Public Closure of the GA State Archives Effective November 1, 2012

Press Release from Georgia Secretary of State:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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
Press Secretary
Brian P. Kemp, Secretary of State
214 State Capitol
Atlanta, GA 30330
404-656-4269 phone
404-656-0513 fax

BGS Participating in the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project

BGS has joined forces with genealogy societies and organizations around the country as part of the 1940 U.S. Census Community Project. The initiative aims to publish a free, online searchable name index of the 1940 U.S. Federal Census.   This online index will be free forever, offering family history researchers a rich genealogical data set for their ongoing use.

For complete details on how to participate and support BGS, see our 1940 U. S. Census Community Project page.

BGS Meeting — September 25, 2010 — Tour of the BPL Archives

The Birmingham Genealogical Society meets the fourth Saturday of each month (ex. Nov. & Dec.) at the Downtown Birmingham Public Library. Guests are always welcome!

Next meeting: Saturday, September 25th at 2 p.m.; Refreshments at 1:30 p.m.

Meeting Room: Story Castle (2nd Floor of Central Library, Youth Department)

Program Topic: Tour of the Birmingham Public Library Archives

Our program is a tour of the newly renovated BPL Archives! Established in 1975, the Department of Archives and Manuscripts is located in the Linn-Henley Research Library, a part of the Birmingham Public Library system. The department collects government records, business records, maps, photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and other primary material documenting the history and development of Birmingham, Jefferson County and the surrounding area of Alabama known as the Birmingham District.

The Archives also collects material statewide relating to the Episcopal Church in Alabama, the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama and Jewish history and life in Alabama. The department’s holdings include the papers of city and county officials, businesses and business people, politicians, social activists, churches and synagogues, civic groups and study clubs, clergy, artists, writers, musicians, athletes and homemakers. Serving as the archives for the City of Birmingham and for numerous organizations and institutions, the collection contains more than 30,000,000 documents and 400,000 photographs.

Please join us!