New rules voted in at the 2022 AGM are in Italics. Rules 4.4 and 4.5 have been deleted following the abolition of the Council.
The Name of the Society shall be the Society of Scribes and Illuminators.
The aims of the Society shall be to perpetuate a tradition of craftsmanship in the production of manuscript books and documents and to encourage the practice and influence of calligraphy and fine lettering.
The members of the Society shall be:
Only Fellows and Lay Members may vote at Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings. Neither Honorary Members nor Friends have voting rights.
Any Fellow or Lay Member may propose or second a candidate for any elected office or for election to Honorary Membership. If a proposal is made by a Lay Member, then it must be seconded by a Fellow. All elections shall be by majority vote of those present.
All decisions relating to the professional and artistic standards of the Society shall be the responsibility of Fellows. This includes proposing, seconding and electing new Candidates for Fellowship, the selection and display of work for public exhibition, all educational and editorial activities of the Society and other matters pertinent to the experience and standing of Fellows in the Society.
3.1 Fellows shall be those practising the crafts of Writing and/or Illuminating and/or Lettering who have been elected as Fellows as provided below, together with those elected as Craft Members under previous rules of the Society.
(a) Candidates for Fellowship shall be proposed and seconded by Fellows and shall submit at least three original pieces of their own work.
(b) One must be an undecorated piece of writing. It is suggested that the other pieces should include:
– a work on vellum;
– a manuscript book or substantial part thereof;
– decoration, heraldry, line drawing or illumination;
– one or more examples of raised and burnished gilding;
but if the Candidate submits three or more recent works of particular merit, failure to show work exactly as listed need not exclude him or her from election.
(c) No Candidate shall be elected unless at least two-thirds of the votes cast by Fellows are in favour of the Candidate.
(d) No Candidate shall, in any case, be elected unless he or she secures at least eight votes.
(e) Postal votes shall be acceptable. In casting a Postal vote, the Fellow must certify that he or she has seen all examples of the Candidate’s work being submitted.
3.2 Lay Members shall be any persons who wish by their interest and contributions to forward the aims of the Society.
3.3 Honorary Members shall be those persons (not already being members of the Society) who have assisted in the advancement of the aims of the Society or who have been of service to the Society and on whom Honorary Membership shall have been conferred. A proposal for Honorary Membership shall be placed by the Chair before the Fellows for their approval and (if approved) shall be voted on at an Annual General Meeting.
3.4 Friends shall be any persons who wish by their interest and contributions to forward the aims of the Society. Friends receive Society mailings and may attend SSI events which are open to non-members. They may not submit work for exhibitions.
4.1 The Officers of the Society shall be a Chairman, an Honorary Secretary and an Honorary Treasurer, who shall be elected annually.
4.2 The Chairman must be a Fellow or Lay Member of the Society and must have been an active member of the Executive Committee for at least 12 months. No-one shall serve as Chairman for more than three consecutive years.
4.3 The Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer must be Fellows or Lay Members of the Society.
4.6 There shall be an Executive Committee comprising the Officers and six elected Committee members, of whom not more than two may be Lay Members.
4.7 Except as otherwise provided, election to the Executive Committee shall be for a period of three years and two elected members shall retire each year in rotation.
4.8 If the Office of Chairman is vacant, a Fellow or Lay Member on the Executive Committee shall be appointed at the next meeting of the Committee to be Acting Chairman for that meeting. That Acting Chairman may serve until the following Annual General Meeting, or a new Acting Chairman may be appointed at the next Executive Committee Meeting. Should no Chairman be elected at the Annual General Meeting, an additional Fellow or Lay Member may be elected to serve on the Executive Committee for one year.
4.9 The Executive Committee shall co-opt additional members who shall at no time exceed twelve in number, such appointments to be effective until immediately after the first meeting of the Executive Committee following an Annual General Meeting. It shall also appoint such sub-committees as are deemed necessary for specific purposes.
4.10 The Fellows shall, in consultation with the Honorary Treasurer, from time to time decide on Honoraria to be paid by the Society.
5.1 Exhibitions shall be arranged as frequently as possible.
5.2 All the work of Lay Members submitted for exhibition shall be subject to the approval of a Selection Committee of Fellows appointed by the Chairman (after consultation with Fellows). The Selection Committee will approve at least one piece of work from every Fellow who submits an entry. Additional entries by a Fellow will be subject to the approval of the Selection Committee.
6.1 The Financial Year shall be from 1st January to 31st December.
6.2 Each Fellow, Lay Member and Friend shall pay to the Society such subscriptions as shall be determined from time to time at the Annual General Meeting, whereat shall be agreed a proportion of the subscription to be allocated for exhibition purposes.
6.3 Expenses incurred in carrying out the aims of the Society shall be met from the funds of the Society.
6.4 Payment from the funds of the Society shall be authorised by the Executive Committee and, if made by cheque, signed by the Treasurer or, in the absence of the Treasurer, by the Chairman or the Secretary.
6.5 The accounts of the Society shall be audited annually and copies circulated to all members before being presented for adoption to the next Annual General Meeting.
7. Conduct of meetings
7.1 The Society shall hold an Annual General Meeting each calendar year. Such other meetings shall be held as may be decided.
7.2 Nominations for election of Officers, members of the Executive Committee, members of the Council, and other matters for inclusion in the agenda of an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting shall be sent in writing to the Honorary Secretary not less than sixty days before the date of the meeting.
7.3 Notice of any Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting, with a copy of the agenda, shall be sent to all members of the Society not less than twenty-one days before the date of the Meeting.
7.4 Only Fellows and Lay Members may propose or second motions and vote at Annual General Meetings and Extraordinary General Meetings. Neither Friends nor Honorary Members have such right.
At Executive Committee Meetings all elected Executive Committee Members, all Officers and all co-opted Committee Members may propose or second motions and vote.
7.5 An Extraordinary General Meeting shall be convened at the request of any ten Fellows and Lay Members, at least five of whom must be Fellows. Such requests shall be made to the Honorary Secretary in writing together with an agenda and motions duly proposed and seconded for consideration at that Meeting. The Meeting shall be convened within sixty days of receipt of the request.
7.6 The name of a Candidate for Fellowship or Honorary Membership shall be included in the agenda sent out to Fellows before the Meeting at which his or her election may take place.
7.7 Motions for revisions to the Rules must be submitted to the Annual General Meeting or to an Extraordinary General Meeting convened for the purpose. If a proposal is made by a Lay Member then it must be seconded by a Fellow. Such motions must secure in their favour at least two-thirds of the votes cast to succeed.
7.8 All other motions and any amendments shall be decided by a simple majority but, in the event of votes being equal, the Chairman shall have a casting vote.
7.9 The quorum at an Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting shall be thirteen members who have the right to vote under these Rules of whom at least seven must be Fellows.
7.10 Proxy voting shall not be permitted at any meeting referred to in these Rules. Postal votes shall be allowed (in addition to the circumstances referred to in Rule 4.5) only at an Annual General Meeting and then only in the case of a Fellow whose normal residential address is at the time outside the United Kingdom. At meetings held by electronic means electronic voting shall be permitted.
7.11 Where a meeting referred to in these rules (not being an Extraordinary General Meeting) cannot lawfully or expeditiously be held in person such meeting may be held by electronic means. For the avoidance of doubt Extraordinary General Meetings must be held in person.
8. Conduct of members
8.1 Only Fellows of the Society may use the title ‘Fellow’ and the letters FSSI for professional purposes. Other members of the Society may describe themselves as ‘Members of the SSI’ in printed matter or on their websites for professional purposes provided that they also give the Society’s contact details in a clear and visible way. On a website this should be a link to the Society’s website home page. In printed matter, the Society’s web address or postal address (or both) should be given.
8.2 Where the Executive Committee is of the opinion that a member has been guilty of conduct of such a nature as to be discreditable to the Society it shall have the right to call for the resignation of that member, but the member shall be given right of appeal to an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society.
There shall be a reference library of the Society for the use of members, and others as the Executive Committee shall from time to time determine.
10. Rule interpretation
Any dispute arising from the interpretation of a Rule of the Society shall be referred to an Annual General Meeting or Extraordinary General Meeting. The majority decision of those Fellows and Lay Members present in that instance shall be binding.
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