[Source: Bill Coates, Dolan Media Newswires] — As principal investigator for Arizona Historical Research, Vince Murray’s livelihood depends on access to Arizona state archives. That access was severely curtailed March 4, when the new Polly Rosenbaum Arizona Archives and History Building was closed to the public, except by appointment. And then for only two half-days a week.
Blame budget cuts. For Murray, it means a project that used to take two weeks now could take more than two months. “On any typical project, there’s going to be 40 to 80 hours of research,” Murray said. “Well, here, you’ve got — what? — eight hours that you’re allowed to do it in a week.” Clients for his historical consulting firm include state agencies, he said.
The archives closure was perhaps the most notable cost-cutting move by the Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records department. Other divisions are operating on reduced hours, said GladysAnn Wells, the agency’s director. Until the cuts, the library department had $2 million in operating funds, expected to carry it until June 30, the fiscal year’s end. In January, however, the Legislature reduced that by nearly $1.5 million, she said. There was one place to cut, Wells said. “All we had left, really, was salaries,” she said. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]