Accessibility of recent GRO Indexes
At the beginning of the year I received an email on behalf of one of our member societies asking if I would raise the issue of the accessibility of the more recent GRO indexes in the North East. I contacted the GRO and they immediately agreed to give this some consideration. Since then we have exchanged emails on this topic from time to time and I am delighted that I can now advise you of the following announcement from GRO.
As you are aware, the General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) provides free public access to the index of events for birth, marriage, death, civil partnership, adoption and overseas records. This information is made available in microfiche format at a number of libraries and record offices across England and Wales.
The list of centres acting as host sites for the complete set of the GRO indexes is being extended to provide greater geographic coverage and from 14 November will include Newcastle City Library.
Please note that from 28 October, the indexes will no longer be available to view at the London Metropolitan Archives.
From 14 November the list of centres holding a complete set of GRO indexes including those for more recent events will be as follows -
- Birmingham Central Library
- Bridgend Local and Family History Centre
- City of Westminster Archives Centre
- Manchester City Library
- Newcastle City Library
- Plymouth Central Library
- The British Library.
Further details on the records available can be found on the Directgov website http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentcitizensandrights/Registeringlifeevents/Familyhistoryandresearch/DG_175464
I recognise that those who have been using the indexes at London Metropolitan Archives may be unhappy with this outcome but as there are still two places in London where the indexes can be viewed this seems to be an equitable solution. To my mind the GRO is to be congratulated on responding in this positive manner.
FFHS Archives Liaison
13 October 2011