2016 October 20 meeting minutes

Attendees: E. Kim Adams, Ron Becker, Benjamin R. Beede, Debbie Cohen, Tom Glynn, Joe Grabas, Paul Israel, Anika Kapoor, Manju Kapoor, Maxine Lurie, Christie Lutz, Tara Maharjan, Gail Malmgreen, Jessica Myers, Karl Niederer, Laura Poll, Frank Ritacco, Gretchen Ritacco, Matt Ritacco, Michelle Rotunda, Joan Ruddiman, Gary Saretsky, Julia Telonidis, Bob Vietrogoski, Helene van Rossum

The meeting was convened by Maxine Lurie at 4:45pm in the Pane Room of the Rutgers Alexander Library. The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted with a correction to Jessica Myers name.

Treasurer's Report: Prepared by Richard Waldron and presented by Maxine Lurie.

The closing balance was $1,811.78 with income of $455 from 11 memberships, $25 in sales, and donations of $265, including a contribution from MARAC NJ Caucus. Expenses were $184. The finances are in reasonably good shape but more funding needs to be found for the award prizes.

Membership Report: Karl Niederer reported that as of this date there are 84 members in good standing with dues paid for 2016–17; three new members joined this year. There are 57 delinquent members, 32 of whom had not paid dues in over two years. Karl raised the issue of having a spousal or family membership of $10, and the group agreed to try this. The question was also raised about membership in the New Jersey Cultural Alliance for Response (NJCAR), which has programs for managing emergencies. NJCAR brochures were passed out.

Website/Facebook page: Tara Maharjan reported that the Facebook page has 148 likes. She also asked for any updates for the website.

Committee on Author Awards: Report from Deborah Mercer came after the meeting (see below).

Committee on the Award for a Librarian: Bob Vietrogoski announced that the award was given to Gary Saretsky during Monmouth County Archives Day. Bob suggested the need for a fancier certificate. Committee member Rebecca Armont has left New Jersey; Laura Poll has joined as the MARAC representative. The website was updated with the award to Gary.

Committee on Teaching Awards: Raymond Frey was absent so Julia Telonidis gave the report. The undergraduate teaching award was given to Andrew Urban, Assistant Professor of American Studies, Rutgers University for the outstanding work of his class in producing the digital history "Invisible Restraints: Life and Labor at Seabrook Farms." The only submissions for K-12 were not for New Jersey based; future announcements need to make clear that the award is for New Jersey studies.

Stellhorn Award Committee: Richard Waldron prepared a report delivered by Maxine noting that there were two winners. Kate Reed, Princeton University, won for her paper, "Arthur Horton’s Fight against Coeducation at Princeton: An Unsuccessful but Crucial Battle." Audrey Berdahl-Baldwin, Princeton University, won for her senior thesis, "Protecting the Lawful, Combating the Lawless: Racialized Police Violence and the 1967 Newark Uprising"

Graduate student paper award: Paul Israel noted that there were no submissions this year. One notable aspect of past awards is that most have gone to students from out of state universities who happen to be working on a New Jersey topic, sometimes because they are from New Jersey. He is going to post twice a year to H-NET to try to solicit papers. Maxine suggested that students submitting to the New Jersey Historical Commission’s dissertation award be contacted about submitting a paper for the graduate student award. Paul will contact Sara Cureton about getting the names of students from the Commission.

NJSAA Lecture Series: Laura Poll discussed the June event and the schedule of future events. There was a very good turnout for the June meeting where Robert McGreevy from the College of New Jersey talked about his research on the Civil Rights movement in Trenton. On December 29 at 5:30 at the Trenton Public Library, as part of the Patriots Week events, Maxine Lurie and Rich Veit will discuss their new book,Envisioning New Jersey. A motion was made and passed to make NJSAA a co sponsor for this event. At the next NJSAA meeting on December 7 (3pm, talks at 4:15) the winners of the author awards will make presentations. At the Tuesday February 28thmeeting Frank Esposito will talk about the book he did with Donald Lokuta, Victorian New Jersey: Photographs by Guillermo Thorn from the Kean University Collection. In April the student award winners make presentations. We will plan to do another June event on a Saturday in 2017.

Development Committee: Jessica Myers noted that the committee had not met. Gary Saretsky suggested getting grant funds to pay speakers. During the discussion is was decided that this was probably not realistic and that it would be better to find contributors for the awards. It was suggested that we approach some New Jersey companies to sponsor the awards.

Maxine discussed the New Jersey Historical Commission Forum to be held November 18–19 in Morristown. This year’s program is focused on environmental history and the100th anniversary of the National Park Service. [Please consider attending!]

New Business

Newark Books: Three new publications were announced as part of the 350th anniversary of Newark: Knowing Newark a collection of Charles Cummings columns; his columns will also be online; the first history of Newark’s Chinatown, When Newark Had a Chinatown: My Personal Journey by Yoland Skeete-Laessig; and Louis Bamberger: Department Store Innovator and Philanthropist by Linda B. Forgosh.

History Fair: There was a discussion about whether we should have a table at the State History Fair. Those with experience of the Fair noted that this was not the best audience for the organization and was not well-suited to organizations that only had table displays. Having a table at the Archives Day annual conference was seen as more effective. Ron Becker indicated that Rutgers Special Collections was willing to share a table at the NJHC Forum.

There was a short break followed by History Day presentations. Joan Ruddiman discussed the importance of History Day and the need for volunteer judges. Two student projects were then presented. The first was a poster presentation on the Battleship New Jersey by Grace Mendolia, Sara Chesney, and Matt Ritacco. They were 8th graders at Valley Middle School, but now are freshmen at Indian Hills High School in Oakland. The second was a short documentary film on Edison and the Phonograph by Anika Kapoor of Thomas Grover Middle School in West Windsor.

*NOTE: Report from the Author Award Committee came in after the meeting.

Scholarly - Makris - Public Housing & School Choice

Popular - Russakof - The Prize

Edited works - Gigantino - American Revolution in New Jersey

Reference - Klett - Understanding New Jersey

Submitted by Paul Israel