Read the letter from Meg Craft, AIC President, to Governor Deal:
As the board president of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AI C), the national membership organization supporting conservation professionals in preserving cultural heritage, I write to ask you to reverse the decision made by Secretary of State Brian Kemp to close the Georgia Archives. Public access to the critically important records held by the Georgia Archives is a right of your citizens, while the loss of open access will have long-term negative consequences for both your state and the nation.
The Georgia Archives serves a multitude of constituents, including genealogists, historians, teachers, students, lawyers, and governmental employees. It supports legal arguments, settles disputes, documents “historical events,. and helps us all better understand our past. While I echo the dismay of others, as expressed in letters such as those from the presidents of the American Library Association and Society of American Archivists, I want to make sure that you are aware of other critical losses that will result from closing your state archives.
The conservation lab at the Archives is a comprehensive and well-equipped facility that has provided much needed space for conservation and preservation educational programs, workshops, and meetings for state and national conservation professionals. The Prese.rvation staff hosts graduate students from the Clayton State University’s Master of Archival Studies Program, and works with”numerous interns, providing valuable hands-on experience in a conservation lab working on archival records, from land grant maps to chain gang records. The Preservation Services Division also provides training for a steady stream of scanning interns, who are funded by a “Friends of the Archives” grant. All of these initiatives help ensure the long-term preservation and accessibility of Georgia’s legal and cultural history…”