A sign of the times and a call for help

I love it when things grow by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, this time it isn’t something to love. Historical societies, archives, state libraries, public libraries, and other places where family historians do their research are floundering. The number of those floundering due to drastic budget and staffing cuts in today’s economy is what is growing by leaps and bounds. It’s impossible to miss each new cut if you read genealogy and history newsletters, websites, ezines, blogs, and even Facebook. Many of my colleagues post such things on Facebook.

My own Minnesota Historical Society has done some of that staff cutting in 2009 and needed the support of historians and genealogists. One of the latest concerns is that of the excellent Michigan Historical Library and Archives in Lansing, Michigan. As in so many states and at the federal level in the U.S. and other countries, history is being lost when there are not funds to house and preserve it.

My friends Shirley Hodges and Liz Kerstens who are both Michigan residents are among those quite concerned about the recent changes in preserving that state’s history. They are among those who are keeping the topic alive on Facebook. On July 13th, Governor Jennifer Granholm issued an executive order closing the Michigan Department of History, Arts and Libraries. Its functions are to be distributed among seven other departments and some outside groups, including possibly Michigan State University. The archives would be under the Department of Natural Resources! For more of the details check out Leland Meitzler’s GenealogyBlog.com

Shirley has written an article on the issue and help needed in the July 23d issue of Global Gazette. She has asked her colleagues to please share it “with anyone who might be interested in the situation that we are facing regarding the Library of Michigan. We need all of the help that we can get.”

She further added: “If you don’t already subscribe to the Gazette, you should do so. It is free and comes via e-mail. It is published by Global Genealogy and has lots of wonderful articles and genealogy tips. They are wonderful friends to the genealogical community.” Click here for details.

© 2009, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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