As the original proposer of getting agreement for the production of Yowls on to CD rom I must correct Roger’s statement that this was passed in 2004. In fact it was at the AGM in 2002 that it was agreed the Club would fund and support Steve Bowles in this project. At the AGM I spoke about Steve’s efforts and the reasons for the need to copy all the Yowls rather than just reproduce the Technicalities electronically. (See AGM Report in August 2002 Yowl, page 401)
Perhaps not everyone is aware that the ‘Technicalities’ are purely a reprint of any technical articles that have appeared in Yowl over the years. We owe a great debt to Bill Jamieson, an Australian Section member, for the amount of time that he must have devoted to compiling the Technicalities, not forgetting Glyn Chambers who continued with the updates. However, there are a lot of snippets of information contained within other articles or letters which are missing in the Technicalities. This, together with the fact that the Yowls represent the history of the Club, is the reason that both Steve and I felt that the opportunity should be taken to make the past issues of Yowl available to all Club members if they so required.
Steve has already produced a CD rom, in PDF format which is fully searchable, covering the first 10 years from 1963 and as far as I am aware there is no reason why this could not be made available. It would benefit from some artwork for the cover and case notes, with instructions, to turn it into a quality product befitting the Club. I have not had the time to sit and browse through all of it but from the brief delvings that I have made it is a fascinating archive.
It is very unfortunate that Steve’s other commitments have bought a halt to his valuable efforts but I for one would like to thank him for what he has achieved so far. However, from this foundation we now need to complete the task one way or another. Too much time has already passed without the supply of the hard copy Technicalities being available. Both newcomers and old hands alike have benefitted from this important source of information but this could be built on with all the Yowls being made available in a searchable format.
Personally I feel that the task should be carried out professionally but this is obviously dependent upon the likely cost involved. Doing a quick sum on the number of Yowls from 1973 to 2003 there are 180 issues with 30+ pages each which would mean approximately 6,000 pages to scan. The cost therefore comes down to the time involved in scanning this number of pages. Does anyone know anyone who is in this line of business that could put a price on the job?
If the Club could be persuaded to fund the operation the money could be recouped over a period by selling both the CD roms and hard copy versions that could easily be produced from the CDs.