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Bolton Society: An Organization of Chemical Bibliophiles: Objects and Activities of the Society

Named for Henry Carrington Bolton, the Bolton Society encourages and promotes the individual love for and collection of all types of printed material devoted to chemistry and related sciences.

Objects

Objects of The Bolton Society:

The objects of The Society, are threefold:

1.     To encourage and promote the individual love for and collection of all types of published material (books, journals, magazines, trade literature, postage stamps, ephemera, etc.) and unpublished material (memoranda, correspondence, reports, diaries, etc.) that illuminate and elucidate the history and development of the chemical and molecular sciences and their associated technologies.

2.     To advance the cause of the Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Library of the Science History Institute.

3.      To record, transcribe and make available oral histories of collectors of works in chemistry and the molecular sciences including the various aspects of these disciplines: engineering, technology, history, biography, bibliography, philately, etc.  The person or persons selected for such an oral history need not be a member of the Society.

Activities

Activities of The Society: 

Program Plans

Society activities will be consistent with those of learned and professional societies, such as: holding meetings of the members, publication of a newsletter, publication of special-purpose books, holding seminars and symposia, giving awards, advising the Othmer Library on acquisitions, scouting for material to expand the Othmer Library’s holdings, establishing special interest groups (chemical engineering, biography, industrial chemistry, etc.) interacting with other organizations to learn/teach the role of chemical publications on society and culture, appraising books at meetings of ACS, AIChE, etc., and field trips to libraries and antiquarian booksellers.

Oral Histories

Appendix I

The Bolton Society:

On Oral Histories

 

At its meeting on May 2, 2006, the Bolton Society agreed that it will, from time to time, record and publish the oral histories of collectors of works in chemistry and the molecular sciences including the various aspects of these disciples: engineering, technology, history, biography, bibliography, philately, etc.  The person or persons selected for such an oral history need not be a member of the Society.

 

Guidelines for Compiling Oral Histories:

 

1. The Bolton society shall each year honor a recipient of an oral history about himself or herself.  The primary focus of the history will be to capture the spirit and enthusiasm of the person’s collecting interests, rather than emphasize biographical details.

2. The chief Bibliophile shall appoint a three-person selection committee, one of which will be Director of the Othmer Library, to consider criteria for candidate selection, such as: credentials as a bibliophile, subject matter and diversity, time span of the collection, etc.

3. The Selection committee will:

3.1    Peruse the Society Membership Directory, as well as other sources, for potential candidates and, in the selection process, be aware of individuals who might be interviewee in the future. Before the time of the spring meeting of The Society, any member may submit a nomination to the Secretary of The Society.  If more than one person is nominated, the selection committee will have the final say.

3.2  Agree on a candidate.

3.3  Determine if the potential candidate will agree to such an interview.

3.4  Select a member of The Society skilled in the art of interviewing.  The mix of topics will be determined by the interviewer.  Decide the extent to which the interviewer should be expert on the subject matter collected by the recipient.  In selecting the interviewer, the Selection Committee will judiciously consider, but not be bound by, the cost of travel expenses, particularly air travel.

3.5  To that end, the society will develop a time-line of events to ensure that the oral history will be completed within twelve months.

4      A copy of the oral history shall become part of the Othmer Library at the Science History Institute Oral History Collection.  At some place, the title page will state:

4.1   Acknowledgment statement to be published in each Bolton Society oral history.

4.1.1 This oral history is one in a series initiated by the Bolton Society, an Organization of Chemical Bibliophiles at the Science History Institute.  The Bolton Society will, from time to time, record and publish the oral histories of collectors of works in chemistry and the molecular sciences including the various aspects of these disciplines: engineering, technology, history, biography, bibliography, philately, et cetera.  The person or persons selected for such an oral history need not be a member of the society.  The series documents the spirit and enthusiasm of the individual’s collecting interests, rather than emphasize biographical details.

5     Areas to be explored by the interviewer:

5.1  Personal information about the collector

5.1.1        Early years (date, place of birth, forebears, etc.)

5.1.2        Education

5.1.3        Work experience

5.1.4        Technical, scientific, historical and professional involvements

5.1.5        Major accomplishments

5.1.6        Awards and honors

5.1.7        Travels

5.1.8        Family

5.1.9        Community involvements

5.2  Overview of the collection:

5.2.1        How, when, and why did you start collection?

5.2.2        What is the approximate number of volumes in your collection?

5.2.3        What major categories do you collect?

5.2.4        What is the range of subject matter in your collection?

5.2.5        What is the rage of dates of publication in your collection?

5.2.6        What, if any, are the limits on types of subject matter you collect?

5.2.7        To what extent is your collection cataloged?

5.2.8        What is your philosophy of collecting?

5.2.8.1  Is your collection pristine? Do you care?

5.2.8.2  Mint vs. reading copy? A work of art vs. the information it holds?

5.2.8.3  Interested in inscribed or autographed copies? Why?

5.2.8.4  Do you collect unusual bindings?

5.2.8.5  Do you open uncut pages in order to read them?

5.2.9     What are the most prized books or objects in your collection? Of these, which one is the most prized?  Why?

5.2.10    Do your holdings constitute a ‘working’ library?  That is, is it large enough to do major research?

5.2.11    Ultimate disposition of the collection.  Have you ever considered how you will dispose of your collection?

6. Oral History Mechanics

6.1  The interviewer will decide on a case by case basis the timing, place, length and rigor of the interview.

6.2  The interview will be recorded and the interviewer and interviewee will sign a preliminary release form.

6.3  The recording will be transcribed by the Science History Institute or a designee.

6.4  The raw transcript will be edited and audited by the interviewer.

6.5  The edited transcript will be reviewed by the interviewee, who will make final corrections and emendations and will sign the final release form, which gives the interviewee the final control over the transcript.

6.6  Science History Institute will bind two copies of the transcript, one for the interviewee and one for the CHF oral history collection.  Other copies may be distributed as appropriate.

6.7  The Bolton Society will present the bound copies of the transcript to the interviewee and/or Science History Institute.

 

Approved, May 2, 2006

                                                                                                                        Amended May 8, 2018

 

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