The Fort Smith Historical Society Board met at 2:00 pm, May 18, 2005, in the Main Library.  There were 15 members present.  Six members were absent. The meeting was called to order by Billy Higgins, president.  Minutes of the April 22, 2005 meeting were read by Chloe Lamon and approved.
Joanne Swafford gave the treasurer's report.  Copy was handed out to all members present.  Total income since January 1, 2005 to present was $7,028.48.  Total expenses were $4,924.05.  Balance as of April 29, 2005 are:  $14,945.40.  Handout from treasurer reflected a summary sheet and a detail income/expenditure sheet.  Board agreed that future reports should be as submitted for this meeting.  Treasurer's report was accepted and approved as submitted.
Jo Tillery gave the Membership report.  Report was handed out to all attendees present.  Total membership to date is 462.  Breakout was:  annual -89; seniors - 190; student - 3; sustaining - 8; business - 5;  corporate - 1; life - 148; exchange - 18.  The need to improve membership was discussed to include someone to head up the committee to recruit new members.  Questions were asked about "exchange members"?  Jo stated that these were those that we send or exchange Journals with such as other Societies or Libraries.  Corporate member dues are $250 per year and there is only one corporate member at present.  Work could be done to improve this area.  NOTE:  Of the 462 members, only 314 are annual paying members as life memberships have been paid a long time ago and no further inclome from them unless they donate something each year.
Martha Coleman from UAFS was asked to speak to the board about her work on the indexing for the Journal.  Handouts were provided to the attendees.  She said that students had been searching for individuals at school and they also saw the need to better index the Journal.  The expanded history program on campus "nudged" them into considering a solution.  The students have done a great job in indexing and the Board assisted with the proofreading of the work.  All of the indexing is complete except for the "W's" and the student doing those is sick right now.  The students have indexed several other publications and the results will be beneficial to people around the country as well as in Fort Smith.  Web site is available and these indexes will be available to anyone searching the web for specific names in the future.  The Board appreciates this superb achievement by Martha and the sutudents at UAFS.  We hope to recognize them at an appropriate time and place in the future.  Many have graduated and gone on but the recognition at some point is still deserved.
Chuck Raney mentioned the Arkansas Historical Alliance.  They are starting their publication also.  Most of the Board members were not aware of this Alliance which has as it's mission to draw attention to items/places/facilities of historical significance and lead efforts to see those treasures preserved.  Chuck also mentioned that the Chamber of Commerce said they would not link to our web site unless we joined as an annual member of the Chamber.  We have included them as a link from our web site.  Also, student inquiries have picked up significantly with the expanded history program on UAFS campus.
Ben Boulden stated that he has been getting behind in doing the monthly updates for our web site.  He has recently become engaged and goes to Little Rock twice a month on weekends. Ben is thinking of doing a re-design of the web site to make easier to get around it and maybe change the focus.  Will be Fall before anything happens.  Ben asked for contributions to the web site in form of photos, articles, etc.  Photos should be clearly identified on who, what, and where.
Carole Barger and Clara Jane Rubarth talked of work in the office at the museum.  Need people who can input on the computer as well.  Want to catalog what Amelia had at her home so in designated folders and can be found for research purposes at a later time.  There were 24 boxes that Art Martin brought to us that were at his home.  Chuck asked about one day being able to access ours and the museum's data but the museum will have to have some volunteer work to help in their cataloging one of these days.  Billy suggested that after our work is done, maybe we can volunteer and help the museum do theirs.  The work needed is a three person operation so need to coordinate times and have volunteers there to do the work.
Joe Wasson stated that he had bought some data base software to help with the cataloging and access to the data.  On the computer at the museum.  Hope to be able to type in a key word and the information and location will come up on the screen.  Wants to keep simple so all could use it.  Also discussed the next Journal which will be published in September.  Not short information in the Journal but nearly too much.  P{roposed topics for the next Journal are:  Article on the indexing/data base; New Masonic Temple; New Theatre; Boy Rangers; Hangin Times continuation; Trolley Story by Mrs Beckman; 1905 news; Fallen Heroes article, 1st in series; and posibly the Constantino family.  Billy indicated that improved effort to proof read for grammer and contents is needed so historically accurate and no typos.  Joe indicated that the time line made it hard in the past to get to all proof readers but should be better in the future.  Carole passed out a time line for the next Journal and after a short discussion, no changes were made and all hope to follow the times established for the next Journal.
Billy asked that we offer a stipend of $300 per Journal to the "Quark" person (Lynn) who does most of the final work on the Journal and making it print ready.  A motion to do this was made, seconded and passed.  $300 per Journal stipend will be given for her work on each Journal.  Not what it is worth but a good faith effort on our part to recognize her work.  She is slowly teaching Joe how to use Quark and he could be doing this one day in the future.
There was no old business.
New Business.  Carole had talked to Bedford's about sponsoring a photo contest focusing on Smithsonian art and sculputes in Fort Smith.  There are 21 listed but some are broken and some missing so will have to identify the ones to specifically focus on.  Bedford's will sponsor and award prizes to the three top places.  Bedford's will enlist the efforts of the Phto Alliance in fort Smith to become involved.  The Society should augument the prizes awarded with 3, 2 and 1 year memberships into the society to the winners.  The motion was made and approved.  Carole will proceed with the project.
Joe Davis had to leave early but Chuck brought up the fact that a discussion with Joe about chairing a group of representatives from all of the historical activities in Fort Smith to possibly create a Historical Alliance had taken place earlier and that Joe wanted to chair such an effort and also be one of the Society's reps at the meetings.
Billy satted that he would appoint Joe to this position but wanted Joe to also come up with an outline of a plan on how to best kick this off and what would be the goals to accomplish. 
There was a discussion about the need for a membership committee to recruit members and to look at out by-laws on Board members and if changes are needed there as well.  Billy said he would look into it and provide input to the Board at the next meeting.
Meetings were scheduled as follows:
    1.  June 22, 2005, 4 pm:  This will be at the Museum of History and will focus on the efforts to catalog material, etc.
    2.  July 20, 2005, 2pm:  This will be at the Main Library, Board room as our quarterly meeting and each quarter thereafter, meetings in the Library Board room unless changed.
Thre being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 3:25 pm by the president.
Chloe Lamon, Recording Secretary