James Moores Ball Papers


Reference code


Level of description



James Moores Ball Papers


  • 1894-1928 (Creation)


1.00 Linear Feet

Name of creator


Biographical history

James Moores Ball was a physician and scholar who became an eminent member of the St. Louis Medical Society. Ball received his medical degree from Iowa State University in 1884, taking further post-graduate courses in New York and Europe. He served as professor of Ophthalmology at the St. Louis College of Physicians and Surgeons from 1894 to 1910, then served as dean and professor of Ophthalmology at the American Medical College.

Dr. Ball was active in local, state, national, and international medical societies, notably the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, the American Ophthalmological Society, and the American Oculist Society. He was also the editor of the Annals of Ophthalmology. Additionally, Ball was a well-known author, and his writings were crafted from his own extensive personal libraries on ophthalmology and general history of medicine. His three monographs reflect his scholarly and scientific interests: Andreas Vesalius, the Reformer of Anatomy (1910), Modern Ophthalmology (six editions between 1904 and 1927), and a study of the practice of body snatching, The Sack-em' Up Men (1928).

Scope and content

The collection contains mostly correspondence and reprints, but also included are newspaper and journal clippings, manuscripts of lectures, and papers on ophthalmology and the history of medicine.

System of arrangement

Conditions governing access

The collection is open and accessible for research.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Users of the collection should read and abide by the Rights and Permissions guidelines at the Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives.

Users of the collection who wish to cite items from this collection, in whole or in part, in any form of publication must request, sign, and return a Statement of Use form to the Archives.

For detailed information regarding use of this collection, contact the Archives and Rare Book Department of the Becker Library (arb@wusm.wustl.edu).

Preferred Citation:

Item description, Reference Code, Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.

Languages of the material

  • English

Scripts of the material

  • Latin

Language and script notes

Finding aids

Custodial history

The items in this collection were the gift of the St. Louis Society for Medical and Scientific Education.

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift; Becker Library copy:St. Louis Society for Medical and Scientific Education; 1990; (90-061).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related archival materials

The Bernard Becker Medical Library also houses the James Moores Ball Collection of general rare medical books dating from the 16th to 20th centuries, his gift to the St. Louis Medical Society Library.

There is also the Ball Ophthalmic Museum Collectionat the National Museum of Health and Medicine.

Related descriptions

Specialized notes

Alternative identifier(s)

Rules or conventions

"Describing Archives: A Content Standard, Second Edition (DACS), 2013."

Sources used

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 Bernard Becker Medical Library Archives. All rights reserved.

Place access points

Name access points

Accession area