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Posted: October 23, 2012 7:53 p.m.

Plan given for Georgia archives access

Amid state budget cuts, Gov. Nathan Deal and Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced Thursday that the State Archives will remain open to Georgians - at least for the rest of the budget year.

"Georgia's Archives are a showcase of our state's rich history and a source of great pride," Deal said in a press release. "I worked quickly with my budget office and Secretary Kemp to ensure that Georgians can continue to come to Morrow to study and view the important artifacts kept there. I appreciate Secretary Kemp's commitment to work with me to find a solution."

Georgia will restore $125,000 to Kemp's budget, however the archives will now only be available by appointment.

The Georgia Archives currently averages 74 patrons per week (296/month). The average visitor spends three hours at the archives.

The following plan will allow 78 (36 2-hour; 42 2.5-hour) appointments per month in the Open Documents Research Area, 120 (2-hour) appointments per month in Microfilm Reference, and 90 (2-hour) appointments per month in Open Reference. This would allow 288 visitors, which is 97 percent of the visitors that the archives accommodates now, but they will be limited to 2 or 2.5 hours. If the staff finds that they are able to handle more researchers at a time, the number of appointments will be increased. ODRA users will have to provide staff with specific requests when they make the appointment so they can have records pulled and waiting on them when they arrive.

To make appointments, individuals can contact Christopher M. Davidson at cdavidson@sos.ga.gov or (678) 364.3714.

"I will continue to work with the governor, general assembly and other interested parties to restore funding and access to the archives," said Kemp.

Brian Kemp has been secretary of state since January 2010. Among the office's wide-ranging responsibilities, the secretary of state is charged with conducting efficient and secure elections, the registration of corporations, and the regulation of securities and professional license holders. The office also oversees the Georgia Archives.

To view specific times and dates the Georgia Archives will be accepting appointments, visit CovNews.com and click on this story.

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