John E. Weeks papers, 1886-1961  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Weeks, John Elmer, 1853-1949
John E. Weeks papers
1886-1961 (inclusive)
1920-1950 (bulk)
1.7 linear feet, (3 boxes)
Collection Number
John Elmer Weeks (1853-1949) was an eye surgeon, author, and an extensive traveler and lecturer. He helped found the Board of Ophthalmology, discovered the Koch-Weeks bacillus, and was widely acclaimed for his method of reconstructing the orbital socket and surgical treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. This collection consists primarily of materials used in the composition of his autobiography, including manuscript drafts, correspondence, and some photographs.
Oregon Health & Science University, Historical Collections & Archives
OHSU Historical Collections & Archives
Oregon Health & Science University
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd. MC:LIB
Portland, OR
Telephone: 503-494-5587
Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions on access. This collection is open to the public.


Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The bulk of the materials are manuscripts of the autobiography of Dr. John E. Weeks. They are dated circa 1940-1954.Various correspondence and photographs date circa 1880-1954. The collection contains various stages of the manuscript with corrections, photographs, and legends to be used in the publication, the bibliography, and correspondence with publishers, persons, and organizations as sources of information. Also included is a copy of the completed autobiography and other publications.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

John Elmer Weeks was born on August 9, 1853 in Painesville, Ohio. In 1881 he received a medical degree from the University of Michigan and completed an internship at the Alms House and Workhouse Hospital on Welfare Island, New York. He became a clinical assistant in 1882 and later became a resident physician in 1885 and an assistant surgeon in 1887 at the Opthalmic and Aural Institute under Dr. Herman Knapp. In 1884, he spent a year taking postgraduate studies at the University of Berlin. He identified a bacteria, causative in acute epidemic conjunctivitis, in 1886; it was named in his honor, Koch-Weeks bacillus.

After serving as chief of clinic at the Vanderbilt Clinic, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1888, he maintained a position as surgeon with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary until his retirement in 1920 at which time he became a consulting surgeon. He was one of the founders of the Board of Ophthalmology and authored numerous articles and two textbooks, Diseases of the Eyes Ears Nose and Throat: A Manuel for Students and Practitioners (1892) and Diseases of the Eye (1910).

Dr. Weeks traveled extensively as a much sought after lecturer. He received wide acclaim for his manual dexterity and for his method of reconstructing the orbital socket and surgical treatment of glaucoma and cataracts. He received many honors and held chairmanships and memberships in many professional and secular clubs and societies and was known for his diligence, honesty, and modesty.

He married Jennie Post Parker on April 29, 1890. She was his constant companion and devoted her life to his care. They had one daughter, Eveline Weeks Mount. After his retirement in 1924, he moved to Portland, Oregon to be near her and his grandchildren.

While living in Portland he spent a great deal of time at the University of Oregon Medical School. He advised in the Department of Ophthamology and supported research. Seeing the need for a medical library, he donated $100,000 for its construction. After a long illness, he died in La Jolla, California, February 2, 1949.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

OHSU Historical Collections & Archives (HC&A) is the owner of the original materials and digitized images in our collections, however, the collection may contain materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials. Consult with HC&A to determine if we can provide permission for use.

Preferred Citation

John E. Weeks papers, Collection Number 2001-003, Oregon Health & Science University, Historical Collections & Archives

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Acquisition Information

Dr. John E. Weeks and his wife, Jennie, created and accumulated the materials while writing his autobiography. The collection was transferred to the University of Oregon Medical School Library. The OHSU Special Collections staff processed them July 2001.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Photographs: John E. Weeks, family and colleagues
1 2 Negatives of photographs
1 3 News clippings: Honors and obituary notices; only one contains a date [Mother's Day] 1947
1 4 Dinner announcement, Remarks by Weeks at dinner given in his honor 1961 October 6
1 4 University of Oregon Medical School (UOMS) 53rd Annual Commencement exercises announcement 1941
1 4 Souvenir of the Research Study Club of Los Angeles, contains photographs 1923-1939
1 5 Biography of John E. Weeks by John H. Dunnington 1949 April
1 6 Personal notes
1 6 Correspondence
1 6 Dinner invitation
1 6 Address given at the Medical Library Association meeting, Portland, Oregon 1940
1 6 Announcements
1 7 Version of autobiography with corrections
1 8 Version of autobiography with corrections
1 8 Handwritten bibliography
1 8 List of publications and correspondence interspersed within text 1954
1 8 Handwritten version of a portion of the autobiography titled "For My Great Grandchildren"
1 8 Rewrites
1 8 List of appointments in lay society and club memberships, honorary, medical society memberships
1 9 List of appointments in lay society and club memberships, honorary, medical society memberships
1 10 Service Bulletin, Oregon State Medical Society 1943 September
1 10 Credentials of delegate to the International Association of Physicians and Surgeons 1908
1 10 Portions of autobiography
1 10 Obituary
1 10 Bibliography
1 10 Correspondence
1 10 Speech upon dedication of Medical Library
1 10 Tentative Program for dedication ceremony of Medical Library 1940 May-June
1 10 Speeches undated
1 10 Notification of nomination as visiting ophthalmologist at Bellevue Hospital Medical College 1895 October 26
1 10 Notification of appointment as delegate to the International Association of Physicians and Surgeons 1929 July 25
1 10 Letter to Bertha Hallam from R. B. Dillehunt, in appreciation to committee for preparation for dedication of plaque of Weeks in Medical Library
1 10 Notification of election as secretary to Ophthalmological Section of the Congress for the United States to be held in Havana, Cuba 1900 November 21
1 10 Photograph of bronze plaque in Library
1 10 Hallam's request to Dr. Bogart for the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary Reports published under the sponsorship of Weeks 1951 January 29
1 10 Editorial, "Notable Medical Library" in Northwest Medicine, volume 39, number 8 1940 August
1 10 Notification of election as fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
1 10 Certificate of appointment as a delegate to the American Medical Association 1892 May 9
1 10 Correspondence to Bertha Hallam 1942 February 2
1 10 Addresses delivered at the dinner to honor Weeks at the Union Club 1941 October 6
1 10 List of articles written by Weeks, handwritten
13 1 Autobiography (galley proofs) with corrections and annotations
2 The Bellevue Violet 1928
2 Standard Orders for Ward Patients and Recovery Room Patients; Woman's Hospital in the State of New York, revised 1923 July
2 The Hospital Graduate's Club, New York 1886 January 20
2 Weeks, John E.: An Autobiography of John E. Weeks, M.D. Portland: Metropolitan Printing Company 1954
2 Archives de L'Institut Pasteur de Tunis, number 2, tome 25 1926 June
2 Library card files - Weeks's publications
2 Resolution to retain Weeks as a consulting surgeon after his retirement by the Board of Surgeons of the New York Eye Infirmary
2 American Medical Association research medal, Prize in Ophthalmology 1929

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Medical libraries

Corporate Names

  • American Medical Association
  • Medical Library Association
  • Oregon State Medical Society
  • University of Oregon. Medical School

Geographical Names

  • Oregon