128 BARNSBURY ROAD, LONDON, N.l. TEL. 01-278 2632 No. 11 NOVEMBER 1968
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Local Societies What is to be the future of our local and county archaeological societies? The recent CBA conference on the subject suggested that there may be an increasing divergence between the local societies based on the towns, and the county societies based on the increasingly anachronistic counties. Local archaeological societies, as Mr. Arthur Percival suggested, can often form part of the local amenity society, so that those concerned with history above the ground can combine with those concerned with history below the ground to form a strong body of opinion to study, preserve and excavate our local heritage.
Though less was said at the conference about county societies, these are likely to be faced in the near future with a reform in local government amalgamating counties into larger regions, and county societies must therefore consider how far they too should merge. The most obvious activity for amalgamation is that of publication, which is one of their most important functions, as well as the most arduous and expensive. From the excavators' point of view it would certainly be more convenient to have, say, a score of large journals that cover the whole country, rather than sixty or more smaller publications which leave obvious gaps in those counties that publish no journal. It would make sense financially too, for if several societies joined together to publish a joint proceedings, their combined membership would enable a large volume to be published at a low unit price. A separate cover could be provided for each society, while the joint publication would find a wide circulation in libraries, especially in America. But such amalgamations, though desirable, are unlikely to take place everywhere of their own accord: it is up to the CBA to provide a lead.
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