Public to lose most access to state archives

Budget cuts will cost the public most of its access to the Georgia Archives.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Thursday the archives starting Nov. 1 will accept only limited public appointments to see Georgia’s important and historical records dating to at least 1733. Some of the institution’s 10 full-time employees also will lose their jobs, although just how many has not yet been determined.

The move, which comes in response to Gov. Nathan Deal’s request for state agencies to again trim spending, could make Georgia the only state in the nation without full-time, centrally located public access to historical government and state records, Kemp said.

It also will affect everyone from university researchers to amateur genealogists who want to peek at marriage and death certificates, the royal charter establishing the colony of Georgia and Civil War-era muster rolls.

Kemp called it a measure of the last resort to help meet a proposed cut to his office that totaled more than $730,000. Deal has asked most state agencies to suggest 3 percent trims as he eyes Georgia’s still-sluggish economy. Those cuts must be approved by the state Legislature, which next meets in January.

The state archives are located in Morrow, where they were moved in 2003 from downtown Atlanta.

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