This letter has been received from Richard Roger at the University of Edinburgh via the Worcestershire Local History Forum.

Dear Chairman

I am contacting you because I believe local and family history societies deserve better access to the historical census ie those of 1861-1911, and of course 1921 in due course. This digitised resource, funded by The National Archives out of taxation, has been limited in its utility by the paywall which is operated by and others.

I have written an article explaining why this arrangement impairs local historical studies, and why it should be amended. The location of the data I have used to illustrate this argument has little to do with your area, but the principle is the same: making the public pay twice to see public records is no longer acceptable.

Here is the link to the paper. There are no copyright limitations by agreement with the publisher, Edinburgh University Press. So please distribute the paper to your members as you see fit. Link to paper

Just cut and paste the link in your browser

Yours sincerely,

Richard Rodger, FRHS, FAcSS

Professor Emeritus, University of Edinburgh