Margaret Morgan, who died on 20 December 2017, was a UKSG stalwart and an enthusiastic member of the Main Committee and Editorial Board for what was then Serials. She would, however, be raising her eyebrows at the thought of being the subject of a tribute in the pages of Insights, as she most definitely did not like any fuss or to be in the limelight. She was also truly a pioneer of the dark arts of international data interchange standards, serving on NISO’s committee on serials data standards and as a founder member of ICEDIS.
Margaret’s career began in 1965 in the Accounts Department of BH Blackwell, in a subscription agent’s career that was to span the next 24 years, ending as Manager of Publisher Relations – making the most of her skills in relationship building, which she excelled at.
Then came a turning point in Margaret’s career when she switched sides in the scholarly communication community and joined Wiley in 1990 to become Manager of Journals Administration, which was the beginning of a new career path that was to end with her retirement from the position of Subscription Fulfilment and Customer Services Director in 2011. In her tribute to Margaret in Wiley World, Reed Elfenbein described her as a ‘no-nonsense, forthright person … committed to bettering our business’. Many subscription agent representatives experienced the ‘forthright’ part of her personality at first hand. No one knew the business better.
Most importantly of all, it was at Wiley that she was to meet the love of her life, Cliff Morgan, and they went on to marry in 2004 (see Serials 17(2), p 207) and eventually settle, on their retirement, in the lovely Malvern countryside. At her funeral, Cliff described Margaret as ‘an extraordinary woman. She was never maudlin, never solemn, never pompous. She loved seeing new places, eating out in fancy hotels and restaurants, chatting and laughing with family and friends, walking through woods or on the hills, and most of all, working in her beloved garden’.
I first met Margaret in the early 90s when I had joined Taylor & Francis and was attending my first UKSG Conference. She was kind and generous, and as my responsibilities grew to cover customer services and agents’ relations in addition to my existing role, she acted as a wise counsellor and guiding pair of hands – a truly generous mentor. The fact that she had a fabulous sense of humour and a great sense of the ridiculous meant she was also good company at the (many) post-conference debriefs in various restaurants and bars around the world.
Margaret was a talented, funny and compassionate woman who I will miss greatly – as will her husband Cliff, two daughters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, all of whom she adored.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Margaret’s memory were invited to St Richard’s Hospice, Malvern, where Margaret – and Cliff – received such great care (https://www.strichards.org.uk/).