SPEC Kit 347: Community-based Collections · 147
American Musicological Society records
American Musicological Society records, 1934-1992
http://dla.library.upenn.edu/dla/ead/ead.html?q=american%20musicological%20society&id=EAD_upenn_rbml_MsColl221&%23ref8[6/23/15, 2:33:45 PM]
Meetings. The Board met once in the spring, often at the site of that year’s coming
annual meeting in early years meetings of the Board were held at the New York
Public Library. A second meeting of the Board was held in the fall or winter at the
Annual Meeting itself. At the annual meeting, two board meetings were held: one for
the outgoing board and one for the incoming board. In all cases the president
collected items for the agenda throughout the year, sometimes at the request of
members, and sometimes on his own initiative. This included periodical reports from
the chairs of various committees. An agenda for the meetings was filed with the
secretary and sent out ahead of time to board members. The secretary took notes at
the meetings and sent a draft to the president and executive director for corrections.
A final version of the minutes was supplied to the Board for approval at the
beginning of the next meeting. Other regular meetings include meetings of the
Council and Business Meetings. Meetings of the General Membership were eventually
This series includes minutes of the Society from the time it was established to the
present day. This includes agendas, drafts of minutes and final versions of minutes.
When attachments were included they are filed with the minutes. Microfilm of early
records are available. Minutes from the years 1983-1988 are bound in notebooks
along with relevant documents. An index of the minutes records topics discussed in
meeting from 1954 to 1962. Also included is a list of missing minutes.
In the first years of the Society, acquiring membership was an arduous task. A
member must first have been nominated by a current member, which nomination
was then seconded. A lengthy application was then filed, including
recommendations, and then was subject to approval of the board. When a
hierarchized membership was created in 1948 (by the Committee on Instituting a
New Class of Members), the Board had to first decide whether the candidate merited
Active or only Associate Membership and then had to review these memberships
annually. In the late 1930s and early 40s Gustave Reese kept member files
alphabetically by the name of the member. These files include nominations,
applications, recommendations, ballots from the Board and incidental
correspondence with the applicant. William Mitchell continued much the same
practice in the late 1940s and early 50s. By the mid-fifties, however, when Louise
Cuyler took over as secretary, the membership process had been much simplified.
By this point anyone could be accepted as a member, as long as dues were paid. For
this reason it was simpler for Cuyler to file applications chronologically by year and
then alphabetically by member name.
In early years the Society had a Membership Committee, first charged with
organizing applications and later with recruiting members. The correspondence of
this committee spans the years 1935-1962 and includes promotional membership
material. The committee on Honorary and Corresponding Members proposed
individuals to receive Honorary Memberships, and foreign individuals to be honored
with Corresponding memberships. The list of proposed names was then revised and
approved by the Board and voted on by the Council.
After the dissolution of the Membership Committee, the position of Membership
secretary (later Registrar) was established. Cecil Adkins served as Registrar from
about 1969 to 1978 and ran the membership office out of the North Texas State
University. Adkins was responsible for processing new members, collecting dues, and
maintaining the membership list, which he eventually computerized. Mailing labels
came from this office as well. This correspondence is primarily between Cecil Adkins
and the Treasurer and Business Manager, first Otto Albrecht and later Alvin Johnson,
regarding membership accounts. Member letters are mainly letters between the
members and the secretary, regarding the status of their membership or posing a
question. Also included are forms and form letters, membership cards, and other
materials relating the membership. Directories were published periodically in the
Journal, and eventually brought out annually as a separate publication.
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