Beck Lectures Series

Content from the University of Victoria website

Used with permission.

The Endowment

Richard and Margaret Beck made provision in their wills for a special fund to be established at the University of Victoria to provide public lectures on Icelandic language and literature. Richard passed away on July 23, 1980, and Margaret on December 10, 1985.

The Beck Lecture Series at the University of Victoria focuses on various aspects of Icelandic literature and culture. The first "Richard and Margaret Beck Lecture on Icelandic Literature" took place on February 14, 1988. Since then, the University of Victoria has hosted over 80 lectures on a wide range of topics.

Book bequest

The Beck book contribution to the University of Victoria library began on December 14,1971 when Dr. and Mrs. Beck presented a token volume to the University with the rest of their 2,500 volume collection to follow over a period of years.

The collection included volumes covering classical Old Icelandic literature, nineteenth century prose and poetry, and cultural and general histories of Iceland, as well as other Scandinavian authors and history.

Mrs. Beck’s contribution to the collection included a number of books in the Icelandic and Scandinavian fields, notably in English translations, as well as two to three hundred volumes on the history of arts and on related subjects, which was her main field of specialization. The collection has increased since that time with purchases made from the Trust Fund established in their wills to bring speakers on Icelandic culture and literature for public lectures at the University.

Margaret and Richard Beck student research travel award

One award of up to $6,000 is given to an undergraduate or graduate student in the Humanities or Social Sciences or Fine Arts who has already completed a course or undertaken a significant research project that is related to Icelandic language, literature, history, culture or society to travel to Iceland for the purpose of research or course work.  Applications must be submitted to the Associate Dean of Humanities by December 15th.  In the case of an undergraduate award, selection will be made by the Senate Committee on Awards upon the recommendation of the Associate Dean of Humanities.  In the case of a graduate award, selection will be made by the Graduate Awards Committee upon the recommendation of the Associate Dean of Humanities.

The award is administered by the University of Victoria Foundation.


View the Archives and video recordings, listen to sound recordings, and read the biographies of Dr. Richard and Mrs. Margaret Beck on the University of Victoria website.

Your Icelanders of Victoria email subscription to News & Events includes advance notice of upcoming Beck Lectures and receptions for visiting academics, researchers, and dignitaries.

We regularly screen Icelandic movies and documentaries. Free admission, anyone can come! Watch for the announcements on the Upcoming Events page, or subscribe to our News & Events to receive advance email notifications.