In Memoriam – David Backham

David at his leaving party in the Library

David at his leaving party in the Library

The University regrets to report the death of David Backham, a member of staff at the University Library from 1976 until his retirement in July 2012.

The Library has sent this tribute:

David was Head of Electronic Resources, Systems and Bibliographic Services in the Library. He, more than any other figure, was responsible for bringing the Library from the pre-computer era to a world in which computers are integral to the work we do.

He combined a high level of technical competence with a rich understanding of the job computers need to do for the University and its members. For him, the computer system was always the servant, never the master. He also had a remarkable aptitude for unravelling and explaining complex concepts in clear and simple language.

Exceptionally popular

David was an exceptionally popular and respected member of library staff. He had a gentle and gentlemanly courteousness and kindness which recommended him to all he came into contact with. He was unfailingly loyal to his staff and was always concerned for their wellbeing. He forged strong friendships within the Library and beyond; and it is notable that, after news of his death became known, the Library received tributes from many colleagues throughout the world.

It was particularly tragic that David only lived for six months after his retirement. We send our condolences to his family and will remember him as a generous and inspiring colleague.

david backham

4 thoughts on “In Memoriam – David Backham

  1. Patricia Jonker-Cholwe

    David will be missed by all library staff. He was such a lovely person to work with and funny man too. I shared jokes with me at Christmas meals. He was very supportive, very friendly and easy to talk to. He helped me with my web development project. We will all miss him.

  2. John Hilton

    David was a very kind and supportive person, and he will be missed by everybody who knew him, particularly by those who worked with him in the University Library’s Electronic Resources, Systems and Bibliographic Services Division.

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