Monday 4 July 2016

Dr Ray Refaussé, RCBL's Librarian & Archivist, retires

At a reception in Church of Ireland House, Dublin, last Wednesday, staff of the Representative Church Body said farewell to Dr Raymond Refaussé, Librarian and Archivist of the RCB Library, who retired after 35 years with the library.

During those three and a half decades, the library's printed and archival collections grew considerably, particularly after Ray secured agreement with the Public Records Office of Ireland (now the National Archives) that the RCB Library was the appropriate place of custody for Church of Ireland parish registers. Over 1,100 parish record collections have been secured, stored and catalogued during his tenure, as have thousands of manuscript collections, and the papers of diocesan, cathedral as well as the central RCB and other administrative records of the wider Church.

The content of this material and its value for research has been heavily promoted by Ray's establishment of an exemplary publication scheme since the early 1990s, and latterly the development of online catalogues. As a result the library is visited by genealogists and historians from throughout Ireland and overseas.

In addition to his role as Librarian and Archivist, Ray has made an important contribution to other areas of the Church, especially in the area of publishing and communications. For many years he has edited the Church of Ireland notes, published weekly in The Irish Times (a role which he will continue) and as Secretary to the Literature Committee which manages Church of Ireland Publishing. In Dublin and Glendalough, he is a member of the Diocesan Communications Committee.

Paying tribute to his loyal service and hard work for the Representative Church Body and his contribution to so many aspects of church life, the Chief Officer, David Ritchie, presented Ray with a gift from his colleagues - a painting of South William Street, Dublin, by the artist Peter Pearson.

Dr Ray Refaussé (centre) with Dr Susan Hood who succeeds him as Librarian and Archivist and
Chief Officer David Ritchie. (Photo: David Wynne)