Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Historical Society of Missouri Reduces Hours

Back on October 17 in my weekend review of links, I mentioned Science Fiction author John Scalzi's post about his local library reducing hours due to budget cutbacks. I noted how genealogists depend on local libraries for their research. I knew how lucky I was that the St. Louis County Library is not only not reducing services, but they have the ability to purchase additional microfilm machines with digital scanners.

Today it was announced that due to state budget cuts, the State Historical Society of Missouri is reducing the hours it will be open for research -- Eliminating both Friday and Saturday hours completely.

It also said its 22 employees are voluntarily taking a 20 percent pay reduction, and three positions have been eliminated through one unfilled vacancy, one retirement and one layoff.

The society said it would seek private funds to continue its newspaper-microfilming program and to print the Missouri Historical Review.

While this is depressing news, and geographically hits closer to me, my initial anguish on hearing the news lessened when I realized it referenced the Historical Society located in Columbia, Missouri, so once again it's not hitting me directly. I'm sure its hitting others though.

I was concerned at first though, because back on October 23 I received a monthly email newsletter from the Missouri History Museum, which is in St. Louis, about their latest activities, and it said coming soon to their Genealogy and Local History Index would be Clayton High School yearbooks from 1931-1935, which includes some yearbooks my paternal grandmother and her two brothers would likely have been in. So I resolved to get myself to the research library, as I didn't have to wait for them to be indexed to know I wanted to look through them. They're still open on Saturdays from 10 am to 5 pm. I know I won't get there this weekend, but I should before the month is out.

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