National Maritime Museum - Caird Library cuts

If you think Naval History is important, please consider signing the online petition to the Prime Minister protesting at the severe cuts in public access to the National Maritime Museum's unique world-class naval and maritime archives at the Caird Library:

As well as a three month closure of access to the major part of the manuscripts collection, opening hours are being halved all the way through to 2012 and possibly beyond.
Well that depends on whether you consider three and a half years to be temporary - plus a refusal to commit to opening hours beyond then.

The three month closure in access to most manuscripts is while they are moved off-site (the reading room remains open for half the normal hours). Once the move of manuscripts is complete in June there will be processes in place for retrieval to the reading room, exactly as at present for the part of the archives that are already held off-site. However the reduced opening hours continue all the way through to 2012.

Opening hours are now, and will remain, approximately 20 hours per week, until the new wing opens in time for the Olympics in 2012. This is half of the minimum 40 hours per week promised in the NMM's current Library Access policy. It is also contrary to their funding agreement with the Government which commits them to maintaining services for researchers during the development.

The Museum has not responded to questioning with any explanation for the ongoing cuts in opening hours.

The Museum has also not committed to restoring opening hours in 2012, saying only that they cannot confirm the opening hours from 2012, and refusing to answer questions about the commitment to a minimum 40 hours per week.

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