1911 census not available on fiche?

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Gwynne Chadwick
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Last seen: 32 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: Sunday, 19-06-2011

Hi,

Previously I have purchased from The National Archives, the micro fiche of every census, for my geographical area of interest.

However, on The National Archives web site, I can't see that the 1911 census will ever be available on micro fiche.
Does this mean that individuals, Records Centres, History Societies, etc. will always have to access the 1911 census via the commercial sites?

I do realize the 1911 census is a different format to previous census, being made up of many individual schedules.

Can anyone advise what the factual situation is please?  

Gwynne

http://www.rafbridgnorth.org.uk

 

Michael J Hulme
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Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011

Hello Gwynne

I would guess that microfiche is yesterday's technology and there seems to be little need or reason to put something on microfiche which has been scanned in colour and is available for download (for a fee) all over the world.

Whilst the 1911 census has been available on the 1911 census web site (pay to view only) and Find my Past.com (Pay as you go or Subscription) for some time it is now also becoming available on Ancestry for those who have credits or a subscription and it is also included in the Library Edition which is freely available at many local libraries and archives.

For those using the Find my past site they will find that the whole of the census page is now visible but for some strange reason on Ancestry the right hand column headed 'Infirmity' is still blanked out for reasons which I don't understand.

There are snags and advantages with using all the sites. Even though the 1911 census and Find my Past are essentially the same company the two sites use a different index system, so it can sometimes be better to do your initial search on 1911 census site and then change to Find my Past to access the census page. This is especially true if you have a subscription with Find my past.

Whilst Ancestry don't yet have full coverage of the UK they do now have Shropshire and they also have the census Enumerators Books which list the head of each household which can be very useful if you are working on a particular location like a village.

If you are intending to access any census from home it is far more economical to invest in a subscription to one of the above sites.

Mike

Atcherley.org.uk
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Last seen: 4 years 34 weeks ago
Joined: Sunday, 14-08-2011

I suspect that Mike is right. The world has moved on since the 1901 census was released, and microfiche seems to be going out of fashion - just as an example, there is an announcement on the TNA website saying: "Due to the increasing number of record series we are digitising, we no longer require many of the microfilms in our reading rooms. We are therefore offering the surplus microfilms, free of charge, via a lottery system."

With the internet providing a tried and tested platform for making images and data widely accessible and commercial enterprises more than willing to do the job, the question must be whether the set-up costs involved in transferring all those schedules onto microfiche would be recouped through the sale of the finished product (especially given that demand for such a product would likely be much lower than in the past).

For a definitive answer to the question of whether or not TNA will in the future release the 1911 census on microfiche (as opposed to my speculation!), I would suggest getting in touch with the organisation direct through its Contact Us page.

Finally, I should add to Mike's comments on the online availability of the 1911 census another source: The Genealogist, which like Ancestry has not yet transcribed the census in its entirety but should finish the job over the next few months. The 1911 census is available as part of the company's Diamond subscription package. I'm not a subscriber by the way, having been with Ancestry and Findmypast for some time now.

Steve

Michael J Hulme
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Joined: Saturday, 4-06-2011

Hello Everyone

I should clarify a point in my previous posting. At the present time Ancestry is still working on the 1911 census so you will find different levels of information for different counties.

For sometime they have had full coverage with the Census Enumerators Books which are indexed by surname only. This only includes the head of the household but can be useful if you can't find your family elsewhere or you just want to see the distribution of the name.

They are now bringing online the household forms. Shropshire images are available, not all counties are at present, BUT there is no index to Shropshire on Ancestry at the present time although some other counties have been indexed. Under 'Residence' there is a drop down list of the indexed counties. If you just want to browse the images look on the right hand side of the screen where there is another drop down list under 'Browse this collection' so you can see which counties have images available.

Mike

 

Gwynne Chadwick
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Last seen: 32 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: Sunday, 19-06-2011

Hi,

Thank you both for a very useful reply, as always.
I was hoping someone would correct my understanding of the situation.
I now fear the matter is fait accompli and nothing said here will change that.

Previously I've purchased census fiche from National Archives for approx. £3. each. All of Bridgnorth would cost me less than £20. per census. A one off cost.

To access the Bridgnorth 1911 census (all said tongue in cheek.  I do realize I'm not comparing like for like) it seems I now have two choices;

1) Pollute the planet and drive to a Library / Record Centre, pay parking charges, hope a computer is available, pay 10p per sheet to print the records, etc. etc.

or alternatively I could stay at home and
2) I could pay Ancest..... or others, £100. a year, for ever and ever and ever.

For my needs, buying the fiche was economical.

Mike quite understandably says "... microfiche is yesterday's technology and there seems to be little need or reason to put something on microfiche which ..."

However although I've always used a computer, the number of people (mostly Senior Citizens) that still use the fiche machines at the Archives illustrates their popularity. In my experience, they can be persuaded to use a fiche reader but never a computer. How do they now research?

Such is progress.

Gwynne

 

 

Atcherley.org.uk
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Last seen: 4 years 34 weeks ago
Joined: Sunday, 14-08-2011

Hi Gwynne

Once subscribed with one of the 1911 census providers, it is possible to download and save copies of the census schedule scans, so there isn't a requirement to remain subscribed for an indefinite period to retain access to the images. I have downloaded scores of 1911 census schedule images for future reference. (And now that the infirmity column is no longer redacted, at least at FMP, I will probably download them all again!)

It would still cost you rather more than £20 to do this of course, but then you would also get access to a wide range of other records which might prove useful, for the duration of whichever subscription package you choose (unless you choose a 1911 census-only package from FMP - 6 months for £39.95).

A cheaper way to get an Ancestry Worldwide membership (required for 1911 census access - all schedules are scanned but not all are yet transcribed) is to purchase Family Tree Maker World edition which includes a 6 month subscription (you don't have to use the software - many buy it just to get the Ancestry sub). The cost for this is around £70 - or better still, £30 of Tesco Clubcard vouchers! I'm not aware of any cost-cutting methods for obtaining a Diamond subscription at The Genealogist (there isn't even a 6 month option), although looking at the site today there is a £40 discount (total cost still over £100).

So there are various options available. Fore sure, none are as cheap as the fiche package previously available, but the costs are not necesssarily as high as you might think.

Steve