafford (BERKS) Sansom, Angel, Young, Stratton, Weeks, Day

Offline helvissa

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Re: Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 10 June 14 16:33 BST (UK) »
Oooh well done finding that - yes, it does sound a bit suspiciously that it would be a 3rd party like Ancestry or FindMyPast. Those sites are really going for it - it doesn't seem a week goes by without another county's parish registers going online!

Just hope the quality's ok...

Offline pjm99

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Re: Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 11 June 14 07:33 BST (UK) »
Hi,
This is extracted from the Executive Summary of the [SCC] Digitisation Strategy document:

Content creation
•   Create more online catalogues describing Suffolk’s heritage collections and digitised heritage material using a variety of business models including working with commercial companies
•   Create staff capacity for doing digitisation work in Suffolk Record Office by reviewing current practices, including opening hours, and realigning staff resources

Processes and procedures
•   Ensure born digital records for permanent retention are captured for the permanent archive at an early stage as a matter of urgency.
•   Ensure CSD or its successor is effective in regularly capturing, monitoring backing up and preserving the integrity of digital records and metadata, to established national standards and best practice

Infrastructure
•   Focus most archive digitisation projects in Ipswich Record Office to make best use of equipment and rooms, undertaking a small upgrade within existing budgets
•   Invest current staff and budget resource in researching options and the business case for an upgrade or successor to Suffolk Heritage Direct to increase its functionality and create longer term efficiencies
•   Ensure the needs of specialist heritage services are clearly articulated in the specification for CSD's work and that of its successor

This seems to indicate internal staff resources rather than an external 3rd party is what they are looking at.

Peter
Allen, Brown, West - Berkshire
Caesar, Dicker, Lamden, West - Hampshire
Hicks, Martin, Masters - Kent, Middlesex
Hancox/Hancock/Hancocke - Warwickshire
Gardner - Devon
Traylen - Essex & Jersey

Offline andycand

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Re: Suffolk parish registers to go online?
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 11 June 14 08:10 BST (UK) »
Hi

Other Counties seemed to have digitised from original registers held by the relevant Archive and not from film or fiche. This could be related to copyright as well as quality. When the film/fiche was originally created there would have been agreements as to the use of such film/fiche.

Also, permission from the current Parish incumbent would be required before posting online. Whilst in most cases permission is granted there are a small number of Parishes that have refused permission.

Andy