trawling through reels of census microfilm in a windowless, airless
basement in the old PRO or in a record office, library or family
history society isn't your favourite pastime, why not browse through
those records in the comfort of your own home?
With the use of personal computers becoming more widespread, the
ideal solution to making the census records easily accessible to
the general public was to transfer those records from fiche (reduced
images of photographed documents) to CD-ROM.
One of the pioneers in this field is S&N
Genealogy Supplies/British Data Archive, a UK-based, family-run
company. Their catalogue of Census CD-ROM sets now covers all of
the English and Welsh counties for 1841-1901.
The CDs are very simple to use. The census images can be viewed
using the Adobe Acrobat browser provided with the CDs. They are
bookmarked by piece number, and street or area indexes are also
provided, enabling you to locate your particular area of interest
and the sub-district or piece number which covers that area. Once
images are displayed on your screen, you can zoom in and out, move
the image around, and even rotate the image 90 degrees, something
that can be useful when printing.
What sets S&N apart from the competition is the quality of their
products. Each page has been scanned several times to get the best
possible results. If some are missing or unreadable on the original
microfilm or fiche, those images are obtained from the PRO and included
on the CDs. S&Ns census CD sets cover most of the English and
Welsh counties, even if some of those counties CD sets are not economically
To learn more about those products, click here.
To read reviews of Census CDs click here.