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Anguline Research Archives.
An organisation dedicated to bring rare books on CD at an affordable price, to the local history researcher and to the family history researcher.

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Open Historic Registers now.

Almost 100 years ago a Royal Commission on Public Records appointed to inquire into and report on the state of the public records and local records of a public nature of England and Wales stated in their report-

We see no good reason in principle for forbidding searchers to take copies at their own risk. The existing restriction rests merely of financial grounds and we think that it should be removed.”

That being the case why are they still restricted now?

Sample letter to your M.P.

[your address]

[date]

[your MP's name] MP
House of Commons
LONDON
SW1A 0AA


Dear [your MP's name],

Campaign to historic registers now

I am writing to you to express my concerns that in spite of recommendations from the Royal Commission on Public Records recommendation in 1914 and the intentions of government White Papers in 1990 and 2002 no action has yet been taken to allow public access to historic civil registers.

It is a legal requirement that accurate indexes for civil registers are made and held by Superintendent Registrars and the Registrar General. The current indexes are flawed containing many omissions and errors.

This undermines the rule of law and creates a great injustice from parties not being able to get information from the registers.

You may be unaware but civil registers at the GRO were open to public inspection until 1898 because it was recognised that the indexes were flawed.

The then Registrar General closed the civil registers held at the GRO because life insurance companies merely checked the cause of death and did not buy certificates and also it was thought that the attendants might be bribed to alter a register.
To close access to registers because it was thought that civil servants could be bribed to alter registers is a pretty damming attitude and shows the confidence the government have in civil servants.
Any loss of revenue could easily be made up by a small charge to access the opened registers as described later.

The registers held by superintendent registrars were open to access until 1973 when they were closed due to lack of staff to supervise the registers and the volume of request was reaching unmanageable proportions.

However in the 21st century technology is in place to allow the registers, both centralised and local to be digitised, the public could then access the digital facsimiles online and at the county record offices (CROs).

A third party company could tender to scan the registers at no cost to the CROs, GRO or taxpayer and pay a licence fee to hold the images online.
This would allow provision of free access at the CROs and 24 hour access by subscription online.
An additional advantage would be that staff at the CROs and at the GRO could be freed up to concentrate of the current registrations.

Please support the campaign by raising the issue in parliament.

Yours sincerely,

[your name]

Insert the relevant details in between the square brackets and remove the brackets


A shorter letter could be


[your address]

[date]

[your MP's name] MP,
House of Commons,
LONDON,
SW1A 0AA


Dear [your MP's name],

Campaign to historic registers now

I am writing to you to express my support for the campaign to allow public access to historic civil registers.
You may be unaware but civil registers at the GRO were open to public inspection until 1898 because it was recognised that the indexes were flawed and the registers held by superintendent registrars were open to access until 1973

21st century technology is in place to allow the registers, both centralised and local to be digitised, the public could then access the digital facsimiles online and at the county record offices (CROs).

A third party company could tender to scan the registers at no cost to the CROs, GRO or taxpayer and pay a licence fee to hold the images online.
This would allow provision of free access at the CROs and 24 hour access by subscription online.
An additional advantage would be that staff at the CROs and at the GRO could be freed up to concentrate of the current registrations.

Please support the campaign by raising the issue in parliament.

Yours sincerely

[your name]

It is always better to write your own letters but the above may give an idea for anyone who is at a loss what to write.
The more people who contact their M.Ps. the more chance of gaining access to the historic registers.

These registers are your heritage.
They are archived for your information
Please help to make it Easier and Cheaper to access them