Broadcasting legend donates books to University library
One of British broadcasting’s most influential figures has donated a collection of books from his personal library to the University of Lincoln.
Sir Jeremy Isaacs produced the acclaimed World War II documentary series The World at War and was the founding chief executive of Channel 4.
During a television career spanning almost 50 years, he collected a vast array of books about television, current affairs and the media in general.
Sir Jeremy decided to donate more 150 volumes from this collection to the University of Lincoln after a conversation with his friend, the University’s Professor Brian Winston, the Lincoln Chair.
Many of the books have now been catalogued and are available to library users.
Sir Jeremy and his wife Gillian were thanked for their generosity during a ceremony at the University’s Great Central Warehouse Library this week.
It was hosted by Professor Winston, Senior Pro Vice Chancellor Mike Saks and Head of Library and Learning Resources Michelle Anderson.
Michelle said: “It is fantastic to have this collection from somebody as eminent as Sir Jeremy Isaacs. It will be a valuable asset to the University. Although his collection is broader in subject matter than simply journalism, it will be particularly relevant to our journalism students.”
Sir Jeremy’s television career began at Granada Television in 1958, where he worked on current affairs programmes World in Action and What the Papers Say.
He was the producer of Thames Television’s The World at War documentary series, which was first aired in 1973, and also commissioned the controversial 1975 TV film The Naked Civil Servant, starring John Hurt.
In 1981 he became the founding chief executive of Channel 4 and held the post for six years before joining the Royal Opera House as Director General.
Sir Jeremy discussed his life and career with Prof Winston at a talk to launch the sixth season of the Lincoln Academy - An Evening with Sir Jeremy Isaacs.
He admitted that although today’s television industry was radically different from when his career began, he still felt there were common values which were just as relevant to the new generation of journalists and producers as they were to his generation.
Sir Jeremy said: “My advice would always be to enjoy what you see on the box but be highly critical of it. If you think something is rubbish, say so. You have to try to learn from what other people are doing. And just as I ought to pay more attention to the present than I do, modern media students ought to pay more attention to the past.”