John L. Heller Papers, 1939-86
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Brief Description: Papers of John Lewis Heller (1906-88), professor of classics (1947-75), including correspondence (1952, 1962, 1965, 1968-86), publications (1939-62, 1968-69, 1983), manuscripts, notes and photocopies relating to Studies in Linnaean Method and Nomenclature (1983), lexical studies in Latin literature (1939-62), indices to Carolus Linnaeus' System of Nature and lists of books, persons, places and words cited by Linnaeus.
Held at:
University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868
Email: illiarch [at]
Record Series Number: 15/6/24
Created by: Heller, John Lewis (1906-1988)
Volume: 1.0 cubic feet
Acquired: 11/23/1993
More information is available at
Arrangement: By type of material and chronological thereunder.
Biographical Note for Heller, John Lewis (1906-1988) :

John Lewis Heller (1906-88) was professor of classics (1949-75), head of the Department of Classics (1949-66), curator of the Classical Museum (1949-61), and professor emeritus (1975-88) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He was an educator and administrator perhaps best known for his contributions to understanding Linnaean plant nomenclature.

Heller was born in Riegelsville, Pennsylvania, on October 2, 1906. He earned a bachelor's degree from Haverford College, Pennsylvania (1927), and went on to earn a master's degree (1928) and a Ph.D. in classics (1933) from Princeton University for his dissertation â??The Lament for the Dead in Roman Folk-Custom and Literature." Prior to joining the faculty at UIUC in 1949, he held instructor positions at Wesleyan College (1928-29), Haverford College (1929-31), and Allegheny College (1933-37). He then served as assistant professor and professor (1937-49) as well as chair of the Classics Department (1947-49) at the University of Minnesota. At UIUC, he was an influential educator and administrator in the post-William A. Oldfellow era. His research interests included modern soil nomenclature and Linnaean plant nomenclature as well as literary and visual treatments of the labyrinth. Publications included "Festus on Nenia" (1939), "Classical Mythology in the Systema Naturae of Linnaeus" (1945), and "Studies in Linnaean Method and Nomenclature" (1983). He was active in his profession, and his appointments included Associate Editor of Classical Philology (1943-50); Editor for Notes of the Classical Association for the Middle West and South (1943-45); Editor of Publications for the American Philological Association (1946-50, 1957); President of the Illinois Classical Conference (1961-62); and President of the American Philological Association (1965-66). He received the Founder's Medal (1986) from the Society for the History of Natural History in London.

Heller married Suzanne Wallace Finley in 1936. He retired as professor emeritus at UIUC in 1975, and he died on November 6, 1988, in Urbana, Illinois.


"HELLER, John Lewis," Database of Classical Scholars, Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences, accessed May 20, 2020,

Illinois Classical Studies vol. VIII.I, ed. J. K. Newman (Spring 1983): 168â??, accessed May 20, 2020,

Subject Index
Faculty Papers
History of Zoology
Linnaeus, Carolus
Genres/Forms of Material
Languages of Materials
English [eng]