Iowa academics worried about Historical Society’s future

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — History department leaders from 11 Iowa colleges and universities are raising concerns about cuts to the State Historical Society of Iowa.

The Iowa City Press-Citizen (http://icp-c.com/1D18Eyj ) reports the society used to have a staff of 20 in 2000, but has only three people this year. Public visiting hours at the group’s centers in Iowa City and Des Moines have also been cut from five days a week to three.

Some academics believe that the reduced hours signal the centers will be closed.

In the letter to Gov. Terry Branstad and other state officials, the history department leaders stressed the importance of the society’s role in preserving the state’s heritage.

The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs says the decrease in hours is necessary to do a comprehensive analysis of the state’s collection.

A spokesman for Branstad said the governor had not yet reviewed the letter.

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Information from: Iowa City Press-Citizen, http://www.press-citizen.com/

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