Traditions & Culture of Collecting The Norman Lectures at The Grolier Club

In 1995 Haskell and Jeremy Norman endowed the Norman Bibliographical Lectures on Medicine, Science, and Technology at The Grolier Club of New York. Here is the original description of the scope and intent of the lectureship:

The Haskell F. and Jeremy M. Norman Bibliographical Lectures on Medicine, Science, and Technology

Of the various endowed lectureships on bibliography such as the Sanders Lectures at Cambridge, the Lyell Lectures at Oxford, the Rosenbach Lectures at the University of Pennsylvania, the more recently established Nikirk Lectures at The Grolier Club, none historically has focused on bibliography as it pertains to the history of medicine, science, and technology. Even though the histories of science, medicine, and technology have become well-established scholarly disciplines in the 50 years since World War II, and even though these fields have also become popular areas for book and manuscript collecting both among private collectors and institutional libraries around the world, we believe that the bibliographical scholarship of these fields remains under-developed. It is with the goal of stimulating bibliographical scholarship related to the history of medicine, science, and technology that we intend to endow an annual lecture.

Norman Lecture 2008 Invitation

Bibliography as it Pertains to Medicine, Science, and Technology

The goal of the endowment will be to establish a lectureship that will endure permanently, or at least remain in existence as long as The Grolier Club. To allow sufficiently wide latitude of both subject matter and scholarly approach over a long period of time we wish the concept of bibliography to be interpreted broadly to incorporate the study of books and manuscripts in their widest sense. Thus the field should encompass the history of the physical production of books and manuscripts including writing, calligraphy and manuscript illumination, printing and binding. Book illustration and the history of graphic media may be included, as may be drawings that pertain to book illustration or separately published prints providing that they bear some demonstrable relationship to illustrations in books or manuscripts. We also wish our definition of bibliography to include the history of publishing, of bookselling, and of course, book-collecting. Any of these aspects of bibliography may be incorporated in our planned lectureship providing that the subject matter of the lecture is limited to medicine, science, or technology. We place no restrictions of time or place on our definition of subject matter. Thus the lectures may concern material from the earliest times to the present day in any place where books or manuscripts were produced. We would prefer that each lecture be illustrated with slides or some other media.

—Haskell F. Norman. Jeremy M. Norman.

Norman Lecture 2001 Invitation
Norman Lecture 2003 Invitation
Norman Lecture 2010 Invitation

Norman Lectures Presented to Date

  • 2019: April 23, David Levy on A Century & A Quarter of Hoyle
  • 2013: March 27, Jeremy Norman on Count Guglielmo Libri: Scientist, Scholar& Scoundrel
  • 2011: May 19, Daniel Lewis on The Shades of Things: Color Dictionaries over the Centuries
  • 2010: April 29, Eugene S. Flamm on Printing and the Brain of Man: Illustration of the Brain in the History of Neurosurgery.
  • 2009: April 30, Paul Needham on Galileo and the Sidereus Nuncius.
  • 2008: May 22, Daniel M. Albert on The Writings and Adventures of the Chevalier John Taylor.
  • 2001: May 22, Ricky Jay on Dr. Graham and the Celestial Bed.
  • 2000: Apr 11, Allen G. Debus on Paracelsus and the Chemical Revolution in Sixteenth-Century Medicine.
  • 1997: May 13, William Ashworth on When Worlds Collide: Illustrated Title-Pages and Scientific Conflict in the Early Seventeenth Century.
  • 1996: May 7, Owen Gingerich, On the Survival of Early Scientific Books.
Norman Lecture 2011 Invitation
Norman Lecture 2013 Invitation
Norman Lecture 2019 Invitation
Norman Lecture 2019 Invitation

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