400 days to go…

Blog by Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland.

Tick, tick, tick…at our board meeting on Tuesday 24 May, Sheenagh Adams, Keeper of the Registers of Scotland, officially started the countdown with 400 days to go until the 400th anniversary of the General Register of Sasines on 28 June 2017.

Scotland was the first country in the world to start a national register of ownership rights, and this protection and certainty is something we are very proud to provide.


I have the tremendous task of tapping into the knowledge, enthusiasm and creativity of my colleagues and customers to bring together a full programme of events and activities that will properly mark this historic event. We want to use the anniversary to strengthen our international links, showcase our digital evolution, engage our staff, and create a lasting legacy.

I’ve noticed how obsessed I’ve become with numbers. A small project team of six has been set up, a staff group of five is already active, working through over 60 ideas suggested as part of our internal programme, and sourcing 400 facts for us to use in our social media posts. We’ve also got eight sub-groups looking at a range of possibilities, all linking back to the two main areas of education and legacy, and promotion and events.

Fourteen artists entered our competition to create an art installation inspired by the sasine register. With even our modest budget, we got really exciting proposals to whittle down to a shortlist. It’s such a cliché, but it was genuinely hard to do as art is so subjective, but we were ably guided by Deepa Mann-Kler, one of our four non-executive directors and a professional artist. The vote is open to all our 1,100 staff and will run for six weeks through the summer, with the winning artist being announced in the early autumn. We’ll work with the artist to record the process and have the piece complete and installed by May next year, in good time for the actual anniversary. Just another reason I’ll be paying avid attention to that countdown, which is already at just 393 days, in case you were wondering… tick, tick, tick!

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