The committee have much pleasure in presenting to members of the Institute the annual report and balance-sheet for the past year.
The receipts for the year from all sources amounted to £279 6s. 3d, and the expenditure to £269 14s. 5d., leaving a credit balance of £9 11s. 10d. It will be noted with satisfaction that the receipts from subscriptions amounted to £175 4s. 3d.—an increase of £28 7s. 5d. over last year. The number of subscribers on the books is 235–130 annual subscribers, fifty-five half-yearly, and fifty quarterly.
About 180 volumes of new works have been purchased during the year, the selection including, in addition to fiction, a proportion of works on general literature, travel, science, biography, &c., with the view of making the Institute useful for general literary and educational purposes, as well as providing for those who prefer lighter literature. The committee have also purchased the latest edition of new volumes of the “Encyolopædia Britannica,” at a cost of £11 10s. Several new magazines and periodicals have been added during the year, and members now have the advantage of a large and varied selection of the best illustrated papers, reviews, magazines, and periodical literature.
The lessee of the Gordon Accommodation-house Reserve has complied with the improvement conditions of his lease to the satisfaction of the committee.
With regard to the Tadmor land, the committee have thought it best to defer dealing with it until the section of railway now in progress is completed, when it is hoped the millable timber can be disposed of to advantage and the land let on lease.
The free reading-room has been well attended by the public, a large number of readers frequenting it during both day and evening.
The sum of £20 8s. 3d. has been received for the general funds of the Institute as proceeds of a very successful musical and dramatic entertainment given by Nelson amateurs, and the committee is assured that the hearty thanks of all our members will be accorded to Miss H. Reeves and the ladies and gentlemen who kindly assisted to make the entertainment a success.
The committee desire to record their thanks to those who have kindly placed magazines and periodicals in the reading-rooms for the use of members, and to those who have generously presented books to the Institute.
The committee also again desires to express its appreciation at the efficient manner in which the duties of librarian have been performed by Miss Reeves, and the keen interest displayed by her on behalf of the Institute.
A noteworthy event of the past year has been the splendid gift made to the Institute by Mrs. A. S. Atkinson of a fine 5 in. refracting telescope constructed by the well-known firm of Messrs. Cooke and Sons, of York, and valued at about £300. This instrument is equatorially mounted, and has a driving clock with attachments, besides clamps and slow motions-worked
from the eye-piece of the telescope. It has a very full equipment of eye-pieces, magnifying from 30 to 300 diameters, a Cooke micrometer, stellar and solar diagonal, Dawes, Barlow, terrestrial, and transit eye-pieces. The instrument, which is to be known as the “Atkinson Telescope,” in memory of the late Mr. A. S. Atkinson, has been set in position in a Berthon observatory, built by permission of the City Council in Alton Street, and will be available for use after the end of this week. It may be anticipated that with the facilities afforded by the possession of this instrument a number of our members will take up the study of astronomy.
The scientific branch of the Institute has met for microscope work, and proposes to hold periodical meetings during the coming winter for the discussion of scientific subjects.
Several gentlemen have also kindly volunteered to devote some of their leisure time in the near future to making a much-needed rearrangement of the exhibits in the Museum.