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.