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Library Services

The Mary & Edward Norton Library of Ophthalmology was established shortly after the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute opened in 1962 on the University of Miami School of Medicine campus. When it opened, it offered little more than a handful of books on ophthalmology transferred from the University of Miami medical library. Dr. Edward W.D. Norton, Bascom Palmer's founder, envisioned the library ultimately becoming a repository for all ophthalmic literature. Sixty years later, the collection is one of the world's most comprehensive collections of ophthalmic knowledge, containing more than 8,000 ophthalmic texts, 15,000 bound volumes, and more than 250 periodical titles and journals from around the world.

Within the Norton Library was the Dr. and Mrs. Ralph Kirsch Rare Book Room, often called "The Crown Jewel" of Bascom Palmer. The Rare Book Room preserved 3,000 books dating from 1496 to 1900, including an exceptionally rare copy of the second edition of George Bartisch: Augendienst (1686), published 103 years after the original edition; the first German textbook on ophthalmology written in 1583 and a rare second edition published 100 years later; and a 1613 book on depth perception with drawings by Peter Paul Rubens.

Unfortunately, the Mary and Edward Norton Library was closed in September 2017 due to water leakage and damage that occurred during Hurricane Irma. To protect the extensive collection of books and journals and the valuable and unparalleled collection of rare books, all library materials were moved to the Louis Calder Medical Library for safekeeping, where they remain today.

For assistance with accessing books, article requests, library resources, and Calder Library policies and procedures, visit: