SGA letter concerning closing of Georgia Archives

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On behalf of the SGA, President Catherine Long has sent a letter to Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp and others regarding our concern over the planned closing of the Georgia Archives on 1 November 2012.

Dear Colleagues, Friends and Supporters of Georgia Archives:

In order to continue the preservation, study and education of all Georgia’s rich history, The Society for Georgia Archaeology seeks your assistance in protesting the closure of the Georgia Archives. As you are aware this is scheduled to occur on November 1st, therefore, it is important that action is taken quickly.

Like other researchers across the state and nation, archaeologists utilize archived documents in the preparation of their reports and publications to assist in answering their research questions. The analysis of this information can lead to crucial data that provides an insight into the lives of those before us. These records may include early hand-drawn maps that outline the location of the Creek and Cherokee nations, population census for the one hundred fifty-nine counties in the state, hand-written letters to former governors pleading for resources for their citizens during the Civil War and many more significant pieces of Georgia’s past.

The following link can provide vital information for you to learn more about the work accomplished by the Georgia Archives [this link].

Please assist the Society of Georgia Archivists to address points regarding the importance of access to government records for research purposes:

• As the Civil War Sesquicentennial begins, researchers need access to the historical record in the Georgia Archives to provide accurate, factual evidence of that experience. Many of Georgia’s governmental records were destroyed during Sherman’s March; closing the Archives similarly deprives Georgians of access to their heritage, but this time the fault does not lie with an invading army, but with Georgia officials themselves.

• The Georgia Archives holds records actively sought by genealogists and family historians: in particular, they provide essential evidence for African-American history and genealogical research not available in many private historical collections.

• The Georgia Archives has been an essential resource for environmental research and activities including efforts to reintroduce the American chestnut tree in the state and issues relating to pollution.

• The Georgia Archives has been the site of research for television and films, including the popular NBC series “Who Do You Think You Are” segments with Paula Deen and Spike Lee, as well as Emmy award-winner Ben Loeterman’s documentary “People v. Leo Frank.”

We ask you to write or call your representative and ask them to restore funding to the Georgia Archives. For additional speaking points and related information please visit [this link].

Thank you, Catherine Long, President