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2006-12, 352, Editorial, Neil A Radford


Editorial: December 2006

THE EDITOR of a journal is usually dependent on whatever arrives on his desk before the printer’s deadline. The Editor of Biblionews is no exception. He usually has to rely on speakers to the Society’s meetings for his material, but not every interesting talk translates into an interesting article. So issues are sometimes thinner than the Editor would like.

This issue is relatively fat, and it is particularly pleasing to note that it contains contributions from members in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

John Newland’s article on railway books is based on his talk to the Sydney Branch AGM in September, and I can say from personal knowledge that it only reveals the tip of John’s iceberg of railway-ana (if that is a real word) and his extensive knowledge of that subject.

Victorian member Michael Aitken, whose collecting interests include tourist ephemera, has written a personal account of his quest for nineteenth century folding albums of views, which are technically called Leporellos. I won’t spoil his story by revealing what that word means and how it came to be attached to such publications. Michael’s quest for elusive examples of this genre will strike a familiar chord with every collector, particularly his excitement at finding his most sought-after item in an unexpected place.

Colin Steele, by far our most prolific and well-read reviewer, has excelled himself with not only several brief reviews, but also with a major review article and reflective essay on the present and likely future of the book. As book collectors this is a subject of more than usual interest, and I am grateful to Colin for his astute analysis of the likely implications of technological change. His article was originally published in the Canberra Times and I am grateful for their permission to reprint it for our specialised audience of bibliophiles.

As is customary, this issue also contains the Minutes of the (Sydney Branch) AGM and President’s Report, for the information of members.

This the last issue of Biblionews to come out under my acting editorship. Brian Taylor (recently elevated to the presidential chair) will resume the editorial chair in 2007. I volunteered to edit Biblionews in 2006 because of Brian’s planned absence overseas and other commitments.

It has been an interesting year, and a personally satisfying experience. I must acknowledge, very gratefully, the support I have received from a number of people during the year. Richard Overell, the Victorian Editor, has gathered and sent several items for publication. This is an Australian society, and although Biblionews is edited from Sydney I think it is important that it contain contributions from elsewhere. We have a cell in Adelaide too; perhaps members there should send in an article from time to time.

Brian Taylor, while leaving the actual editing to me, has continued to liaise with the printer and the post office to get issues out to members on time. It is to John Newland that I am most indebted. He prepares the copy for the printer, and it has been a pleasure to work with him on getting each issue into shape. The Society is indeed fortunate that he is willing to assist so expertly in the production of our journal.

Neil A Radford



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