Madeline Cox with the SHA Library display at the SHA AGM, 2011
The Society for the History of Astronomy regrets that we have to announce the passing of our Chairman, Madeline Cox, FRAS, who died in her sleep last night.
The shocking and saddening news came to us from her partner and fellow SHA member, Les Jepson, who contacted the Society’s Treasurer, Roger Hutchins.
Madeline had been a little unwell with a bronchial chesty cough since before Christmas, and yesterday her doctor prescribed antibiotics. Her brother and and wife were staying with her and Les last night at her home in Mansfield, and this morning they found that she had passed away.
Mr Jepson will keep us advised of funeral arrangements via Roger Hutchins, and we will pass on any relevant information in due course.
Madeline was one of the very first supporters of the SHA when it was founded at Wadham College, Oxford, in 2002, and as a professional librarian herself, immediately accepted the position of SHA Librarian on the SHA Council, to which she was elected unanimously.
Working with other Councillors, she went on to set up the SHA Library, including the SHA’s first postal lending library, the Sir Patrick Moore Library, which is now part of the society’s Sir Robert Ball Library at the Birmingham & Midland Institute, the place where we meet every October for our Autumn Conference and AGM.
In later years she oversaw the growing SHA library service as Head Librarian and did a great deal to catalogue, document and promote its collections to members and beyond.
Madeline was a strong-minded, highly intelligent and enthusiastic member of Council, always with a sense of humour and a common sense approach, and when our second Chairman, the late Gilbert Satterthwaite, decided to stand down after years of service in 2010, she also took on the challenge of the Chairmanship, in which she proved herself equally capable.
By her enthusiasm and initiatives, and the pleasure she showed in meeting and dealing with members, she has provided splendid leadership.
The SHA Council plans to compile and publish a suitable obituary for Madeline, and any recollections, appreciation, and anecdotes of her will be most welcome; please email them to our Vice-Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org or to Roger Hutchins email@example.com
Any brief comments or tributes to Madeline are also welcome using the comments facility below – thank you.
The Council of the SHA