Tuesday, 1 August 2017

AGRA condemns Northamptonshire Archives' 'drastic cuts'

The Association of Genealogists and Record Agents (www.agra.org.uk), which represents many professional family historians in England and Wales, has condemned the access charges to be imposed by Northamptonshire Archives, and the dramatic reduction in free access hours (see http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/northamptonshire-council-to-impose.html). As part of its statement the organisation has said:

Our members are users of county records offices and other local (and national) archives, and we have noted over recent times the increasing trend for public access to archive services to be cut without any regard to the practical impact on service users that are researchers, both professional and non professional. We acknowledge that these are challenging times for all local authorities but these changes have come as a complete surprise. They have not been subject to any form of public consultation and no alternatives have been presented for public comment. The plans may be a ‘bold step in difficult times’ (words taken from the Council’s recent statement); but AGRA’s view is that they are drastic cuts, not fully thought through, and the worry is that such a step will set a precedent to be followed by others.

The full statement is available at http://www.agra.org.uk/news-agra-protest-against-archive-visitor-fee-2017-07-31.

COMMENT: Dr Mary Ann Lund's petition against the new archive fees has now passed 2600 signatures. Please read and sign if you agree that an hourly £31.50 access rate is simply not on - https://www.change.org/p/northamptonshire-county-council-northamptonshire-county-council-don-t-charge-for-visiting-archives

(With thanks to Sharon Grant, Chair of AGRA)


My next 5 week Scottish Research Online course commences Sept 11th 2017 - details at www.pharostutors.com/details.php?coursenumber=102. For my genealogy guide books, visit http://britishgenes.blogspot.co.uk/p/my-books.html, whilst details of my research service are at www.ScotlandsGreatestStory.co.uk. Further content is also published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BritishGENES.

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