The Association’s Memoirs: can you help?
2014 March 27
Starting last June, Sheridan Williams and I have been engaged upon a project to prepare scanned copies of the Association’s series of Memoirs for publication in DVD form, as a companion set to those already produced by Sheridan for the Journal. Sheridan has been doing the real work, the very labour-intensive scanning process, and recently he completed over 90% of the task.
The Association’s Memoirs were traditionally the vehicle for publication of the longer reports of the Sections. Section reports on the whole did not appear in the early Journals, unless they were very brief. In the 1890s, it was usual to have a volume of Memoirs issued each Session. Volume 1 for example has reports of the Lunar, Meteor, Star Colour, Variable Star, Jupiter and Solar Sections. These are fascinating insights into the BAA’s work from the very start, and many reports were highly illustrated. The old Jupiter Memoirs sometimes contained a large folding plate of coloured drawings reproduced by lithography.
Needless to say, many of the earlier issues have become rare and hard to obtain on the secondhand market, though all those issued since 1990 are still available for purchase through the BAA office and website. The number of Memoirs was severely cut back by Council in 1950 for financial reasons, and the Journal was expanded instead. Up to and including 1990, 137 Memoirs were published in 42 volumes.
The Association has always kept a bound set of its publications at its Registered Office, and we have always intended to retain three unbound sets of everything. Naturally Sheridan and I decided that as far as possible we would make the scans from the unbound copies, which usually can be opened flat. But over the years, some of the loose copies have become a little dog-eared, and some numbers are actually missing. I sorted out the best available copies for the job. Sheridan has now scanned all our unbound copies, and although he could scan the remaining ones from the bound set, that would be somewhat less satisfactory. Moreover, successive Librarians have tended to bind the Memoirs without their original covers.
We would therefore be interested in receiving from members any old BAA Memoirs, published up to and including 1990, if they are no longer required. Postage will gladly be refunded if requested. We are especially interested in the following numbers, some of which are missing and others present in less than perfect condition, in order to complete our unbound sets and to assist completion of the scanning project. For the following numbers we will pay £5 per copy until three copies have been received:
Volume 1 parts 1-5
Volume 3 part 3
Volume 5 part 1
Volume 10 part 2
Volume 11 part 1
Volume 12 part 1
Volume 17 part 4
Appendices to the Reports of the Variable Star Section, volumes 15 and 18 (issued in a slip-case)
Volume 21 parts 1, 2 and 3
Volume 22 (Variable Stars)
Appendices to the Reports of the Variable Star Section, volumes 22 and 25 (issued in a slip-case)
Volume 33 (Variable Stars)
Volume 40 part 2
Volumes of the Memoirs also were provided with a combined title page and index for each volume, and sometimes these were issued loose. Any copies of these loose pages would also be appreciated.
At the end of this process we shall offer for sale to collectors any copies of the old Memoirs and Journals for which we possess more than are needed for the archive. Details will be given later in the Journal.
The archivist is also interested in receiving any old copies of the Journal before 1948 to fill similar gaps in our sets of loose copies. Please contact him at the address below if you are able to help.
Richard McKim, BAAArchivist [email@example.com]