MJ Long OBE RIBA 1939-2018

MJ Long, 1939-2018 (image courtesy of Long & Kentish)
The British Library is very sorry to hear of the death of the distinguished architect MJ Long OBE RIBA, who worked closely with her late husband, Sir Colin St John Wilson, on the design and construction of the Grade 1 listed British Library building at St Pancras, and whose own firm designed the Library’s Centre for Conservation.

MJ Long’s association with the Library over many decades – both before and after the opening in 1997 of the St Pancras building – culminated in her work with Rolfe Kentish on the design and completion of the British Library Centre for Conservation in 2006-7. Since it opened, this world-class facility has enabled conservation work to take place on some of the Library’s greatest treasures, including the Diamond Sutra and Magna Carta. 

MJ Long continued to take a keen and generous interest in the Library’s growth and development – most recently attending an event in 2015 to celebrate the listing of the building by English Heritage (along with the Lloyds Building, the youngest building to be awarded Grade I listed status), and the Library’s event on 25 June this year to mark the 20th anniversary of the building’s official opening by the Queen.

Roly Keating, CEO of the British Library, said: “MJ Long’s architectural contribution to the British Library at St Pancras was immense. Her work, both with her late husband Sandy Wilson, and through her own firm, Long & Kentish, helped the Library achieve its characteristic combination of form and function, enabling us to preserve and provide continuing access to the world’s intellectual heritage both efficiently and effectively. Many colleagues across the Library – in teams ranging from Estates to Collection Care – will wish to join me in paying tribute to MJ’s creativity and dedication, and her lasting contribution to this great world library.”

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