brightsolid has issued the following news release:
Online publisher brightsolid has won a three-year deal to manage the hugely-successful family history site ScotlandsPeople. The site, with almost one million registered users and growing currently by more than 10,000 per month, is run in partnership with the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS). The contract, awarded by competitive tender, will run for three years from September 2010.
brightsolid is among the major online publishers specialising in family history and genealogy sites. It has operated the ScotlandsPeople site since 2002 and also owns the genealogy site Find My Past. Last month brightsolid completed the acquisition of FriendsReunited, including GenesReunited, from ITV plc (subject to approval by the competition authorities).
“This new contract to manage ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk in partnership with GROS is a significant one for brightsolid,” commented brightsolid chief executive Chris van der Kuyl. “We have developed an unparalleled expertise in processing, managing and presenting information for online audiences as well as providing hosting and customer service support.
“ScotlandsPeople is a world-leading web site that has built a real community of users worldwide, with that number rapidly approaching one million people. We look forward to continuing to build on that success with GROS with this new contract. We will continue to invest in providing enhanced services to the site, in partnership with GROS.”
The site contains more than 50 million records dating back to when national records of births, deaths and marriages began in Scotland in 1855. It also includes parish records, dating back as far as 1533, as well as other data including wills and testaments.
Mr Paul Parr, Deputy Registrar General of the General Register Office of Scotland, commented: “We are very proud of ScotlandsPeople. It is one of the leading sites of its kind worldwide, and has helped bolster the interest of the Scottish diaspora in the history of their country or the country of their ancestors, as well as providing a popular service for the Scottish public.
“This contract has been awarded after a keenly competitive tender process and we look forward to continuing the site’s progress and further development in partnership with brightsolid.”
A partnership between the General Register Office for Scotland, the National Archives of Scotland, The Court of the Lord Lyon and brightsolid (formerly Scotland Online), ScotlandsPeople is the official online source of parish register, civil registration, census and wills & testaments records for Scotland.
Containing over 50 million records, the ScotlandsPeople database is one of the world’s largest resources of genealogical information and one of the largest single information resources on the Web. It provides a fully searchable index of Scottish births from 1553-2006, marriages from 1553 to 1933 and deaths from 1855 to 2006.
In addition, indexed census data is available from 1841 to 1901 as well as Scottish Wills & Testaments from 1513 to 1901 and Coats of Arms records from 1672 to 1907. To respect privacy of living people, internet access has been limited to birth records over 100 years old, marriage records over 75 years, and death records over 50 years.
brightsolid began life in 1995 as Scotland Online and is a leading UK independent provider of IT business services to large public and private sector organisations. In 2007, brightsolid acquired Find My Past, an online family history site that was the first to put the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England and Wales online.
The company also successfully launched Ancestors on Board, the online passenger lists records resource, for The National Archives in January 2006. It included details of over 24 million travellers, including the historic details of the Titanic’s maiden voyage. brightsolid recently launched the group’s first, and Scotland’s only, online magazine Discover My Past Scotland. Headquartered in Dundee, the company is owned by the publishers D.C. Thomson and has offices in Edinburgh and London.