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Finding Aid to the Club Records, 1950-2006
BANC MSS 76/75 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Organizational History

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: The Club Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1950-2006
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 76/75 c
    Creator: The Club
    Extent: Number of containers: 6 cartons Linear feet: 7.5
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Abstract: Minutes of meetings; copies of papers delivered at meetings; some other related material. Current holdings cover the years 1950-2006.

    Sound cassette: Edward V. Stackpoole talk titled "On the use of the imagination" given at The Club December 12, 1995.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has been assigned to The Bancroft Library. Materials in these collections are protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) and may not be used without permission of The Bancroft Library. Use may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, privacy and publicity rights, licensing terms, and trademarks. All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/reference/permissions.html. 
    Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], The Club records, BANC MSS 76/75 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Alternate Forms Available

    There are no alternate forms of this collection.

    Administrative Information

    Acquisition Information

    The Club Records were removed from the Charles L. Camp Papers, which were given to The Bancroft Library in 1976. Regular additions were made by individual members beginning in 1981 and are on-going with the latest made in 2007.


    Additions are expected yearly.

    Processing Information

    Processed by Manuscripts Processing Assistants, with Mary Morganti; additions by Alison E. Bridger.

    Organizational History

    “The Club” 1950 ~
    "The Club" is seemingly not a unique organization - there are many instances of gentlemen gathering together for a noble intellectual purpose throughout that part of history that has had the benefit of written language, and sufficient leisure time to engage in something other than gathering nuts, hunting, tilling the fields, and fighting off predators-human and others.
    It is unique, however, in that while it fits into a broad general category, it is simply not the same as all the rest.
    A few points need to be mentioned:
    First - It has no name. This may seem strange but upon reading the minutes back to its' founding in 1950 there are continuing references to both light hearted and serious attempts to give it a distinctive name including, but by no means limited to such early beauties as "Philosophical Club of California, Cosmos Club, Mid Century Club (from Rockwell), Quaare Club, and the Ventilators." There is reference in the minutes of May 10, 1974 that it was to be named the Eddie Hall Club for one month but this seems to have faded away. After 42 years, however, the designation "The Club" seems to have stood the test of time and in its' low key genteel snobbish simplicity implies that while all the other clubs have to prove something with names describing what they do (fly fishing, gastronomics, etc.) or variations that have nothing to do with what they are all about (Pacific Union, Union League, Rotary, etc.), "The Club" stands alone. It is just that: "The Club."
    Second - It has no formal structure. It has no President or other officers, no Executive Committee, no Dues or money payments other than hosting, no By Laws or Constitution, no Legislative or Judicial Structure, and only one semi-official non-tenured position - Archivist - who serves strictly at his own pleasure and whose only duty is to collect the papers and see that they are properly filed with the Bancroft Library.
    Third - Its' unstated but demonstrated purpose is to provide a forum for mutually agreeable but not necessarily agreeing gentlemen to meet and discuss diversified but structured matters of mutual interest, on a regular and orderly basis.
    Fourth - What structure it does have is by custom, and by cooperation and mutual agreement, rather than anything more formal.
    Most importantly, it works, and has for 42 years, as of the date of the writing of this paper.
    In all honesty, however, it must be admitted that some of the non-written customs have become the equivalent of a structure even though any one of them could be changed at any time. These should be mentioned:
    1. About ten meetings are held each year with the summer months of July and August usually being Dark. This probably stems from the number of Academics who have been members.
    2. Members are elected by acclamation, from persons nominated by other members and who have preferably attended as guests, have reasonable literary skills, are gentlemen, have some marks of distinction from the outside world, are of good reputation, and such other esoteric factors as may be determined to be important at the time of election. Membership is offered but not applied for.
    3. Members are expected to produce an original paper and to present it personally in an open meeting in sequence which assures that every member will eventually have the same number of annual presentations. The paper is to be no more than 40 minutes in length or about 20 pages of double-spaced, single-sided typewritten (or word processed) material. A new member seems to have sometimes been granted a year's respite but this has generally been followed only loosely. The choice of the subject is completely open but is expected to be in good taste. Controversy on a gentlemanly level is perfectly acceptable after a suitable time has passed and Revisions and Updates when there is substantial change are also acceptable. Visual material which can be incorporated in a paper seems to be perfectly appropriate and there are even a few recorded instances of almost totally visual presentations although this has been the exception rather than the rule, since the ultimate repository (The Bancroft Library) is essentially for written or graphic material. In general the non written "rules" are loose, on purpose, to allow for intellectual curiosity and quality with the burden on the presenter and his subject and his performance.
    4. Members are expected to provide at their own expense, as Hosts, an appropriate meeting place, their homes if feasible, with suitable refreshments, in a sequence, different from the paper presentations, which assures that every member will have the same number of hostings. Place and choice of refreshments are completely up to the Host of the Evening and have resulted in some most interesting, diverse, and delightful experiences. The Host is responsible for mailing a reminder for the next meeting shortly after the last meeting. He also acts as Chair of his evening's proceedings. Guests may, and have been invited by any member with the agreement of the Host. Ladies have quite often been included for the Cocktail Hour but only on a very few widely scattered instances for the dinner and paper. No comment will be made here on that matter since the writer is blessed with four daughters, a daughter-in-law and a wife, all intelligent professional ladies, who may read this treatise. There is fortunately no record, however, of ladies who have listened from adjoining rooms during the paper reading and discussion period and have later strongly commented to their spouses.
    5. The gathering time has traditionally been the second Friday (changed in 1994 to Monday) of each month in (but not always) the San Francisco Bay Area at 6 PM, with dinner served at approximately 7 PM, and the paper delivered at about 8 PM after which an open and often quite spirited discussion generally centering on the paper is conducted. The number of members revolves around but is not confined to 12. This is not considered sacred (nor Biblical) but is probably a practical development of the best number to get around a table for listening or discussion and the maximum size of the member's dining facilities. Minutes are kept by the member who was the previous month's host and, along with a copy of the paper, delivered to the Archivist (currently Bob Kimberlin, changed in 1995 to Bill Waste upon Kimberlin's requested retirement) who accumulates them and periodically delivers them to the Bancroft Library for inclusion in their existing collection. A perusal of the minutes over a period of years reveals a remarkable diversity in style and presentation and a reading of them is almost as interesting as some of the Papers.
    6. As with the Archivist, the Program Schedule is currently handled on a voluntary basis by George Keeler and the Membership Roster by Wally Macgregor in the same manner.
    Finally a few notes on the origin of the group. It is generally agreed that it was the original conception of Pete (Evan) Haynes who had enjoyed a similar organization called "The Off-night Club" which had gone out of business. On the night of Friday, January 13, 1950 (It was, actually, "A dark and stormy night"!) He gathered together some friends-Moses Lasky, Alvin Rockwell, Ted Meyer, and himself in Rockwell's apartment. They thought the concept was a good idea and planned the second meeting for February 3, 1950, with each inviting one additional prospective member, all of whom joined. This added Frank Foisie, Chandler Ide, Charles Camp, and Bob Kimberlin to the list. At the February meeting Frank Foisie delivered a paper entitled "Human action and Destiny" and "The Club" was launched!
    Compiled and written by William T. Waste, 12 February 1993