Saturday, 30 June 2012

Shock closure of Scottish Catholic Archives

A major shock to the Scottish archival community today - the Scottish Catholic Archive ( Columba House has suddenly been closed indefinitely. The full story as carried by The Herald is available at

Historian Tom Devine is quoted in the piece as stating the following: "Whatever the merit of the decision to disperse the Scottish Catholic Archives – and they are few to the point of invisibility –- this development is the latest in a long line of mismanagement and indifference to the interests of those who use the archives, and now to the loyal staff."

For much of the saga leading up to this point see my previous post from six weeks ago at of luck to archivist Andrew Nicoll and colleague for the future.

God certainly moves in mysterious ways...

UPDATE: Further coverage at, and in a letter from Michael Turnbull in the Scotsman at

(With thanks to @genealogygirl Kirsty Wilkinson)

COMMENT: One of the really tragic things about this from the genealogist's point of view is that archivist Andrew Nicoll had been working his socks off to try to trace additional parish registers and records from across Scotland, with some success, and had already published an excellent reference book on Scottish Catholic parish registers (see, with additional works to come. Many parish records have already been made available on ScotlandsPeople, but there are additional records that have been found that have not yet made it online. Quite apart from the impact on the archive community, will this now mean that these additional records will not appear, or further effort be made to locate similar additional resources?


Check out my Scotland's Greatest Story research service
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)

1 comment:

  1. I am so sorry to read this, particularly the news that Andrew Nicoll is unwell. He was incredibly kind and helpful to me when I visited the TVFHS research centre back in the 1990s and equally so on the TVFHS mailing list. It sounds like he has been treated disgracefully.