I’m sharing a letter from the Georgia Genealogical Society’s President to the membership. The letter should be addressed to “All Concerned Georgia Researchers.”
FROM THE PRESIDENT
Dear GGS Member,
The 2011 session of the Georgia General Assembly saw the budget of the Georgia Archives slashed, yet again. The situation has become so dire that the Archives is open to the public only two days per week. This once proud and nationally respected institution is but a shadow of its former self. Staff positions have been eliminated, and programs abolished or much diminished.
Of all state archives, the Georgia Archives has the dubious distinction of being open to the public the fewest number of hours per week.
It is time for a change. It is time that our elected officials be made aware that we, the citizenry, are outraged that our access to public records is limited to seventeen hours per week (Friday and Saturday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.).
The following chart from the Friends of the Georgia Archives and History illustrates the decline in Archives budget and staff over the past 30 years:
Year Budget Budget in 2011 Dollars Number of Staff 1982 $3,297,000 $7,523000 90 1992 4,166,000 6,538,000 65 2002 5,409,000 6,620,000 54 2012 (projected) 4,819,000 4,819,000 18 Reduction since 1983 -36 %
Source: http://www.fogah.org 2011
Action is needed now. Do not wait until the 2012 session, or it may be too late. I urge you to contact your state representative, your state senator, Gov. Nathan Deal, and Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Let them know that you support the Georgia Archives and that you want to see its budget restored and public access hours expanded.
You can find the name and contact information for your state representative and senator at: http://www.legis.ga.gov.
Secretary of State Brian Kemp may be contacted through the link on the Secretary of State’s website: http://www.sos.georgia.gov/ or send a letter to: Secretary of State Brian Kemp, 214 State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334.
You may e-mail Governor Deal through the “contact us” link at: http://www.Gov.GA.Gov, or send a letter to: Gov. Nathan Deal, State Capitol, Atlanta, GA 30334.
Linda Hughes, President
Georgia Genealogical Society
This letter was originally published in The Scribe, the GGS quarterly newsletter, (Vol. 18, No.4 ~ November, 2011, page 2).
Linda Woodward Geiger