Many people who have worked at or visited Senate House have fond memories of Glen Jacques, who worked at IHR reception from 2005 until 2021. Sadly Glen died on 21 April 2022.

Glen at reception

“To those who visited the Institute, Glen was a guide, host, source of knowledge and, again, a friend and ally. Highly professional and committed to the IHR’s ethos, Glen was also a much-needed friendly face in an often austere and intimidating setting. Many a first-time researcher would not have returned, had it not been for an initial warm welcome and orientation from Glen.” 
(quote from former colleague)

We collected memories and messages at the time of Glen’s death. They came from a range of people: researchers and visitors to the IHR and colleagues from the IHR and across the University of London. They emphasise his welcoming presence at the IHR reception, the words genuine, friendly, smile and kind occur frequently. Many people remember him for his sense of humour, ‘making and seeing Glen laugh was one of the pleasures of being at the Institute’, and ‘once Glen started to laugh there was not much stopping him’. His laughter could often be heard echoing up the Institute staircase.

Passing the IHR reception would often involve stopping to chat with Glen. He remembered people’s names and details of their lives, welcoming occasional visitors as a long-lost friend and ‘pal’. He was patient and helpful.

Many people remember Glen talking to them about his interest in model-making. Glen had trained as a model maker and enjoyed collecting and making models throughout his life. He was also fascinated by the history of the Institute and liked talking to people about their memories and seeing old photos and plans. The combination of these interests inspired Glen to make a model of the IHR’s original premises, which stood on Malet Street before Senate House was built.

The original IHR building, a long low hut on Malet street with the houses on Torrington square behind.

IHR Huts (IHR Archive reference IHR-10-1-2)

The IHR Huts and Glen's model

Glen's model

Glen worked on the model during the lockdowns in 2020–21. He used photos and plans from the IHR archive and elsewhere to make this accurate and detailed model. He also made a video showing the location of the Huts and talking viewers through the process of making the model. It’s lovely to hear in the video how Glen developed the project, and how proud he was to work for the Institute. 

The model was generously given to the Institute by Glen’s family. On Tuesday 25 April we are celebrating Glen’s contribution to the IHR with an event. We will share recordings and other information about the event in a follow-up blog.