The decision by Georgia’s Secretary of State Brian Kemp to close the Georgia Department of Archives and History to the public has sparked outrage and concern across the nation. Here are a few responses to this decision.
The post that tipped me off to the closure came from Michael Hait, a professional genealogist working out of the Maryland-Delaware area.
Here’s an oldie, but a goody: a January 2012 document laying out exactly Why the Georgia Archives is Critical to the Citizens of Georgia, courtesy of the Friends of Georgia Archives & History (FOGAH), which also produced a more recent document with details of funding and staff cuts over the years, as well as non-genealogical uses of the Archives.
President Jackie M. Dooley of the Society of American Archivists wrote a letter to Governor Deal, posted on the Society’s web site. President Dooley explains the potential legal and other consequences of closing the Archives.
Judy G. Russell, affectionately and professionally known as The Legal Genealogist, published Archives and ancestors highlighting how the research into her Georgia ancestors will be affected by the Archives closing.
The National Coalition for History has placed a long post online, Action Alert: Help Save the Georgia Archives, detailing exactly what actions concerned citizens should take toward keeping the Archives open, and why. See also NCH Letter Urging Georgia Governor to Keep State Archives Open.
Kristina Torres at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that Deal pledges to keep Georgia Archives open. Meanwhile, on the same day, Shannon McCaffrey at the AJC published a piece about Governor Deal approving $4.5 million in funding for a private resort run by a campaign donor. The money will fund the building of a well to be used primarily by the resort.
There’s also a facebook page, Georgians Against Closing State Archives. Don’t worry. Non-Georgians are welcome. The page’s administrators take great pains to link to all the latest news on this issue, making it probably the best source for updates on this situation.
Finally, if you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign the petition and contact Georgia’s various governmental officials with your support for the Archives.