Friday, July 9, 2010

The Society Meeting 2010

The business meeting of the Society took place in conjunction with the joint meeting of the three large American herpetological societies (HL, SSAR, ASIH) in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, on Friday, July 9, 2010 in the business room at Hemensway Resturant. The meeting was attended by 7 members and one guest and was preceded by the traditional luncheon with members and guests. Four members of the current Board were reelected for 2010 and 2011. The Treasurer/Secretary John Moriarty did not stand for re-election. As there was no nominee for the post, the meeting empowered the Chairperson to locate and Board to appoint a candidate. Moriarty will continue to act as a mail stop and bank contact meanwhile.

The excursion this year that preceded the Business meeting was to the library of the Providence Athenaeum, founded in 1753 as the Providence Library Company. In addition to being located in an historic building dating to 1838, the library holds an interesting natural history collection. The Director of Membership Services, Mrs. Christina Bevilacqua gave us an introduction of the library, its collections and long history. The Collections Librarian, Mrs. Kate Wodehouse had put the most interesting books for the group on display. The volume in prime focus was naturally the Latin/French edition of Albertus Seba's Thesaurus(1734-1765) with all the plates hand colored. But the other titles on herpetology or including important parts of herpetology were many and especially impressive. The mastodon book, the Description de l'Egypte(1809-1822), commissioned by Napoleon, containing a dozen plates with reptiles, Charles Lucian Bonaparte's Iconographica (1832-1841) in a colored version with volume II devoted to herpetology, and John Edwards Holbrook's North American Herpetology (1842), were just a few on display but everything of interest is not that big and colored. The paper by Hermon C. Bumpus on The Reptiles and Batrachians of the Rhode Island was published in Random Notes in Natural History, volume 1, Providence 1884 and contained interesting data from the past.

The tour of the library and the demonstration of the special herpetological collection that the staff set up were just remarkable. We extend our deepest thanks.

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