“No pleasure endures unseasoned by variety.”
My credo, after nearly nineteen years’ enjoyment of amateur journalism, is that this hobby is so satisfying because there are so many facets. I have had a dozen hobbies, but most are laid aside awaiting a revival of interest. Amateur Journalism has never suffered a flagging of interest because I could switch emphasis from one phase to another.
Writing, publishing, convening, indulging in politics, holding office, doing historical research; each has had full attention and still interests me, but I have turned to the task of building a Library of Amateur Journalism which, during my lifetime, will serve to spark ideas in all the above departments and, at my death, will be housed in a Southern educational institute.
Collecting was not a phase which I thought would be absorbing when I joined, though I enjoyed and preserved all journals which were sent to me. Perhaps Burton Jay Smith’s enthusiasm was contagious. Burton had bought the William T. Harrington papers which, with his own, were the nucleus of the collection which he asked me to take over if he were killed in Service, and to see that it was permanently housed.
For a while it seemed as if his collection would be lost, but thanks to the efforts of Sesta and Clele Matheison it was shipped to me, except for most of his a. j. books and certain papers which were housed separately and so included in the sale of his personal library. One other loss occurred when one of the cartons in which my collection was shipped to me in Virginia went astray. This has left distressing gaps, but after these two mishaps the collection has built up steadily, mostly by small additions from members who did not want to throw away papers but did not care to keep them. This has had the side effect of establishing an Unofficial Clearing House which has furnished many papers for the collections of other ajays merely for refund of postage.
Several windfalls have enriched the Library. Dr. Noel, a few years ago, sent me a parcel of United Amateurs to read and forward to Nita Gerner Smith for the Franklin Institute but she replied that they had these bound so I need not send them. Unfortunately, I lack the United Amateurs (both factions) for the period from 1922 to 1932 inclusive, so if anyone who has them wants to place them safely, I’d be happy to have them. Next, Emerson Duerr got the William Ahlhauser collection and as he did not plan to keep them all he sent me a suitcase full, and though they proved to be random issues they were of a period which had been lacking.
The two largest contributions came in the past year or two. Burt Foote, who collected seriously and thus had many of the earlier papers, offered me his collection. Mart and I combined a visit to my parents in Ohio with a trip to Mr. Foote’s, and we had the extra dividend of becoming friends with a fine gentleman and his family. I believe his son, John, would become an amateur journalist with encouragement – and time. Wouldn’t it be fine to have Printer’s Pets again?
November third, in response to a letter from Mr. James Larkin Pearson saying he’d decided to turn over his collection to me, Martin and I drove to Guilford College, N. C., and met two more fine people in the Pearsons. His collection consists of papers received during his membership in NAPA which began about September, 1901 and continued intermittently for some years, with a period as a member of the United. His papers dovetail so neatly with my Library that there will be few duplicates for others.
All these additions point up the agonizing gaps in my collection. Before the Library will be passed on it must be catalogued and cross-indexed, an exacting, time-consuming job which my methodical mind will delight in, but before I begin the work I’m hoping to fill in all possible gaps. If you have – or know of anyone who has – papers or a collection of any size, will you let me know? The duplicates will not be lost but will go into the Unofficial Clearing House.
Paging Emily Post
Copy was written for this space but I pulled it to make an apology to UAPAA members. I am a newcomer, this is my first paper through your mailing. So many names on UAPAA membership list are old friends, that I thought to slip into your circle and sit down without introductions all around. After all these years in amateur journalism, I just took it for granted that everyone knew of me, but a friendly letter from Diane Miller showed me how wrong I am. And so for Diane, and others of you who do not know me, there will soon be a paper from me which will be all about me!
Set in 10-pt. Kennerly, heading 12-pt. Catalog Italic, quotation 8-pt. Cloister Italic, title is 18-pt. Deepdene. This is the first personal publication set and run in our new Building, just erected this autumn to provide a comfortable place in which to enjoy our hobby as well as protection for the cherished Library.
Shady Acre, Roanoke, Virginia
For the National Amateur Press Association
and United Amateur Press Association of America