18 October 2012

The Georgia Archives To Stay Open

     A press release issued today brings great news to Georgia and genealogists everywhere: the Georgia Archives will stay open. Governor Deal reportedly worked with the budget office to find $125,000 to keep the Archive open through June 30, 2013. There is no word on the seven employees slated to loose their jobs in just a few days.

     And what happens after June 30th?  Apparently the state wants to transfer management of the Archive to the University System of Georgia. I'm not sure about the legalities of this idea, but at least the Archive would be run by those with a vested interest in education. However, like everyone else, they have budget woes of their own. Time will tell, I guess.

     This is a win for us all and it goes to show that "the people" can make a difference. The many people who stood up and protested the loss of the Archive, and who made sure that our politicians understood the important role it plays, are directly responsible for keeping the Georgia Archives open.

     I'm not sure what the schedule will be. The press release says that the budget allows the Archive to "maintain its current access hours." I'm guessing they will they keep the Friday/Saturday hours and not add Thursday back. I hope they can add the extra day, but am more excited that we will be able to access the archive for two full days each week.

     The issue isn't resolved. An Archive is nothing without its Archivists. Until we know what the plan is, everyone should reach out to Governor Deal and SOS Kemp and make sure that they know how important these seven employees are.

October 18, 2012
Gov. Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced today that the state will restore $125,000 to Kemp’s budget to keep the Georgia State Archives open to Georgians for the remainder of the budget year.

“Georgia’s Archives are a showcase of our state’s rich history and a source of great pride,” said Deal. “I worked quickly with my budget office and Secretary Kemp to ensure that Georgians can continue to come to Morrow to study and view the important artifacts kept there. I appreciate Secretary Kemp’s commitment to work with me to find a solution.”

The extra funding provides for Georgia State Archives to be open to the public through June 30 of next year. On July 1, the Georgia Archives will be transferred to University System of Georgia, pending approval of the move by the General Assembly. This transfer will include appropriations required for operation and assets of the Georgia Archives. Additional staff will be provided by USG at that time. Deal and Kemp intend to find efficiencies by consolidating the Archives under the University System of Georgia, just as the state has sought to do with the library system.

“From the beginning of this budget process, I have stated that it was my hope that current access to the Archives could be maintained,” Kemp said. “I greatly appreciate Governor Deal’s leadership and recognize the difficult decisions that had to be made in order to identify this funding. He has proposed a plan that supports Archives not just this year, but for years to come.”

Deal’s budgetary commitment allows Georgia State Archives to maintain its current access hours.


Ruby Craft said...

Great news...for now. I agree with you that we need to stay aware of what happens and let Gov Deal and SOS Kemp know we are still concerned with the future of the Georgia Archives and its valued employees.

Catherine Pendleton said...

Thank you to everyone and their hard work on keeping the archives open! For now, at least. I do hope the archives will offer a better schedule than what was in their Oct 15 press release.


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