The New York Times has just published an excellent overview of the plight of state archives in these, let's say "interesting times." The proliferation of digital records (and the unwritten or untested legalities surrounding them) combined with an increasingly successful push for smaller government, is currently hobbling many state archival departments, Georgia's being only the most extreme example.
In the article, Vicki Walch, the executive director of the Council of State Archivists, rightly points out that, "this is a period of time that could be the Dark Ages for public records."
Let's see what we can do to open the door and let in a little light, folks! Sign the petition if you haven't already and let your elected officials know how you feel. (Brian Kemp, you have to contact separately.)
Budget Cuts to Archives Put History Out of Reach
The Georgia Archives, which holds both historical curiosities and virtually every important state government document ever created, is about to become nearly impossible to visit.
In November, a round of government budget cuts will reduce the staff to three, one of them the maintenance man. Thousands of documents that pour in every month are likely to languish because no one will be available to sort through them, archives officials said. People who view accurate and open government records as the bedrock of democracy are outraged.