Francis Norry Hogg OBE ALA FLA MA (1972-2022)


Francis Norry Hogg OBE ALA FLA MA was the first and founding Principal of Coleg Llyfrgellwyr Cymru/the College of Librarianship Wales (CLW).

Frank was born in Manchester in October 1927, where he was brought up. After serving in the Navy as a Leading Seaman Coder he worked in Manchester’s Central Library followed by Northallerton, Wakefield and Hull public libraries before returning to Manchester’s School of Librarianship.

In February 1964 he was appointed as CLW’s Principal (planned to be a small college with a full-time staff of three and an intake of up to 30 students per year). At his interview though, Frank made it clear that he envisaged a college that would appeal to prospective students from all over the world. The first 12 postgraduate students were enrolled in October 1964.

By 1968, under Frank’s visionary leadership, CLW had become the largest library school in the UK with over 400 students and 40 or so full-time academic teaching staff, a large number of support staff and with more international students than all the other British library schools combined.

During 1969/70 Frank was a visiting international professor at the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh in the US and there discussed ideas of a possible International Graduate Summer School (IGSS). Such a school was held annually at CLW with over 1,000 students from 70 countries attending.

Frank played a key role in the design of the CLW’s Llanbadarn campus, in particular the “library of librarianship” which opened in 1971. This library was internationally renowned for the scope and breadth of its collection, and attracting visiting scholars from all over the world. By 1972 CLW was the largest school of librarianship in Europe. Students went on study tours to libraries in the UK and Europe and academic staff  were frequently seconded to work overseas. Frank was also involved in a wide range of overseas consultancies. He was a Director for the United Nations Development Programme for the Caribbean and Latin America as well as holding visiting professorships in Nigeria, Canada, Jamaica, Korea, Indonesia, Peru, Poland, Tanzania, and Turkey. CLW and therefore Aberystwyth, became a significant location for library education globally.

CLW also had a significant impact on Welsh librarianship; staff in the Welsh Studies Department delivered core subjects in Welsh. CLW-educated librarians have played a prominent role in public, academic and national libraries in Wales, as well as the world for almost 60 years.

In 1977 Frank was made President of the UK’s School Library Association, a post held until his retirement in 1989, when CLW became part of the University.

In retirement, Frank continued to undertake consultancy work and various voluntary roles in and away from Aberystwyth - the 50+ Forum, library services for visually impaired users. He was also a volunteer in a medical research project comparing the effectiveness of open heart surgery and TAVI (Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation). He was made an Honorary Fellow of the University in 2019.

Frank married his wife Pat in 1954; they had three sons. Pat died in 2000 and their youngest son in 2022. Frank continued to live in Llanbadarn until a few weeks before his death in a Norfolk care home close to his family there.

Mrs Lucy Tedd, Emeritus Lecturer, Department of Information Studies