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Early BCS Journals

Printed From: British Clematis Society Forum
Category: Clematis
Forum Name: Postings
Forum Discription: General chat and help about anything Clematis
Printed Date: 22 Jan 2021 at 12:13am
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Topic: Early BCS Journals
Posted By: Paul
Subject: Early BCS Journals
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2007 at 7:30am
The journals produced by the BCS in it's early years (1991-1994) are a wonderful source of technical information. Unfortunately, most of these are no longer available. I have a fairly good collection although am missing those from 1991 and 1995. Can anybody provide a list of the contents of these two issues?

I wondered if members would be interested in having on-line access to some of the best of the articles that appeared during those times. That is of course dependent on whether Steve would be willing to do it.

I would be interested to hear your comments.


Posted By: bcollingwood
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2007 at 7:40pm

I'm missing 1991 and 1995 too Paul...but of course if anyone has spares it would be very nice to hear - ! Smile

It sounds a very good idea to have some of the articles from previous Journals available on-line in due course if possible. IMHO the Journal alone is worth much more than the (modest) membership fee, and I still put everything down to read it as soon as it arrives. (Daft).  I know I'm biased (already a BCS member) but it is a superb publication every time. The older Journals are especially full of marvellous clematis material.


B. R. Collingwood

Posted By: schristmas
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2007 at 7:45pm

Hi Paul,

Thank you for the suggestion - I have been thinking about the same subject for over a year now but as you can imagine it is not an easy task and other things have taken precedence.
My thoughts involved the following:
Get a spare copy of every journal and remove the pages for easy scanning so they could be either:
1.  Placed onto a CD-ROM in pdf format for possible free issue to current members and purchasable by non-members for a small sum.
2. Made available for complete download from within the members area of the BCS website.
3. Made into viewable pages so each article could be individually viewed within the BCS members area of the website.
To overcome the problem of scanning I could transfer particular articles into HTML format for easier web viewing but this can take an immense amount of time. If the page can be scanned then I can OCR the text and transfer it onto a web page, alternatively I have to type every bit of the page out again. Then the page generally has to be formatted so that it looks something like the original article. I have tackled this task with a couple of the previous newsletters which can be viewed from within the members area.
Obviously the scanning option is more attractive to me and I have started to collect as many second copies of journals I have been able to lay my hands on. Currently I have collected one spare copy of the following years:
1999 (Winter)
2000 (Spring)
2001 (Spring)
2002 (Winter)
2003 (Winter)
If anyone has a spare copy of those that are missing and are willing to let it be dismantled for scanning then I would be happy to take it off your hands.
I personally am also not in possession of the 1991, 1994 & 1995 editions (the front cover photos on the website were taken from copies I have on loan). So I don't hold up much chance of getting my own copy let alone a spare one.
If anyone else has a different or better suggestion to make then I am more than happy to hear it.

Posted By: bcollingwood
Date Posted: 06 Mar 2007 at 9:07pm

B. R. Collingwood

Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2007 at 8:08am
One waits a year for the journal, reads it from cover to cover in a few days and the wait starts again! One solution is to go back to the old journals and re-read some of the articles. It's always interesting to rediscover what you have forgotten.

You were obviously way ahead of me Steve regarding your thoughts for making these back issues more readily available. There is so much information though that I think it needs to be handled in several of the ways that you mention.

Firstly, it would be nice to have all the issues available on CD but perhaps these need to be broken up into single year issues or blocks of, say, 5 years. They could then be put on sale (at a not too low price) to BCS members.

There is a danger though of that this could become a kind of archive which would not be accessed by many people and I think it needs to be made available in a more digestable form. My preference would be to also pick out the Classics and post them on the web site. By Classics I mean articles that are outstanding or contain information that is not readily available elsewhere (see * below for my selections). These could be placed in a section on the web site entitled Classic Reference Works.

The easiest way would be to have these as pdf documents. Personally, I don't like reading articles on my computer screen and don't see a real need to have them in HTML format. An exception would be the more recent ones which are available in electronic format. In any case, you should not have to take the job of converting into HTML format all alone.

Coming back to the question of availability of the early issues; there were 250 members in 1991 and 655 in 1995 so there should be some spare copies of these 'rarities' somewhere. I bet John Howells, the editor at that time, has some and for that matter, other members of the then Committee.

Did I gather that you have on loan the 1991 and 1995 issues? If so, can you show us the contents page? I shudder at the thought of you pulling apart a 1991 journal but it would be for a good cause. Should extra copies appear, perhaps they could be auctioned, with proceeds going to th BCS.

*My selections
When I first saw these articles my initial reaction was 'Oh this one is just for the fanatics' - now I've become one! Most of them come from Symposia or Study Days that were held by the society.

- Classification of the genus. W. Snoeijer
- Seedling Morphology. F. Essig (sounds dry but there's a wealth of related info)

- Alpine (Rockery) Clematis. J. Elliot

- Classification of types for selection. M. Beskaravainaya
- Vulnerability to wilt in large flowered Clematis. J. Howells
- Genetic background of wilting Clematis. J. Howells

There is one more recent one that I just have to add:

1998: Clematis sub genus Viorna. J. Pringle


Posted By: schristmas
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2007 at 9:30pm
Hi Paul,
You have some good points in your last posting and I will have to put some more thought into it and do some trials with the different methods and how they should be categorised.
Brians jpeg example is great for viewing on the screen although the jpeg format is very poor for viewing text and you would be stuck to viewing on screen as printouts would be very poor text definition wise.
The pdf format is much better for printing and gets over the copy and paste problems inherent with website pages, although its downside is that it takes up more disk space.
I have on loan a copy of the 1995 edition but unfortunately not the 1991 edition. A breakdown of the most interesting articles that it contains are listed on the public side of the BCS website under publications/Journals 1992-1999.
The only member in 1991 on the committee that I have a fairly regular contact with is Everett Leeds, so when I see him next I will ask the question.
The early journals were stapled on the binding and thus with a bit of care they can be dismantled, scanned and rebound. The later journals have glued fixed bindings and thus these are a lot more difficult to scan as they don't lay flat on the scanning bed. 
I Will let you know when I have progressed any further with the small amount of journals I currently have at my disposal. 

Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2007 at 9:11am
Thanks Steve.
I must say the website has undergone such a transition since you took over -  it's now looking really great. It already has a lot of things on it which a couple of years ago I thought would never be realised. Those html newsletters look terrific and for them, it's an ideal format but nevertheless, a labour of love for you.

Good to hear that those early journals could be put back together again. I will drop a line to John Howells with the same question and ask if he can help.


Posted By: Jackog
Date Posted: 09 Mar 2007 at 10:59pm


The image I will try to upload is the 1991 Journal Contents Page. The scan is as good as I can get it and is at least readable.


I agree with your praise of the early journals, just reading this contents page is an extreme encouragement to read the entire journal again (after many years!).




Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 10 Mar 2007 at 7:46am

Now you've really got my mouth watering. Another article by Pringle, a Phlebantha symposium and NZ Clematis, just to name a few.

Many thanks for this Jack - the wonders of the internet!


Posted By: schristmas
Date Posted: 25 Mar 2007 at 12:49am
You can now view (or print) the entire issue of the 1997 and 1998 (Spring Supplements) of the BCS journals via the members area of the BCS website, under Publications/Pre 2000 BCS Journals.
It is also possible to view individual articles in these documents by selecting the link positioned to the right of the front cover.
The document is in pdf format with the 1998 supplement running at about 600K as it thankfully does not contain too many colour photographs. If your printer has the right settings you can even booklet print it and produce a pretty good copy of the document to keep as a record.
To produce the pdf I have had to go through scanning, OCR recognition, spell checking and the good old MK1 eyeball process but I cannot guarantee it being an identical copy - but it will hopefully it will be pretty close.
Best regards

Posted By: schristmas
Date Posted: 17 Apr 2007 at 12:30am
Thanks to Jack (who has loaned me his copy), members can now view the articles from the rare 1991 journal.
Go to the members area and select the 'In Print' button and then select 'Publications' and then 'pre 2000 journals'. Next to the picture of the 1991 Journal (at the bottom of the page) there are links to the articles listed on the index Jack has shown above. Alternatively by clicking on the journal itself you can download in pdf format the whole journal (just over 1Meg) which also includes many colour photographs which cannot be viewed by any other means.
This will be the last journal published on the website for a while, as I now need to spend more time in the garden (clematis just seem to get in the way of everything). Hopefully towards the end of the year I will have time to add some more.
Kind regards

Posted By: Paul
Date Posted: 17 Apr 2007 at 8:43pm
You have found a very elegant way to view and print the journals that would otherwise be very difficult to come by - thanks for all your hard work.
To be able to have access to  the articles in the 1991 journal is a real treat and so quickly too. Thanks also to Jack for providing the Master. I find myself stopping and reading the articles as I'm scrolling through the journal but I must wait until I print it off so that I can sit back and enjoy it in the comfort of my armchair! I hope other members also welcome this development.
Meanwhile, what with this glorious weather we are having, the garden is romping ahead and much attention is needed out there.


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