Guide to the Norman B. Spector (1921-1986) Papers

Collection Title: Norman B. Spector (1921-1986) Papers
Dates: 1956-1985
Identification: 11/3/12/3
Creator: Spector, Norman B.
Extent: 12 Boxes
Language of Materials: English
Abstract: Norman B. Spector was a professor of French at Northwestern University from 1968-1986. From 1968 to 1978, he served as chair of Northwestern's Department of French and Italian. The Norman B. Spector papers, filling eleven and one-half boxes, span the period 1956-1985 and include biographical materials; general and subject correspondence; materials concerning professional activities; drafts of lectures, published articles and reviews, and materials relating to translations; teaching files; and extensive files concerning Spector's work on LaFontaine's Fables.
Acquisition Information: The Norman B. Spector papers were donated to the University Archives by the Department of French and Italian on June 16, 1987 (Accession #87-160).
Processing Information: Abra E. Quinn; July, 1987.
Separated Materials: Approximately five linear feet of printed materials as well as five linear feet of duplicates have been discarded. One box containing the records of the Concora Lectures Committee has been separately accessioned (#87-177), as was one folder of the records of the University Library Committee, one folder of the records of the University Hearings and Appeals Board (#87-178), and one box of the records of the Human Relations Committee (#87-179). Seven reel to reel tapes of Spector's French tutorials have been removed to the University Archives, audio tape collection (Accession #87-204).
Conditions Governing Access: Box 1, Folders 8-11; Box 2, Folders 12 and 15; and Box 5, Folder 1 through Box 8, Folder 11 may be used only with permission of the University Archivist.
Repository: Northwestern University Archives
Deering Library, Room 110
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston, IL, 60208-2300
URL: http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives
Email: archives@northwestern.edu
Phone: 847-491-3354

Biographical/Historical Information

Norman Bernard Spector was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on January 2, 1921. He took a B.S. in education with a major in French in 1940, an M.S. in education in 1942, and a Ph.D. in French in 1950 with all degrees from the University of Pennsylvania.

During World War II, Spector served in the U.S. Army Air Corps in French North and West Africa. From 1942 to 1943 he was an army interpreter and translator. Spector attained the rank of first lieutenant and completed his service in 1946 as an air and base intelligence officer. He returned to the University of Pennsylvania in 1947 as an assistant instructor, then instructor of Romance languages while completing his doctorate.

In 1952 Spector joined the Northwestern University faculty as an instructor in Romance languages; in 1955 he was promoted to the rank of assistant professor. In 1959 Spector joined the faculty of the University of Chicago as an associate professor of French. He held a visiting professorship at Yale, teaching graduate students in 1964-1965. In 1966 he left the University of Chicago for Oberlin College where he was named professor and chair of the Department of Romance Languages. In 1968, Spector returned to Northwestern accepting an appointment as professor of French. From 1968 to 1978, he served as chair of Northwestern's Department of French and Italian.

While at Northwestern, Spector developed a core of curriculum of medieval studies; devised and taught a variety of courses; and published numerous articles, reviews, and translations. His translations ranged from the medieval romance of Tristan and Iseult to legal documents. At the time of his death on January 3, 1986, Spector's major bilingual verse edition of the complete fables of LaFontaine was nearly ready for publication by the Northwestern University Press; a memorial fund was established to enable its completion.

Spector was active also in administrative work. In addition to chairing Northwestern's Department of French and Italian, he served on the University's Concora Lectures and Human Relations committees.

Spector married Carolyn Gaines. The couple had two children, Robert and Miriam, and later divorced.

Scope and Content

The Norman B. Spector papers, filling eleven and one-half boxes, span the period 1956-1985 and include biographical materials; general and subject correspondence; materials concerning professional activities; drafts of lectures, published articles and reviews, and materials relating to translations; teaching files; and extensive files concerning Spector's work on LaFontaine's Fables.

The biographical material consists of vitas, clippings, medical records, and memorials. General correspondence includes folders of letters, some pertaining to faculty appointments, notes from students, and items to and from colleagues. Subject correspondence relates to Spector's dealings with Indiana University Press and with the Northwestern University Press' Medieval Texts Series. Four folders of recommendations written by Spector for students and colleagues are included as well.

The files concerning Spector's professional activities mainly document departmental administration, University curricular developments, and service on University committees as well as his membership in the Finnegan's Wake Club, a loose, social association of Northwestern faculty.

Among Spector's lectures, published reviews and translations is a translation into English of Eugene Ionesco's 1985 Eliot Award acceptance speech.

Spector's teaching files document his career at the University of Chicago, where he developed phonetics and historical linguistics courses; his graduate instruction at Yale; and his work at Northwestern. These files include material on doctoral students he advised as well as course records such as class and reading lists, course evaluations, reading and lecture notes, worksheets, examinations, and related items.

Numerous revisions of Spector's manuscript of the Fables are arranged in four boxes along with materials concerning the mechanics of literary production, e.g., the application for copyright, grant and aid requests, and the search for a publisher.

Arrangement of Materials

The Norman B. Spector Papers are organized into the following series: General and Subject Correspondence; Professional Files; Teaching Files; and LaFontaine's Fables. General correspondence is arranged chronologically. Within subject categories all correspondence is arranged chronologically. Professional Files are arranged alphabetically by subject heading. With the exception of one folder of general graduate examinations and reading lists, the teaching files are arranged first according to institution. Teaching files pertaining to Spector's work at Northwestern are divided into graduate student records and course records. The latter are arranged, for the most part, sequentially by course number.

Subjects

Corporate Name

Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.). Department of French and Italian

Subjects

French language--Study and teaching (Higher)

French teachers--Illinois--Evanston


Container List / Contents

  • General and Subject Correspondence
    • General Correspondence, 1966-69Box 1, Folder 2
    • General Correspondence, 1970-72Box 1, Folder 3
    • General Correspondence, 1973-85Box 1, Folder 4
    • Finnegan's Wake Club, 1958, 1962, n.d.Box 1, Folder 5
    • Indiana/Northwestern University Press, 1976-78, 1980, n.d.Box 1, Folder 6
    • Northwestern University Press: Medieval Text Series, 1971-75Box 1, Folder 7
    • Recommendations, 1967-71Box 1, Folder 8
    • Recommendations, 1972-74Box 1, Folder 9
    • Recommendations, 1975-79Box 1, Folder 10
    • Recommendations, 1980-85Box 1, Folder 11
  • Professional Files
    • Appointment, 1968-69Box 2, Folder 1
    • Book Receipts, 1960-74Box 2, Folder 2
    • Class Scheduling, 1968-70Box 2, Folder 3
    • College of Arts and Sciences: Budget Committee Memos, 1584-85Box 2, Folder 4
    • Department Cultural Committee, 1982Box 2, Folder 5
    • Department Honor Committee, 1980-81Box 2, Folder 6
    • Department Sponsored Lectures and Theatrical Performances, 1967-72, n.d.Box 2, Folder 7
    • Departmental Administration, 1968-70Box 2, Folder 8
    • Developing a Humanities Curriculum, 1985Box 2, Folder 9
    • Doctoral Program in Theatre and Drama, 1984-85Box 2, Folder 10
    • Faculty Planning Committee, 1980-81Box 2, Folder 11
    • Mellon Assistant Professorship Search, 1976-77Box 2, Folder 12
    • National Defense Education Act Fellowship Application, 1968-70Box 2, Folder 13
    • Newberry Library: Center for Renaissance Studies, 1977-85Box 2, Folder 14
    • William Paden Evaluation Restricted, n.d.Box 2, Folder 15
    • Student-Faculty Council, 1968-70Box 3, Folder 1
    • TriOuarterly, 1968-70Box 3, Folder 2
    • Tristan and Iseult Royalties: Northwestern University Press, n.d.Box 3, Folder 3
    • Critical Methods, n.d.Box 3, Folder 4
    • Don Juan: Drafts, n.d.Box 3, Folder 5
    • Editing Renaissance Texts, n.d.Box 3, Folder 6
    • Eliot Award: Ionesco's Acceptance Speech, 1985Box 3, Folder 7
    • Epic, 1966-69Box 3, Folder 8
    • Farce, n.d.Box 3, Folder 9
    • Italian Translations, 1973-74Box 3, Folder 10
    • Legal Translations, 1980-83Box 3, Folder 11
    • Legal Translations, 1983-84Box 3, Folder 12
    • Moliere Lectures, n.d.Box 4, Folder 1
    • Moliere Lectures, n.d.Box 4, Folder 2
    • Ottaviano Petrucci: Canti B, 1971-72Box 4, Folder 3
    • Publications, Reviews, and Related Materials, 1960-84Box 4, Folder 4
    • Rabelais, n.d.Box 4, Folder 5
    • Renaissance Comedies, n.d.Box 4, Folder 6
    • Renaissance Spelling, n.d.Box 4, Folder 7
    • Tragedy: Notes, 1959Box 4, Folder 8
    • n.d.Box 4, Folder 9
  • Teaching Files
    • Graduate Examinations and Reading Lists, 1953-85, n.d.Box 5, Folder 1
    • University of Chicago: Phonetics, 1962, n.d.Box 5, Folder 2
    • Yale: French 100, 101b, 1964-65Box 5, Folder 3
    • Yale: French 116a, 1964-65Box 5, Folder 4
    • Yale: Graduate Students, 1964-65Box 5, Folder 5
    • Yale: Doctoral Examinations, 1964-65Box 5, Folder 6
    • Northwestern University: Graduate Student Records
      • Sandy Anderson: Doctoral Candidate, 1981-85Box 5, Folder 7
      • Richard Crowder: Doctoral Candidate, 1979-84Box 5, Folder 8
      • Lillian Groag: Doctoral Candidate, 1973-75Box 5, Folder 9
      • Elizabeth Lapeyre: Doctoral Candidate, 1967-75Box 5, Folder 10
      • Edward Taylor: Doctoral Candidate, 1976-77Box 5, Folder 11
    • Northwestern University: Course Records
      • A-02, 1982-83Box 5, Folder 12
      • A-05, 1980-85Box 5, Folder 13
      • B-01, 1979-85Box 6, Folder 1
      • B-01-3, 1979-80Box 6, Folder 2
      • B-03, 1975, n.d.Box 6, Folder 3
      • B-05, 1977-78Box 6, Folder 4
      • C-01, 2, 1956-59Box 6, Folder 5
      • C-02, 1974, 1985, n.d.Box 6, Folder 6
      • C-05, 1982-85, n.d.Box 6, Folder 7
      • C-12, 1970-81, n.d.Box 6, Folder 8
      • C-14, 1973-77, n.d.Box 7, Folder 1
      • C-16 and C-30, 1977-81, n.d.Box 7, Folder 2
      • C-17, 1965-71Box 7, Folder 3
      • C-90, 1983, n.d.Box 7, Folder 4
      • C-90-1, 1973-84, n.d.Box 7, Folder 5
      • C-91, 1984-85, n.d.Box 7, Folder 6
      • D-01: Notes, 1970-71, n.d.Box 7, Folder 7
      • D-01: Examinations, Course Lists and Evaluations, 1970-83Box 7, Folder 8
      • D-01: Course Materials, n.d.Box 7, Folder 9
      • D-01: Course Materials, n.d.Box 7, Folder 10
      • D-01: Course Materials, n.d.Box 8, Folder 1
      • D-04, 1971-78Box 8, Folder 2
      • D-10, 1979-82Box 8, Folder 3
      • D-30, 1977-78Box 8, Folder 4
      • D-90, 1980-81Box 8, Folder 5
      • D-91: Course Lists and Evaluations, 1981-84, n.d.Box 8, Folder 6
      • D-91: Translation Materials, n.d.Box 8, Folder 7
      • E-13, 1969-75Box 8, Folder 8
      • E-15, 1975-79Box 8, Folder 9
      • E-17, 1970-78Box 8, Folder 10
      • Research and Independent Study: C-99, D-99, E-90, 1975-77Box 8, Folder 11
  • LaFontaine's Fables
    • Draft 1: Books I-VI, n.d.Box 8, Folder 12
    • Draft 1: Books VII-XII, n.d.Box 8, Folder 13
    • Draft 2: Books I-VI, n.d.Box 9, Folder 1
    • Draft 2: Books VII-XII, n.d.Box 9, Folder 2
    • Drafts: Book I, n.d.Box 9, Folder 3
    • Drafts: Book II, n.d.Box 9, Folder 4
    • Drafts: Books III and IV, n.d.Box 9, Folder 5
    • Drafts: Books V and VI, n.d.Box 9, Folder 6
    • Drafts: Books VII and VIII, n.d.Box 9, Folder 7
    • Drafts: Books IX and X, n.d.Box 10, Folder 1
    • Drafts: Books XI and XII, n.d.Box 10, Folder 2
    • More Revisions, n.d.Box 10, Folder 3
    • Revisions A, n.d.Box 10, Folder 4
  • Biographical material, 1959-85Box 1, Folder 1