Scholars and others are protesting a plan to largely end public access to the Georgia Archives, which includes key documents and collections dating back to the Colonial era, The Atlanta Journal Constitution  reported. State officials say that they don't like the idea, but have no choice due to budget cuts. A petition  to keep the archives open has attracted more than 13,000 signatures. James R. Grossman, president of the American Historical Association, released a letter he sent to Georgia Governor Nathan Deal,  criticizing the planned closure of public access. "The records of any government represent the heritage of its people, and can serve that role only when its citizens have access to consult those records," Grossman wrote. "Closing the doors to the Archives would represent a devastating blow not only to historians, genealogists, and others with an interest in the past, but also the state’s policymakers and leaders who need a solid understanding of the past to help shape Georgia’s future."