Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Georgia Archives To Close
The following quote is from the Atlanta Business Chronicle, dated September 13:
The Georgia State Archives in Morrow, Ga., will close to the public Nov. 1 in a budget-cutting move announced by Secretary of State Brian Kemp Thursday.
In a prepared statement, Kemp said the decision to reduce public access to historical documents was difficult but necessary.
“To my knowledge, Georgia will be the only state in the country that will not have a central location in which the public can visit to research and review the historical records of their government and state,” he said. “The employees that will be let go through this process are assets to the state of Georgia and will be missed.”
Kemp said Gov. Nathan Deal’s Office of Planning and Budget has instructed the secretary of state’s office to cut its budget by $732,626 during the remainder of the current fiscal year and in the fiscal year that starts next July.
The reductions are in keeping with 3 percent cuts ordered by Deal across state government to offset slower than anticipated growth in tax collections.
Kemp said public access to the archives after Nov. 1 will be by appointment only. However, the number of appointments could be limited based on the schedules of the remaining employees.
The article can be found here.
Granted, we are passing through tough economic times, but to close off such a treasured resource from researchers would be a shame. For myself, as one who travels from out of state, it is difficult enough to arrange research trips with the limited hours now.
A petition drive, asking the governor and secretary of state to reconsider, is under way through Change.org. To sign it, click here.