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Scottish Archive Network
Facts and Figures
Quantity of historical records in Scottish archives:
Over 100Km (60 miles) of historical records from the 12th century to the present
Online catalogues:
More than 20,000 collections listed

Scottish Archive Network Links
Hundreds of useful archive and history links

Wills and Testaments:
500,000 wills and testaments from 1500-1901 digitised, preserved and indexed - 4 million pages of information

3 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, 1 million of matched funding (in the form of accommodation, digitisation and other services) from the National Archives of Scotland and the Genealogical Society of Utah.

Number of visitors to the Network's websites:
In 2002 - over 500,000
In 2003 - over 1 million

The Network
The Scottish Archive Network is part of a nationwide endeavour to open up archive collections to a wider audience. In August 1999 agreement was reached between over 40 Scottish archives to co-operate on a huge cataloguing and digitisation project. Since then more archives have joined the project, taking the number of participants to 52: from Shetland Archives in the north to Dumfries Archive Centre in the south, from the Clan Donald Centre on Skye in the west to Aberdeen City Archives in the east. They include the archives of 25 local councils and health boards, the archives and special collections of 12 universities or centres of higher education, national institutions, such as the National Archives of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland, the Scottish Screen Archive and Scottish Theatre Archive, and other specialist archives, such as the Royal College of
Nursing Archives, the Royal Bank of Scotland Group Archives, and the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre. For a full list of participating archives go to http://www.scan.org.uk/aboutus/participatingarchives.htm

Wills And Testaments
The Scottish Archive Network has carried out the largest digitisation project involving original records in the world - the digitisation of all surviving registers of wills and testaments of Scots from 1500 to 1901. In partnership with digitisation specialists from the Genealogical Society of Utah, the Network acquired state-of-the-art digital cameras, and in four years digitised over 4 million pages of information. Preservation of the records goes hand in hand with the key aim of making the documents accessible. At a crucial time in the life-span of these records - which are suffering from wear and tear of centuries of handling, accelerated by repeated photocopying - the Scottish Archive Network has funded the repair of the original records by expert conservation staff and facilitated the long-term preservation of this important series of historical records in environmentally controlled storage at the National Archives of Scotland. Previously searching through the original volumes was difficult and time-consuming. Now readers see digital surrogates, using a brand new unified index, locating the information they want in a fraction of the time. In addition online users worldwide can search the unified index for free.

What's Happening In Scottish Archives
Recent advances in digital technology and telecommunications have allowed the Scottish Archive Network to change the way Scottish history is presented on the Internet. Many Web resources display small numbers of images. The Scottish Archive Network makes whole volumes and series of historical records accessible - the equivalent of millions of pages of information. Where other archival conversion projects digitise from microfilm, resulting in cheap, low quality images, the Scottish Archive Network digitise from original records, as far as possible, producing high quality, full colour images. On 23rd October 2003 at the Hub, a Digital Archive will be added to the
www.scan.org.uk website, and in the following months a huge amount of historical records will be added to this putting the raw material of history into living rooms, classrooms, libraries, and Internet cafes on an unprecedented scale. In this way thousands can access records online, which until now were seen by only a few researchers each year. As well as digital versions of entire volumes and series of records there are online exhibitions and special education resources.

Online Catalogues
Over the centuries Scotland's archives have accumulated an immense information resource. The Scottish Archive Network has addressed a large proportion of this - over 20,000 collections of records from government departments, local authorities, hospitals and health boards, businesses, estates and other corporate bodies. In the past these were catalogued in a variety of paper and electronic formats. The Scottish Archive Network's cataloguing team converted these older styles of catalogue to a unified electronic format, conforming to international standards for exchange of archive data. Now that this catalogue data is available to the public in a single electronic format online, researchers can find out what collections are held and where, and better plan their research. The online catalogue will be added to the Network's website (at
www.scan.org.uk) at the Hub on 23rd October 2003. The website also contains a variety of research tools, which help researchers make sense of historical records.

The Future
The SCAN project is currently digitising other resources, with the intention of making them accessible through the Scottish Documents website in future. These include kirk session records of the Church of Scotland from the 16th century to 1902. The online catalogues and research tools will continue to be developed. The Scottish Archive Network is co-operating with other archive, information and genealogy projects, such as the Scottish Council on Archives and the Scottish Family History Service project.