OK, kiddos, let’s have fun with old archives!

The Georgia Archives needs money and snazzy way to appeal to the kids


Wait, where’s everybody going? Was it the ‘A’ word that spooked you? Yes, it isn’t easy being a wood pulp enthusiast in a digital age. If you love sorting through mounds of faded documents and dusty record books, then the Coalition to Preserve the Georgia Archives would like you to head down to the state Capitol bright and early tomorrow(PDF) to help advocate on behalf of — wait for it… — yes, the Georgia Archives.

What are the Georgia Archives, you ask, and why do they need my help? Better yet, how do I find their Facebook page? Well, they don’t have a Facebook page or a Twitter account because it’s actually a beautiful new building down in Morrow full of old paper dating back to the 18th century. Excited yet? Yeah, that’s what we thought.

Anyway, so the archives are hurting due to apparent lack of interest, which has resulted in harsh budget cuts by state lawmakers. After a round of cuts in 2008, the archives were forced to lay off most of its employees and can only afford to stay open two days a week. But the remaining staff has been dogged in their efforts to attract a new generation of young archivists, researchers and genealogists by putting on such exciting, fast-paced seminars as “Read It Write: Interpreting Early Styles of Handwriting” and “Georgia’s Delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787.” Woo-hoo! Bring a sack lunch and let’s get crazy!

OK, so unless “History Detectives” snares Ryan Gosling and Jessica Alba as on-air hosts, the Georgia Archives might have a tough time getting the YouTube generation amped up over old plat books and deed records. Still, the agency isn’t just living in the past; it’s also planning to digitize, baby! According to the state website, it’s already at Step 4 of a 5-step process. On the down side, Step 4 is, literally, planning to digitize. The actual digitization — you guessed it, Step 5 — has been delayed due to crippling budget cuts.