|From the Secretary-Treasurer
(aka Editor, Terra Cognita)
The year has passed rapidly and I can report that a number of good things have happened regarding the Society. We experienced one of our best ever annual meetings in Denver that ended on September 9. Tragically, our memories will forever be scarred by the heinous events that occurred two days later. I returned to Atlanta on September 10, but many of you who attended the meeting were not able to leave Denver for up to a week. Of course, this does not detract from the wonderful job that Paul Matthias and the members of the Local Arrangements Committee performed on our behalf. We cannot thank them enough.
Good things are occurring with Terrae Incognitae. David Buisseret has the journal back on schedule, and he reports that volume 34 is coming together nicely. Beginning this year, several articles from TI will be selected for posting on our website, www.sochistdisc.org. This will continue on an annual basis. Also, at the meeting in Denver, Council approved the posting of all of the book reviews published in Volume 34. By placing these documents online, we can further our mission of disseminating information about geographical exploration and discovery, and the history of cartography far beyond the limited boundaries of our small learned society.
In response to the discouraging fact that several issues of TI have been unavailable for some time, David Buisseret contracted with a local printer in Texas to re-print those issues. We now can proudly advertise that complete sets of our journal are available at a cost of $270. Individual issues will be sold for $15.00. Council further approved an initial expenditure of up to $7,000 for the preparation of a professional index for Terrae Incognitae. Final decisions about the index will be made at the meeting in Guadalajara.
The 2002 election of members of Council has ended, and Karen Cook, John Docktor, and Don McGuirk will assume their duties in October at the commencement of the annual meeting. There is marginally good news regarding this year’s election. Only 32 percent of the membership voted in last year’s election, whereas the number this year was 36 percent. Of a total membership of 298, only 108 voted. Given the opportunity to vote online for the first time, many of you took advantage by casting ballots by e-mail. The system worked well, and I hope that more of you will vote electronically next year.
Last September, Council voted to award the Society’s very first honor, Fellow of the Society for the History of Discoveries, to Professor David Quinn. H.G. Jones wrote the citation, which was mailed to you in my annual report last fall, and it was posted on our website at the same time. Also, President Eric Wolf created an Honors Committee comprised of Roger Baskes (Chairman), Dee Longenbaugh, and Dennis Reinhartz. To nominate a person for this honor, write to members of the committee.
Tom Sander, our Web Content Manager, has become indispensable in the day-to-day operations of the Society. By maintaining a master list of e-mail addresses, he can with a single stroke on his computer keyboard communicate instantaneously with two-thirds of our membership. He can now pass on information quickly about conferences and other activities, and he has been a huge help in reminding members that their 2002 dues were unpaid. Please know that if you do not use e-mail, you are not forgotten. Every attempt is made to inform you by regular post. By using e-mail whenever possible, untold hours of my time have been saved, as well as hundreds of dollars of our treasury.
Those of you who reside outside the United States have had trouble in the past paying your annual dues. The cost and aggravation of converting funds are major culprits. Another problem is that we are not set-up to accept direct credit card payments. To facilitate matters, the Society has signed up with Pay Pal, which now allows for easy payment via your credit card to my e-mail address. It is very easy to register with Pay Pal (it will take only a few minutes). Once you are registered, funds can be sent directly to me at my e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Since the use of Pay Pal was instituted by SHD only a few weeks ago, I have received dues payments from twelve grateful members (five reside outside the United States). Call up www.paypal.com and follow the very simple directions. As an aside, Pay Pal has become the preferred method of payment by those who purchase items on E-Bay.
At my request, Council has allowed me to close our bank account at Barclays in London. It has not been easy. Even though I have been Treasurer since October, 2000, I had not been able to convince the folks in London that I am the legitimate person who can write checks on our account. It took me 18 months to obtain the name of a person I could communicate with. Continued on Page 3.
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