Volume 7, Number 1, Jan. 1985, p.1

Letter from WAAC President

by John Twilley

The WAAC Annual Meeting has come and gone, and along with it the period of most intense activity for the elected board members. The meeting this year was unusual in a number of ways. It was the first instance in which we have been hosted by an institution (University of California at Riverside) other than a museum or conservation center. It was also a year in which a number of other meetings competed with ours for the participation of WAAC members and for the limited travel funds of their institutions. In this sense we experienced something of a test of the importance of the organization to its members. The triennial ICOM Conservation Committee meeting and the biennial IIC Congress coincide only once every six years. It was therefore advantageous this year for individuals from the U.S. to attend these meetings and a number of WAAC members did so. The AIC meeting, of course, took place earlier in the year in Los Angeles, not far from Riverside. Many senior conservation staff members thus were unable to take the additional time to attend the WAAC meeting.

On the other hand new faces were prominent among the speakers as well as among the seventy members who attended the meeting. It is clear, particularly in light of the schedule and budgetary conflicts described above, that interest in the WAAC remains high.

I am of the opinion that it is important for the WAAC, as a regionally based organization, to promote conservation standards by taking an interest in how conservation problems are handled outside of the major cities, in towns such as Riverside. Even our visibility as a group is instrumental in this regard. While cultural attractions play a legitimate role in the siting of an annual meeting, we probably achieve more of our organizational goals through contact with people far removed from the spheres of our day to day work. The lack of adequate facilities prevent larger organizations from locating their meetings in smaller cities and enjoying this kind of contact. The seminar on Insect Infestation in Collections which was well received at the meeting, demonstrates that local specialists can be drawn into our exchanges, to both our benefit and theirs...even in relatively out-of-the-way locations.

For those who were unable to attend the meeting, it should be explained that it proved expedient to incorporate a somewhat shorter format of the Insect Seminar into the activities of the first day of the Annual Meeting. Since, two weeks prior to the meeting, one half of all pre-registered members had also registered for the seminar; it was then possible to make the seminar available to the entire group. All those who had registered for the seminar were advised of the change in program and were refunded the seminar fee. The seminar speakers, Dr. Michael Rust, Associate Professor of Entomology and Head of the Division of Economic Entomology and Donald Rierson, Staff Research Assistant, have indicated an interest in providing whatever assistance they can to WAAC members who find themselves in need of advice on a suspected insect problem. They may be reached at the following address: Department of Entomology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521.

I would also like to point out an article submitted by Dr. Ronald Tobey of UCR's Graduate Program in Historic Resources Management in this issue of the newsletter. This article develops a topic he touched on during his welcome remarks at the meeting. For those who were present, his remarks provided an unplanned and unexpectedly relevant transition into a discussion on the subject of professional evaluation of conservators which was lead by Leslie Kruth (see "California Heritage Task Force Report.")

On behalf of the new and continuing board members, I would like to encourage the active participation of WAAC members in support of their organization during the coming months and to wish you all a fulfilling year in 1985.

John Twilley
President WAAC

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