General Register Offices Promises New Free Online Indexes to Births, Marriages and Deaths
The GRO has announced that the digitisation of GRO’s births, marriages and deaths records is moving forward and a new project, called the Digitisation and Indexing (D&I) Project, has been initiated.
The new project covers the digitisation of the records themselves together with indexing and upgrading the online certificate ordering process. No information is given about what information is likely to be included in the new indexes nor does it look as if the digital images of certificates themselves are likely to be made available online under the current legislation. In the age on digital online delivery of information it seems unbelievable that these records will only be available as certified paper copies.
However the annoucement does say the the future online index will be free to use thus complying with the statutory obligation to provide free access to the birth, death and marriage indexes.
We will have to wait and see how this will affect the business of the commercial online index providers. No timetable is given for the project and the free fiche indexes will remain in various libraries until the index is online.
It appears this project will complete the GRO’s ill fated EAGLE enterprise and finally enable the so called MAGPIE to fly. It remains to be seen how this is project brought to fruition but any progress must be welcome.
A set of Q&As on the Identity and Passport Agency website outlines information about GRO’s digitisation project
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