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Library Lecture Series 2008 - 2009

The Library Lecture Series was conceived by Library Director Hedi BenAicha in Fall, 2008, and has continued to bring bright minds and interesting topics to the college community. Guide includes articles as featured in the library newsletters.

Norman Smith

..."And madly read:" Musings of an Amateur Book Collector

“Musings” is a lovely word  -  lovely sounding and lovely in its meaning.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines “musing” as “a spell of thoughtfulness or reflection; a meditation;” and so indeed was Emeritus Professor Norman Smith’s talk about his life-long love of books and reading.  He entered the world of books and literature through his father’s library in rural Vermont.  Over six and a half decades later, on December 4, 2008, in the James P. Adams Library’s Fortes Room, Professor Smith fondly reminisced on many of his “travels”.

A professor of History at Rhode Island College for 32 years, retiring in 1997, Dr. Smith has of course read numerous scholarly and academic books in many disciplines, but he has always been an avid reader of fiction; particularly westerns and crime and mystery novels of turn-of-the-20th-century American and British authors.  He spoke of scouring over booksellers’ catalogs, rummaging through dusty old bookstores, befriending dusty old booksellers, and, of course, surfing the World Wide Web to amass his collections.  In recent years he has donated a few of these collections to Adams Library.  The library has received his collections of the works of American society chronicler Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) and mystery and crime writer Mary Roberts Rinehart (1876-1958).  He has also donated his collection of the prolific (175 novels) British author Edgar Wallace (1875-1932).  A number of titles from these collections were on exhibit at the event and Dr. Smith and his wife Lola also brought a few extra book bags full of rarer volumes of great beauty and considerable age to share with those in attendance.  The titles from the collections donated to the library are catalogued in the library’s main collection and are readily available to all fans of great classic genre and popular fiction.

A long-time fervent supporter of the library, Dr. Smith was also instrumental in creating the endowed History Library Memorial Fund.  The income generated by the fund makes possible the purchase of library materials selected by the History Department faculty each year.

Rachel H. Carpenter

Norman Smith - In Memoriam

Norman W. Smith, a founding member of The Friends of Adams Library, creator of the endowed History Library Memorial Fund, and generous donor to the library collections, passed away on October 21, 2010. 

What's News at RIC "In Memoriam"

Invitation to Norman Smith's Lecture