Obituary: B. S. Page

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The Independent Online
Bertram Samuel (Tony) Page, librarian: born Kidderminster 1 September 1904; Assistant Librarian (later Sub- Librarian), Birmingham University 1931-36; Librarian, King's College, Newcastle upon Tyne 1936-47; Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, Leeds University 1947-69 (Emeritus); Chairman, Standing Conference of National and University Libraries 1961-63; President, Library Association 1960; married 1933 Olga Mason; died Oxford 13 October 1993.

B. S. PAGE was one of the last few remaining scholar university librarians in Britain. Much of his life was occupied by his research on Plotinus, which affected his attitude to his university and to fellow scholars.

In the years before the fashion for information technology, emphasis was laid on the acquisition of rare books and manuscripts as well as on research material of all kinds. As a result, the collections of the university library at Leeds and of the Brotherton donation were extended during the period when Page was University Librarian and Keeper of the Brotherton Collection, from 1947 to 1969.

Tony Page was born in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, in 1904 and educated at Kidderminster Grammar School and Birmingham University. From 1931 to 1936 he was assistant and sub-librarian at Birmingham University, and from 1931 to 1063 Librarian of King's College, Newcastle. He was President of the Library Association in 1960 and Chairman of Standing Conference of the National and University Libraries from 1961 to 1963.

In the book A Manual of University and College Library Practice which Page compiled with Geoffrey Woledge, they write:

In order to have the necessary similarity with the professors and teaching staff (the chief librarian) should himself have undertaken, or been engaged in, research work. This will enable him also to understand the requirements of the research workers who are using the library as well as the undergraduates.

In addition they should obtain a library qualification. Stocks of the book, published in 1940, were destroyed by bombing, so that it did not exercise the influence it deserved.

As a librarian Page was very generous in his dealings with his staff. Under his predecessor Richard Offer, Leeds had trained a number of deputy librarians who had been appointed university librarians and Page went on to make Leeds the best centre for furthering the careers of young librarians. His influence on the profession was considerable, especially in helping to raise the status of librarians by improving their standards and their


Those of us who worked for Tony Page will not forget his voice booming round the dome of the Brotherton Library. It was unfortunate, that during his years of office he did not see his plans for the first undergraduate library in Britain come to fruition.