England and Wales Census, 1871
I was just in the process of posting a "thank you" note, when I noticed you had closed your topic relating to an update on the 1871 census position.
I had always believed that the index for this set was provided courtesy of Find My Past but - looking at the citations against already attached sources - there appears no mention of this, it appearing this is FamilySearch indexed material.
If the latter is the case, it has been discovered there should be no contractual restrictions attached to continued publication (of the indexed records) on the FamilySearch website. Therefore, it would appear to be perfectly in line with a National Archives statement that FamilySearch can reintroduce its 1871 E&W collection.
However, if FamilySearch has provided these records via a third party (like Find My Past), it would be understandable that (for contractual reasons) it cannot continue with this arrangement.
If this is the position, is it possible to request a FamilySearch indexing project of the 1871 census be undertaken, in order to make this valuable material freely available once more?
N Tychonievich mod
@Paul W I am not privy to the contracts FamilySearch has with partners and archives and government entities. I worked with the engineers because of the inconsistency in the access provided to the general public to the 1871 census records on FamilySearch. They were able to check current access rights based on the contracts and told me that both index and images were restricted for the general public, but that when the access changed, some of the DGS numbers were missed in applying the new restrictions. They went through and applied the restrictions across the board.
That is the extent of my knowledge. I don't care to speculate further than what I actually know.0
Here's the complete text of both my FOI request and the answers of TNA to each question. This response was given on 10 December 2021.
- If TNA and FamilySearch International (or a related entity) have put in place a new contract, I request a copy of this contract.
The National Archives and Family Search have not put a new contract in place. They will no longer publish our images online. They are allowed to present our images in their library reading rooms [I assume this means FHCs and possibly Affiliate Libraries], which is in line with our general terms and conditions of use of copies of our records, as outlined in the attached document [no document was attached, and I didn't pursue this]. This is the most recent version, but the principle has been in place for many years.
- Does TNA know of any arrangement or mechanism through which FamilySearch could publish indexes and/or images of the UK censuses and other historical documents, without there being a direct contractual relationship between them and TNA?
The National Archives has no rights in any indexes or transcriptions created by Family Search. That information is their IP and they are free to do as they wish with it.
The same is true of indexes and transcriptions created by other third parties, therefore it is technically possible that there are agreements in place which The National Archives are not privy to.
We only have rights in our images, and onward licensing of said images is not contractually allowed without our knowledge. We cannot find evidence of any third party having such an agreement in place with FamilySearch to publish our images.0
The FOI response doesn't say whether FamilySearch needs permission to create an index or transcription, but I imagine they would. They could be a non-compete clause between FMP and FS as part of their partnership that prevents FS was indexing and publishing the 1871 census.0
Perhaps you could kindly confirm whether I am right in saying the TNA has no objection to FamilySearch publishing its own index, or does this position only apply to "pre-existing" indexes - and not to those that might be produced in the future?0
Thank you for your response. I probably misunderstood the nature of the response you had received from TNA, especially in relation to any indexes of E&W census records FamilySearch might choose to create in the future. Obviously, reciprocal agreements that are in place with Find My Past might also play be a factor here - even if FamilySearch have been responsible for the original indexing of this (or certain other) collections..0
Thank you for your response. In retrospect, I should have clarified certain points with A van Helsdingen first.
Of course, I know we cannot speculate on the nature of confidential contracts, but I thought there just might be a misunderstanding regarding rights of publishing the index, as opposed to the situation over images.
I'm sure you do understand the disappointment in our no longer being able to attach these FamilySearch sources to our relatives' Family Tree IDs, especially as the links to other websites often only lead to a Home page instead of the specific record you are seeking. Obviously, this issue won't affect nearly as many users, but imagine the outcry if one of the US census collections suddenly became unavailable on the FamilySearch website!
For others sharing the same disappointment as me at the loss of these records, I can recommend the FreeCEN website (free to access, as the name implies), although its coverage for 1871 is nowhere near complete. Other than that, as you point out, we can use FMP, Ancestry, etc. - which are free to access at many public libraries in the UK, as well as at FHCs and Affiliate libraries.
I did not mean to put you on the spot, so thank you again for your polite response.0