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Convention Special 2

Questioned Proxy Ballots Upheld by Howling Majority; Lindberg Groans

After a debate that was punctuated by moments of light amidst the confusion, the Executive Judges’ rejection of the proxy ballots was in turn thrown out by the convention. The vote was 22 to 1, with Roy Lindberg alone holding out for disenfranchisement of the absent masses.

The feeling appeared to be that, while the ballots may have been technically deficient, no one had in effect suffered injury through loss of voting rights or being misled as to the intent of the proposed amendments.

After a lively debate over procedure, rather than intent, the convention barred Donald Hare from renewal or reinstatement of membership. Evidence was given that he had seriously harassed a number of members by mail.

Morning Session

Woodrow Wilson had 14 points, but the President’s report has 20 points – 2,200 words of Tom Whitbread’s prose which, at commercial rates for an author of his status, are worth the Life Members’ Fund. Read by Hazel Segal, the report gave a blow-by-blow, day-by-day account of his year as President.

With ex-President Bill Haywood in the chair, the convention speedily went through the essential business of officers’ and committees’ reports. There was some stumbling over the tangled web woven by the executive judges; but the matter was tabled in favor of efficiency.

Spiritual highlight of the subsequent reports was Tillie Haywood’s reading of a delightful piece of publicity which had never been published. The Recruiting Chairman can now report in detail on prospects who don’t join.

Stan Oliner gave his report on the status of the Fossil Library in three dimensions: Sample bound volume, photograph, amateur book and a hand-made wooden press from 1874.

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The Library of Amateur Journalism
by Edwin C. Harler, Jr.

David Jagger wanted to sell his 2000 amateur paper collection for the price of indexing. Edwin Hadley Smith paid the required $10 in 1897. When he moved to New York City in 1899, he had already acquired 7000 papers. He endeavored to catalog his collection during his spare time, but decided to resign his position and work full-time on his collection for the next six months. In February 1903 Mr. Smith began, spending eighteen months on the task.

After having the collection bound (there were now 25,700 papers), he began to search for a place where the collection could be available to other interested amateurs. On November 5, 1908, the Smith Collection was opened at the Pratt Institute Public Library in Brooklyn, N. Y. Five years later the collection was moved to the Pulitzer School of Journalism of Columbia University.

Charles C. Heuman purchased the Collection in 1916. It then became known as the Fossil Library. The formal opening took place in the New York Sun building.

Mr. Smith remained inactive for fifteen years and the Collection suffered a similar fate. Practically complete to the year 1915, it contained 29,500 papers, 750 books, 1800 clippings, 2200 photos, 4500 printed relics and 14,000 catalog cards.

A new era began when Cyrus H. K. Curtis lent his weight to the suggestion that the Fossil Library be housed in the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. A letter, dated June 16, 1931, formally accepted the collection, stating, “We shall house it permanently in the new Benjamin Franklin Memorial; it will be kept intact and will be in its own separate alcove in the library of the Franklin Institute.”

The Institute actually accepted the collection on April 6, 1934. It consisted of both the Fossil Library and NAPA Library (1915-34). These libraries were combined to form the Library of Amateur Journalism. The years 1916-31 were not represented in either collection, so Smith, who again became active, set out to fill in the missing journals for those neglected years. (From this date, NAPA librarians kept the collection current.)

Attendees at the 60th NAPA convention in Oakland, California, learned that its library contained 2200 papers, 100 books and additional printed clippings and relics. Only six issues of the National Amateur were needed to complete the 1878-1935 file of the official organ. A year later, in 1936, Smith reported the collection complete.

In April 1964, thirty years after the Franklin Institute had accepted the Library and had promised to “house it permanently,” the NAPA received a letter requesting the removal of the Library.

Because historically it was known as the Fossil Library, the NAPA deferred to the Fossils the decision on its disposal. They permitted NAPA Librarian Stan Oliner to sort and recatalog the collection before it goes to a new home. The National donated $100 and the Fossils $7 for truck charges to Mr. Oliner at Grand Junction, Colorado.

(Because of space limitations, this article had to be severely trimmed. It will be reprinted in full later. – HS)

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Significant Statistics. Recruitment of 49 members plus 4 reinstatements brings us to 280, up 14 for the year.

Dough in the till: $1,137, up $226 for the year.

But don’t cheer. The Rusty Trust Fund yields $600 – and Rolfe Castleman, who deals with the IRS, says we may lose half of that in taxes if we don’t nail down our tax-exempt status (now subject to annual review) by enacting amendments to the constitution which will explain more clearly what our association’s function or purpose may be – if any.

Rolfe said that he found it difficult to explain to the IRS just what our purpose is – and in the process found that he really didn’t know himself.

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