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Dr. John V. Shankweiler Papers

Identifier: N-Shankweiler

Scope and Contents

This collection contains two photograph albums, three scrapbooks, and correspondence between Shankweiler and Presidents Levering Tyson and J. Conrad Seegers.


  • Majority of material found within 1915-1975


Biographical / Historical

Dr. John V. Shankweiler (1894-1980) was a member of Muhlenberg’s Class of 1921. “Doc” joined the faculty in 1921, and obtained his master’s and doctoral degrees from Cornell University, finishing in 1931. He served as chair of the biology department until 1962. Shankweiler was responsible for organizing the pre-medical club in 1931. He assembled and cataloged Muhlenberg’s ornithological collection (known originally as the John V. Shankweiler Biological Museum), and was responsible for introducing photography courses at the College. His personal enthusiasm for cameras and film, coupled with his involvement in Muhlenberg athletics (he served as tennis coach for over 20 years), led him to begin filming football games as early as 1937, for the benefit of legendary coach “Doggie” Julian. It is thanks to Dr. Shankweiler that the archives is in possession of over two hours of film footage of life at Muhlenberg during the 1940s, including sporting events, Eleanor Roosevelt’s 1942 visit, the V-12 and V-5 programs, the christening of the U.S.S. Muhlenberg Victory, informal student parties, and of course, classroom science experiments.

“Doc” retired in 1964, and in 1970, the John V. Shankweiler Biology Building was completed; at the dedication, Dr. W. Clark Wescoe ‘41 paid tribute to the “undying and unquenchable spirit of a superlative teacher, single-minded in his purpose, successfully achieved, to do his best in a life earnestly given in service to students, to science, and to his adopted college, each enriched beyond measure by what he gave.”


2 Linear Feet (3 boxes (albums); 1 record carton)

Dr. John V. Shankweiler Collection
In Progress
Susan Falciani Maldonado
May 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Muhlenberg College Archives Repository

Trexler Library
Muhlenberg College
2400 Chew Street
Allentown PA 18104 United States