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The UKSRC was formed in the mid 1990's as an informal group of slide rule enthusiasts who share an interest in the origins, development and use of slide rules and related ephemera. Our aim is to provide a forum for discussion and contact between members.
In order to achieve this we started, in 1998, with the publication of our newsletter Skid Stick on a twice yearly basis. Skid Stick is now distributed three times a year to over 100 members worldwide keeping subscribers in touch with current news and events. Skid Stick also provides an opportunity for members to make enquiries and notify fellow collectors of research projects they have in hand. It also provides contact with our European colleagues who are members of the Dutch Kring, German RST, Spanish ARC as well as members of the American Oughtred Society.
The UKSRC is conscious of the fact that collectors come with varying levels of interest and knowledge and we encourage the uninitiated to use the pages of Skid Stick for the answers to their basic problems, our philosophy being to help, inform and entertain all who have an interest in our subject.
The UKSRC has found it preferable to retain its informal and friendly atmosphere and has no elected officers, various functions being carried out on a voluntary basis. Currently some of the volunteers are shown in the clickable images above and they may be emailed at any time.
Many, but not all, of our members collect slide rules of one type or another whilst others concentrate on the historical aspects of their application. So, basically, the UK Slide Rule Circle is an informal organisation of professionals, experts and novices alike, from all disciplines who, above all else, wish to share their interests with others.
Our annual membership fee is currently £12 for our UK based colleagues, £15 for Europeans and £18 for the rest of the world. Our Membership year is from 1 January to 31 December.
As well as Skid Stick we have a Newsletter which was created during the recent lockdowns. This covers matters relating to scientific instruments and related topics as well as slide rule ephemera. Much of this material has been initiated and submitted by our members - along with the subsequent discussions that arise thereafter. This is distributed by email currently approximately every month.
We also publish our Slide Rule Gazette, which is a more formal publication with a wide distribution to both members and to academic institutions here and overseas.
The Gazetteis published annually, usually in the Autumn and currently costs £17 for UK based members,£19 for Europeans, and £22 for the rest of the world;
postage is include in these costs. Optionally available is a pdf copy everywhere for £15. The current Issue #23 was published in the Autumn of 2023 and contains 160 pages - copies of which are still available.
Back issues of the Gazette are also available, and to reduce printing and postal costs, all back issues are available in soft copy .pdf format. Full details may be found by clicking on the link on the left, "UKSRC 2024 Subscriptions and GAZETTES".
We generally hold informal meetings twice a year in the Spring and Autumn - usually at a member’s house or local facility. They provide an opportunity for personal contact, exchange of views and information, and for the discussion of proposals for the advancement of our interests. Meetings are normally "themed" in order to provide a focus. Subjects that have been covered include early English rules, military slide rules, alcohol rules and most recently, folding engineers' and carpenters' slide rules. However, owing to the recent Covid situation, we have been holding our meetings on-line using Zoom. Whilst not as good as face-to-face exchanges, it has enabled members from far flung places to join in the conversations and exchanges or to just monitor what's being discussed. Recently, several of our colleagues from Europe, the US and even Australia joined in - so it has tended to become an international event. Members are advised when such Zoom meetings are scheduled and are invited to participate - the necessary links are sent to members ahead of such meetings.
Since 1995 International Meetings have been held annually. In the early years the venues were rotated every three years between Holland, Germany and England (plus one in Switzerland) reflecting the co-operation between the various national groups. Later, the USA joined the rotation.
The UKSRC has hosted seven International Meetings: 1996 at Cambridge, 1999 Cambridge, 2002 Leamington Spa, 2005 Stow-cum-Quay, 2008 Leamington Spa, 2012 Bletchley Park, 2018 Stratford upon Avon
These sessions, like our home-grown meetings, have recently been on-line using Zoom. One advantage of the International Meeting is that we can meet our overseas colleagues and visit their museums and Institutions to learn more about their slide rule and related development activities. Often, at these IM sessions, we can meet the people who played a major role in the development and manufacturing of 'modern' slide rules.