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The Librarian Society has long been an important venue of scholarly investigation and discourse. Most professional scholars are members, and it is considered an honor and a signal that one has reached that level when the Peer Committee elects one as a new member. The Society has long had close attachments to many libraries, archives, universities and other places of learning, and despite the dangers and intrigues of the Late Imperium, has managed to survive.
The society functions both as a professional organization and as something of a social club. Its members include historians, writers, archaeologists and all those whose research is of a scholarly nature.
Four committees run all the various aspects of the Society:
The original committee created with the writing of the Charter. It functions as the executive body; administrating finances, setting and altering rules and practices and selecting members of the other committees. Its eleven members are elected by general vote of all members, and hold their positions for life. One member of this committee is selected by secret ballot to be the President, who is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Society and only votes when there is need of a tie-breaker.
The Peer Committee is responsible for adminstrating the membership of the Society; selecting new members, maintaining membership lists, and on occasion, suspending or revoking a membership for various proscribed behaviors. The Peer Committee is elected every seven standard years by all members from a list of candidates drawn up by the Librarian’s Committee.
The Historical Review Committee
The Historical Review Committee is responsible for determining the veracity of any newly discovered library or archive. Though rarely convened nowadays, its work has been crucial in weeding out unreliable libraries of alleged antiquity or accuracy. Its members are selected by the Librarian’s Committee, and is also a life-time membership.
Additions Review Committee
Probably the single most important committee besides the Librarian’s Committee, its task is to act as a registrar of new libraries, archives and private collections, and to determine the veracity of such libraries. It has, in the past, worked in close assocation with the Historical Review Committee, but as that committee is rarely convened any more, the Additions Review Committee has taken over the role of maintaining the lists of recognized libraries. Its members are, like the Peer Committee, selected in a general election every seven years from a list of candidates selected by the Librarian’s Committee.
The Society began during the early years of the Imperium, given its charter by the Emperor Reth II. The Charter declared that it would serve as a professional society to catalogue existing libraries as well as assuring that all future scholarly writings were thusly organized.
There were great difficulties in this task, for there were literally dozens of libraries spread across the early Imperium, some dating back far into the past, and some merely claiming to be. A certain form of professional politics came into play which severely limited the Society’s ability to fulfill its charter.
Despite these difficulties, the Librarian Society did become an early champion of the Hagurin Character Set, and was instrumental in making it the official writing system of the Imperium.
It was under the leadership of the famous R. B. Muzgersun that the Society was reformed, becoming both more democratic and more effective.
Muzgersun set up a number of committees; the Peer, Historical Review and Additiosn Review Committees. From that time forward, the Society was finally able to fulfill its charter, though it must be noted that politics still plays a major role.
The Rise of the Kuberians
The Kuberian Movement’s rise put the Librarian Society into a difficult position. While the Society’s main concern was the veracity of libraries, and not the legitimacy of any particular philosophical or religious movement, many Kuberian writings made historical claims, some justified by collections not certified by the Society as legitimate or trustworthy.
Some Kuberians decried the Society as a den of pseudo-rationalists, and for a time it seemed that the Society might face new reforms or possibly even the removal of its charter. Under Antius Trevus I, an oversite committee was installed to assure that the Society did not work against any of the philosophical and spiritualist groups that had grown out of the Kuberians, but the Society found its fears of severe interference were uncalled for. The Imperial Congress by now had substantial powers and renewed the Society’s charter with specific protections against outside interference.
The Failing Empire
The Imperial Interregnum produced new challenges for the Society. The slow breakdown of communications meant many members were cut off for years. The Hundred Bloody Days saw the Society almost gutted as Anthorph members were either imprisoned, murdered or fled. Some libraries were destroyed, causing irreparable harm to the work of some scholars.
The Society did its best to protect the libraries and archives that it could, and must be given great credit for hiding or copying some collections, and for aiding in the rebuilding of others after the Bloody Pretender’s demise.
As to whether the Society can survive the new Decline is an open question, though I, like all scholars, certainly pray that it be so.
- Antius Trevus I
- Hagurin Character Set
- Hundred Bloody Days
- Imperial Congress
- Imperial Interregnum
- Kuberian Movement
- R. B. Muzgersun