GOLB, NORMAN (1928– ), scholar of Jewish history. Born in Chicago, Golb received his early education there; in 1954 he earned his doctorate in Judaic and Semitic studies from Johns Hopkins University. He was the recipient of several fellowships, including the Warbury Fellowship for Research in Judaic and Semitic Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (1955–57), and he was a visiting faculty member at the University of Wisconsin (1957–58), Harvard University (1966), and Tel Aviv University (1969–70). Golb was a faculty member of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati from 1958 to 1963; in 1963 he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago, where he became, in 1988, the Ludwig Rosenberger Professor of Jewish History and Civilization. He was also chairman of the university's Aronberg Judaica Lectureship Committee.
Golb's many fellowships and research awards have included Guggenheim Fellowships (1964, 1966) and grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Philosophical Society, and the Littauer Foundation. His studies have appeared in numerous academic journals over the years and involve significant interpretations of archaeological discoveries. He identified *Obadiah the Proselyte as the author of the oldest Hebrew musical manuscript, uncovered the earliest extant legal record of the Jews of Sicily, identified a Hebrew document concerning the First Crusade, and discovered manuscripts pertaining to the Jews of medieval Normandy.
Golb's 1976 work in Hebrew, Toledot ha-Yehudim be-Ir Rouen bi-Ymei ha-Benayim ("History and Culture of the Jews of Medieval Rouen"), was followed by studies of archaeological discoveries made in 1976 and 1982 in the Street of the Jews in Rouen. In 1985 he published Les Juifs de Rouen au Moyen Age: Portrait d'une culture oubliée, for which he received the Grand Medal of the City of Rouen. In 1987 he was granted an honorary doctorate by the University of Rouen and was awarded the Medal of the Region of Haute Normandie.
Golb took an active role in the campaign to make available the Dead Sea Scrolls for academic study, and he was one of the organizers of an international conference on the scrolls for the New York Academy of Sciences and the Oriental Institute. His later works include Who Wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? The Search for the Secret of Qumran (1995) and The Jews of Medieval Normandy: A Social and Intellectual History (1998). Among other honors, he is a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.
[Dorothy Bauhoff (2nd ed.)]