New Archive Cutbacks

Under financial stress, the Knox County Public Library announced last Wednesday some major cutbacks in hours at the Calvin McClung Collection, which is now open only 40 hours a week, concentrating on afternoons, with evening hours only on Monday. It's their second major cutback in the last year, and represents shorter hours than the region's main historical collection has offered in the last two or three decades.

The same day, they announced that Knox County Archives, also located in the East Tennessee History Center, would be open only 20 hours a week, weekdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Almost immediately we received complaints from readers claiming that the latter cutback was a violation of the state constitution, which requires that all archives of legal documents be open the same hours as the court itself.

The following day came another announcement, without elaboration. The Archives would be open Monday through Friday, 8 to 4:30.

For the Archives, which had previously been closed Tuesday and Thursday mornings, the "cutbacks" seem to have resulted in 8.5 additional hours each week.