On Monday the first tranche of school registers and log books held by nearly 100 regional archives was published online. This is a major achievement: The National Archives worked in partnership with the Archives and Records Association (ARA) to bring information in these collections together online and searchable for the first time in one place. The registers and logbooks have been digitised by DC Thomson Family History and made available via their website Findmypast.co.uk.
In 2010 as part of the implementation of Archives for the 21st Century, an ARA working group, together with The National Archives, sought to develop a national consortium approach for these records. This offered licensing opportunities for archive content to commercial digitisation companies. The working group asked archive services across England and Wales to scope possible options for a pilot digitisation consortium and by the far greatest response from all regions was for the digitisation of pre-1914 school admission registers.