Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Historians Want Full-Time Archivist for Clay

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Historians Want Full-Time Archivist for Clay

Article excerpt

GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- Putting Clay County archives all in one

place was the first step.

Organizing them and making them accessible to the public was

the second step.

The next step, the Clay County Historical Commission said to

the Clay County Commission last week, should be to hire a

full-time archivist at an annual salary of as much as $27,000.

Not so fast, responded county commissioners.

"We're appreciative of all their efforts," said Commissioner

Patrick McGovern, chairman of the board's Budget, Finance and

Personnel Committee.

But hiring a full-time archivist at county expense --

particularly when no other county in the state has such a

position -- may be too much to swallow, he said.

However, committee members said they would consider an

archivist-type position that would focus on using the archives

as an educational tool and be jointly funded by the county --

possibly as part of its library system -- and the Clay County

School Board and the Clay County Historical Society, McGovern

said.

"What we are really looking at is an educational-type program,"

he said.

During a budget committee meeting Thursday, he and other

committee members asked county administrators to investigate

such a scenario, which McGovern said would also include the use

of volunteers.

McGovern said that he envisioned the new position, if a funding

arrangement is worked out, as part of the county's fiscal 1998

budget, not the fiscal 1997 budget that is being prepared.

"I don't think we'll get all the information we need in time

for the upcoming budget," he said.

Members of the Historical Commission said they appreciated the

committee's willingness to work toward some kind of compromise.

The state of the county archives has made a "quantum leap"

forward in the past year or so, largely because of the efforts

of part-time archivist Bonnie Deaton, said James Smith, chairman

of the Historical Commission. …

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