BAVS Online Auction Fundraiser

Dear BAVS Members and friends from the wider academic community,

As the summer heats up and the UK, at least, opens bit by bit, BAVS looks to continue supporting those in our community who have been most impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Over the past year, we have given twenty grants totalling £8000 to students and early career researchers, funded through our extant grants funding and the generous donations of those who can afford to share. We recognise that although for many, the situation is regularly improving and new opportunities for support are emerging, many of our most precarious members are still struggling. We are therefore running a new fundraising effort, in the form of an online auction!

We are asking everyone to take a look at their bookshelves, collections, arts and crafts, and skills in mentoring or editing, or anything you think might be of interest! Do you have three copies of the same edition of Middlemarch? Put it up! Spare author copies? Sign one and add it to the list! Spare Victorian knick knacks taking up valuable desk space? Clear out for a cause! Do you make Victorian-themed drawings, needlework, or just really comfy hats? List! Are you a bang-up freelance editor or life coach? Offer a session! The whole thing will be run by Google Sheets, on the principle of a silent auction at an in-person fundraiser, only digital and open-source. Everyone will be able to post items and bid, on the honour system; Melissa Gustin, BAVS Postdoc Rep, is hosting the spreadsheet and will monitor for any un-collegiate behaviour.

What we ask is that you post any offerings for auction with a reasonable starting bid by July 12. On July 14, at the BAVS@Home event, bidding will open! Anyone who is interested in an item will be able to increase the bid, making sure to move the previous bidder’s name to the relevant column. At the end of bidding on August 7, the top five items will go to a final secret bid, where the top few bidders will be able to make a last offer. We will then generate invoices for the winners of each item, to be paid directly to BAVS via PayPal (or other payment method), which the winners can then use to arrange postage with the person offering the item. All postage will be the responsibility of the item’s poster, or arranged between the winner and offerer in the case of high value, international, or particularly heavy items— please note this in the item’s description when adding it to the list!

If you, or someone you know, have items to donate to the auction but are either stymied by the format or wish to remain anonymous, please do not hesitate to be in touch with Melissa Gustin (postdoc rep), who is more than happy to handle any of these aspects or coordinate for ease of anonymity. If anyone knows Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and wants to get him to donate a Rossetti or some theatre tickets, please get in touch.

This format is shamelessly lifted from the Sportula Book Auction fundraiser run by Liv Mariah Yarrow in 2019, and we hope to match the success of that book auction— the classicists donated upwards of $5000!

All funds raised through the fundraiser will go to support our most precarious and vulnerable peers, so please do share this widely.

To start the list off, Melissa has put up a one-of-a-kind patchwork quilt in Morris & Co prints, to be customised and finished in coordination with the winner— surely our clever, talented, adn book-hoarding community of Victorianists, nineteenth-century studies scholars, and the wider academic network can add to this!

Please add all listings by July 12, and share the page widely! Bidding will open on July 14 and close August 7, with testimonials from some of our previous bursary holders coming out as the auction runs to remind us all the good even small donations can do when they all come together.

Thank you so much for all your support and generosity!

The British Association for Victorian Studies Executive Committee

This post has been re-published by permission from the
BAVS Postgraduates Blog
. Please see the original post at