Material practices of observation were also central to Norris's work in natural history. He was a prolific note taker and filled numerous bound books with field notes, journal entries, and species accounts. Norris used the practice of note taking to document thoughts, sketches, and diagrams of the various animal species he encountered, ranging from dolphins and whales to lizards and snakes. He also took notes to record and reflect on his many experiences in the natural world. Norris's bound field notes from 1954-1960 speak to the wide range of his note taking practice, as the book is a textual collage of typed and handwritten journal entries, field notes, and species catalogues on various paper sizes.
Situating the Lick Observatory archives and the Ken Norris papers alongside each other reveals the ways in which science is immersed in particular material practices that ultimately inform scientific findings. Both archives revolve around embodied practices of note taking, illustrating, sketching, and charting in different formats. Calling attention to such embodied practices highlights the process behind the production of scientific knowledge, a process that is often occluded in histories of science.
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This page references:
- 1949-1950 Species Accounts, Norris
- Sketches of Jupiter by Edward Holden, circa 1870s.
- Chart recording the distribution of southern stars in astronomer Edward Holden's scrapbook, circa 1890s.
- Notes on the appearance of a comet in astronomer Charles D. Perrine's copybook, circa 1890s.
- Field Notes 1954-60, Norris
- Charles D. Perrine's copybook