A Worcestershire historian who was responsible for raising the profile of the Birmingham and Midland Institute has died at the age of 92.
Joseph Hunt, former administrator of the BMI, passed away on Tuesday surrounded by his family.
Mr Hunt, known as Jo, was born in the village of Romsley, the Hunt family home since 1658, in 1913.
He developed a passion for reading from an early age and was the first boy in the village to win a scholarship to Halesowen Grammar School.
In 1940 he married his wife Edith Elfie and they had two sons - Maxim and Julian.
After working for the electricity supply industry from 1929 to 1936, and the London Aluminium Company from 1936 to 1946, he became the managing director of Maxgate Ltd in 1946, remaining there for 32 years.
In 1979 Mr Hunt became administrator for the Birmingham and Midland Institute, which was set up in 1854 for " the diffusion and advancement of science, literature and art among all classes of persons residing in Birmingham and the Midland counties".
Philip Fisher, the Institute's current administrator, said: "Before accepting the post as administrator and general secretary of the Institute, I had worked for several years in tandem with Jo.
"During those years it became clear that had Jo Hunt not worked so selflessly and tirelessly in the interests of the Institute there is no doubt that it would not exist in the state of health in which it finds itself today.
"Jo was a man of many talents and extraordinary abilities, filling any gap that arose in the Institute's cultural programme with an enviable ease, and not only was his presence an inspiration while he was with us but his memory will also continue to be one.
"Many of the societies which were inspired by Jo's ideas still meet at the Institute and make valuable contributions to the cultural life of Birmingham and the wider community.
"Jo, of course, was not only the administrator of the Institute but also its librarian and the present day significance of the Institute's library remains a tribute to the memory of a remarkable man."
The author of a number of local history books, Mr Hunt was awarded an honorary degree from Birmingham University in 1991.