Statement from the SGA Board of Directors
March 20, 2020
Atlanta, GA — The Board of Directors of the Society of Georgia Archivists (SGA Board) fully endorses the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Council’s March 18, 2020 statement regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Given the danger of contact with this contagion, the SGA Board calls for those archival institutions in Georgia which have not already closed to the public to do so immediately and discontinue requiring non-emergency staff to report to work. As of March 20, 2020, the infection and death rates in Georgia continue to climb at an exponential rate. In an effort to flatten the curve and avoid overwhelming our medical resources, archivists’ focus should be on supporting people—our professionals, staff, and the general public—as they self-quarantine and/or shelter-in-place.
In its statement, the SAA Council recognized “that it can be challenging to develop remote work activities that support the material and unique preservation imperatives of archives. However, in this time of crisis, individual health and safety are of utmost importance.” The SGA Board agrees with this position, and furthermore endorses the inclusion of financial safety in this list of imperatives. While all effort should be put toward finding options for remote work (SAA’s Accessibility and Disability Section has created a working document or identifying projects), the SGA Board urges cultural heritage institutions, corporate, government, and private archives to continue to pay and provide benefits to their professional, staff, student, part-time, contract, temporary, and independent workers through the duration of this crisis.
SGA will be providing information and daily updates about operational changes to Georgia’s archival institutions via its website. Archivists are encouraged to report changes in their institutions’ operations using this form. Resources for archivists and librarians navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to those provided by the CDC, WHO, and Georgia Department of Public Health, can be found at the link.
The full statement can be viewed here.
The spreadsheet of Georgia archives affected by COVID-19 closings can be viewed here.