In February 2017, a notice appeared in the Conservation DistList, offering to donate the conservation library collection of the late Elisabeth FitzHugh. This kind offer had been extended by the FitzHugh sons, Thomas and William.
At the time, the South African Institute for Heritage Science was excitedly anticipating the launch of its newly accredited, postgraduate program, “Technical Conservation Studies”. A faculty member – having seen the ConsDistList notice – recognized the express value and favourable timing which attended the offer, and brought it to the attention of the Institute’s governing board. A written application was soon brought, requesting to be considered as recipients. Less than two weeks later came the delightful news: The FitzHugh family had decided to favour this institution and its nascent, postgraduate programme – a gracious nod to a milestone achievement for South Africa’s conservation domain.
For our institution, the value of this gift – comprising of nearly 150 books and a considerable number of journals – lay in equal parts in the well-timed addition to the Physical Sciences library, and in the keenly sensed encouragement which inevitably attends such a generous and open-handed gift. The FitzHugh gift was also notable for being the first donation of any kind received by the Institute in its 25 years of existence, and accordingly had a palpably outsize effect on morale! (As a private provider of higher education, the Institute is not funded or subsidized by the State or any other benefactor.)
One year later, and with the postgraduate program already in full swing, the FitzHugh name has been formally conferred on the Institute’s entire conservation library, now collectively referred to as the “Elisabeth FitzHugh Collection”. The clearly marked book cabinets not only actively serve the needs of the program and students, but also pay elegant homage to a remarkable and prescient career in conservation. Our institution’s deepest and most sincere appreciation extend to the FitzHugh family, also as a respectful tribute to all whom had known and loved the evidently remarkable Elisabeth West FitzHugh.
Adriaan Botha, Chairman of the Board
The South African Institute for Heritage Science and Conservation
Faculty of Physical Sciences
Faculty of Commerce
Registered as: The South African Institute for Heritage Science (Pty) Ltd. Registration Number: 2015/317414/07
An institution of Postgraduate Higher Learning (Higher Education Act No. 101 of 1997)