Thank you if you replied to the survey about the future of proceedings. The Society spent £19k on administration in 2018 but only received £14k in subscriptions, which, most members will agree for only 383 individual and 129 institutional members is an excessive amount for a small charity to pay. In 2018 it cost SANHS £5,500 to send Proceedings to every member. This imbalance has restricted SANHS from achieving many of its aspirations, such as the rejuvenation of the Wyndham Hall, setting up of study groups, introducing lectureships, expanding its occasional publications programme, and developing its estate.
The trustees do not wish to increase membership fees any more than is necessary. But the membership fees have not risen in line with inflation for decades! The cost of postage rises every year. Other similar societies charge a great deal more but offer a great deal less to their members and towards their charitable objectives. There is also the environmental cost of printing, packaging and delivering Proceedings to be considered. SANHS has also been subsidising the running costs of the Society using £15,000 from the profitable Publications Fund, income from property and a few bequests and donations. All these sources of income are tending to reduce, particularly the number of bequests.
Following a consultation with the membership, to avoid having to increase the cost of membership across the board, the trustees have decided the following:
SANHS is no longer able to offer a hard copy of Proceedings as part of the £30 annual membership fee. In future, members who would like a printed volume of the journal will be able to purchase a copy. In 2020 a printed volume will cost joint and individual members £10, and institutions £15. This offer is only open to SANHS members.
If you do not wish to carry on receiving a printed copy your membership fee will not change, therefore you need do nothing. An electronic version of Proceedings will be made available to members to view on the Society’s new web site. Each volume will available for members only for two years, before moving to free public access on our web site.
All members will continue to receive the paper Newsletter once a year, the Society’s programme of events, electronic newsletters, permission to borrow books from SANHS library, and other benefits.
SANHS will also publish appropriate literature, appendices and catalogues on its website or in its occasional publications programme rather than in Proceedings. This will be another cost saving exercise to help keep the cost of membership at a low level for the next few years. The Society’s running costs will be reviewed annually.
If you would like to receive a printed copy of Proceedings in 2020 please complete the attached form.