In the 8 June 2009 newsletter, I speculated as to what sort of news would be announced as a rather mysterious meeting notice had been published by The National Archives of Great Britain. That article is still available at http://blog.eogn.com/eastmans_online_genealogy/2009/06/changes-at-the-national-archives-at-kew.html.
The meetings were held and now we know the news. Sadly, the news is not good.
Leading historians, including Antony Beevor and Saul David, have expressed anger and dismay at the proposed cuts. Professor David told The Independent on Sunday: "The future history of our country is at stake."
Dr Nick Barratt, a historian and lead researcher for the BBC's genealogy programme Who Do You Think You Are?, believes the ultimate goal is to reduce visitors to Kew. "The end-line message is that they want to stop people coming to Kew and they want to restrict access to public records," he said. "Cutting into specialists and specialist knowledge is one part of that. It's dumbing down, effectively. The general move is to a mass market."
You can read more in an article by Paul Bignell and Matthew Bell published in The Independent at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/historians-furious-as-kew-archives-are-dumbed-down-1742753.html.