Fall 2013 has been as busy as usual with the Kennedy exhibit, The Standing Committee luncheon, and the compact shelving project.
Fundraising for the compact shelving finished strong with an over-the-top gift from Marj Riley. When The Standing Committee met on October 11, we honored Marj with a presentation copy of the Congressional Club Cookbook signed by both Chet and Lea Ann Edwards. Thank you Marj!
Fowler West and Skip Dowdy both addressed The Committee after lunch encouraging us to keep the library going in the years ahead. Fowler suggested that the memberships this year be added to the Hightower Book Fund. Once the fund reaches $25,000, interest can be used to purchase new signed books to continue Judge Jack's collection. Additional funds above this amount can be used to fund another summer intern. Of course, members can still designate gifts in honor of or in memory of friends and loved ones.
Membership in The Standing Committee has grown to around 183 plus another 26 honorary members who have donated papers in the last year. A number of the new members have given in memory of Georgia Montgomery, to the Hightower Book Fund in memory of Judge Jack Hightower or to the Bullock Endowment in memory of Bob Bullock. Since June 2012, Poage Library received $112,268 from all members plus another $145,000 for designated endowments and gifts. This level of support is extremely gratifying to the Poage Library staff.
Installation of the compact shelving began on October 23 and wrapped up on November 8. With your generous help, we've now doubled the capacity to archive materials. Books will now be on book-size shelves and archive shelves will be reserved for archival materials. We now have room to house the 300+ boxes now being processed including 200 boxes of Chet Edwards. In the future, we would like to add custom art-rack shelving for oversize framed items.
Poage Library continues to receive additional materials every month. In 2013, we received items from 26 people. For example, we have received additions to the papers of Judge James Barrow, Hyde Murray, Penn Jones, Byron Tunnell and Bob Platt. New collections were received from Jim Dunnam, Gordon Schendel, John Spraberry, Don Michel and others.
Research requests are also arriving weekly from all over the country and even from France, Poland and Switzerland. Several people have asked for items in Fowler West's CFTC papers. A professor at Gannon University visited the library to research Carl Albert in Bob Poage's papers. A professor at Wichita State came to explore conservatism in East Texas in the John Dowdy Papers. These are just a few of the dozens of recent requests. The more papers we process and put online, the more requests we anticipate receiving. This is the reason we archive materials now for future research.
Poage Library could not be growing without your involvement. So THANK YOU for your continuing support.