and Croaker is a non-peer-reviewed journal that has acted as an
"informal organ" for public aquarium professionals since
1958. It has a long history of providing a forum for the exchange
of basic information - and occasionally humor. It was conceived
in the back seat of a car in 1957, and has remained erratic and
irregular throughout most of it's life, characteristics it shares
with a colleague or two. The original name, "Grunt and Crappie"
was rejected for scatological reasons...but it was perhaps no surprise
that the the first call for papers then heralded the periodical
as "an irresponsible journal...by undedicated aquarists".
More on the early history of Drum and Croaker can be found in contributions
by Bill Hagan [70(1):3] and Rick Segedi [77(2):17-18].
Drum and Croaker is currently published annually,
but prior to 1985 was published on an erratic schedule of zero to
four issues per year, depending on the whims of the editor or apathy
of the contributors. In the mid 1980's the journal dropped out of
sight altogether for almost five years, apparently due to a general
lack of interest at a variety of levels. John Kuhns, the editor
of the Journal of Aquariculture and Aquatic Sciences, rescued a
few lost contributions in 1989 and with these again began to issue
Drum and Croaker on a regular basis. In 1992, John graciously agreed
to pass responsibility back to the public aquarium community through
members of the Regional Aquatics Workshop (RAW). Pete Mohan has
been the editor since that date.
Artwork by Craig Phillips
from the May 1969 cover
Drum and Croaker has been published in an electronic
format since 2000. Initially distributed as pdf attachments to
email, these files found a permanent home on the Columbus Zoo and
Aquarium's web site in November of 2001. Mike Brittsan (Curator)
and Greg Bell (Finance and IT Director) are the institutional supporters
that have made the site possible, while Kevin Bonifas (Web Developer)
built the pages. Many of the back issues now available on the site are also made possible, in part, by a 1999 Columbus Zoo and Aquarium grant that allowed Pete to purchase a scanner and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software that he used to restore the original text and images until 2010. Doug Warmolts (Assistant Director of Living Collections)
was an important advocate for this archiving project. Its ultimate
goal is to render all of the old paper issues of Drum and Croaker
as pdf files, making them once again widely available to the public
aquarium community as technical and historical references.