The newsletter of the Naval Dockyards Society report in the editorial of their newsletter the following shocking story - certainly a situation I am not aware that people in Greenwich know about -
"At the end of October 2008, the National Maritime Museum announced a 'temporary' closure of the Caird Library from 20 December 2008 until the late spring or early summer of next year. This announcement, made with such little notice and no meaningful consultation, naturally prompted a storm of protest, and I wrote formally to the Director of the Museum on behalf of this society to express our deep concern. I was particularlyconcerned about the effect that the proposed closure would have had on the superbly professional and enthusiastic team of volunteers working on the NDS-sponsored Navy Board Project, which since 1999 has been cataloguing the papers at Greenwich for the benefit of the Library. A complete closure also raised questions about the Museum's responsibilities as a designated place of deposit for public records, notably many important manuscripts on dockyard history. On 3 December, the Museum responded to the pressure by conceding that the library would remain open for two days a week during the first half of 2009, and at the time of going to press we are hopeful that our volunteers will be allowed access to the materials they need to continue their work; the announcement specifies, albeit rather vaguely, that the library will continue to meet its responsibilities for access to public records. However, until 2012 the library's hours will be severely curtailed to just three days a week and the first Saturday in each month, all by appointment only. These changes are part of the £35 million development of the new Sammy Ofer wing at the museum, which is to include a new research facility. We are glad that the Museum finally saw sense over this matter, but are appalled that the situation arose in the first place; many have suggested that this reflects a long-standing and less than positive attitude to those engaged in serious research in naval history. We also remain very concerned about the restrictions on access to the library in the period to 2012 - restrictions that are driven primarily by the imperative to get the new wing ready in time for the Olympics, as the library's website openly admits - and about the future use of the outstanding Caird Library. Therefore,we will continue to monitor developments atGreenwich very closely.