Georgia Archives, on Our Minds

Originally posted on September 18 on TSLAC’s Library Developments blog by Christina Manz.

As the American Archives Month of October draws near, the state archives of one of our country’s original colonies is making news. Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp issued a somber press release last Thursday regarding the reduction of public access, and archives staff, due to budget cuts.
“To meet the required cuts, it is with great remorse that I have to announce, effective November 1, 2012, the Georgia State Archives located in Morrow, GA will be closed to the public. The decision to reduce public access to the historical records of this state was not arrived at without great consternation. 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.The staff that currently works to catalog, restore, and provide reference to the state of Georgia’s permanent historical records will be reduced. The employees that will be let go through this process are assets to the state of Georgia and will be missed. After November 1st, the public will only be allowed to access the building by appointment; however, the number of appointments could be limited based on the schedule of the remaining employees.”

The Friends of Georgia Archives and History have sprung into action with information about what you can do to support the archives, and you can friend the cause on Facebook for the latest news. The Unquiet Librarian’s blog features a guest post by Laura M. Botts, a Georgian archivist with insight into this particular crisis of budget cuts, and the value of archives.

 


The Texas Record adds:

The New York Times also published an article about the closure of the Georgia Archives, and about the critical staffing, budget, and e-records challenges facing all government archives, this morning:

Budget Cuts to Archives Put History Out of Reach
New York Times, September 27, 2012, section A – page 20
By KIM SEVERSON
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/27/us/budget-cuts-to-limit-public-access-to-georgia-archives.html?_r=0

And yesterday, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp published this article:

Why I’m Closing the State Archives
Thomaston (GA) Times, September 26, 2012
http://www.thomastontimes.com/view/full_story/20262774/article-Why-I%E2%80%99m-closing-the-State-Archives