Friends and colleagues will be saddened to learn of the death of Professor Raymond Page last weekend. Professor Page was Elrington and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon, Parker Librarian (and subsequently Life Fellow), and Keeper of the Lewis Collection, which was housed in a secure area adjacent to his College room. He was responsible for introducing a new philosophy of conservation to the library world, and the Parker Library became a flagship for new conservation techniques, which led to the setting up of the Cambridge Colleges Conservation Consortium.
My first encounter with Ray was at my interview in 1984 for a part-time post in the College undergraduate library, when I was grilled and entertained by him and the then Bursar, the late and much missed Chris Taylor, who was Ray’s colleague, friend and drinking partner.
For the first few years, I was frankly terrified of him – it was my first serious job after five years of unremitting childcare, with the brain in decline… but I soon realised that he was an inspiring and kindly boss, and would stand by me in the face of any criticism from library users (only asking questions afterwards!).
In the first few years of his retirement, Ray was a frequent visitor to the Parker Library, but in recent times had become too frail to manage the stairs up to the Wilkins Room, although I would occasionally bump into him round College on his way to the Life Fellows’ room, where he continued to write and research.
Ray’s funeral will take place on Thursday 22nd March; all who knew him are welcome to attend.