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July 02, 2019

2018 Annual General Meeting

Chairman’s report

This has been another rather difficult year, largely due to the lack of a permanent Treasurer. Our very grateful thanks to Francis Cave for carrying out the role of acting Treasurer for a second year. Thanks also to Andrew Dolinski, former Treasurer, who has kindly provided advice and assistance with the preparation of the Society’s accounts.

Thanks also to: Paul Nash, our Publications Secretary, Editor of the Society’s Journal, and Chair of the National Printing Heritage Subcommittee; Caroline Archer-Parré, who co-ordinates the Society’s various events; Giles Mandelbrote, who chairs our Grants and Prizes Subcommittee – an important part of the Society’s activities as a charitable organisation; Ken Burnley, editor of Printing History News; and to James M’Kenzie-Hall, reviews editor of the Journal. I am grateful to all who serve on the Society’s Committee and Sub-committees and especially to Michael Twyman, our Life Vice-President for his invaluable service.

I am pleased to report that the Society has recently become associated with the Centre for Printing History and Culture, a joint venture between Birmingham City University and the University of Birmingham, of which Caroline Archer-Parré is co-director.

To end on a sad note, I regret to have to report the deaths of Iain Bain, Life President of the Society, and Ken Brooks, who served for many years as Treasurer.

Secretary’s report

This report covers membership and financial matters, as well as my usual responsibilities as Secretary.

The Society’s Committee has met twice since the last AGM, in October 2017 and March 2018. The Committee was able to co-opt several members to assist with the management of the Society, and I would like to thank them for their contributions: Barbara Jossi, David Osbaldestin, Vaibhav Singh, Tony Smith and Holly Trant.

Turning to the Society’s financial affairs, I am pleased to report that the Society’s finances have continued to be relatively stable since the last AGM and have not caused either myself or the Committee the concern that we had in the early part of 2017. I must record my thanks to Andrew Dolinski, who, apart from his assistance with the 2017 accounts, is continuing to provide advice and support as we seek to streamline the administration of the Society’s financial affairs, which should make the role of Hon. Treasurer a significantly lighter burden to bear in future.

I can report a similar picture of stability in the Society’s membership. We currently have 297 individual members on our books, which includes 209 in the UK and 88 overseas members. 24 these are Supporting Members, choosing to make donations to the Society in addition to the annual subscription. There are 116 institutional members of which 21 are in the UK. These figures represent a small but, I believe, significant increase on the figures I presented at last year’s AGM. The membership of 40 individuals ceased at the end of 2017, either because they resigned or their membership lapsed due to non-payment of 2017 subscriptions, but these have been more than made up for by new members. I would like to end this part of my report by thanking Rachel Stenner for her collaboration on membership matters over the past year, especially on dealing with this year’s subscription renewals.

With assistance from the Committee, I have drafted a Privacy Policy for the Society, which explains what personal data the Society holds concerning individual members, how we hold it and what we do with it. This Privacy Policy is available on our website and all members whose email address we hold have been asked for their consent for us to use their personal data in line with this Privacy Policy. Our membership application and renewal processes will in future require that members give similar consent.

Presentation of the Society’s 2017 accounts

The financial statements for the year 1st January to 31st December 2017 were presented to the AGM by Francis Cave (copies are available to members from the Hon. Secretary upon request). The Society made a surplus for the year of £4,800, on receipts of £25,000.

Publications Secretary’s report

The Publications Sub-committee has met once in the past year. The Society continues to publish Printing History News and the Journal according to the established pattern. In 2019 it is planned to publish a double number of the Journal to end the current series and it is proposed thereafter to start a third series of the Journal, to be published annually. Annual publication would offer a number of advantages, including the opportunity to publish articles of greater length than in the current series, as well as cost advantages, and could be achieved without any reduction in the overall extent of articles published each year. The design for the third series would follow closely the design of the current series. The Society is not currently publishing monographs, but a number of projects are awaiting a resumption of monograph publishing at some future date.

NPHC Sub-committee report

The NPHC Sub-committee has met twice in the past year. Work has been focussed upon preparing a Directory of UK printing heritage for online publication, and on lobbying and exploring options for the creation of a National Printing Museum for the UK.

Grants & Prizes Sub-committee report

For the 2018 research grants a total of 11 applications were submitted by researchers in the UK, Europe and USA. Very interesting projects were proposed, covering a wide geographical and chronological range. From a strong field the sub-committee selected four applicants to receive grants (for details see the report in PHN 59).

Events Sub-committee report

The Society enabled a successful workshop to be held in London in December 2017, one of the continuing Interactions series, at which a group of printing historians and cartographic historians explored areas of common interest and concern. The Society plans to host its next conference in 2019.

By the end of 2017 the Society found itself in a much improved financial position and the Trustees were able to agree to resume the Society’s programme of research grants. Four grants were awarded earlier in 2018. The Society will publish two issues of the Journal and four issues of Printing History News in 2018.

Elections of officers and Committee members

Mr David Osbaldestin was proposed for election as Hon. Treasurer of the Society, to serve for a period of three years, and was duly elected. Dr Paul Nash was proposed for re-election as Publications Secretary, to serve for a further period of three years, and was duly elected. The following were proposed for election to the Committee for a period of two years and were duly elected: Caroline Archer-Parré, Sebastian Carter, Richard Lawrence, James Mosley, Pia Östlund, Vaibhav Singh (new elected member).

The meeting was followed by refreshments and an illustrated talk by Dr Paul Nash on his attempt to represent every major printing technology of the past millennium in the Society’s Anniversary Keepsake.

Posted by Francis Cave at July 2, 2019 11:42 PM