THIS ISSUE of Biblionews contains the final article in the set of items provided to us in 2004 by our Victorian members for publication; indeed, Brian McMullin’s very detailed and authoritative study of Bell’s Indian and Colonial Library, based largely on the holdings in the Colonial Editions Collection housed in the library of Monash University, fills most of the issue. Otherwise there was space only for a review by Colin Steele and one by Neil Radford, who also compiled the index to the 2004 issues at the end and to whom I am grateful for taking over this task from Jeff Bidgood. I have contributed the further item referred to below.
There are a couple of CORRECTIONS TO BE MADE TO THE SEPTEMBER and DECEMBER 2004 ISSUE. A member of staff at the Bodleian Library in Oxford emailed me in puzzlement about the volume number “3” on the cover of that issue. It should, of course, have read “Volume 30, No 3 & 4”. I had noticed the error and thought I had arranged for it to be corrected before printing, but it slipped by nevertheless. Jim Andrighetti of the State Library of New South Wales has emailed the following correction: “I think there is an error of fact on p.64 of Jeff Bidgood’s article in the September–December 2004 issue. Walter Stone was President (Vice-President?) of the Mosman Branch of the Australian Labor Party, NOT the Communist Party.” I am always grateful to readers who draw our attention to what they consider factual errors in contributions. And I am sure the relevant authors are grateful that their contributions are read with such interest and attention.
One of the results of my taking over from Jeff Bidgood the task of envelóping and addressing the last issue of Biblionews for despatch was that for the first time I saw the full membership list of the Society. In case it is of interest to readers, the membership breakdown is as follows:
NSW 91 (Sydney 69, country 22);
Victoria 82 (Melbourne 65, country 17);
South Australia 16;
Western Australia 5;
Northern Territory 1;
New Zealand 5;
This makes a grand total of 251 members, not a bad number at all for a specialised society like ours.
In the previous issue I mentioned that two of our members, Alan Rickard and Eric Russell, had passed away in 2004. This was slightly inaccurate, as Alan actually died in January this year. It was my intention that obituaries for both men should appear in this issue of Biblionews, but as I am not satisfied that I have sufficient information yet about Eric’s role in our society, I will confine myself here to an obituary for Alan, based partly on information supplied by friend and fellow Society member Nigel Sinnott and partly on my own interaction with him as Editor of Biblionews