by Rob Smith
LABAC ("cabal" spelled backwards) is an informal research group that pools resources to find and acquire fresh and significant Brilliant Period cut glass catalogs, booklets, photo albums, scrapbooks, advertising, and similar information sources. LABAC distributes copies of developed and found materials to members for their personal study and research. During 2013 there were about ten dozen Cycle #19 participants, and over 50 have signed up during mid-2017 for Cycle #20.
LABAC is open to all individuals and institutions. Group leverage and "reach" increases as membership grows. LABAC operated for twelve years, then suspended operations for three years. Work on several LABAC projects has recently resumed, and everyone is invited to join in this important research effort.
LABAC is not affiliated with the ACGA or with any other organization. At cycle close, LABAC donates gratis copies of rediscovered materials in bound book form to the ACGA Reference Library (presently at the Ft. Wayne Museum of Art), the Rakow Research Library at the Corning (which is granted microfiche replication but not publication rights), the West Virginia Museum of Glass, and the United States Library of Congress.
How it Works
Members collaborate to find and acquire access to fresh cut glass reference materials and research results from the Brilliant Period. Many members help find material, and all work is done by unpaid volunteers.
The cut glass information contained in each LABAC book is “fresh,” not available to most cut glass collectors from any other source. LABAC makes very few spare books at the end of each Cycle. By participant vote, it was decided several years ago that post-publication spare books are priced at 150% of the pre-publication Cycle participation fee. Experience suggests that it is relatively difficult to find used copies of LABAC books that have gone “Out of Print” so it is prudent to join each LABAC Cycle before publication, to ensure access to book content.
Subscription Cycle #1 opened in 2001. The last Cycle #19 closed during late 2012 with distribution of the hardbound 470+ page “PBL” book, our 30th LABAC publication. The usual cost of each subscription cycle is $40, but some multi-book cycles cost more. LABAC Cycle #20 is distributing two cut glass advertisement reprint books, so costs $80 to join. Participants can request cancellation at any time, and the unused portion of then-current cycle subscription money will be cheerfully refunded, no questions asked. Any LABAC member choosing not to renew their subscription by the Cycle closing date is dropped from membership and does not receive subsequent books of materials.
LABAC is organized and led by Rob and Val Smith [913-897-9261 or firstname.lastname@example.org]. Telephone and e-mail are used for rapid communications regarding issues and opportunities, but the USPO was used to involve those not having access to computer tools. Group decisions are usually voted within two or three days. At the end of each cycle, a detailed operating financial summary is sent to participants, so that everyone can see how group resources have been used.
A list of publicatons from LABAC is here: LABAC Publications