Colbeck, R. Norman (Reginald Norman)

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Colbeck, R. Norman (Reginald Norman)

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1903-1988

History

Norman Colbeck was born in London, England. On leaving school he worked for three years as a clerk with the Orient Steam Navigation Company in London. In 1923, after a brief period of self-education, chiefly at the British Museum, he was hired to manage the Rare Book Room of Foyles bookshop in Charring Cross Road. In 1927 he launched his own bookshop, later relocating his home and business to Bournemouth. Colbeck moved to Vancouver in 1967 when the University of British Columbia Library acquired his collection of books and manuscripts. He catalogued that collection, an activity which culminated in the publication of A bookmans catalogue: the Norman Colbeck collection of nineteenth-century and Edwardian poetry and belles-lettres in the Special Collections of the University of British Columbia in 1987. Colbeck became a Canadian citizen in 1976 and in 1987 UBC awarded him the degree of Doctor of Letters (honoris causae) in recognition of his contribution to education and scholarship.

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