Leigh Scott

Leigh Scott (1888-1963)

Obituary from The Australian Library Journal, September 1963, p. 108:

Leigh Scott, former Librarian of the University of Melbourne died in Melbourne on 26th March, 1963.

Mr. Scott was born at Clunes, Victoria, in 1888, attended Ballarat College and graduated Master of Arts in Philosophy at the University of Melbourne.

Joining the staff of the Public Library of Victoria in 1908 he remained there learning librarianship in one of the finest libraries in Australia until in 1926 he was appointed Librarian of the University of Melbourne. He was a good administrator and public relations officer and, having also the technical skills, was able to establish efficient methods of acquisition, cataloguing and classification. His was a most difficult task working through the years in outmoded and temporary building, hampered by shortages of money, staff and space, but he built up a collection and service of which the University was justly proud and laid a firm foundation for subsequent  development.

He was a scholar and a booklover and his influence spread beyond the limits of the Library. As Secretary of the Melbourne University Press and later a Member of the Press Board his services were invaluable for he was an expert on books and book production.

But perhaps Leigh Scott is better known to all librarians, both young and old, for his close association with the Library Association of Australia. He was a Foundation member and a Member of the First Council of the Australian Institute of Librarians, the forerunner of the Library Association of Australia. To enumerate just a few of the positions he held in the Association will demonstrate his interest and activities - Member of the Victorian Branch Council, of the Federal Council, Federal President, 1943-44, Member of the Board of Examination during its important formative years, the Committee on Cataloguing and Classification and President of the University Libraries Section. Outside the Association he served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the second edition of the Catalogue of the scientific and technical periodicals in Australia (Pitt's Catalogue) and Member of the Australian National Research Council, Committee on Scientific Information, and of the Australian UNESCO Committee for Libraries. More recently, after his retirement, he compiled jointly with Miss Ellinor Archer the very comprehensive Index volume to the Australian Encyclopaedia.

Mr. Scott was a quiet, gentle man with a whimsical smile, a twinkle in his eye and a sense of humour. He was very approachable and many librarians are grateful for his sane and sound advice. The profession has lost a good librarian and a friend.