A firestorm has erupted over the state’s decision to sharplycurtail public access to the Georgia Archives. The announcement late Thursday quickly became a cause celebre for academics and family genealogists alike as thousands signed online petitions and Facebook pages through the weekend.

Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp said even he was unhappy — and it was his decision. “To reduce public access to the historical records of this state was not arrived at without great consternation,” Kemp said.

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