I am making a request under the Freedom of Information Act and paragraphs 6 and 9 of Regulation 14 of The Re-use of Public Sector Information Regulations 2015
I am seeking the texts of the contracts between The National Archives and Ancestry.com, MyHeritage, FindMyPast and FamilySearch that relate to those organisations publishing the 1841-1911 censuses on their websites.
I understand that parts of those contracts may be exempted from release and am therefore happy to accept redacted copies, provided that reasons for the redactions are given.
I also have 2 further questions:
1. Has TNA approved, whether directly or indirectly, that on FamilySearch members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are able to access images of the 1841-81 censuses without restrictions while everyone else is only able to access images if they are at a Family History Center.
2. As per the Equality Act, is TNA committed to ensuring that (non-)religion is not a barrier to accessing records.
Please find attached redacted copies of the following contracts:
- Find My Past 1841-1871 Census – https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/f0057995-redacted-fmp-1841-1871-census.pdf
- Find My Past 1851-1891 Census – https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/f0057995-redacted-fmp-1851-1891-census.pdf
- Find My Past 1861-1901 Census – https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/f0057995-redacted-fmp-1861-1901-census.pdf
- Find My Past 1911 Census – https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/f0057995-redacted-fmp-1911-contract.pdf
- Genealogical Society of Utah Censuses (FamilySearch) – https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/f0057995-redacted-gsu-census-contract.pdf
- My Heritage Censuses 1841-1901 – https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/documents/f0057995-redacted-myheritage-census-contract-1841-1901.pdf
Please see the explanatory annex at the end of this response for an account of the material which has been redacted from these contracts and how the aforementioned exemptions apply to it.
In answer to your first question, as noted in the introduction to the contract concerning the Genealogical Society of Utah’s (GSU) access to census data The National Archives has agreed that Church Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may access census records via the FamilySearch website free of charge for the purposes of private study, research and education.
In answer to your second question, The National Archives is committed to ensuring that religion, or lack thereof, is not a barrier to access to records, as per equalities legislation. Accessing records at Kew, or online via third party providers is not and never has been dependent on a reader or user’s religious affiliation.