One of the most important public functions the Ohio Historical Society performs is to administer the state archives. The State Archives works to collect and preserve documents pertaining to the operation of state and local governments so they may remain accessible, helping ensure that our government remains accountable to the people. Long-term state disinvestment in the State Archives has resulted in staff reductions that critically impede its ability to perform the most basic archival functions for which it is responsible, including the appraisal, accessioning, arrangement and description of government records. In addition, public access to these records has been restricted due to reduced reading room operating hours of just 24 per week, the lowest in the nation.
A commitment on the part of the General Assembly to increase funding for the State Archives will allow us to become a more effective and efficient service provider to our constituents in state and local governments and be more responsive to citizens of Ohio who rely on us to serve as the state’s collective memory. An additional $600,000 annually in our state budget appropriation would accomplish the following:
- Provide 44 hours of public access hours in the Archives/Library Reading Room.
- Increase access to government records with high demand and/or research potential.
- Provide field services to assist local governments and ensure that local records are efficiently maintained, properly preserved, and easily accessible in accordance with Ohio’s Sunshine Law.
- Develop an acquisition and preservation strategy for electronic records with enduring value.
Your Voice Counts!
Please go to http://capwiz.com/ohiohistory/state/main/?state=OH to directly email your state legislators with your thoughts and concerns. Click on “Help Turnaround Disinvestment in State Archives.”