Papers of Professor Norman Kemp Smith (1872-1958)

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Papers of Professor Norman Kemp Smith include letters, notebooks, and papers. Included among his correspondents are Woodrow Wilson and Max Born. There are notebooks of philosophical lectures, offprints of articles, notes, drafts, pocket diaries, testimonials, personalia, and photographs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Norman Kemp Smith was born in Dundee in 1872. He was educated at Dundee High School and at Harris Academy, Dundee. He studied at the University of St. Andrews and afterward at Jena, Zurich, Berlin, and Paris. He was a Lecturer in Philosophy at Glasgow University from 1897 to 1906 when he went to Princeton, New Jersey, as Professor of Psychology and then, from 1914, as Professor of Philosophy. Between 1916 and 1918, during the First World War, he served with the Department of Information in London. From 1919, Kemp held the Chair of Logic and Metaphysics at the University of Edinburgh and occupied the post until his retirement in 1945. He had also taken his share of University administration in varied officies such as Assessor on the University Court and as Dean of the Faculty of Arts. His major published works included output on three 17th and 18th century philosophers, Descartes, Hume, and Kant, Commentary on Kant's critique of pure reason (1918), a translation of Kant's Critique of pure reason (1929), The philosophy of David Hume (1941), and New studies in the philosophy of Descartes (1951). Professor Norman Kemp Smith died in Edinburgh on 3 September 1958.

Conditions Governing Access

Contact the repository for details

Note

The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) The university portraits, compiled by D. Talbot Rice (Edinburgh: University Press, 1957). (2) University of Edinburgh Journal, Vol.19. 1958-1960, pp.208-209 (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd).

Other Finding Aids

An important finding aid is the alphabetical Index to Manuscripts held at Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections and Archives. Additions to the typed slips in sheaf binders were made until 1987.

Related Material

The Index to Manuscripts shows a reference to lectures of Professor Norman Kemp Smith taken down by another, at Gen. 2024.

Additional Information

The biographical history was compiled using the following material: (1) The university portraits, compiled by D. Talbot Rice (Edinburgh: University Press, 1957). (2) University of Edinburgh Journal, Vol.19. 1958-1960, pp.208-209 (Edinburgh: Oliver and Boyd).

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