Tribute: Norma Margaret Irvine

We were truly saddened to hear that Norma had passed away. 

Norma started volunteering at the Royal Pharmaceutical Society Museum in 2012. Her project involved cataloguing a large donation of medicines, from as far back as the 1930s, onto the museum database. She was familiar with many of these medicines, having dispensed them during her career as a pharmacist. This knowledge, along with her sense of thoroughness and accuracy, meant that ‘a Norma record’ became synonymous with high-quality documentation.

During her time at the museum, Norma catalogued literally hundreds of items, some of which have subsequently been used as major objects in museum displays, as well as aiding research enquiries and loan requests from other museums. None of this would have been possible without her hard work and dedication, although — modest as she was — she would never have taken credit for this.

Norma was, quite simply, one of the nicest people you could ever meet. No matter what kind of a week we’d had, we in the museum and library office would always looked forward to Friday afternoons when she would come in to volunteer. Always cheerful, easy-going and unassuming, you could never fail to smile when Norma was in.

Norma spoke so fondly of her two daughters and grandchildren; her family clearly meant the world to her. Our thoughts and condolences go out to them at this difficult time.

There has always been a strong bond between museum staff, library staff and our volunteers. Norma was not just a colleague, but a friend, and we will all miss her.


John Betts and Matthew Johnston


Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, June 2020, Vol 304, No 7938;304(7938)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2020.20208053

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