Woodstock History Center
Board of Trustees
May 16, 2017, 5pm
John Cotton Dana Research Library
5:00 Call To order- Heidi Lang
5:02 Consent Agenda (April & May)
5:10 Financial Report, Tom Hartman
5:20 Director’s Remarks
5:25 Other Business
Board of Trustees Meeting
John Cotton Dana Library
5pm Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Trustees present: Heidi Lang-President, Tom Hartman-Treasurer, Barbara Drufovka-Secretary, Rick Fiske, Susan Fuller, Edith Walsh, Bill Dagger, Bob Holt, Charlie Degener
Notified Absence: Cookie Harvey, Kim French, Greg Camp, John Endicott, Ward Goodenough, Isabelle Bradley
Leave of Absence: Roland Moore
Others Present: Matthew Powers, WHC Director
Call to Order at 5:03pm by Heidi
Consent Agenda Items: approved
Motion made by Bob, seconded by Charlie
Board Meeting minutes, February 21, 2017
Treasurer’s Report: approved
Motion made by Rick, seconded by Bill
-40 volumes of the Vermont Standard will be added to our collection, pending approval by the Collections Committee
-the presentation on Sunday was well attended (60 people) and Matt is exploring options for hosting our presentations on other sites such as the Little Theater, the National Park Service theater space at Billings Farm, etc; the suggestion was made to consider a feasibility study for expansion of our facilities to accommodate our program events and improve our collections storage space
-there will be a time scheduled in May or June for the Board to tour the
-Susan will follow up with Matt to update the footprint plan of the facility
-our goal is to have at least one Trustee volunteer to introduce speakers at each event
-our Gift Policy has been forwarded to Mark Melendy (attorney) after which it will go to the Finance Committee and then to the Board for approval
-the Employee Policy has come back from legal review with suggestions for edits, to be ratified by the Executive Committee
-Joan (Cookie) Harvey will be publishing her memoirs and has resigned; she will remain on the Collections Committee and is happy to continue volunteering at events
-Heidi would like the Board to conduct self-evaluations and is gathering examples for consideration, with a goal of September; part of the goal is to guide development of our Strategic Plan
-we will seek an outside consultant to develop our Strategic Plan (the last update was 2013)
-we need to have a survey done of the property line between the Prince and the Pauper in order to collaborate on expansion and use of our shared driveway, etc; the recommendation is to hire Bob Holt conduct the survey, which must be voted on by the Board:
Motion made by Charlie, seconded by Susan: approved
The vote was nullified by vote, in order to correct the original motion
Motion made by Charlie, seconded by Bill
New motion was made to approach Bob Holt & Associates for a written proposal with estimate for the job of surveying the WHC property
Amendment: the board recognizes the potential of conflict of interest but does not feel that it presents a significant problem.
Motion made by Bill, seconded by Heidi: approved
Motion approved as amended
-the Committee on Trustees met and compiled a list of potential new Trustees, and Board members should vet the list
-we are considering moving our Annual Meeting to November, which would extend all current Trustees terms by 3 months
Finance Report, usually given immediately after the Consent Agenda was moved to end of meeting, so Treasurer was present. Due to lack of Quorum by the end of the meeting however, the March Finance Report will take place at the April meeting
Meeting adjourned at 5:50 pm by Heidi
Next Board Meeting will be at 5pm Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Minutes recorded and respectfully submitted by Barbara Drufovka, Secretary 1
Collections Committee: Chair, Susan Fuller/Staff Liaison, Becky Talcott
See the minutes from March 22 and April 19, 2017
Committee on Trustees: Chair, Heidi Lang/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
Hans Meir has agreed to join the Board of Trustees. One candidate has declined, due family commitments. Two candidates are interested but still considering. One candidate has yet to return calls. After learning the 6th candidate is in town only when visiting a second home, it was decided not move forward with an invitation at this time
Development & Marketing: Chair, Kim French/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
The Gift Acceptance Policy has been reviewed by legal counsel; appropriate edits have been made. We agreed the Planned Giving section will not be a separate policy; it will remain within the Gift Acceptance Policy. The next step is a review from the Vermont Community Fund (VCF). Once their comments are received and incorporated, the Policy will go to the Finance Committee and then to the full Board. We anticipate completion of the policy by July 2017. The Planned Giving brochure will be completed once the policy is accepted by the Board. In the meantime, we will gather examples from area non-profits on planned giving. Matthew will organize a session by VCF to speak to the Board about Planned Giving options and the WHC policy. Promotion of the upcoming opening of WHC and "The Green" exhibition was discussed. We agreed to leverage the newly re-designed website as well as distribution of WHC promotional materials to area tourist destinations and press opportunities.
Executive Committee: Chair, Heidi Lang/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
The Executive Committee met with our LISWHIT Grant donor on April 20th. We shared the Board's wish list as requested, and the donor shared some ideas with the committee. The donor agreed to send the second installment of the grant for 2017 during the month of May. It is hoped donor will meet with WHC Treasurer again in the month of August to discuss plans for 2018.
Education & Scholarship: Chair, Barbara Drufovka/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff
Finance Committee: Chair, Tom Hartman/ Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
Oral History: Chair, Ward Goodenough/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff 2
The training workshop was rescheduled, so the committee is holding off on scheduling its next meeting until after the initial workshop on Tuesday, April 18, from 10 am - 2 pm.
Research & Publications: Chair, Vacant/Staff Liaison, Matt Powers
The Arcadia Press book Woodstock, will be released in early June. The WHC will be hosting a reception and book signing on Sunday, June 11, 2 p.m. The author, F. Jay Barrett will discuss the book. The museum will be open as well.
Special Events Committee: Chair, Barbara Drufovka/Staff Liaison, Jennie Shurtleff
Minutes of the Collections Committee Meeting, March 22, 2017
Attendees: Charlie Degener, Susan Fuller, Joan Harvey, Rachel Kurland, Matt Powers, Jane Soule, Becky Talcott, Lin Thompson, Wayne Thompson
· VHS Tapes: At our December meeting, we received a proposed donation of four VHS tapes about Woodstock’s image and Wassail events (1986, 1987, 1989). The decision at that time was to look at the tapes before deciding whether or not to accession them. Matt and Becky have reviewed the tapes and recommend accessioning them. They are not great, but they are fun, and we see some familiar faces.
· New Century Club records: Becky said that we are presently storing records for the New Century Club, including meeting minutes and papers prepared and presented by the members. We have started discussions about making these records either a loan or a donation, so that we can create the paperwork to keep track of and use this resource. This is a similar process to what we did with the North Universalist Chapel Society records. Members asked questions about the club, e.g., when was it formed (maybe turn of the 20th century), what is its purpose. Becky did not know, but will talk with club members and provide more information back to the Committee.
Items to be reviewed (details attached):
· "The Elm Tree Monthly and Spirit of the Age" Nov. 1915; photo portrait of unidentified girl; two matted photos of Mr. Leech and Aunt Electa Leech. Accessioned, although it was suggested we contact Pomfret about the Leech photographs.
· Miniature Louisville Slugger 16″ wooden baseball bat, National Tournament, Wichita 1948. Accessioned. 1948 was the year the Woodstock American Legion semi-pro team went to the Nationals. George Goodrow was the manager.
· "The Long Light of Those Days" by Bruce Coffin, paperback. Accessioned. It was asked why there is a new paperback version of the book when we still have a large number of the hardcover edition for sale (which was published by The Woodstock Historical Society in 2005). It was the author’s choice to publish a paperback edition, which was not done by the WHS.
· Pewter (armetale) commemorative plate – Woodstock Inn 1969; pewter (armetale) coaster cWc; "Poems of Eva Clark Doubleday"; autograph book of Phyllis Doubleday 1952-3-4. Accessioned, although some recommended not accessioning the autograph book.
· 48 volumes of the Vermont Standard. Accessioned. We discussed if we should acquire this many volumes of the Standard, many (probably most) of which will be duplicates, and decided to do so. We saw an advantage to having some duplicate copies, especially if our copy is not in good condition, or if we loan out a copy (e.g., for Dave Doubleday’s use in his Standard column), or if we want to let school kids research in the papers. We do not yet have these papers on site, but we will contact the donor about picking them up.
· 4 volumes of the Vermont Standard: 1857; April 1867-April 1869; March 1896-Feb 1897; March 1902-Feb 1903. Accessioned. Lin said that the rolled up 1857 newspaper might not be a Standard, but we have not yet unwrapped it to confirm.
· Pamphlet "History of the Round Table, Inc. Woodstock, Vermont October 1961 – February 1991 Revised". Accessioned. The Round Table currently meets on Mondays at the History Center.
· Book: "Woodstock Then & Now" by Rhoda Teagle, 1957, with notes added by Ruth Wilder Morrill. Accessioned.
· Obituaries and funeral service programs for some Woodstockers. Accessioned
· Annette Compton collection: Accessioned, although not unanimously. In April of 2015, we accessioned from Artistree a number of items created by Annette Compton. (Upon her death they had gone to her mother Patricia Compton. Upon her death, they were gifted to ArtisTree, which in turn made them available to the public.) Matt was told recently that many items were still at Artistree, so he went and looked again, and selected a few more items that were brought to the Committee today.
Note from after the meeting: at last month’s meeting we had looked at photographs of 39 books being offered as a donation by Dale and Susan Moxley, and we decided to accession them. The Moxleys visited the History Center on Thursday the 23rd and delivered the books, so they are available if anyone wants to look at them. Most are in decent condition.
The next Collections Committee Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 19, at 5 PM, at the History Center.
Minutes of the Collections Committee Meeting, April 19, 2017
Attendees: Charlet Davenport, Charlie Degener, Susan Fuller, Carie Good, Joan Harvey, Gina Moore, Matt Powers, Jane Soule, Becky Talcott, Lin Thompson, Wayne Thompson
· Proposed donation of 48 bound volumes of the Vermont Standard: we agreed to accession these newspapers at our last meeting, although they were not on site. They have still not been brought to the History Center. We are following up with Cameron Clifford.
· Lin Thompson’s donation of Vermont Standards at the last meeting: one set of papers were rolled up, and we weren’t sure if those were Standards or another newspaper. We checked and they are Vermont Standards from 1857 and 1858, but they are very fragile.
· The white church: has been moved from the King Farm to Heidi Lang’s barn. Heidi is not concerned about how long it remains there. There is space to work on the church. The History Center has no pictures of the church on display in the village. It was initially above the Woodstock Electric Company office. Others remembered its being across the street at a later time at Town and Country and/or nearer to the Bentley’s corner. It was suggested that we ask via Facebook or in the Standard for people to share their photos of the church. We also found a Kathy Wendling "Historically Speaking" article about the church which says that it was made by Ernest Rennie, a carpenter who worked for C.C. Frost.
· New Century Club – we are still talking with Jane Smith about her coming in with both the current and past secretaries of the club to look at the material we have and decide on making it a donation or loan. We have also found some accession records for other donations of New Century Club materials.
· Cleaning day: in the past few years we have had a cleaning day prior to the museum’s opening, to dust, vacuum, etc. and spruce up the space. We have not yet set that date, but we invite any members of the Committee who are able to join us to come and help out. Opening day this year will be Wednesday, May 31, and we will be open Wednesday through Sunday each week. We will notify Committee members when the cleaning day is scheduled.
· Abandoned Property process: Becky went through the process of how we obtain ownership of found-in-collection (FIC) items—items for which we can find no accession record. We have gone through this process twice already, in 2012 and 2013, and we are preparing for the third. Our current list of FIC items is over 600. In the past, most items have been objects from the museum collection. We are now also looking at including books from the library collection, especially if there are books we want to deaccession, but for which we do not have clear ownership. Becky handed out "Background on the Abandoned Property Process," a question and answer about the process, which is also posted on our Woodstock History Center website (copy attached). The process is defined by the Vermont law (27 Vermont Statutes Annotated, Chapter 12, An Act Relating to Property Loaned to Museums, adopted May 2008). It requires us to publish a notice each month for three consecutive months in the principal newspaper in the county where the museum is located. Then we wait 180 days after the last notice, and if no one comes forward to claim ownership, the items are ours. If someone comes forward, it is his/her responsibility to prove
ownership. In the past we placed notices in both the Vermont Standard and the Valley News. This time we are planning to publish only in the Valley News. Previously it cost about $1000 total for the three notices in both newspapers. It will be less for using only one newspaper, but the advertisement will be larger, and ad rates have probably increased, so the cost may be similar. We will send a copy of the notice/advertisement to the Committee members before it is published. Members asked if there would be a difference if we publish in the online version of the paper. We will have to investigate. Members also asked if the State of VT published any lists, having seen something previously but not being sure what the reason was for its publication. The American Precision Museum and the Fairbanks Museum have both gone through the Abandoned Property process. To our knowledge, no one has come forward to claim any items listed in their newspaper ads either. We have wondered if it might be possible to change the law to reduce the number of times publication is required and the 180 day waiting time, given the history we and other museums have had with the process. We have not pursued this, but we may check with the other museums to find out their thoughts.
· Woodstock Land Records on microfilm: we have been contacted about a possible donation of Vermont land records on microfilm, 1779-1972. The donor said that they were bought from the State of Vermont. Charlie said that many years ago each town clerk sent the state copies of land records, which the state then microfilmed, kept a copy and provided a copy back to the town. We have a set here at the History Center, on loan from the town clerk’s office. We have a photo of the proposed donation, but have not seen the actual microfilms to know their condition. Charlie recommended that we accept the records if they are in good condition. Wayne raised an issue about the stability of microfilms –because they contain nitrate, there’s a potential problem with emissions, odor and flammability. The films should be kept inside a metal container to prevent problems. We agreed that staff will investigate the safety issues and report back to the Committee.
Items Reviewed (details attached):
· Two letters and a newspaper clipping from 1957 about the filming of "Peyton Place" in Woodstock. Letters written to Father Mark Harvey of the Catholic Church in Woodstock. Accessioned.
· Thumb drive with genealogical information on the Chedel (Cheadle) family of Pomfret and Barnard. Accessioned.
· Articles of clothing: Jane Norman navy attire; Dartmouth jacket; Chris Craft small flag; small naval flag; winter clothing. Accessioned. Matt Powers and Rachel Kurland had gone through the items offered by Lowell Gray, and many items were removed in advance (e.g., some fur and leather in poor condition). The remaining items were those that Rachel thought would be of most interest and ones we do not have in our collection.
We will notify Committee members about the upcoming Cleaning Day in May.
Our next Committee meeting is Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 5 PM at the History Center.