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paul valois

Paul Valois, BA, MA, ALA

Colleagues will be sorry to hear of the sudden death, on 15 May 2014, of Paul Valois, formerly Senior Assistant Librarian in the Brotherton Library.

Born in 1946, Paul read French and Russian at Oxford and obtained a postgraduate library qualification from Sheffield, before being appointed to his first library post at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in the University of London.  At SSEES, he was responsible for one of the School’s two reading rooms and also did valuable work in cataloguing, classifying and helping to build up the School’s selection of books for non-Slavonic languages.  Highly efficient, courteous and reliable, Paul won golden opinions from all his colleagues.  He joined the staff of the Brotherton Library at the University of Leeds in 1973 and worked as Head of the Accessions Department until taking early retirement in 1999.  

Paul was responsible for choosing and dealing with suppliers for the wide range of books and periodicals the Library purchased from all continents of the world.  Over the years, he introduced a range of systems which combined to make his department a model of effectiveness.  He also recognised the efforts of others; Austicks, the Library's main local supplier, would receive a Christmas cake from Paul every year as a mark of his appreciation for their good service.

Paul had a family connection with the early twentieth-century Tolstoyan community at Tuckton House in Christchurch, Dorset, and he donated interesting items to the rich Tolstoyan holdings of the Brotherton Library's Special Collections. Indicative of Paul's qualities as a colleague were his weekly trips to Leeds market, resulting in a huge and colourful bunch of flowers for the office.

Paul was an enthusiastic participant in the mystery plays produced in the 1980s by a Library colleague, most memorably taking the part of Noah. He was a regular hockey and squash player and a connoisseur of Russian and Eastern European art films, and a keen Manchester City fan.  Perhaps his consuming hobby was chess.  He co-founded the international quarterly chess magazine EG in 1965, which still flourishes as a niche publication on chess composition, problems and endgame studies. 

The funeral service will be held at 1.00pm, on Monday 9 June 2014, at Lawnswood Crematorium, Otley Road, Leeds LS16 8AA, on which day the flag will be flown at half-mast on the Parkinson Building in Paul’s memory.