On Thursday 5 February 2009, The National Archives of Scotland
(NAS) launched The Scottish Register of Tartans to promote
and preserve information about registered tartans. The Register,
which will be maintained by the NAS, will provide a focal
point for tartan, its design and production and for genealogical
Tartan, known throughout the world as a national symbol of
Scotland, has now been officially recognised by the Parliament
in Edinburgh. It has taken six years to complete the legislation
establishing the Register with The Scottish Register of Tartan
Act receiving Royal Assent in November 2008.
Working with the tartan industry in Scotland, the Register provides
a springboard to promote the expertise, quality and value of the
Scottish tartan industry. The statutory Register is available thanks
to the support and co-operation of representatives from the Scottish
tartan industry and enthusiasts who are united in their belief that
this will consolidate the future of this unique resource. Data from
the two existing private registers (the Scottish Tartans Authority
and the Scottish Tartans World Register) has been amalgamated in
the new Register. The Keeper
of the Records of Scotland, George MacKenzie,
is now also the Keeper of the Scottish Register of Tartans.
The Register will provide users with the opportunity to search
its database for tartans already recorded and will also provide
a registration service for recording new tartans. The Scottish Register
of Tartans Act specifies the criteria which new tartans will be
required to meet, and these official vetting procedures will promote
and protect the status of registered tartans. A link to the Register
is available under 'Other Websites' on the left hand side
of the page.
As tartan plays an important role in the culture and identity of
Scots, it is fitting that the new Register begins in the year of
Scottish Homecoming 2009.