Georgia Secretary of State, Brian Kemp, issued a press release (below) on September 13, 2012 advising that the Georgia Archives will be closed to the public effective November 1, 2012 except by appointment only. The Georgia Archives budget has come under scrutiny for the last two years by Sec. of State Kemp. Several groups worked together during the last GA Legislative Session to restore an additional day for the Archives to be open. Currently it is only open 2 days per week, the least of any state Archives in the nation. A third day was to be added effective October 1, 2012 but this is now in jeopardy.
|What You Need to Know?||How Can You Help?||Information Links|
|What This Means to Georgians?||Important Addresses||Petition Links|
What You Need to Know?
The Georgia Genealogical Society encourages its members to write a letter to
Governor Deal, Lt. Gov. Cagle, Secretary of State Kemp, and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens requesting that the Georgia Archives budget be restored, remain open to the public at least 5 days per week, and reverse Sec. Kemp's decision. Each letter should be individual stating why the Archives is important to you.
Refer to the link below to get more information on the closing of the Georgia Archives and how you can help.
Governor Nathan Deal
Address for mail: 206 Washington Street Suite 203, State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334
Email – “contact us” form
Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle
240 State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334 TEL: 404-656-5030 FAX: 404-656-6739
Secretary of State Brian Kemp
214 State Capitol Atlanta, GA 30334 Phone: 404-656-2881 Fax: 404-656-0513
Georgia Attorney General
Sam S. Olens (R)
40 Capitol Square, Suite 134
Atlanta, GA 30334
(404) 656-3300 FAX: (404) 657-8733
Individual Georgia legislators: find specific legislators via Society of Georgia Archivists site: http://soga.org/involvement/legislative
AJC column – September 16, 2012: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/supporters-rally-against-georgia-archives-closure/nSCMF/
American Historical Association - September 17, 2012: http://blog.historians.org/news/1738/aha-responds-to-georgia-state-archives-closure
Atlanta Business Chronicle - September 18, 2012: http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/morning_call/2012/09/kemp-ga-archives-lease-to-cost-27m.html
Friends of the Georgia Archives: http://www.fogah.org/
Friends of the Georgai Archives Presentation: http://www.fogah.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/gaemergencydeckweb.pdf
Press Release - September 13, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jared S. Thomas
September 13, 2012
Statement from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on Public Closure of the State Archives Effective November 1, 2012
The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget has instructed the Office of the Secretary of State to further reduce its budget for AFY13 and FY14 by 3% ($732,626). As it has been for the past two years, these cuts do not eliminate excess in the agency, but require the agency to further reduce services to the citizens of Georgia. As an agency that returns over three times what is appropriated back to the general fund, budget cuts present very challenging decisions. We have tried to protect the services that the agency provides in support of putting people to work, starting small businesses, and providing public safety.
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.
Since FY08, the Office of the Secretary of State has been required to absorb many budget reductions, often above the minimum, while being responsible for more work. I believe that transparency and open access to records are necessary for the public to educate themselves on the issues of our government. I will fight during this legislative session to have this cut restored so the people will have a place to meet, research, and review the historical records of Georgia.
Jared S. Thomas
Brian P. Kemp, Secretary of State
214 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30330