As an energetic and dedicated Oz Club member and volunteer, Bill Thompson has served two terms as a director-at-large on the Board of the Oz Club. A newcomer at the time of our Centennial Convention, he jumped right in helping set up the elaborate display of Oz decor and full-sized mannequins from Chris Sterling’s collection that created an Ozzy environment.
Bill’s substantial collection, which he makes available to other researchers, and his bibliographical descriptions of L. Frank Baum’s non-Oz books have added greatly to our understanding of their complex publishing history. His expertise in W.W. Denslow is expressed in a continuously updated checklist of the illustrator’s known works.
Bill has promoted our knowledge of L. Frank Baum and collecting—two of the main missions of the Club—in more ways than can be counted.
Bill Thompson is an invaluable auction coordinator, having served for many years with extraordinary dedication in this role to the benefit of the Oz Club. If you’ve only seen him in action as auctioneer, you’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
He assumed to role of Oz Club auctioneer, perhaps not realizing quite how much work was involved. But he never shirked and went far beyond the call of duty, driving all over the country to collect materials throughout the year for the annual auctions and then driving the boxes of collectibles from his home in Rochester, New York, to wherever Club auctions are to take place—all at his own expense.
He also streamlined the enormous amount of auction record-keeping by introducing an efficient computerized inventory management system and later by setting an electronic payment option. His detailed descriptions of all auctioned items are invaluable to those in attendance and to those bidding as absentees, which is another of his contributions to our auction program.
His work in this capacity is truly invaluable, with the net proceeds of our auctions paying for some of the most important work of the Club.
Bill Thompson is the lead author of the Oz Club’s most recent publication, Bibliographia Baumiana.
When Patrick Maund’s twins were born and he recognized that he was not going to have time to continue his work on the long series of articles for Bibliographia Baumiana then running in The Baum Bugle, Bill offered to carry the work forward. Patrick embraced the continuation, admiring Bill’s prodigious bibliographical investigations, which involved traveling all across the U.S. to examine copies of the myriad variants of Baum’s non-Oz books.
Many years in preparation, Bibliographia Baumiana came out in the fall of 2017 (and is now available at ozclub.org!)
For this, and all he has done for the Club, Bill Thompson has received the 2018 L. Frank Baum Memorial Award.