brightsolid created and published online high-resolution colour scans of 16 million handwritten documents, fully transcribing their contents and creating a searchable website for customers to find, view and download their ancestors’ census forms. The website was successfully launched in January 2009, three years ahead of the original scheduled date. The project was entirely funded by brightsolid and the site operates on a revenue-sharing model with The National Archives.
brightsolid also provided marketing and PR services as part of the contract. On launch day alone over 645,000 people made a total of 1.2 million visits to 1911census.co.uk. They conducted 3.4 million searches and viewed 17.4 million pages of census records. The launch received significant media interest and handled the huge volume of traffic with ease. The story dominated the news agenda at launch, reaching every news media outlet from BBC Breakfast to Newsnight, generating unprecedented first-day sales.