The GRO has issued the following press release……
The digitisation of GRO’s births, marriages and deaths records is moving forward and a new project, called the Digitisation and Indexing (D&I) Project, has been initiated.
The new project covers the digitisation of the records themselves together with indexing and upgrading the online certificate ordering process.
Until such time as it is able to provide an online index, GRO will continue to make a full set of the GRO indexes freely available in microfiche format at several libraries and record offices across England and Wales. Further information on the current location of the microfiche indexes can be found on the Directgov website.
What this all means for the genealogical world is yet to be clarified. It would be nice to think that they would take the opportunity to add more information on the indexes to make identifying the correct person easier plus an undertaking to allow free online access to historic certificates i.e those more than 100 years old. However I fear that the GRO is making too much money from family historians to allow the latter to happen.
The web page http://www.ips.gov.uk/cps/rde/xchg/ips_live/hs.xsl/1090.htm has Q & A which might answer some people’s queries.