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Possible Outreach Project - Bowyers, Societies & Art 
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Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:38 am
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Location: Connecticut, USA
Post Possible Outreach Project - Bowyers, Societies & Art
The following ideas have been shared with Hugh Soar for his input. Hugh responded with some excellent thoughts. "In short, Hugh agrees that the concept falls within Project OUTREACH and is a worthy one." He then said "Let's see what others think."

The idea is as follows. There are several areas pertaining to archery history that might be timely to capture. This effort might also serve as an "outreach Project" for the Society. More importantly, this information would be made available in one place.

BOWYERS

The first area involves a centralized list of "bowyers". Wouldn't it be nice to have a list of bowyers by country by time period? This information could be enlarged by the bowyer's address[es], geographic area served, type of bow made, bow design, duration of operation, source documents/reference work, publications [such as, handbooks], locations where bows may be viewed, cross-section depiction of typical bow, digital photographs [where possible] of representative bows, etc.

A number of bowyers have been identified over the years in various books, periodicals, articles, tackle catalogs, etc. Some of this information is going to vanish if it isn't captured in the near future. What brought this to mind is Hugh Soar's "The Romance of Archery" in which he discusses, among other things, bows and bowyers. What were particularly valuable were Hugh's diagrams of the bows that he discussed. It would be nice to have a list of bowyers available in a centralized medium. My recollection is that Fred Lake also wrote a number of pieces for the "British Archer" on bowyers.

ARCHERY CLUBS/SOCIETIES

Another area involves archery clubs or societies. Fred Lake and Hal Wright have a brief section in their "A Bibliography on Archery" [1972 and 1994] where other publications, such as Longman's and Walrond's "Archery" [1894] and Clement C. Parker's "A Compendium of Works on Archery" [1950] are referred to for more details and discussion on archery societies. Parker's "Compendium..." simply updated Longman's
Walrond's "Archery". Other source documents are also mentioned.

I believe that Fred Lake has noted that he has information on numberous archery organizations. Again, this information could be sorted by country, name, county/location, details on meets, period of operation, uniforms, etc. I am sure that many members could contribute specific information on societies where we may own handbooks, rules/regulations, music, steward's guides, minutes, manuscript material, photographs or prints, medals, badges, etc. Again, the focus would be to have this information available in a centralized resource.

ARCHERY ART - PAINTINGS/PRINTS/ILLUSTRATIONS

The third area would include archery art including orginal paintings, prints, illustrations and cartoons. From what I have seen, there are more prints and paintings on archery than what one might suspect. I believe that "Archery" by Longman and Walrond [1894] is the one limited source of information on this topic. Again, the intent would be to capture this information and have it available as a centralized resource.

For example, a magnificent archery painting "Archer Meeting at Bradgate Park 1850" by John Ferneley, Senr., from thje collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon was noted in "Sporting Art - England 1700-1900" by Stella A. Walker, 1972. Archery was a popular subject for artists.

The information could include a digital photograph of the artwork, when published/painted, reproductions produced, details on what the artwork is intended to represent, details on the artist including any specific connection with archery, locations where the print or painting may be viewed, etc. It would be nice to have an up-to-date archery art list with which to work.

SOME THOUGHTS ON POSSIBLE IMPLEMENTATION

If this idea has merit from the standpoint of the Society, a small committee could be put together for each of the three areas to oversee and define what information should be captured [the committee might also want to determine cut-off dates for collecting the information] and design a brief format to be followed when information is submitted on the topic.

What then would be needed would be someone to be in charge of each area to whom this information could be sent either electronically [preferably] or by other means. This individual would then input the information onto the central record. The information could then be put on the Society's website so that it could be accessed by members only. Or, for a small payment, interested parties could request the information by the payment of a small fee to cover costs. Variations of these approaches are available to best meet the needs of the Society.

Obviously, these details can be worked out. Perhaps the access to the information could be structured in such a way as to generate some income for the Society. At a later date when the information in these three areas is more fully developed, perhaps a CD with the information could be made available for a fee or perhaps a pamphlet could be published. There are various possibilities.

I characterize this effort as an "outreach" project because I believe that many of our members are in a position to provide some input and contribute to this effort. This may also provide the Society an opportunity to reach out to archers/people in other countries where there are old/ancient archery societies, bowyers and artwork and where we may currently have limited knowledge and contact.

This effort might also provide an opportunity to enlarge our membership base as well. I know that I would like to know more about Scandinavian, Japanese, German, Polish and Turkish bowyers as well as bowyers from many other countries. The same holds true with respect to their archery societies and artwork. There must be a great deal of information about European crossbow societies that would be nice to capture.

The idea would be to keep the project simple by following pre-established published guidelines/formats to use to submit the information, capturing it in a centralized manner and then making it readily available to interested parties - members, historians, scholars, collectors, etc.

If successful, perhaps this approach could also be used to preserve other important archery historical information.

Limited information is better than no information - additional information can be collected at a later date. The important thing is to identify and collect what we know today and is available currently. Obviously, this would be a "work in progress" that would be updated as more information becomes available.

Surely this critical archery information will disappear over time if we don't take the interest, time and effort to collect it today. Just as important, this information could be made readily accessible and available in one place and what better place to collect it and house it than the Society of Archer-Antiquaries.

Just some thoughts -- what are yours? Does the idea have merit. It would be nice to hear from a number of you. :smile:

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Dave Sterling


Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:55 pm
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Phew ! ! ! I read your suggestions with great interest and they have much merit. I am sure our Curator would like this suggestion. I would like some more time to consider them further.

Without wishing to pour cold water, I feel that getting small "committees" together might prove difficult - unless you are thinking that they would "meet" online.

I should also sound a note of concern. The forum we have at the moment will no longer be supported after an indeterminate time as there is a much later version. Trouble is, as this is quite a substantial change we would be charged something in the region of £150+ by our Host to make the changes and install the new version. The Society is as you know just struggling to keep its head above water and it is questionable whether it could afford the extra expense

At any time we might lose what we have and I am trying to find an alternative person who might do the job for us for less - someone who really knows what they are doing of course. I do not have the technological expertise.

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Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:13 pm
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Post Possible Outreach Project
I have to admit that there is a lot to digest -- sorry! Would the discussion of this topic be something that could be discussed at the AGM to determine what kind of interest might exist and what approaches to collecting, storing and safeguarding data might be available?

Your point on 'committees' is a good one. I think that perhaps 'on-line' communication between committee members might work the best. It would certainly be easier than trying to get a group together.

From a technology standpoint, while the data input could be handled on-line [and through the mail], perhaps the archival storage/data bank itself could be kept on someone's PC off-line. This would help to keep costs down. Obviously, there are some logistics that need to be investigated and addressed.

As you point out, it is imperative to manage and minimize costs as well as to keep the effort as simple as possible. Hopefully, this can be accomplished if the interest exists for this kind of project.

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Dave Sterling


Wed Feb 03, 2010 3:44 am
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I have had a word with the Honorary Sec. and he has asked for what you have said to be given to him in hard copy, so that it can be handed around the Committee - so I shall provide this for him.

There is always the option to set up Yahoo groups for any sub- committees, provided all members are on the Internet. My concern would be who would agree to be on those sub-committees. Members are not usually notable for leaping to their feet when a volunteer is required ! However, if this were to cover the globe then there might well be members willing to do their bit.


Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:34 pm
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Post Possible Outreach Project - Bowyers, Societies & Art
Thank you for providing the hard copy to our Honorary Secretary.

I share your concern with regard to members volunteering to serve on the sub-committees. People may not leap at such an opportunity. If the sub-committees, however, can be kept small and manageable and then reach out to other members for input, as needed, this might help to get things off the ground. By small, I am thinking of perhaps three people on each sub-committee unless more members evidence an interest in participating on a given sub-committee. The Committee at the AGM may also have some thoughts on how to best make this work.

I guess that I am thinking that once the sub-committees scope out the project and then identify protocols in terms of what information should be collected, who it will be sent to and how it will be formatted; how and where the data is to be stored and then how will it be made available to others -- a lot of the work will be done. Hopefully, this can be done in a few meetings [perhaps initially on-line and then by e-mail].

The sub-committees can then loop back to one another to ensure that a consistant approach and effort is undertaken. This information can then be communicated to members, and the collection process can begin. Periodically, the sub-committees can re-connect with one another to determine progress and whether there is a need to re-assess or change things.

Keeping things simple I believe is the key to making it work.

However, the Committee at the AGM will certainly have thoughts and ideas based on their collective experience, and I am sure they will have suggestions that can streamline and facilitate the process.

These are just a few quick thoughts that I have. Hopefully we will have the benefit of some additional input from our membership before the AGM so that the Committee will have this information available.

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Dave Sterling


Sat Feb 06, 2010 3:50 am
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Dave - How would you like to be on the Committee LOL :lol:

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Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:32 pm
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I will be happy to consult and provide input as needed. :smile:

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Dave Sterling


Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:32 am
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This is an excellent idea and I agree the intention. The problem rests with it activation. I am slowly collating basic information from my own Collection of over 300 bows and the 85 or so Bowyers they represent. It is a lengthy task and is over 25 pages long at present.

I know that Fred Lake has researched many of the UK bowyers and his results are in the British Archer. It would be possible to abstract details of UK Archery Clubs from the Archer's Register, Archery News, and British Archer.

I have a list of Obituaries of prominent archers taken from the above sources, coupled with a list of photographs appearing in AR, and AN.

The success of this major Project lies entirely with those who have the time to fulfil it, and therein lies the problem. I will advance it at the AGM and hope that someone with the time and inclination will pick it up. However, most of our members seem to be more interested in accessing information provided by someone else than researching it. Or am I being cynical ?.

I can and will play a part in the gathering together of the information since I have access to some of the sources, but I am a busy person with limits on my time.

It is a little dsappointing that no-one else has contributed to this subject.


Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:46 pm
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Post Possible Outreach Project - Bowyers, Societies & Art
Hugh, you make a number of excellent points. Like you, I am somewhat disappointed that we haven't yet heard anything from our membership. Surely, there are some excellent viewpoints and suggestions out there to be shared. It sure would be great to hear from other folks.

And, you are correct, no one person can do it all -- helping hands are needed. We are going to need some resources from among our members to make it happen. In addition, while help will be needed to collect information both in the U.K. and the U.S., assistance will be definitely needed as respects other countries. All our members have the opportunity to contribute and have an impact on this project.

Thank you very much for agreeing to take the matter to the AGM. Their support is critical to making this effort happen as well as to galvanize and generate some excitement, energy, enthusiasm and momentum around the project. They and our general membership are the ones who will need to provide the catalyst to move things forward.

On the American side, I have some information that I have been able to glean over time. Keep in mind, that a considerable amount of the archery equipment used by early American archers was imported from the UK from the 1850's thru 1900. We didn't have that many early bowyers. However, with some help from other archery historians in the U.S., I am sure that we can put together some good information.

I have also done some research at the American Antiquarian Society located in Worcester, Massachusetts. They hold in their archives the largest collection of early newspapers [eighteenth and nineteenth century] published in the United States. From this research, I have been able to identify some early archery clubs.

I also have complete runs of the "Archers Register" and "Archery News" and could be of assistance in researching these
periodicals for information on British archery clubs and bowyers. Unfortunately, I don't have a complete set of the "British Archer" periodical.

With your outstanding collection of bows, the information that you have compiled on bowyers will be invaluable.

It would be great if we could also enlist some help from Fred Lake as respects British bowyers and archery clubs [and perhaps artwork as well]. I recall from correspondence with Fred that he was working on a compilation of archery clubs in the British Isles by county and that he had addressed some 20 out of 31 English counties.

He noted that the raw material he had developed was used for articles he produced or given to Arthur Credland and you for use in writing individual accounts of several British socities and also for use in identifying archery badges and medals. That was back in 2001 so Fred may well have completed summaries on the remaining English counties.

The project as first sounds somewhat overwhelming, but I think that if it could be broken down into manageable components perhaps it becomes easier to deal with and visualize. For example, perhaps the effort can be started by breaking it down into time periods, such as, 1750 to 1800, then 1800 to 1850, etc. [this suggestion isn't meant to preclude generating information for earlier time periods if it is available]. There are probably other similar approaches that can be used as well.

It would be nice to have a number of different ideas for you to take to the AGM identifying ways to dissect and manage the effort. We want to do things as simply as possible but still achieve our goals. This is where we really need to hear from the general membership and obtain their ideas as well as their support. Who will be first? :grin:

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Dave Sterling


Sun Feb 21, 2010 5:08 pm
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Dear Dave - on behalf of Hugh I e-mailed all those on the committee ahead of the AGM to elicit their "first thoughts" and give them a chance to mull things over beforehand, rather than present them with a paper to be read on the day. So far those who have responded are quite positive. Sadly there has not been a full complement of replies.

I was particularly keen to get our (new)Treasurer involved as he is a bit of a whizz with computer databases.

Like you I am saddened that no-one else on the forum has responded. This I am afraid is a failing of forums (fora) Loads of people join in a fit of enthusiasm but then forget to make regular visits to see what is going on.

As Administrator I make a habit of visiting daily, just to check that all is well; but despite regular cajoling, those members who do visit are largely non-UK - and even those seem to have vanished for the moment.

I have asked our Arrowhead editor to put something in the next issue, and we shall see what transpires.


Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:30 pm
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Post Possible Outreach Project - Bowyers, Societies & Art
That was a great idea to furnish members of the Committee with an advance copy -- it is a lot to wade through! I also like your idea to have Bob Brown include mention of the idea within the next issue of the ARROWHEAD.

Although few in number, I am gratified that the responses you have received thus far are supportive. It would be nice if each Committee member could reach out to several general members in advance of the AGM just to solicit ideas and impressions.

I wonder if members don't necessarily look under the NOTICES section of the FORUM -- they may be more interested in other FORUM topics? The reason for this comment is that there haven't been that many "views" tabulated for this topic? I am not sure what the answer is.

On the other hand, maybe members are simply thinking over the idea and the implications as well as what their role might be.

It sounds like our new Treasurer will be very helpful with his knowledge of computers.

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Dave Sterling


Wed Feb 24, 2010 12:43 am
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I am coming around to the view that we might usefully concentrate our resources on one particular aspect at a time, getting that sorted before moving to the next. The aspect most easily dealt with - because I think more core information exists, is that of archery Clubs and Societies.

Whether the format is 'spread sheet' - which I personally think might be restrictive - or by list is open to debate. However we need to be clear about 'headings'. These I suggest should include.

Country: County: (or appropriate District) Name: Year formed (extended by month and date if known). Membership, (social Class) with exclusions, for instance -no bowyers or fletchers - or by nature (ie. Woodman of Arden , Royal Company , Edinburgh Ladies, etc) Synopsis of Rules, (Regulatory and Shooting) including Presidential/Lady Paramount arrangements: Number of members: Shooting ground if static, or Grounds if perapatetic: Fees: Prominent members.
All views will be welcomed.
The list is not exhaustive and I welcome additions.


Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:11 pm
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Post Possible Outreach Project - Bowyers, Societies & Art
That's an excellent idea -- concentrating initially on just Archery Clubs and Societies makes a great deal of sense. It would give us an opportunity to refine the approach and work out the details. As you point out, there is probably more information available on clubs and societies than the other two areas. Working on clubs and societies would establish a track to run on and focus our resources.

A narrative format capturing essential "headings" would certainly work. It would also be good to hear from members representing other countries who could provide input on "headings" that would be germane to their archery clubs and societies.

Your list of headings is a good place to begin. If known, published/printed material on the club/society should probably be listed as well, e.g., rules/ regulations, membership lists, minutes, music, etc. Also, what about listing other source documents pertaining to the club/society -- e.g., The Archer's Registers, the Field, Hargrove, Ms. S. S. Banks" Mss., etc?

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Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:36 am
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I agree that Sources should be included. Although between us we have a good deal - probably most - of the information available concerning UK and US Clubs and Societies, this will be based on known printed sources. There is a gap though in the run of Archers Rgisters that is filled only by reference to 'The Field' Newspaper. The only full run may be at the British Library or the Bodleian. I don't have ready access to ether. Fred Lake has much information I know and may have the missing data. just possible that he may be at the AGM and if he is then I will ask him Otherwise the only other way is by letter and the hope that he will answer it. I only hope that his material has not left his premises and gone elsewhere. Bill Terry seems to have persuaded him to part with his bow and arrow Collection and it may be that the other material will - or has - follow(ed).


Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:21 am
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Post Possible Outreach Project - Bowyers, Societies & Art
Fred Lake had mentioned in a 2001 letter to me that he was working on compiling a list of archery societies and meetings for the period 1757 to 1950 and had put together summaries of these for some 20 out of 31 English counties plus Ireland, Scotland and Wales. I believe that his summary included the name of the archery society/club, the time period during which it existed and where in the county it operated along with references for each society. For example, to use an illustration Fred provided to me, under Berkshire county: "Hill and Valley A[rchers]., 1868-1879?, Near Newbury".

He mentioned that he had consulted the "Field", 1853-1922 along with the usual archery reference sources, i.e., S.S. Bank's MSS., Hargrove [1792 & 1845], Oldfield [1791], Waring [1814], Hansard [1840], "The Archer's Register", "Archery News", "The British Archer". For the missing years of "The Archer's Register", he said specifically that he had consulted the "Field". He was including additional notes on surviving rules, lists of members, medals and awards where applicable.

It sounds like he has put in a prodigious effort in compiling this information. I am sure that his research would materially benefit this project. I was planning on writing to Fred Lake anyway and will mention this outreach project to him and see if he may be in a position to assist us.

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Dave Sterling


Thu Feb 25, 2010 8:15 pm
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