Here is a letter that I received from the MYHF about Govenor MANCHIN's Plans for OUR WV ARCHIVES:
MINING YOUR HISTORY FOUNDATION
P. O. Box 6923
Charleston, WV 25362-0923
Wes Cochran, President, Parkersburg
Linda Camp, Parkersburg
Sheri Pettit, Vice-President, Huntington
Kellis Gillespie, Hurricane
Virginia Gillespie, Secretary, Hurricane
Neva Gocke, Morgantown
Esther Warner, Treasurer, Charleston
Jim Miracle, Parkersburg
Sandra Alderson, Charleston
Gerald Ratliff, Charleston
February 8, 2007
Subject: Save the West Virginia Archives and History Library
As you probably know the restaurant in the basement of the State Capitol Building has been closed for the replacement with a new one. A temporary food facility has been setup in the Cultural Center basement where the State History Museum was once located. You may also know that Governor Manchin is planning to put a restaurant and gift shop in the State Cultural Center.
According to Phil Kablerfs State House Beat column dated Sept. 24, 2006, gParkways General Manager Greg Barr confirms that discussions have been ongoing since early last year, for Parkways to operate a restaurant along with a mini-Tamarack state craft shop, in the Cultural Center.
As envisioned, the restaurant-retail area would move into space on the north side of the first floor of the Cultural Center, where the state archives library and a small art gallery are currently located. Initial discussions have the archives library moving to the south side of the Cultural Center, where it would edouble-bunkf with the existing reference library.h
Larry Ratliff was so concerned that he wrote a letter to Governor Manchin asking him about this situation. Governor Manchin stated the following in his reply:
gAs you have heard, there are preliminary plans to make a restaurant and gift shop available at the Cultural Center as an added service to visitors to our State Capitol. A variety of options are being considered to allow us to accommodate both these new amenities and an archival research library at the Cultural Centerh.
Governor Manchin reassures Larry Ratliff with the following words: gMy Administration and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History are absolutely committed to maintaining a quality archival research library at the Cultural Center. We know how important that resource is to researchers now and how important it will continue to be. Our Statefs priceless archival collections must be protected so they are available for future generations.h
We agree that our Statefs priceless archival collections must be protected so they are available for future generations, But, we cannot help but be worried about these plans, especially after reading Phil Kablerfs column in the Charleston Gazette on December 11, 2006. Kabler wrote the following:
gRetired architect Dick Blankinship informed me that when Silling Associates was designing the Cultural Center in the mid-e70s, initial plans called for including a restaurant operation in the building. However, in doing research of similar facilities across the country, they concluded that food service is a no-no in buildings that house archival materials.
The problem occurs when vermin migrate into areas where historic books, documents, lithographs and other fragile artifacts are stored. The general consensus was, wherever you store archival materials; do not put food service in the same building,h Blankenship stated.h
Most of us recall the reasons for closing the restaurant in the Capitol Buildingfs basement. Not only, were there health concerns about the roach infestation but there were also concerns about the clogged grease filled drains. We also have concerns about the danger of fires in food preparation centers.
As for a gift shop in the Cultural Center, many of us remember the small but nice gift shop which was located there for about ten years. The stated reason for its closure was that it was losing money and was too expensive to maintain.
The West Virginia Legislature is presently in session. Please contact your State Representatives and express your concerns and ask them questions about the West Virginia Archives Library moving to make way for a restaurant and gift shop. If you agree with the comment retired architect Dick Blankinship made to Phil Kabler that food services is a no-no in buildings that house archival materials, tell your State Representatives.
In 1968 the State Legislature approved the sale of state building revenue bonds for the Science and Cultural Center Building, now known as the Cultural Center. The reason a new building was necessary was to provide space in the Capitol Building by relocating the State Archives and the State Museum The Governor now wants the Cultural Center to be a Tourist attraction for visitors to the Capitol grounds. The original intent for the building is being totally ignored.
If Governor Manchin and his staff insist on adding a restaurant and a mini-Tamarack to the Cultural Center, then it is time to build a new building at another location to safeguard our important archival research documents.
Virginia Gillespie, Secretary
Here is the link for our elected officials in Charleston:
Check at the end of this post for more CONTACT INFO.
Archives Protest Picking Up Steam
A group focused on preserving the state's historic documents wants to get the governor's attention and they plan to do it with e-mails from across the country and thousands of signatures on petitions.
The group, Mining Your Family History, is protesting a proposal by the state to add a mini-Tamarack with a gift shop and snack bar at the West Virginia Cultural Center.
Virginia Gillespie with MYFH says the building was never meant to house any sort of food service, large or small. That was decided in the 70s when the building was under construction. "When they did an investigation, the architects learned that it was a no-no to put a food center where you store archival documents." Gillespie says the group is worried about vermin like cockroaches, mice and rats damaging valuable documents.
Gillespie says to make room for the proposed mini-Tamarack; the archives library would be moved into the Library Commission Library. That's another big concern for the preservation group. Gillespie says, "You don't put archival documents, one of a kind historical books and papers into a lending library because there's too much danger these books could be lost. Someone could permanently borrow." The collection includes documents from the Revolutionary War, John Brown's letters and the first official papers from when West Virginia became a state.
MYFH is urging every historic and preservation society in the state to start getting the word out about the possible change and they're sending petitions to anyone who can fill them with signatures.
The group is also urging concerned citizens to contact those in charge of the decision personally. Gillespie says, "What we're doing is urging people to send letters to the governor and to Secretary of Arts and Education Kay Goodwin and let them know how precious this resource is to us."
The governor has already received e-mails from former West Virginia residents living all over the country, as far away as California, who have asked him to reconsider the proposal.
**You can call Governor MANCHIN at:
to tell him he should NOT place IRREPLACABLE historical books into a LENDING LIBRARY where they may "walk-off"!
**You can also snail mail a letter or postcard to:
Governor Joe Manchin
1900 Kanawha Blvd., East
Charleston, WV 25305
and tell him "It's against principles to place the state's VALUABLE Historic Records in a LENDING LIBRARY like the Library Commission's Library.
**Make a copy of the PETITION and have all your Family, Friends, Society Members, *others sign it. Return it to:
Mining Your History Foundation
Charleston, WV 25392
PLEASE SEND your signed PETITION(s) in No LATER THAN May 1, 2007.
**Call YOUR Legislators at:
and tell them how IMPORTANT the present ARCHIVES Research Library is to YOU.
**Insert a letter into the next letter of your Genealogical or Historical Society and let all of your Friends know what is going on at the Cultural Center. Ask them to call or write the Governor and their Legislators.
**Remember that YOU and YOUR Family are part of
West Virginia's ARCHIVAL HISTORY!
**HUG an ARCHIVIST today and say THANKS for saving my history and all the history of my ancestors. They need all the LOVE and APPRECIATION they can get.
**You Should Say "THANKS" to Larry RATLIFF for his COURAGE and LEADERSHIP in obtaining this information which has been buried since August 29, 2006.
**Sign the Petition~SAVE THE WEST VIRGINIA ARCHIVES LIBRARY!!
*********PLEASE HELP SAVE OUR WV ARCHIVES**********
Above information provided by
The Mining Your History Foundation
"What You Can Do To SAVE The ARCHIVES LIBRARY"
Copy the petition and have everyone you know sign it.
Please return your signed petition(s)to the MYHF no later than May 1, 2007.
PETITION TO SAVE THE WEST VIRGINIA ARCHIVES LIBRARY
Randall REID-SMITH, Commissioner of the WV Division of Culture and History, has confirmed that a new catering cafE will replace the WV ARCHIVES and HISTORY LIBRARY! The ARCHIVES LIBRARY is to be moved in with the Library Commission's Lending Library. This is wrong because it is against ARCHIVAL PRINCIPLES to place the state's valuable historic records in a Lending Library. We the undersigned believe this is a foolish move and should be stopped before it is too late.
Name Address Date
THANK YOU for your help. Please feel free to copy this form. When completed, PLEASE sign your name as the submitter and mail by May 1, 2007 to:
Mining Your History Foundation,
c/o Virginia GILLESPIE, Secretary,
301 Lawson Street
Hurricane, WV 25526
(I carry one with me at all times and have my family & friends signatures on it.They couldn't refuse. LOL)
Also, I asked some of our local Libraries if a petition could be placed there to be picked up later and their response was: "it's of a political nature and "we" can't get involved!" **I wonder how they would feel if it was THEIR Hometown LIBRARY??? Would they not fight because it would be too political? Or would they stand up and FIGHT to keep their Library intact?
PLEASE, Won't YOU help SAVE OUR WV ARCHIVES????
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