Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society News     


Outcome of the Extraordinary General Meeting of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society held on Saturday 12th July 2014

As previously notified, an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the Society was held on 12th July 2014. The meeting took place at the St Georges Centre, in Great George Street, Leeds, as the number of members attending was too great to accommodate at Claremont. 98 members attended the EGM; 38 members gave their apologies.

The President (Mrs Sylvia Thomas) welcomed members and expressed her gratitude for the interest shown, which was a reflection of the importance of the matters for discussion. In introductory remarks, she and the Honorary Treasurer (Dr Brian Barber) explained the rationale for the proposal by the Society’s Management Board to transfer the Society’s Archive and Library collections on long-term loan to the University Library at the University of Leeds, and the importance of doing this to ensure the future of the Society.

There was an extended and wide-ranging discussion of the Management Board’s proposal and the issues it raised. Comments and queries were made by many of the members present, with responses being provided by the President or the Honorary Treasurer. Issues touched on included:

the future ownership of the Society’s materials – this would remain with the Society;

the fact that members would have access to all the books and collections of the University Library – it was also noted that the Society’s books and other materials would not be disposed of in the future without the Society’s consent;

the fact that there were inevitably some points of detail that had yet to be finalised, such as the question of access to material by section-only members;

the Management Board’s plans to acquire through purchase or rent suitable new premises to support the Society’s activities, and that members’ suggestions as to the parameters for such premises were sought;

the possibilities of fund-raising, but also the difficulties previously encountered in this regard, and the problem of raising substantial funds in a restricted timescale;

the concern of some members as to the amount of information it had been possible to make available, which they felt inhibited their ability to judge the proposal;

the possibilities for a strong continuing role for volunteers working on the Society’s materials.

In the concluding part of the meeting members were asked to vote to indicate whether they felt able to support the Board’s recovery plan, which involved:

the transfer on loan under the terms of an appropriate partnership agreement of the Society’s Library and Historical Document Collections to the Brotherton Library of the University of Leeds, and the sale of Claremont and the acquisition either through purchase or rent of suitable premises to support the full range of the Society’s activities in the future.

Members voted by a show of hands. The results were as follows:

FOR the motion – 72

AGAINST the motion – 13


The motion was therefore carried.

The Society’s Officers and the Management Board will now proceed to work further in collaboration with Leeds University Library to put into effect the proposals endorsed by the EGM. A further report will be made to members at the Society’s Annual General Meeting, which will be held later in the year.

If any members have further queries at this stage, please contact the Honorary General Secretary, David Buck, preferably via email at yas.secretary@gmail.com.