In Defense of the North Carolina Archives and Their Role in the Franklin County Records Destruction Debacle

I have written a great deal about what happened in Franklin County on December 6, 2013. And I’ve stated some opinions (all my own) about the possible motivations, involvement of the myriad individuals, and the outcomes.

I’ve had a bit of fun at the expense of the Franklin County board and Angela Harris (Franklin County Manager), in particular – at whose feet I lay (about) 95% of the blame.

I’ve questioned the logic of the folks at the North Carolina Archives, for advising (strongly) the destruction of these records, without first undertaking a thorough investigation of what was in that basement, and for advising (in uber-strong language) that the records should not be given over to the Historical Society – since the NC Archives saw no value in them.

And, in my last post, I’ve had hearty belly-laugh at the time, expense, and general “head-space” this whole debacle has taken up at the archives. I still shake my head that these folks are so unbelievably unprepared and inept at handling a small (very small) crisis of this nature.

That said, the folks at NC Archives are not social media experts. Neither should they be. They are – for the most part – doing yeoman’s work in a field that makes most people yawn. I think their work is important, horribly underpaid, and badly understood – most notably by people like me.

I regret that their time has been taken up in dealing with this issue. In a more perfect world, their staff would have thought twice before writing the documents that I have called into question. In a better world they would have advised Patricia Chastain and the County Board to “do as they pleased”. In a better world – everyone would have communicated with and cooperated with everyone else thoroughly and respectfully.

Unfortunately we do not live in a better world.

All that said, I want to be clear. The NC Archives DID NOT DESTROY these documents. That was done at the Franklin County level – on an order given by Franklin County Manager, Angela Harris.

I’m done with this issue. The Historical Society can take it from here. The good people of Franklin County deserve better representation than the likes of Angela Harris and the Keystone Board that represent them – but I’m not their PR firm or their lobbying organization. I’ve done what I could to get the word out… My work is done.

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3 responses to “In Defense of the North Carolina Archives and Their Role in the Franklin County Records Destruction Debacle

  • msmarieresearch

    Thanks Grace – To say I have enjoyed reading them might be misunderstood but I have found them very interesting including the posturing and politicking. I will continue to follow your blogs for the time being as I like the way you write and am very interested in social history commentary.
    cheers M

  • nada62

    Well written. Well said.

    As I read the rough the 275 pages of the “evidence” that went along with Angela Harris’ letter, I was amazed at how many times your blog was mentioned, and the link to it was included. Not once was “Into the Light” (my blog) referred to, though I was also writing and posting about the situation. Granted, my post were not always as thorough as yours. I’ve been in the midst of grieving and handling two family losses during this time, but still, I was a little surprised. I also missed their radar on my tweets, but that’s okay, too. It was amazing to me to see the amount of energy they were putting into monitoring social media!
    I will continue to update my readers in this issue, since I am personally effected, and I will still tweet updates using the hash tag, #lostrecords. I encourage anyone who is reading this to use and follow that hash tag if you tweet.
    The commissioners are scheduled to meet again this evening, but I’m guessing the meeting may get canceled if the predicted snow comes in.
    Thanks for all you’ve done to get the word out about this. I’d appreciate it if you would add Into the LIGHT to your blog roll, since most if my content deals with my Franklin County ancestors, and you’ve alerted people all over the world to the tiny little dot that is Louisburg!

    Best,
    Renate

    http://www.justthinking130.blogspot.com

  • nada62

    Well written. Well said.

    As I read through the 275 pages of the “evidence” that went along with Angela Harris’ letter, I was amazed at how many times your blog was mentioned, and the link to it was included. Not once was “Into the Light” (my blog) referred to, though I was also writing and posting about the situation. Granted, my posts were not always as thorough as yours. I’ve been in the midst of grieving and handling two family losses during this time, but still, I was a little surprised. I also missed their radar on my tweets, but that’s okay, too. It was amazing to me to see the amount of energy they were putting into monitoring social media!
    I will continue to update my readers on this issue, since I am personally affected, and I will still tweet updates using the hash tag, #lostrecords. I encourage anyone who is reading this to use and follow that hash tag if you tweet.
    The commissioners are scheduled to meet again this evening, but I’m guessing the meeting may get canceled if the predicted snow comes in.
    Thanks for all you’ve done to get the word out about this. I’d appreciate it if you would add Into the LIGHT to your blog roll, since most of my content deals with my Franklin County ancestors, and you’ve alerted people all over the world to the tiny little dot on the map that is Louisburg!

    Best,
    Renate

    http://www.justthinking130.blogspot.com

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