Series Vol. 7 No. 4
LHRT Executive Meeting at ALA in New Orleans is open to all interested members. It will be held on Sunday, June 25, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.,MCC, Room 254
Message from the Chair
In 2005, LHRT Chair Jean Preer commented on what seems to be a current renewal of interest in library history. We are finding that this trend is reflected in the numbers of people willing to involve themselves in LHRT. Last fall, we welcomed over 120 new members by sending out greeting letters, and we will be sending another mailing before the Annual Conference. At San Antonio in January, the Midwinter meeting of the LHRT Executive Committee was very well attended, consisting of eighteen “visitors” as well as eight committee members and two ALA staff members (Denise Davis and Letitia Earvin). One of the most gratifying things about the Executive Committee meeting was the number of people took an active part in the discussion, and who volunteered to undertake some important task. Charley Seavey, who with Tom Glynn is currently editor of the LHRT Newsletter, announced that he will be retiring as newsletter editor after the Fall 2006 issue. We all want to express our thanks to Charley for his hard work over the last few years. Luckily for us all, Jim Carmichael has generously agreed to jump into the breach, and will be sharing the editorship with Tom. Another important way in which LHRT publicizes its activities is through the web site. Joy Kingsolver has graciously volunteered to work with Letitia Earvin on web site content and upkeep. Ed Goedeken continues his invaluable work on the library history bibliography (you can find the newest version later in this newsletter, and older versions available at the website). Bernadette Lear and Suzanne Stauffer have been active in involving new participants, and have brainstormed a long list of possible ideas for new activities. At San Antonio, Bernadette took the initiative to organize a walk around town that started with a tour of the public library, and she has plans for similar activities in the future.
One of the landmark decisions that the Executive Committee took was to vote in favor of the electronic approval of future amendments to the LHRT by-laws. We thought that would be the end of the matter, but as it turned out there was still one more step before the change became final. Since the matter still needed to go for a vote of the full LHRT membership, the by-laws and constitution changes appeared on the ballot during this Spring’s ALA elections. As the Spring Newsletter goes to press, the results of the election are still unknown, but we hope that LHRT members voted in favor of this procedural change, making the amendment process less cumbersome in the future.
At the upcoming Annual Convention in New Orleans, we have two very exciting programs organized for the morning and afternoon of Sunday, June 25th. The morning’s Research Forum, now in its third year as juried session, has been organized by incoming LHRT chair Andrew Wertheimer. This year the theme is "The American Ethnic Experience in the History of Libraries and Print Culture." You can find more details of the three speakers elsewhere in the newsletter. We are thrilled that the first Edward Holley Lecture will take place on the afternoon of June 25th. As many LHRT members will remember, the establishment of this endowed Lectureship has been a long-term project, and we are delighted that it will now be a regular part of our summer program. The first Holley Lecturers, John Y. Cole, Director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, and Jane Aikin, Senior Academic Adviser at the National Endowment for the Humanities, will talk on the topic of “History as Collaboration,” and in particular will discuss the compilation of their book, Encyclopedia of the Library of Congress: For Congress, the Nation and the World, published by the Library of Congress in 2004. We are sure that these two programs will of great interest to LHRT members, and we hope to see very many of you there.
LHRT Research Forum, ALA Conference 2006
On behalf of the LHRT Research Committee, I am pleased to introduce the program selected for the LHRT Research Forum, which will take place on Sunday, 25 June 2006 from 10.30 AM until noon.
The topic will be “The American Ethnic Experience in the History of Libraries & Print Culture,” and I have the honor of serving as panel chair and discussant. The papers were submitted in response to my call for research papers that not only take a cultural and historical perspective on libraries, but especially on “research on libraries in relation to ethnic groups underrepresented in the literature, such as Native Americans, Latinos/Latinas, Asian Americans, Acadians, Italian-Americans, etc.”
My reason for selecting the topic is to encourage library historians to develop research that deconstructs terms such as multiculturalism or ethnic experiences. While we are doing a good job of exploring the history of desegregation our libraries (one of the most telling chapters of our history), there is so much more when we look at ethnicity using a wider critical framework, and especially when we use multilingual primary sources to understand the history from the perspective of ethnic people as library users (and non-users). I hope that the papers that were selected will help inspire a new generation of researchers that will explore new questions and experiences.
Without further delay, the papers selected are as follows:
Ellen Knutson , Doctoral Student, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign -- “The Domestication and Americanization of The Foreign Born: Library Service to Immigrants 1905-1935”
Barbara Walden , Doctoral Student, School of Library and Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison -- “’These Tokens of Fellowship’” -- the German Book Exhibits of 1925 and the Re-entry of German Books into American Libraries”
George I. Paganelis , Curator, Tsakopoulos Hellenic Collection, California State University, Sacramento Library -- “Greek Americans in American Library History: A Survey of the Landscape”
We hope that you can join us at this event at the Convention Center. The abstracts are available online at http://www2.hawaii.edu/~wertheim/LHRT2006ResearchForum.html
Vice Chair/ Chair Elect
First Annual Edward Holley Lecture, ALA Conference 2005
“History as Collaboration: Making the Encyclopedia of the Library of Congress: For Congress, the Nation, and the World”
The very first Annual Holley Lecture will take place on Sunday, June 25 from 1.30pm-3.30pm. John Y. Cole, Director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, and Jane Aikin from the National Endowment for the Humanities, will discuss their work together editing the recently published Encyclopedia of the Library of Congress. Historians often work alone. However, in creating the Encyclopedia, Cole and Aikin collaborated with more than fifty Library of Congress subject specialists to produce the most comprehensive book ever about America's library. The lecture will describe and illustrate the ten-year history of a major historical publication.
RBMS Pre-Conference: Libraries, Archives and Museums in the Twenty-First Century: Intersecting Missions, Converging Futures?
The 47th Annual Pre-conference of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries of the American Library Association will be held June 20-23, 2006, in Austin, Texas prior to the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.
This year's theme: "Libraries, Archives, and Museums in the Twenty-First Century: Intersecting Missions, Converging Futures?" invites participants from the library, museum, and archival fields to join together in investigating common concerns relating to their shared missions to acquire, preserve, and make accessible the world's cultural artifacts and historical documents.
The two-and-a-half-day conference program will include a series of plenary sessions that will address a broad range of topics from comparative viewpoints, including collecting purposes and strategies, audiences and access, legal issues, and professional education and development. A variety of seminar sessions and facilitated discussions will complement the conference theme. Participants will also be able to take advantage of special tours of the recently renovated Harry Ransom Center and Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, and other local cultural facilities.
A major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent Federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities, will provide full attendance scholarships on a competitive basis to thirty new and aspiring library, archives, and museum professionals, especially from professionally underrepresented backgrounds. For more information and application procedures, click on the Scholarships link at: http:hrc.utexas.edu/rbms2006/.
The Ransom Center, located on the University of Texas at Austin campus, will serve as the conference host. One of the world's finest cultural archives, the Center houses 36 million literary manuscripts, one million rare books, five million photographs, and over 100,000 works of art. Highlights include the Gutenberg Bible (c. 1455), the First Photograph (c. 1826), important paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and major manuscript collections of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Norman Mailer, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Tennessee Williams, to name but a few.
ALA Mid-Winter Meeting- Executive Committee Meeting Minutes
Attendance: Steering Committee: David Hovde, Melanie Kimball, Bernadette Lear, Christine Pawley (Chair), Ken Potts, Jean Preer, Allison Sutton, Andrew Wertheimer. Denise Davis (ALA Liaison), Letitia Earvin (ALA staff).
Committee Members: Mary Niles Maack, Charley Seavey, Steven Sowards.
Visitors: Tom Bolze, Jim Carmichael, Karen Cook, Christine Jenkins, Monica Kirby, Mark McCallen, Bill Olbrich, Cheryl Malone, Barry Neavill, Ann O’Bryan, Jordan Scepanski, Eileen Smith, Loriene Roy, Fred Stielow, Wayne Wiegand.
Absent: Suzanne Stauffer
I. Welcome and Introductions, Approval of the Minutes of Annual Meeting, June 26, 2005.
The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. by Christine Pawley, Chair, and began with those present introducing themselves. The minutes for the Annual Meeting in Chicago, June 2005 were approved with minor changes for typos.
II. Chair’s Report
A. Hodges Memorial: Christine Pawley began the Chair’s Report by stating that a draft resolution for a memorial for Gerald Hodges had been sent out to the Executive Committee and endorsed on behalf of LHRT. Envelopes for donations were passed out. Hodges left money to go to the fund for the Office of Intellectual Freedom to go for legal fees for the work of the Office.
B. Library History Seminar XI: Christine Jenkins, co-organizer of the seminar commented on the Seminar, which was a great success. There were 110 attendees at the Allerton Conference Center in Monticello, Illinois. Thirty of the forty-eight papers presented at the Seminar were submitted for inclusion in 1-2 issues of Libraries and the Cultural Record and the quality of the papers was high. Mary Niles Maack thanked Christine Jenkins and Boyd Rayward for their hard work in bringing the Seminar together. Allerton was the perfect venue with everyone resident. It was easy to converse at meals as well as in the sessions. There was a round of applause for the Seminar.
C. Ed Holley Lectureship: This is now a reality thanks to the transfer of funds, voted on at the Annual Meeting in June, the LHRT auction, held at the Library History Seminar and to personal donations from former students of Ed Holley. The first lecture will be held at this year’s Annual Conference and will be given by John Cole of the Library of Congress and Jane Aiken of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The funds for the lectureship could go to an honorarium, equipment, travel and housing for lecturers, but Cole and Aiken may not accept an honorarium or travel money since they work for the U.S. government and this is considered part of their work.
D. LHRT Handbook: Jean Preer and Ken Potts revised the handbook. The final stage is a vote on the By-laws, which will be held later in the meeting. This is a big achievement, and a round of applause was given to Preer and Potts for their efforts. [Staff note: By-laws changes must be approved in the general ballot for LHRT members, and will be included on the spring 2006 ballot.]
III. Treasurer’s Report
Melanie Kimball presented the Treasurer's Report for 2005. She noted that two transfers of funds had taken place during this period, one for the lectureship fund, and one for the Library History Seminar XI. She commented that LHRT needs to plan ahead for foreseeable contingencies, and suggested that we set aside a regular sum each year that could be carried forward in anticipation of LHS XII in 2010. This sum might be used for honorees or for student scholarships, but the decision as to how to use it would be at the discretion of the seminar organizers.
Andrew Wertheimer proposed the motion to accept the Treasurer's Report, Bernadette Lear seconded, and it was carried unanimously.
Melanie then presented the proposed budget for 2006-07. The high costs of presentation equipment at ALA Annual were discussed, though no solution to this problem was reached. Members emphasized the discretionary nature of the uses for the LHS XII money.
Jean Preer proposed the motion to accept the proposed budget, Alison Sutton seconded, and it was carried unanimously
IV. Old Business
A. Endowed Lectureship: Wayne Wiegand complimented LHRT for being persistent in pursuing this long-awaited goal. He asked if we could 1) Have a scholarly journal commit to publish the Ed Holley Lecture annually; 2) Make it easy for speakers who want to donate their honorarium by giving them a check that they could them re-submit to the lecture. Both of these topics will be discussed further at the Annual Meeting.
B. Handbook Revision: Jean Preer said that she and Ken Potts worked to bring multiple parts of the By-laws together into one document. The requirement of the current By-laws was that changes had to be sent to the Membership in print, so the current changes were submitted to the LHRT Newsletter and published in the last issue prior to the Midwinter Meeting. The new by-laws assign roles to the Members-at-Large, among other things. The motion to approve the by laws as printed in the Fall 2005 LHRT Newsletter, was moved by Melanie Kimball and seconded by David Hovde. The motion passed and applause was given to Jean and Ken for their work.
V. Committee Reports
A. Research Forum/Awards: Andrew Wertheimer said that the Call for Proposals for the Research Forum went out to newsletters and listservs. There was a good response and he has several papers to choose from. The theme for the Forum is “American Ethnic Experiences in the History of Libraries and Print Culture.”
The Award Committees are all coordinated and working on their various awards.
B. Nominating Committee: Christine Pawley spoke for the Committee, as Committee Chair Mary Barbosa-Jerez was absent. There is a full slate of candidates. Mary Niles Maack is running unopposed (at the date of the LHRT meeting) for Chair Elect. Secretary/Treasurer Elect had four candidates: Tom Bolze, Bernadette Lear, Mark Tucker, and Marek Sroka.
C. Council Nominee: David Hovde volunteered to be nominated for the open position of ALA Councilor for the Smaller Round Tables. (See further discussion below in “Other Business.”)
D. Ad Hoc Committee on Library Outreach: Bernadette Lear reported that the Committee sent a survey to the LHRT Membership asking what activities LHRT should pursue to reach out to newer members and to get more members but did not get many responses. Some suggestions were to have more outreach to MLS/MS students, have more “how to do history” programs, and to have tours of library history landmarks in the cities where we have our Meetings. In San Antonio Bernadette organized a walking tour of the town and a tour of the San Antonio Public Library. In order for the tours to work better, we need to know deadlines in order to make sure the tour makes it into the ALA program. For next year’s meetings in Seattle and Washington, D.C. we will focus on historic tours.
Karen Cook suggested that we present at the New Members Round Table orientation meeting instead of just sending flyers.
Wayne Wiegand suggested that we put a column about past conference activities in the Conference Issue of American Libraries. Melanie Kimball suggested that this could be tied to the host city when possible. For instance, there is a photograph of a post-Annual Meeting hike up Mt. Rainier from the 1925 conference in Seattle.
Mary Niles Maack said that visiting sites and tours could be coordinated through the local arrangements committees and work through the Chapters rather than the national organization.
Over 120 greeting letters went out to new and recently joined members, and she included 50 LHRT ribbons. We are currently budgeted for two mailings a year for this purpose, so she will send out another mailing before the Annual Meeting.
VI. New Business
A. Newsletter Editor: Charley Seavey is retiring in December 2006 and needs someone to take over the editorship, which he shares with Tom Glynn. Ed Goedeken will continue to do the bibliography of recent publications of interest to LHRT members. James Carmichael volunteered to take over Charley’s editorship.
B. 1876 Webpage: Charley Seavey created a webpage of the 1876 report on Public Libraries in the United States. He is afraid that once he leaves the University of Missouri it may be dropped from their website and wondered if it could be housed on the LHRT website. Denise Davis and Letitia Earvin said that it could easily go there. Charley will send the files to Letitia and put up a forwarding address to the LHRT website.
C. LHRT Website: Christine Pawley said that we need someone to routinely look at the website to spot problems. Denise Davis said that all ALA webpages do not have to look alike, but there are some guidelines. Christine Jenkins said that the Chair is the logical person to send new content but that it would be helpful to assign someone to check the site periodically for broken links, mistakes, etc. Andrew Wertheimer suggested that Joy Kingsolver be contacted to see if she would like to do this.
Ken Potts wondered if we should start posting the current newsletter and bibliography to the site. Letitia said that since the newsletter and bibliography are member benefits, they get posted to the site at a later date. The membership agreed that they would like the bibliography to go up immediately but the newsletter can wait.
D. Library History Seminar XII: The call for proposal of venue went out. The deadline is June before the annual meeting. No formal proposals have been received yet. The question arose as to who would select the next venue. For the last Seminar, only the Executive Committee voted. Should the entire membership vote this time?
Christine Jenkins said that she had lots of interested people and that it was good practice for students to get involved in planning. She also said that Allerton is available as a conference center independent of the University of Illinois’ involvement in the conference itself. Campuses work nicely for the seminar, as there are inexpensive dorm rooms available often. She found it to be exciting, though time consuming. It was a different way of working with colleagues and was a satisfying and interesting process. She suggested that information about scholarships and other funding be made sooner to organizers.
The budget for LHS XI wound up breaking even. She and Boyd Rayward will provide a budget and other information for future planners.
Mary Niles Maack suggested that we solicit people to propose their venue and proposed University of Wisconsin at Madison for the next one. Wayne Wiegand agreed that it was a good venue. Christine Pawley said it could be a joint project with the Center for Print Culture at Wisconsin.
Fred Stielow suggested that the Centennial libraries be asked to affiliate themselves with the conference. James Carmichael mentioned LSA 1956. Both Fred and James also suggested that the LHRT website might have a sidebar with a timeline of library history.
The institutions proposing their site as a venue are required to make a proposal for the conference theme, but the venue is not decided by the theme. The venue can decide the theme themselves. Mary Niles Maack said that perhaps the Executive Committee could suggest a theme.
Library Research Roundtable shortened the time between their seminars from every five years to every three years. LHRT did not want to address frequency at this time, but it was thought that there wouldn’t be as much interest if it were held more frequently.
Jean Preer said that many small conferences end with a conference photo of all participants. Perhaps future Library History Seminars could include a conference photo.
The conference materials from Library History Seminar XI will be deposited in the ALA Archives at the University of Illinois. It was moved by Jean Preer that the by-laws referencing the Library History Round Table be changed to reflect the new name for Libraries & Culture. The motion was seconded by Andrew Wertheimer and passed unanimously.
VII. Other Business
A. Round Table Councilors: Jordan Scepanski, ALA Councilor for the Smaller Round Tables came to discuss a proposal to change the way the Round Tables are represented at ALA Council. Currently, the five largest Round Tables each have their own representative but the twelve smaller Round Tables, including LHRT, have only one representative between them. The resolution to be put before the Council proposes that the number of Councilors representing Round Tables be expanded by for additional Councilors. When a Round Table passed the threshold of 1% of ALA membership (currently 618 members) the Round Table would be allowed to elect its own Council member. If the resolution passes, the Councilor for the Smaller Round Tables will only have to represent eight Round Tables, which would improve the situation for all Round Tables as it is difficult to adequately represent all twelve at this time. The Resolution also states that Round Tables tend to be where the “rank and file” does business in ALA. Scepanski further noted that some Round Tables are bigger than some divisions and some are larger than ALA Chapters, all of which have their own Councilors.
LHRT is close to the proposed threshold—we only need an additional 120 members to reach the 618 required. If LHRT passes the required threshold after the resolution passes (after the end of the fiscal year, August 2006), we may elect a Councilor in the next election who would serve a three-year term. Jean Preer asked if we could combine with LRRT and Bernadette Lear asked if it would be possible to have one councilor for three or four Round Tables with related interests. Scepanski said that the late Gerald Hodges thought that was a good idea. The reality of the current situation is that the largest of the smaller Round Tables can overpower other smaller Round Tables simply because they have more voting members, so Hodges suggested that Round Tables with similar interests get together and vote as a block.
Denise suggested that we look at the list of overlap statistics between Round Tables. This would show the overlap in membership and help identify members with similar interests.
The Round Table Coordinating Council endorses this proposal in principle and most other Round Tables also endorsed the resolution. Scepanski believes that the resolution will be endorsed in ALA Council, although some Councilors may think it will make Council to large.
Mary Niles Maack said we should definitely endorse the proposal. Andrew Wertheimer said we should endorse but suggested the possibility of a combined Councilor for like-minded Round Tables.
Mary Niles Maack made the motion to endorse the proposal; it was seconded by Steve Sowards and passed unanimously.
B. RBMS Pre-Conferences: Eileen Smith from RBMS discussed the RBMS Pre-Conferences, which are held the Tuesday before the Annual Meeting. She suggested that LHRT members consider submitting papers to the pre-conference. Presenters must be a member of RBMS to attend or it costs more. You do not have to be a member to submit a paper, and you do not have to register for the pre-conference if you will only be there for one day to present a paper. The pre-conference for 2007 will be in Baltimore (The Annual Meeting will be in Washington, D. C.) The theme for the pre-conference is Ephemera. The CFP will go out soon. Seminar presentations may be papers of 20 minutes or workshops. It was suggested that LHRT should advertise to members of RBMS to ask them to become members of LHRT. Smith thought this was a good idea.
C. Presidential Candidate: ALA Presidential Candidate Loriene Roy stopped by to meet with LHRT. She passed out a highlight sheet and indicated that she was a member of LHRT. She also briefly discussed her platform.
D. Libraries and the Cultural Record: Ken Potts spoke on behalf of new editor, David Gracy, who was unable to attend the LHRT meeting. The name of Libraries & Culture has been changed to Libraries and the Cultural Record in order to recognize the broader academic record encompassing archives and the archival enterprise, museums, and preservation. The first issue with the new name will go out in late summer. The second issue will include papers from Library History Seminar XI. Andrew Wertheimer will run a biennial literature review for history that may be paralleled for archival studies, but for now the literature review will remain the same.
The question arose whether we should have a liaison from LHRT to the Editorial Board of L&CR. Andrew Wertheimer expressed concern that this was a major transition for the journal and since this is the premier journal for library history it could have serious ramifications for the field. Christine Pawley suggested that if there is an LHRT member already on the Editorial Board perhaps they could serve as liaison. Mary Niles Maack is on the Board currently or should the liaison be a formal appointment from LHRT? Fred Stielow said we should feel empowered to appoint a liaison. Christine and Andrew will work with David Gracy to see about appointing someone. David Gracy has stated that he will be at future meetings of the LHRT Executive Committee.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
Libraries & the Cultural
Record Moves to Broaden Research into Library History
The 40-year-old premier journal of the history of libraries and librarianship, Libraries & Culture, is becoming the first journal to also explore and document the historical development of the Information Domain, a realm of study and practice being built on the foundation of libraries and librarianship.
The journal’s inaugural issue under its new title, Libraries & the Cultural Record, will appear in Summer 2006. L&CR will give voice to historical exploration, singly and in concert, of libraries and librarianship, archival and records enterprise, museums and museum administration, and preservation and conservation. These are the fields joined in the stewardship of the cultural record—recorded knowledge of human discovery, creativity, and achievement. Specifically, L&CR will offer readers interdisciplinary research exploring the significance of collections of recorded knowledge—their creation, organization, preservation, and utilization—in the context of cultural and social history, unlimited as to time and place. As it expands its scope, Libraries & the Cultural Record will continue its mission of presenting original research in library history.
Begun at Florida State University in 1966 as The Journal of Library History, the publication moved to the University of Texas’s then Graduate School of Library Science in 1977. For the subsequent 29 years Professor Donald G. Davis, Jr., gave the journal editorial leadership. Recognizing that libraries are best understood within the context of the time, place, and culture they nurtured and served, Davis led the move in 1988 that broadened the scope of the journal to the study of the historical development of libraries within societies and cultures. Reflecting the change, the journal’s name was broadened to Libraries & Culture.
The new Editor of Libraries & the Cultural Record is David B. Gracy II, the Governor Bill Daniel Professor in Archival Enterprise, School of Information, University of Texas at Austin. A member of the editorial board for more than 20 years since the Journal of Library History days, Gracy has established two journals, including Georgia Archive (now Provenance) of the Society of Georgia Archivists, and has worked or served on the editorial boards of three others. He has held archival positions in three libraries, including Texas State Archivist in the Texas State Library, and has served as president of the Society of American Archivists and the Academy of Certified Archivists. Finally, he served four years as Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Texas.
Though broadened in its scope, Libraries & the Cultural Record continues as always to solicit studies of the history of libraries, librarianship, library collections, and the historical relationships between and among libraries on the one hand and archives, museums, and the work and imperative of preservation on the other. As the venue for publication of Justin Winsor Award-winning manuscripts, the journal continues to seek evocative, engaging studies and essays.
Subscription information for Libraries & the Cultural record may be found at http://www.utexas.edu/utpress/journals/custservjour.html. Editorial correspondence should be addressed to the journal at email@example.com. The journal’s new website is under construction and expected to be online in June at www.ischool.utexas.edu/~lcr.
David B. Gracy II
Submissions for Libraries & the Cultural Record Biennial Review of the Literature
I want to remind LHRT members that I am working on our biennial review of library history writing for Libraries & the Cultural Record. Please e-mail me to make sure I know your recent writings, so that I can be sure to include it, especially if it was not included in Ed Goedeken’s fine online or printed bibliographies.
Museums and Galleries History Group
A sister organization, but with potential overlap of interests with library history, has been established in the UK. The Museums and Galleries History Group now has a website at http://www.mghg.org/ where the first issue of the MGHG Newsletter can be read. Membership of the Group 'is open to academics, students, museum workers, archivists, librarians and all those with an interest in museum and gallery history ... The current annual membership rate is £10, with a discounted rate of £5 for registered students.' The Group was inaugurated at a symposium on 'Museums and their Histories' in 2003 at the National Gallery, London and the next one, on 'Negotiating Museum and Gallery History', is being planned for September 2006 at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
There are growing interests in the history of museum libraries and of other book collections within museums, as well as in cabinets of curiosities and other non-book collections in libraries. These areas of interest have much to communicate with each other. Collaborative meetings and research projects in the future could well be productive.
Peter B. Freshwater, MA, MCLIP, FSAScot
SHARP Annual Conference
The fourteenth annual conference of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) will be held in Leiden and The Hague, The Netherlands, organized by the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands) in co-operation with the Universities of Leiden, Utrecht, Nijmegen and Amsterdam. 'Trading Books - Trading Ideas' seeks to highlight the importance of the European and the North American heritage for the book and print cultures of the world. Special attention will be paid to the history of the trade in books between Eastern and Western European countries, to mark the occasion of ten new Eastern member states joining the European Union on 1 May 2004.
Chronology of Young Adult Services
The cover story of Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA) June 2005 issue carried a six-page chronology of young adult services history, representing the first substantial step toward documenting the legacy of teen services in libraries. In addition to the print version, VOYA continues to carry the longer version on its website, and will post annual updates at www.voya.com. Further, the chronology will also be accessible through Young Adult Library Services Association's (YALSA) webpage as well at www.ala.org/yalsa. The original work was the collaboration of four LHRT members: Anthony Bernier, Mary K. Chelton, Christine A. Jenkins, and Jennifer Burke Pierce. Nominations for additions to the chronology are invited. Send them to:
Traveling Vattemare Exhibit
Nicholas Marie Alexandre Vattemare (1796-1864), though largely forgotten today, was in his own era known as a world-famous actor, ventriloquist and philanthropist who was also instrumental in the founding of the BPL—his initial gift of books from the City of Paris having inspired the mayor of Boston to establish a municipally funded public library that was free to all. During the last 30 years of his life, he crusaded for and almost single-handedly launched, the first international system of exchanges of scientific and other publications by learned inventors and authors of the world.
The Boston Public Library and the Bibliothèque Administrative de la Ville de Paris have joined hands to plan and execute a major international traveling exhibition to explore Vattemare’s life and career and legacy as an international ambassador of books and learning. The exhibition will take place in Paris at the Bibliotheque Administrative de la Ville de Paris (January to April 2007), at the BPL (June to August 2007), and possibly in Montreal (September to December 2007). Items to be displayed include manuscripts, engravings, coins, medals, scientific devices, theatrical books, minerals, and nautical devices.
Boston Public Library
CFP: Conference on the History of Records and Archives
The third International Conference on the History of Records and Archives (I-CHORA) will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, September 27-29, 2007, hosted by the Massachusetts Historical Society. The theme of the conference will be the history of personal records and personal recordkeeping practices. This theme is intended to cover the full range of personal documents-including, for example, letters, diaries, journals, and scrapbooks-both as document types and as parts of recordkeeping systems that document personal life. We invite submissions of proposals for papers that report on original research into a topic and theme that has not been widely discussed in the archival literature, though scholars in literary studies, history, and the arts have probed the personal and social functions and meaning of records made, kept, and exchanged by people in their private and professional lives. Papers may treat any time period and any national jurisdiction. Topics might include, but are not limited to the following areas:
the forms of personal records
the motivations for making and keeping personal records
the collecting of personal records by individuals and archival repositories
cross-disciplinary perspectives on personal records
needs for research in the area of personal records
Proposals for papers should be no less than 500 words, double-spaced, and in RTF format. They should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by 19 May 2006. We will advise acceptance in mid-June.