AJHA Seeks Auction Items to Benefit Student Travel

15 May 2022 2:54 PM | Erika Pribanic-Smith (Administrator)

by Mike Conway, First Vice-President

Get ready to dig through your bookshelves and private archives because the AJHA Media History Auction is back! We are resurrecting one of the most popular parts of the AJHA experience for our Memphis conference this September. Just as before, all money raised from the auction goes directly to graduate student conference travel, a major part of the revenue needed for the new Michael S. Sweeney Graduate Student Travel Stipend.

We are looking for your historic books, newspapers, magazines, and broadsheets. We want your newspaper, radio, television, online and political ephemera--including coffee cups, glasses, calendars, t-shirts, and whatever you are willing to donate to the AJHA auction.  But let’s not stop there. What else do you think someone would bid on to help our graduate students? How about gear from your university? How about products from your town that you can’t get anywhere else? At least one person is thinking about donating a bottle of whiskey from their part of the world.

The new AJHA Auction will be a bit different from the old version, at least for the first year. We are going to list the auction items on an online bidding platform before and during the conference, much like a silent auction. We plan to have the items on display in Memphis (space permitting) and then turn them over to the winning bidders before the end of the conference. So instead of having the auction confined to a couple of hours at the conference, you will be able to look at the auction items online before you get to Memphis. Once you are at the conference, you can see the actual items and keep track of the bidding, finally paying online and receiving your prize at following the AJHA business meeting on Saturday.

Even though we are using an online bidding platform, you do need to physically drop off and pick up all auction items at the AJHA Conference in Memphis. We will not be shipping any auction items.

As soon as you have identified something for the AJHA auction, please take a photo of that item for the auction site. Go to the home page of the AJHA website and you will see a link for the auction. To fill out that form, you will need a photo of the item and a suggested starting bid. We will then create an entry on our online auction site.

Please note that each item will have its own listing on the auction site, so please take a separate photo of each item you plan to donate and fill out a separate form for each item. Forms must be submitted by Aug. 1.

To get you thinking about what you can donate for the AJHA auction, here are a few early entries. Jason Guthrie is offering up a 1976 New Times with Jimmy Carter and Gregg Allman on the cover. Gerry Lanosga is donating journalism media spanning four centuries, including a 1720 London Gazette (pictured), an 1858 Godey’s Lady Book, an 1877 Harper’s Weekly, a 1949 Quick News Weekly, and a 21st Century page of stamps honoring American journalists including Martha Gelhorn and Eric Sevareid.

The AJHA Memphis Conference is Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, 2022. The deadline for paper and panel submissions is June 1, 2022. Looking for more reasons to join us in Memphis? Here are some of the highlights from AJHA President and former Memphis journalist Aimee Edmondson.

If you can’t make it to Memphis this year, you can always support our graduate students through a donation to the Michael S. Sweeney Graduate Student Travel Stipend, which is located on the Donate page on the AJHA website. 

This year, we are offering a $400 travel stipend for graduate students on the conference program for Memphis who plan to attend the duration of the conference and agree to work a set number of hours at the registration/auction table. This generous amount is possible because of the money raised from the donation suggestion in Dr. Sweeney’s obituary earlier this year. AJHA has agreed to make up whatever extra money may be needed for 2022. The amount of the travel stipend for 2023 will be dependent on how much money we raise through the auction and the Donate section of our website in Mike Sweeney’s name.

Doctoral student Claire Rounkles of the University of Missouri is our Graduate Student Committee Chairperson, and she is always looking for more graduate students to help out on her committee. You can reach Claire at cmr5xd@mail.missouri.edu.

For more information on the AJHA Auction online site, contact Jason Guthrie at JasonGuthrie@clayton.edu. Other committee members are Gerry Lanosga glanosga@indiana.edu, Michael Fuhlhage michael.fuhlhage@wayne.edu, Erin Coyle erin.coyle0001@temple.edu, and myself mtconway@indiana.edu.

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