Archiver > CARMARTHENSHIRE > 1999-11 > 0943961416

From: <>
Subject: Re: 1901 Census Project
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 11:30:16 -0000

Hello All,

I found reference on another list to the press release reproduced below:

DERA Press Release - 18 November 1999
DERA Technology revamps 1901 Census Returns
The UK's Defence Evaluation and Research Agency (DERA) is making available
on-line the Census details of around 32 million individuals living in England and
Wales in 1901. Researchers on genealogy, who are the third biggest users of
the Internet, will be delighted with this news.

Census returns are not released for 100 years for reasons of personal
confidentiality - the 1901 Census is the next to be released in January 2002. The
Keeper of Public Records today announced the appointment of DERA as the
prime contractor for the digitisation of the 1901 Census returns.

Currently recorded on microfilm and comprising about 1.5 million pages, the
details on the returns will be turned into an index of individuals with links to
digital images of the original enumeration register page. This will be the first time
the original images and associated index have been made available in electronic
format to a worldwide audience.

>From January 2002, the new DERA digitised system will be accessible on the
Internet. Genealogy researchers will also be able to access the service by
calling into the Family Records Centre of the Public Records Office.

DERA in partnership with Enterprise Supply Services (part of the Prison Service),
Applied Net Ltd and Comax (part of Amey plc), will find the data input task of
the longhand records an enormous one - in 1901 there were no computers.
Enterprise Supply Services will use the services of inmates to input the data
twice (double keying method) with cross-checking software to ensure the best
possible level of accuracy.

Applied Net Ltd will configure the database and create the website that will
enable the data to be indexed and searched remotely, and, in view of the large
numbers of genealogy researchers, the site will be sized for some 1 million
visitors a day over the initial period.

[End of press release]

You may be wondering what DERA, which is an Agency of the UK Ministry of
Defence has to do with Genealogy. From their web site we find that apart from
being a research organisation which exists primarily to support MOD, DERA is
'encouraged to seek work on commercial terms from other Government

DERA also state that they have expertise in the creation and management of
information and databases associated with their custodianship of the
considerable amount of scientific and technical data available to producers of
military hardware.

OK so far?

But how about using prison inmates to do the transcribing?

I wonder what Listers think of this ( are you 'delighted' )? It has already been
announced that searches on-line will have to be paid for; once in the index and
again for a detailed look-up.
And with a million visitors a day (their figures) will be a nice little earner.
Will the accuracy of the records reflect this?


Dave Hanson

Llandingat (Llandovery) LEWIS
Myddfai LLOYD

This thread: