Twenty Back Issues of The Amateurs’ Digest arrived today from Terrace Horticultural Books

Marina Welham's The Amateurs' Digest - 20 back-issues arrived 17 September 2019
Marina Welham’s The Amateurs’ Digest – 20 back-issues arrived 17 September 2019

Twenty back issues arrived today in near-mint condition from from Terrace Horticultural Books, “Used and rare books, seed and plant catalogs, ephemera and periodicals bought and sold”.  Thank you, Terrace!

These will go to the top of my scanning list, along with my first lot from eBay, several weeks ago.  Here’s what came in, that you now can look forward to, that I will eventually scan, so subscribe.

All Six Issues from Volume 8
Volume 8, Issue 1, May 1996
Volume 8, Issue 2, July 1996
Volume 8, Issue 3, September 1996
Volume 8, Issue 4, November 1996
Volume 8, Issue 5, January 1997
Volume 8, Issue 6, March 1997

All Six Issues from Volume 7
Volume 7, Issue 1, May 1995
Volume 7, Issue 2, July 1995
Volume 7, Issue 3, September 1995
Volume 7, Issue 4, November 1995
Volume 7, Issue 5, January 1996
Volume 7, Issue 6, March 1996

All Six Issues from Volume 6
Volume 6, Issue 1, May 1994
Volume 6, Issue 2, July 1994
Volume 6, Issue 3, September 1994
Volume 6, Issue 4, November 1994
Volume 6, Issue 5, January 1995
Volume 6, Issue 6, March 1995

A couple of these, from 1994, are duplicates of issues I already have, which is alright, because I will submit them to the cataloging department of Canada’s National Library and Archives in Ottawa.  They have an undisclosed number of Marina’s cactus journals, “kin preservation,” where I presume it’s hard to look at them.  So, I will donate my duplicates with a request that they be made available to the public.

Special Edition 1994
This Special Edition includes a cover letter from Marina to the subscriber announcing a $2 credit for an over-payment.  There is also a multi-page insert with pricing and bonus information on how to get a free subscription.  (Obviously, this is historical material, it’s not for sale any more.)  Best news:  I’ve scanned it, Special Edition 1994 is already online, free to read via Google Docs, the new embedder.  Scribd isn’t working this week, and I couldn’t wait another day to see if they’ll fix it.  (This is actually, Friday, 20 September, 2019, and I’m putting all this week’s posts up at once, including a complete scan of The Amateurs’ Digest Special Edition from 1994, from Terrace Books.  Look for it on the 1994 tab.)

Special Edition 1993
This one is 68 pages, counting front and back covers, and is bound in cirlox spiral binding.

Thank you again, Terrace Horticultural Books, in Minnesota, USA, for very prompt service, these items arrived in no time, in excellent condition, which is really important to be able to scan them.  One comment:  no need for customs duties from US to Canada on used reading material.  I had to pay an extra $15 cash at the door to get the parcel.  Until today, I have never had to pay customs duties on Marina’s journals from eBay, or on the huge box of them last week from Florida through Biblio, or on used books in general that I buy for my own interest on other subjects from Amazon.

Nine bound volumes of The Amateurs’ Digest  arrived by Mail today from Florida

“Handle with care!” — 9 bound volumes of <i>The Amateurs’ Digest</i> arrive on 12 September 2019
“Handle with care!” — 9 bound volumes of The Amateurs’ Digest arrive on 12 September 2019

I’ve been shopping!

And this is the first of two big packages ordered last week, the one from that came in today, and the other from Terrace Horticultural Books, “Used and rare books, seed and plant catalogs, ephemera and periodicals bought and sold,” which I am still expecting.

The door buzzer woke me at half past noon (I work nights) and a petite but wiry French Canadian woman in a red and navy shipper’s uniform and head-set hefted the enormous box with ease down one curved flight of stairs and into my arms.  The box was half the size of the delivery woman who smiled to learn that my own mother’s journals were in it.

Biblio Item Description

The Amateurs' Digest - Cacti and Other Succulents - Volumes 1-10. 1989-1998/1999 by Welham, Marina - Editor
The Amateurs’ Digest – Cacti and Other Succulents – Volumes 1-10. 1989-1998/1999 by Welham, Marina – Editor

The Amateur’s Digest – Cacti and Other Succulents – Volumes 1-10. 1989 -1998/1999 / Welham, Marina – Editor

Sidney, British Columbia: Marina Welham 9 books. Book one is Volume 1/II 1989-1990 is a larger size, 11 1/8″ x 8 3/4″, and contains Volume 1 Issue 1 May 1989 thru Volume 2 Issue 2 July 1990. 1. The other 8 uniform volumes which are 7 1/8″ x 8 5/8″. Book labeled 2 has vol. 2 no. 3 Sept. 1990 thru vol. 3 no. 6 March 1992. No book labeled 3. Book labeled 4 has Vol. 4 No. 1 May 1992 thru Vol. 4 No. 6 March 1993. Book labeled 10 has Volume 10 Issue 1 May 1998 thru Volume 10 Issue 6 March 1999 with a special 1998 supplement. All bound in identical light green buckram and stamped in gilt on spine. Contain bi-montly issues. A continuous chronological set even though there is no volume marked #3, May 1989 – March 1999. Early issues have ISSN 0843-8234. Faint smoker’s smell. All clean and appear unused. Very Good.

The original shipping cost was $35.09 USD, but since I’m in Canada, and the seller is in Florida, they bumped it up another $68.00 USD, so the shipping cost nearly as much as the books at $102.41.  The journals were $100 USD, or $136.64 CAD.  Total final price:  $239.05 including United States Postal Service, Priority Mail, to recover another small lot of my mother’s journals.

“They weren’t in ‘expensive pots’”:
BC Trustee

They weren't in “expensive pots”.
They weren’t in “expensive pots”.
My mother’s own copies of her journals were “destroyed” (might better say they went “missing”) in the hands of the British Columbia public trustee who hijacked her estate when she died, and refuses to account to me for the whereabouts of decades of my mother’s published work, and all the inventory, business lists (subscribers, advertisers), correspondence, accounting, her plants, photos and records.  My paying to recover a few of her journals here and there will only slightly mitigate the enormous, and irreplaceable loss.

The public trustee is supposed to keep a record of every item sold.  They liquidated the contents and the home behind my back.  There should have been an expert horticulturalist’s inventory of Marina’s plants and journals, and a record of their sale, if they had been sold.  Yet, there is none.  Also, this being a business, the trustee was required to maintain the assets, which because of Marina’s Will, now belong to me.  However, when asked to account for my mother’s collection of plants in her two small greenhouses, with a list of their value and their Latin names, the BC public trustee replied, they weren’t of any value because they weren’t in “expensive pots,” and then pretended the plants had been left behind in the windows for the future “new owners”.  As the realtors’ photos indicate (below), the “windows” at Lochside, and both of Marina’s greenhouses, were empty before the property was sold.  Both of her greenhouses were added to the home after she purchased it; so they are not “old” realtor’s photos, they are current ones.  So, basically, NO RECORD WHATSOEVER by a public trustee of what happened to any of Marina’s cactus journals, CD Rom products, hard-cover books she produced, or her plants and her business assets that cover a good three decades.  Isn’t that interesting?  Not a single record kept by the BC trustee of all this inventory.

Moreover, Marina collected plants years before she launched her journal.  In the early 1980s, I shipped a number of unusual plants to BC for her, including an 8-foot long cactus with yellow flowers in a hanging basket.

I flew to Vancouver in March of this year and sued the BC Public Guardian and Trustee on Friday, the 5th of April, the day before I took my flight back.

(Above:) Marina’s home and garden greenhouses at 8591 Lochside Drive, Sidney, B.C. (realtor’s photos)

Languidly, their man Magnusson acknowledged being the proper party to be served, then waited four months before sending me an email — ordering me to withdraw my Notice of Dispute and hire a lawyer, alleging I had used a wrong procedure.  I had in fact filed a Notice of Dispute on the advice of a lawyer.  As to hiring, lawyers want thousands of dollars just to read a couple of memos.  So, I’ve ignored Mr. Magnusson’s feigned indignation.  We’ll see what he does next in my mother’s probate file that he sealed to hide his activities notably from me — the lawful appointed trustee — and from the public.

Most lawyers, in BC and elsewhere, are in government pockets, if they value their careers.  In this case, if they work in probate, they routinely deal with the public trustee, and in eight months of looking, I couldn’t find a single one willing to take suit, including the one who told me to file the Notice of Dispute.  One Vancouver lawyer I met with wanted a “nominal” $2,000, not to defend my mother’s Will and me, but to “communicate with” the government trustee “on my behalf”.  Translation: you pay me, I work for them, and for a fee I will make you knuckle under.  I worked for top Montreal lawyers for a number of years; I know their double-talk.

What’s in the Package?

Nine Bound Volumes of TAD from 1989-1999
Nine Bound Volumes of TAD from 1989-1999
Someone had these cactus journals hard-bound in green buckram and gold-stamped on the spines.  On top of the package, bound volume number “4” has “Happy Birthday” written onto the cover of the opening issue.  Were the bound volumes a birthday gift to a cactus lover?

The binding is nearly in mint condition.  Too bad it will make it harder to scan the issues, but at least they are here.  The very first issues were 11-1/8″ x 8-3/4.  The larger first volume looks as though it took a ding on a corner during shipping and is bent.  A couple of heavy weights for a period of time may straighten it out.

All the subsequent issues were printed on “legal” size paper, folded and saddle-stitched (stapled).  The spines are gold-stamped with the title of the Digest and a volume number.  There appears to be a numbering error.  There is no stamped “Volume 3,” but the dealer explains, the issues all are here in these nine volumes (they really count as ten) and span a decade from 1989 to 1999.

These new items will be online as time permits.  (It seems I will be scanning for the rest of my life.  It takes a whole evening to scan one 50-page issue, not including work the next day to OCR and embed it.)  And aren’t you folks happy!  If you were not a subscriber to Marina’s journals, you have never seen these issues before, and now you can read them cover-to-cover for free, right here, via Scribd.

Bound volumes, gold-stamped
Bound volumes, gold-stamped
Marina, you are being reconstituted!  And your daughter is battling for justice for you in the courts of British Columbia.

I’m Kathleen, Marina’s daughter.  And I don’t know anything about cactus plants.  I hope you enjoy The Amateurs’ Digest Archive (Marina Welham’s Archive).

Have a wonderful day!

Happy Holidays! The first batch of rescued journals has arrived!

The first lot of my mother’s cactus journals arrived from eBay, and they are in mint condition. It’s hard to know who the seller is because of pseudonyms used in eBay, but the shipper, according to the waybill, is Richard Pontius of Aromas, California, USA. So, thank you for pristine issues of my late mother’s work. The little package cost me $174.00 CAD. I therefore won’t be able to do this very often, so I hope to rely on Marina’s friends and readers to help restore her lost materials.

A half dozen potential buyers were “watching” the journals in eBay at the time I snapped them up. Hopefully, the watchers will find this web site and be able to enjoy them here, as I gradually put them online. Here is a sample cover from one of them, taken from the illustration at eBay:

THE AMATEURS DIGEST Volume 5, Issue 6, March 1994
Volume 5, Issue 6, March 1994

These lovely paper journals are an average of 40 numbered pages, beautifully typeset (justified) with black and white photos and drawings, printed on 8.5″ x 14″ white paper, with an illustrated ivory cover (numbered in the page-count), folded in half and saddle-stitched (stapled in the fold). Once folded, they are about 8.5″ x 7″, and may or may not have been trimmed by a printer.

The earliest journal of the lot is Vol. 5, Issue 6, March 1994. That means at least five prior years of this particular journal are missing, about 29 issues at six a year, and I hope Marina’s old friends and readers will answer the call to help restore her heritage. (The background to its loss is in my welcome message.)

Great news! The journals and booklets have ISSNs. And I have found them at Worldcat, and traced them back to Canada’s National Library and Archives where I could not find them before. I’ve added a new Library Listings tab on the top menu tab for Marina’s publications.

There is some confusion in the ISSN records, and I think I can see why. Marina published Caudex Booklets as extracts of her main journal, and used the same ISBN, which is a no-no. But, as of Caudex Booklet 8 (see below), a new ISSN appears just for these extracts, which is how it ought to be: ISSN # 1199-0791.

This particular lot from eBay contains the following journals:

The Amateurs Digest, Marina Welham

Vol. 5, Issue 6, March 1994 (loose pages added to promote the journal)

Vol. 6, Issue 1, May 1994
Vol. 6, Issue 2, July 1994
Vol. 6, Issue 3, September 1994
Vol. 6, Issue 4, November 1994
Vol. 6, Issue 5, January 1995
Vol. 6, Issue 6, March 1995

Vol. 7, Issue 1, May 1995
Vol. 7, Issue 2, July 1995
Vol. 7, Issue 3, September 1995
Vol. 7, Issue 4, November 1995
Vol. 7, Issue 5, January 1996
Vol. 7, Issue 6, March 1996

Marina Welham's Journals on eBay (2018)

The Amateurs’ Digest, Cacti – Other Succulents – Caudex Plants

Caudex Booklets

Most of the Caudex Booklets are typset like the journal issues listed above; but a couple of the early Caudex booklets are a combination of typewritten and typeset.

This particular lot contains the following Caudex Booklets:

– Booklet One of Two Booklets, (c) 1994
– Booklet Two of Two Booklets, (c) 1994

An explanation inside the front cover of the first of the above two Caudex Booklets indicates that the material in this pair originates in regular issues of the TAD from the early 1990s:

“This CAUDEX booklet is one of two booklets (not sold separately) which are photocopies of all pages (no advertising) contained in our Caudex section in Volume 3 (when we began featuring Caudex separately) and Volume 4. These were put together for our many members interested mainly in caudiciform and pachycaul plants who otherwise would have to pay considerably more to purchase back issues to have access to the caudex informtion we provided in earlier volumes. Even if you have our back issues, you may want to have these combined issues which have been newly paged and indexed to give you a quick and easy referece to all caudex plants covered from when we started the special section to the end of Volume 4.”

– Booklet Three, (c) 1995

The inside front cover of Booklet Three above, explains: “CAUDEX BOOKLETS THREE AND FOUR are photocopies of Caudex pages from The Amateurs Digest Volume 5 and 6, 1993-1994 and 1994-1995.”

– Booklet Four, (c) 1995

The inside front cover of Booklet Four above, explains, same again: “CAUDEX BOOKLETS THREE AND FOUR are photocopies of Caudex pages from The Amateurs Digest Volume 5 and 6, 1993-1994 and 1994-1995.”

Next, I have two Caudex Boolets from a trio, one of which is missing.

– Booklet 5 (of Booklets 5, 6 and 7), (c) 1997
– Booklet 6 (of Booklets 5, 6 and 7), (c) 1997

Booklet 7 (of Booklets 5, 6 and 7) is missing and needs to be acquired.

The explanation from the inside front covers of Booklets 5 and 6, above, reads:

“This booklet is one of three (not sold separately), containing photocopies of articles from our Digest relating to Caudiciforms and Other Collectibles. These are made available to our members who have a specific interest in these plants so that they don’t have to go to the expense of ordering all back issues to obtain this information. Photographs are photocopies and not the same quality as originals which appeared in our Digest, in order to keep expense to a minimum.”

These three booklets continue a series of similar booklets now making a total of seven booklets in all … as follows: …. Booklets 1 and 2, … Booklets 3 and 4, …. Booklets 5, 6 and 7.”

I condensed that at the end to leave out the price information.

A new ISSN appears as of Booklet 8:

– Booklet 8, (c) 1999, ISSN # 1199-0791

The explanation from the inside front cover of Booklet 8 says:

“This CAUDEX booklet is the 8th of to date (1999) a total of 9 booklets. These are photocopies of pages contained in the Caudex section of our Digest going back to when we started this special section in Volume 3. Booklets 8 and 9 are from Digest Volumes 9 and 10, May 1997 through May 1999.”

– Booklet 9, (c) 1999 — is missing and needs to be acquired.

– Booklet 10, (c) 1999

– Booklet 11, (c) NO DATE.


In the back of Booklet 11, on page 42 near the inside back cover, Marina is promoting a CD ROM for The Amateurs Digest. So there is a CD ROM for TAD that needs to be recovered. There may be more than one!

– Booklet 12, (c) NO DATE.

That’s it for the current lot. I also picked up a little scanner at eBay and have to find the drivers to instal it. When I do, I’ll begin to scan the little journals and OCR them, and will post them here, as available, on the menu tabs above, by year.

Thank you if you have any of the missing booklets and journals, the CD ROMs, and any other materials you may know about, and can offer a scanned copy, or a pdf booklet.

Kind regards,
Kathleen, Marina’s daughter
Montreal, Canada

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