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Burlington County Historians' Roundtable II - Minutes

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Library Company of Burlington County

11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Hosted by – Joe Laufer, Burlington County Historian, Paul Schopp and Dave Kimball

In attendance: 40 individuals representing Histocial Societies and orgainzations from Beverly, Burlington City, Delanco, Delran, Eastampton (Smithville), Evesham, Florence, Hainesport, Lumberton, Mount Holly, Pemberton, Riverside, Riverton, Southampton, Springfield, Westampton, Batsto, Chatsworth (Woodland), Willingboro, Prison Museum, Master Gardeners, and several individual History afficionados.

Agenda Summary: (click here for copy of agenda)

Sharon Vincz, Director of the Library Company of Burlington welcomed the group and gave a brief history of the Library Company, Chartered in 1757 by King George II, and New Jersey's oldest library in continuous operation.

The meeting portion was opened with participant introductions and highlights of upcoming events.

Paul Schopp distributed Historical Society Profile forms (click here for form) to be completed and returned to him by email, or mailed to Joe Laufer at the County Library, 5 Pioneeer Blvd., Westampton, NJ 08060, before the next meeting in June. This information will be useful for the creation of a directory and an internet “list-serv” with Yahoo or Google as


The Roundtable’s email directory of Burlington County Historical Societies & History-related organizations was shown during the PowerPoint presentation. Discussion continued regarding the publication of personal email accounts. It was suggested to send out group emails using Blind Copy. If you do not want your personal email address to be published or available to fellow historians on a password protected website, please inform Joe Laufer by May 31 st.

A "Spotlight on..." segment was introduced at this meeting and first up was Springfield Township. Judy Gauntt , representing the Springfield Historical Society, talked about the upcoming Farm Fair (July20-23) located at the new County Fairgrounds on Rt. 206 in Springfield Twp. Springfield will be handing out tote bags and a twenty-page pamphlet highlighting their history. They will be sharing their tent with us. We will be having a History Faire at the Farm Fair. This will also make the perfect venue for local historical societies to showcase their organization and/or collections. While not a requirement of participation, organizations are invited to highlight their community's Civil War connections. Contact Joe Laufer if you know of any Civil War Re-enactors.

Throughout the year, Historical Societies are invited to focus activities and research on the Civil War Sesquicentennial . Sherry Scull (Pemberton), Alice Smith (Delran) and Betsy Carpenter (Woodland) have been working on Civil War research. The Burlington County Historical Society Library and the Riverfront Historical Society will be showcasing a Civil War Exhibits. If anyone has any Civil War artifacts, items or local information for displays, please get in touch with Joe Laufer at the County Library. Winnie Fessenbecker (Evesham) has Civil War dresses.

Paula Manzella discussed the Burlington County Library’s collections and the guide to the holdings in the New Jersey Room in addition to online research materials and newspapers.

Click here for Handout: Highlights of the BCLS New Jersey Collection

Several Library staff members are well versed in historical research and the library boasts of extensive resources for genealogical information.

Questions and Suggestions:

  • A donation jar was suggested.
  • On the Profile form is a section listing Artifact and/or Archival/photograph collections which will be helpful in setting up resources for local historical society’s holdings. It was suggested by Dave Kimball that the Roundtable, as a consortium, would have a better chance of obtaining grant monies to assist with the cataloging of local historical society holdings. Attendess agreed that this idea should be pursued.
  • Don’t forget the Camden/Amboy Historical Group when scheduling speakers.
  • The Roundtable membership has a great potential for exchange of materials pertaining to different societies.
  • Should we continue with the self introductions & brief announcement portion? There was mixed reaction to this question. Judy King volunteered name tags.
  • Devote one of our meetings to presentations by people versed in archival preservation.

Discussion continued on where and when to hold our fall venues. Possible meeting places – Batsto Visitor Center, Bordentown Library, Cinnaminson Library, Smithville Mansion or New Visitor Center and Riverside Watch Case Building, etc. Paula Manzella suggested the new auditorium at the Burlington County Headquarters Library on Woodlane Road for the December meeting. The membership prefers to hold the Roundtable meetings during the day and Saturday mornings work well for the majority of the group.

Next meetingSaturday, June 18, 10-12, at the Evesham Library, 984 Tuckerton Rd., Marlton. Winnie Fessenbecker, representing the Evesham Historical Society, invited the group to a complimentarylite lunch and tour of the nearby Historic Inskeep House (Headquarters of the Evesham Historical Society, 10 Madison Ct., Marlton) after the June 18th meeting. Register for the Third Roudtable on line at the Evesham Library events link for June 18 at www.bcls.lib.nj.us.. If you plan to attend the post-meeting complimentary light lunch at the Historic Inskeep House, on the registration entry, please click on the "special needs" box and indicate this by typing "Yes: Inskeep House lunch."


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