Friday, October 19, 2012

Georgia Archives-actual answers on budget woes

Family and friends have been sending me news articles about the situation at the Georgia Archives but until now it has not really been clear what the result would be. A press release from the Governor's office finally explains the situation clearly.
First, the Georgia Archives will remain open on the current schedule through June 30th 2013. The Archives was set to close November 1st and then an assortment of "changes" were reported as people took action and protested the closure. Additional funding was found to allow the Archives to continue on it's two day a week schedule for the remainder of the fiscal year.
What I'm really excited about is the possible change after that. In paragraph three of the official press release, it is announced the Archives will be transferred to the University System of Georgia after 30 June 2013. Nothing is said about what this means exactly but I hope one of two things happens. First, we don't see a major change other than the restoration of at least some of the hours. Or, the collection is moved to the University of Georgia in Athens.
Georgia has an extensive university system so a move would not necessarily mean a move to Athens. The Archives is currently next door to Clayton State, for example. However the UGA libraries (not to be confused with the University System, USG, libraries) already house a fantastic special collections library (in a brand new building) and the Georgia newspaper project is housed at the main UGA library. If you think going to Athens is worse than visiting Morrow, here are a few things to consider.

  • Morrow has great access for those living in the Atlanta area however you need a car as there is nothing within walking distance, neither hotel nor restaurant.
  • Morrow is closer to the Atlanta airport but a rental car or cab is needed. There are shuttle services available specifically from ATL to Athens. They aren't cheap but not drastically different from services like Super Shuttle.
  • Athens has plenty of hotel choices, many in walking distance of the library, possibly both special collections and main, but there is also the on-campus bus service. To access the Main Library there is a stop across the street (next to a cemetery!).
  • I'd need another blog post to tell you how much I love the restaurants in Athens. Once again, walk or bus to many.
  • The main UGA Library has hours for college students. These are much better hours than the Archives would ever have. Special Collections has standard business hours but these are still more than the Archives currently has.
  • I've already mentioned the Georgia Newspaper project which I consider a major draw. The Archives currently only houses a small collection of newspaper records. If you need Georgia newspapers, GNP is the collection. Most of the papers I've needed and are available in the Georgia Newspaper project are NOT available in the Library of Congress's newspaper collection.
Obviously these are all advantages of Athens. Should a move be made to another location things could be quite different. At least the hours should improve, though.