Archives on track in usage prediction

By Greg Gelpi

Since its opening six months ago, the Georgia State Archives in Morrow has provided a boost to Clayton County's economy and will soon attempt to do the same to the county's education.

With National Archives Week in October and the construction of a federal archives building across from the state archives, Georgia State Archives Director David Carmichael spoke to the Clayton County Rotary Club Wednesday.

Since its May 6 opening, the state archives is on track to average 13,000 visitors this year, a 55 percent increase since moving from Atlanta to Morrow, Carmichael said. Of the visitors, about 2,000 are from out of state, and each spends about $1,000.

For the first time since 1977, the state archives hired an education coordinator. The coordinator is teaching teachers how to use the archives for research and in the classroom, as well as organize field trips to the archives and teach classes in a classroom inside the archives, Carmichael said.

When the Southeast Regional Federal Archives opens in 2005, the site will be the first in the country in which both federal and state archives are located across from one another.

The site is also the anchor of a larger development, the Gateway Village Development, which is planned to include a hotel, a convention center, a golf course and residential and commercial property.

The state archives building, which replaced one in Atlanta which was too crowded, is an impressive structure with large glass windows that front on Jonesboro Road. It is also next to the entrance to Clayton College & State University.

The archives holds all of Georgia's historical documents, beginning from the original Royal charter for the colony of Georgia (circa 1732) to present-day documents.