The following excerpt is from the October 3, 2012 edition of Clayton News Daily.
ATLANTA — Annette McEachin said her ancestors would be “turning over in their graves” if they knew that Georgia planned to close its archives to public access next month.
#McEachin, from Marietta, said she is descended from Austrians who came to Georgia in 1734, a year after James Oglethorpe founded the future state as a colony for the British crown. Much of what she knows about her family’s involvement in the earliest years of Georgia’s existence comes from records found in the Georgia Archives’ holdings, she said.
#Those records have told her where her ancestors came from and what they endured, including disease and war, after they arrival in Georgia.
#“If they knew there’d be no access to the records of what they went through, they’d be turning over in their graves,” said McEachin.
#McEachin, a member of the Genealogy Society of Cobb County, was one of approximately 150 people who attended a “Save the Archives” rally Wednesday outside Gov. Nathan Deal’s office at the state Capitol.
#Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced last month that he will close the Morrow-based archives — except to people who scheduled private appointments in advance — to meet a mandate from Deal to cut three percent of his office’s budget. The move was expected to save the state $733,000.
If the Georgia Archives closes its doors Nov. 1, as planned, Georgia will become the only state whose archives is not open to public access.