Henry John, Czech Heritage Papers
Title: Henry John, Czech Heritage
Creator: John, Henry J., 1885-1971
boxes, Oversize box 10 (5.0 linear feet)
Collection Number: MS
Language: Czech, English, Slovak, German, French, Croatian
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Historical Records Statement: Please see our statement on historical records and materials.
Preferred Citation: Henry John, Czech Heritage Papers (MS 0086). Archives & Special Collections, University
of Nebraska–Lincoln Libraries.
Henry Jaroslav John was born in 1885 in Olomouc in the province of Moravia (Czech Republic)
and joined his parents in the U.S. at age 14. He worked in Oklahoma and in Kansas, where he went
to school at the University of Kansas. In 1912, he recieved his Masters at the University of
Minnesota. He received his M.D. in 1916 from Western Reserve University of Medicine. When
practicing in New York, he worked with diabetes specialist F.M. Allen. On October 9, 1928, John
married Betty Beaman and the couple established "Ho Mita Koda,"
a camp for diabetic children in Ohio, now operated by the Diabetes Association of Greater
Cleveland. Henry J. John died in 1971 at the age of 86.
Scope and Content:
The collection consists of personal papers of Henry J. John including correspondence,
translations, publications, biographical materials and photographs. The majority of the
collection relates to John's medical career and his interest in literature and graphic arts.
Benes, Edvard -- Correspondence
Benes, Vojta, 1878 -- Correspondence
Book collectors -- United States -- Archives
Diabetes -- Research -- United States -- History -
Eastman, Charles A., 1858-1939
Hus, Jan, 1369-1415
Jirasek, Alois, 1851-1930
John, Henry J., 1885-1971 -- Archives
Laichter, Jan -- Correspondence
Laichter, Josef -- Correspondence
Masaryk, T. G. (Tomas Garrigue), 1850-1937 --
Mucha, Alfons, 1860-1939 -- Correspondence
Preissig, Vojtech -- Correspondence
Preissova, Gabriela, 1862-1946 -- Correspondence
Purkyne, Jan Evangelista, 1787-1869
Radl, Emanuel, 1873-1942 -- Correspondence
Svabinsky, Max, 1873-1962 -- Correspondence
Svetla, Karolina, 1830-1899
Czechs -- Foreign countries -- Correspondence
Czechoslovakia -- Politics and government -- 20th century --
Art collectors -- United States - Archives
Czechoslovak-Americans -- Archives
Series 1: Correspondence Boxes 1-2
Contains correspondence between John and his friends and colleagues. Among the
correspondents are noted Czech artists, including Max Svabinsky and J.C. Vondrous. Also in
this series is correspondence with T.G. Masaryk, the first President and founder of
Series 2: Publications and Translations Boxes 3-7
The majority of this series consists of translations from Czech to English or vice-versa by
John. Of special interest are translations of The Darkness (Temno), Alois Jirásek, The Sage of Old
Mountain (Mudrc ze staré hory), Alois Vojte
Šmilovský, and The Kiss (Hubicka), Karolina Svetlá. This series contains a Czech translation of Indian Boyhood (Indian v mladi), Charles
A. Eastman, an English translation of Married Life (Manzelstvi),
Josef Laichter, and a Czech translation of In the Struggle for an
Ideal (V boji za ideál), J.A. Trojan. Of special
significance is a letter of John Hus to the Czech nation on the night before his execution.
Also included in this series are poetry drafts by John and various reprints of his medical and
Series 3: Biography and Miscellaneous Boxes 8-10
Contains biographical sketches about John, family photographs, lecture notes from medical
school, and various materials collected by John relating to the graphic arts, literature, and
the Czech national movement. Also included is an article about the foundations of the National
Theater in Prague from an 1868 newspaper.
Series 1: CorrespondenceBox 1. Folder 1. "A"
Contains John's correspondence to and from the Administration of the Magazine of Czech
Physicians (1938-1939), and his correspondence to and from the Franta Anyz Art Company, from
which John ordered a John Hus bust.
Box 1. Folder 2. "B"
Contains letters from John's friend Frederic B. (1960s) and letters from John's colleague
from Czechoslovakia, Josef Barta, whose father was John's teacher. There are letters
concerning the exhibition of Czech graphic art at the International Exposition in
Philadelphia in 1926. Includes John's correspondence with Edvard Benes and Vojta Benes
(Czechoslovak politicians and brothers) and Josef Biciste, a tradesman with paintings, with
Ms. Bochorakova-Dittrichova, an artist, who was seeking John's patronage, and finally, with
Bursik and Kohout University Bookstore, where John ordered some books on biochemistry,
Box 1. Folder 3. "C"
Contains John's correspondence with Thomas Capek, President of the Bank of Europe, who
published the "Bohemian Bibliography," personal
correspondence with John's relatives in Czechoslovakia, the Chromciks, correspondence with
FitzRoy Carrington, a art tradesman from New York City, a letter between The Czechoslovak
Arts Club in New York City, of which John became member in 1918, and correspondence with
numerous museums across the U.S.
Box 1. Folder 4. Charvat, Josef
Contains over thirty years of correspondence between John and Josef Charvat, his colleague
and friend from Czechoslovakia, to whom John sent medical journals and books. Includes the
Magazine of Czech Physicians, commemorating Charvat's 70th
birthday, and a book on dyspnoea.
Box 1. Folder 5. Cleveland Museum of Art, Graphic Art of Czechoslovakia
Contains John's correspondence with the Cleveland Museum of Art concerning the Czechoslovak
Graphic Arts Exhibition in the museums around the U.S. and the catalog of the Graphic Art of
Box 1. Folder 6. Cosmopolitan Club
Contains correspondence written during John's studies at the University of Minnesota, where
he joined the Cosmopolitan Club and became its local president. There are newspaper articles
concerning the activity of the Cosmopolitan Club, articles on the Cosmopolitan Club, and
letters from the beginning of John's career as a medical doctor in Ohio (1913-1914).
Box 1. Folder 7. "D"
Contains John's correspondence with Czechoslovak government official Karel Driml and with
Eugene DuBois from The Russell Sage Institute of Pathology in New York City.
Box 1. Folder 8. "E"
Contains John's correspondence with Rudolf Eiselt, concerning John's book about J.E.
Purkyne, a Czech biologist.
Box 1. Folder 9. "F"
Consists of correspondence with A.W. Fenton from the Cleveland Customs House, concerning
the shipment of books and other items that John ordered from Prague, Czechoslovakia.
Box 1. Folder 10. "G"
Contains a letter from Gardavsky from Cleveland, Ohio, about the history of Russian gold
treasure in Siberia and the involvement of the Czech legionnaires in its protection.
Box 1. Folder 11. "H"
Consists of correspondence with Sarka Hrbkova from the Foreign Language Information Service
of the U.S. Red Cross, concerning John's writing and translating activities, and
correspondence with Jarolav Hulka, a Czech doctor, who was sent to the U.S. as a Rockefeller
Box 1. Folder 12. "I"
Contains only one letter from Pavla Ilavska, a Slovak woman living in the U.S.
Box 1. Folder 13. "J"
Consists of John's correspondence with Arnold Jirasek and his wife from Prague,
Czechoslovakia, concerning medical work.
Box 1. Folder 14. "K"
Correspondence between Karel Klein, of Prague, and Alois Klein from Yale University,
correspondence with Czech doctor Jaroslav Kose and Kose articles about the U.S.,
correspondence with Josef Krenek about the Komensky Club in Minnesota, and letters between
relatives in Czechoslovakia.
Box 1. Folder 15. Komensky Club
Contains correspondence related to the activities of the Komensky Club in Iowa, Minnesota,
and Nebraska, especially with Sarka Hrbkova, a Czech instructor at the University of
Nebraska, concerning, for example, the creation of the pins of the Komensky Club. Also
contains some of John's articles from the Komensky magazine, some Czech poems, lists of books
on Bohemia and Bohemians, and the "Rules of the Komensky Club at
Nebraska." There are newspaper articles on John's teaching and Czech classes.
Box 1. Folder 16. "L"
Includes correspondence with Jan Laichter Publishing House from 1920s and 1930s, where John
ordered magazines and books. In one of his letters to Laichter, John speaks about his early
life in the U.S. and his impressions on the newly created Republic of Czechoslovakia.
Contains John's correspondence with Professor Lee from the University of Minnesota, who
supervised John's master's thesis.
Box 1. Folder 17. "M"
Contains a few letters, including one to Rudolf Medek, a revolt leader against
Austria-Hungary in WWI.
Box 1. Folder 18. Masaryk, Tomas G., 1913-1923
Contains personal correspondence with the first Czechoslovak President T.G. Masaryk, with
both the original letter and a typed English translation, including the John's welcome letter
to Masaryk when he came to the U.S. as a member of a Czechoslovak Legation to Washington,
D.C. There is also correspondence with Masaryk's daughter, Alice Masarykova.
Box 1. Folder 19. "N"
Three letter to and from Czech colleagues Nevinny, Novotny, and Nosik.
Box 1. Folder 20. "O"
Contains a list of prints ordered from publishing house J. Otto in Prague and a song
recital program of Boza Oumiroff from 1920.
Box 1. Folder 21. "P"
Includes correspondence with Czech novelist Gabriela Preissova, concerning her medical
condition, her personal life, and John's writing activities.
Box 1. Folder 22. Preissig, Vojtech
Correspondence with Vojtech Preissig, in Massachusetts, concerning Czechoslovak graphic
Box 2. Folder 1. "R"
Contains correspondence with various people dealing with subjects such as Czechoslovak
philosopher and politician Emanuel Radl and Rudolph Ruzicka.
Box 2. Folder 2. "S"
Contains correspondence with the Secretary of President T.G. Masaryk, Oskar Odstrcil, and
correspondence with Czechoslovak painter Max Svabinsky, including a hand-written letter.
Box 2. Folder 3. Sage of Old Mountain
Correspondence concerning the translation and publication of A.V. Smilovsky's The Sage of Old Mountain from Czech to English.
Box 2. Folder 4. Simon Family, T.F. Simon
Contains correspondence on subjects, such exchange of books and prints, meetings, and
information on Simon's paintings and works.
Box 2. Folder 5. Stenc, Jan
Contains correspondence with a Czechoslovak publisher, including bills and orders for art
Box 2. Folder 6. Stretti-Zamponi, Jaromir, 1921-1928
Correspondence on the exhibition "Czechoslovak Graphic
Box 2. Folder 7. Syllaba, Ladislav, M.D., 1921-1923
Correspondence with Syllaba, professor of medicine in Prague, on subjects such as new
drugs, new medical inventions, medical journals, and other colleagues.
Box 2. Folder 8. "T"
Consists of one invoice from Topic's Publishing House in Prague.
Box 2. Folder 9. "U"
Three letters, two regarding the potential arrival of distant relatives in the U.S. and one
about Smilovsky's work, including a map of Czechoslovakia.
Box 2. Folder 10. Urban, Ladislav, 1924-1933
Correspondence between John and Ladislav Urban concerning periodicals, books, art, their
professional careers, and their personal lives.
Box 2. Folder 11. "V," 1919-1923
Correspondence with various people, such as Professor Karel Veleminsky, and articles in
Czech and English.
Box 2. Folder 12. Vondrous, J. C., 1919-1938
Includes correspondence with Vondrous, a Czechoslovak etcher, on personal matters, new
books, relations in the medical circles in Czechoslovakia, information on their art
collections, and a list of etchings by Vondrous.
Box 2. Folder 13. "W"
Contains correspondence with various people, such as colleague Professor Weigner, on
medical subjects and the exhibition of the Czechoslovak Graphic Art.
Box 2. Folder 14. "Y" 1926
One letter from Yoshida from Tokyo regarding the arrival in Japan of John's friend
Box 2. Folder 15. "Z"
Contains a review of Indian Boyhood translated by John, in
English and in Czech, and a letter to the magazine Nasinec.
Box 2. Folder 16. Unidentified
Contains unidentified incoming and outcoming correspondence, articles and publications.
Series 2: Translations and PublicationsBox 3. Folder 1. The Darkness (Temno)
Contains a typed English translation with hand-written notes of novel by Alois Jirasek,
originally published in Czech in 1914. Copy 1, draft, pages 1-805. The novel describes
re-Catholization of the Czech lands after the lost battle on the White Mountain (Bila hora)
Box 4. Folder 1. The Darkness (Temno)
Copy 1, draft, pages 806-943
Box 4. Folder 2. The Darkness (Temno)
Copy 2, final version, pages 1-417
Box 5. Folder 1. The Darkness (Temno)
Copy 2, final version, pages 418-782
Box 5. Folder 2. The Kiss (Hubicka)
Contains a typed English translation of a short story by Karolina Svetla. The story
describes Czech village life of the 19th century and questions the status of women in
Box 5. Folder 3. In the Struggle for an Ideal (V boji za
Contains a typed English translation of novel by J. A. Trojan.
Box 5. Folder 4. Letter of John Hus (Dopis Jana Husa)
Letter of John Hus to the Czech nation on the night before his execution in 1415.
Translated by John and published in color with an old-style font. Also contains a reaction on
this letter from the Gazette de Prague from October 7, 1992 and
two letters of thanks to John for his translation.
Box 5. Folder 5. Indian Boyhood (Indian v mladi)
Czech translation of Charles A. Eastman novel from 1922. Manuscript, 140 pages.
Box 6. Folder 1. The Sage of Old Mountain (Mudrc ze staré
Czech translation of novel by Alois V. Smilovsky, 350 page typescript without
illustrations. For illustrations see Box 10, Folder 3.
Box 6. Folder 2. The Sage of Old Mountain (Mudrc ze staré
Czech translation of a novel by Alois V. Smilovsky, 307 pages of final and revised version
with illustrations by J.C.Vondrous. The preface is written by John and contains a sketch of
Alois V. Smilovsky's life. For illustrations for this book see Box 10, Folder 3.
Box 7. Folder 1. Married Life (Manzelstvi)
English translation of a Czech novel by Josef Laichter, originally published in 1923, a 549
page typescript with revisions and notes.
Box 7. Folder 2. One Hundred Paintings, Max Svabinsky (Sto
Short publication by Anton Matejicek, translated by John into English, including 43
handwritten pages with drawings.
Box 7. Folder 3. Prague – Her National Significance (Praha – O
jejim narodnim vyznamu), Jan Stenc
A 52 page English translation with notes and revisions.
Box 7. Folder 4. Graphic Arts Collection, 1922
"Czechoslovak Graphic Art: Exhibition of Prints from the Private
Collection of Dr. Henry J. John compiled by Ladislav Urban and Henry J. John,"
Cleveland, Ohio. Includes only one illustration of St. Vitus Church from the Belvedere, by
Box 7. Folder 5. Medical Research ArticlesItem 1. "The Use of Intravenous Glucose in Diabetic
Patients" reprint from Surgery, Gynecology and
Obstetrics, 1930, Apr.
Item 2. "Directions for Using the John Blood Chemistry
Item 3. "Methods of Precision in the Diagnosis of Diabetes. A
New Instrument" The Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol.
Item 4. "The Effect of Potassium Oxalate on Blood Sugar
Determination" The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical
Medicine, Vol. X, No. 12, 1925
Item 5. "Preservation and Transportation of Blood for Chemical
Study" Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,
Vol. 1, 1926, Feb.
Item 6. "Glycolysis," Annuals of
Clinical Medicine, Vol. III, No. 11, 1925
Item 7. "A Study of 22,808 Blood Sugar Estimations-Fasting and
Postprandial-in Non-Diabetic Individuals" Annals of Internal Medicine, Vol. 1, No. 7, 1928, Jan.
Item 8. "Association of Hyperthyroidism with Diabetes" Annals of Surgery, 1928, Jan.
Item 9. "Diabetes. A Statistical Study of Two Thousand
Cases" Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 42, 1928, Aug.
Item 10. "Jan Evangelista Purkyne" Bulletin of the Cleveland Medical Library, 1957
Item 11. "Notes on the Surgical Clinic of Charles University in
Prague One Hundred Years Ago" translated by John and published in Annals of Medicine History, Vol. VI, No. 2, 1924, June
Item 12. Letter, from the Czechoslovak State Ministry of Public Health positively assessing
John's article titled "How to Improve the Diagnostic Methods of an
Early Diagnosis of Diabetes," 1923
Box 7. Folder 6. Poetry manuscripts
John's poems written in Czech during his university studies.
Box 7. Folder 7. Purkyne Biography
Biography written by John on Jan Evangelista Purkyne, a Czech scientist and patriot,
1787-1869, published by the American Philosophical Society: Philadelphia, 1959.
Series 3: Biography and MiscellaneousBox 8. Folder 1. Family photographs
Photos of John's parents and grandparents.
Box 8. Folder 2. Biographical sketches
Photos of John, copies of his diplomas, a short biography, and articles about him.
Box 8. Folder 3. Photographs of artists, physicians, etc.
Contains miscellaneous photos of John's friends and correspondents.
Box 8. Folder 4. Memorabilia
Contains invitations, programs of events, a publication about the Czech city of Olomouc
with a map and a newsletter of the camp Ho Mita Koda.
Box 8. Folder 5. U.S. exhibition of John's collection
Contains newspaper clippings on the "Exhibition of Czechoslovak
Graphic Art" in Clevelend, Ohio, and other venues, including a booklet of the
Box 8. Folder 6. Lecture notes
Contains John's notes from medical school lectures, written in English.
Box 8. Folder 7. Maps
Contains maps of Europe, Slav lands, various maps of Czechoslovakia with French
Box 8. Folder 8. Collected materials, Graphic Art, pt. 1Item 1. Gamma: Rembrandt, Prague, Jan Stenc, 1921
Item 2. A publication about the exhibition of school works of Max Svabinsky's
students, 1910-1927, 1927
Item 3. Postcards, 10 etchings of T.F. Simon, Prague
Item 4. Postcards, 10 paintings of Vaclav Brozik
Item 5. Postcards, 10 portraits by Max Svabinsky
Item 6. Postcards, 10 etchings by J.C. Vondrous called "Beautiful Prague"
Item 7. Postcards, 10 drawings of Adolf Kaspar called "The
Item 8. Postcards, 10 drawings of Karel Spillar
Box 9. Folder 1. Collected materials, Graphic Art, pt. 2Item 1. Czech on Josef Manes
Item 2. Booklet, exhibition of J. Obrovsky, 1914
Item 3. Publication, Slovak Peasant Art, 1923
Item 4. Publication, U.S. Lines travel service agency
Item 5. Publication, Mikulas Ales, The Life of Old Khods (Zivot
starych Chodu), with his drawings, 1920
Item 6. "Vojtech Preisseig and his Typography," 1923
Box 9. Folder 2. Collected materials, Graphic Art, pt. 3Item 1. Max Svabinsky's Italian Sketch-book (Z italskeho skicare
Maxe Svabinskeho), by Frantisek Zakovec, Prague, 1927
Item 2. Wooden Ecclesiastical Constructions in the Czech Lands
(Drevene kostelni stavby v zemich ceskych), by Vaclav Mencl, Prague, 1927
Item 3. Sculptures on the Charles Bridge (Sochy na Karlove moste v
Praze), by Karel B. Madl, Prague, 1921
Item 4. Konopiste Castle, by Frantisek Vesely, 1921
Item 5. A List of Max Svabinsky's Works (Seznam grafickych praci M.
Svabinskeho), published by Graphic Studio, written by Jan Stenc
Item 6. T.F. Simon Painter-Etcher (Malir-leptar T.F. Simon),
by Authur Novak, Clevelend, Ohio, 1926
Box 9. Folder 3. Collected materials, Graphic Art, pt. 4Item 1. Poster, Alfons Mucha: Russia Restituenda, 1926
Item 2. Reproductions, Prager Presse, No. 16, 1923
Item 3. Rudolph Ruzicka: Fiarfield. New Linotypoe Face, Mergenthalen Linotype company, New
Item 4. "Etching (Die Radierung)" by A.J. Alex,
Item 5. Exhibition catalog, Graphic Art of Czechoslovakia. Exhibition of prints from the
private collection of Henry J. John. The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1922
Item 6. Album of the Revolutions. Prague 1618, 1848, 1918, 36 images, Kratochvil and Co.
Item 7. A few other small booklets
Box 9. Folder 4. Collected materials, Graphic Art, postcards
Contains a series of colored and black and white postcards illustrating Czech and German
history, portraits of famous Czechs, images of Prague and other places in Czechoslavakia, and
allegories on Czech people. Also contains a list of books, magazines, music, and other art
publications published in 1927 by the Society of J. Otto.
Box 10. Folder 1. Collected materials, Monographs in Czech and English, pt. 1Item 1. Centennial of David Bedrich Strauss (D.B.S. Ke 100. vyroci jeho narozenin), by
Frantisek Krejci, 1908
Item 2. The History of Cross (Dejiny krize), by Andrzej Niemojewski, 1909
Item 3. Modern Society and the Church (Moderni spolecnost a cirkev), by Theodor
Item 4. Philological Lists (Listy filologicke), by Hujer, Jakubec and Jirani, 1922, Vol.
49, No. 4, 5, 1922
Item 5. Magyars and the Czechoslovak Republic, by Karel Kadlec, 1919, in
Item 6. Czech School Facilities under Austrian Government and German School Facilities
under Czechoslovak Government, Charles University Press, 1938, in English, 1938
Item 7. Cultural Contributions of American Czechs (Kulturni prinosy americkych Cechu), by
Arnost Jan Zizka, 1932
Item 8. The Twelveth Hour is Ringing – To American Czechs (Bije hodina dvanacta
– Americkym Cechum), by Vojta Benes, Czechoslovak National Association, Chicago,
Item 9. Four other small publications.
Box 10. Folder 2. Collected materials, Monographs, pt. 2Item 1. The Moravian and Czech Contribution to the Early History of Ohio, American
National Alliance of Czechoslovaks, Cleveland, Ohio, 1932
Item 2. Three Years of the Czechoslovak Republic, by Ales Broz. Published by Orbis
Printing, Publishing and Newspaper Co., 1921
Item 3. Keppler's Latest News (Neues über Keppler), by Franz Dvorsky. Prague. In
Item 4. Speech of Dr. Karel Sladkovsky on the Occasion of Laying the Foundations of the
National Theater in Prague in 1868, newspaper supplement of Narodni
listy, No. 136., 1868
Item 5. Three editions of The Sokol magazine, one in English
and two in French. Published on the occasion of 8th Sokol festival by the Sokol
Item 6. "The Trail of the Hun in Austria-Hungary,"
published by the Czechoslovak Army and Relief Committee of Pittsburgh,
Item 7. "In the memory of Vojtech Naprstek's and his
Centennial," Prague. Naprstek was a Czech patriot, he spent ten yers in the
Item 8. "Friend of the People (Pritel lidu)" calendar, by
J.A. Trojan, Chicago, 1913
Item 9. Marija Pl. Hrussoczy, by A. Hubsch, New York, 1908. Narodnog Lista Publishing.
Hrussoczy was a countess of Hungarian-Croat origin, 1908
Item 10. "High Tatras," a tourism promotion publication of
the Czechoslovak State Railways
Item 11. "Our Papers (Nase spisy)," a list of books for
sale, written by famous Czech writers, F. Topic Bookshop, Prague, 1912
Item 12. Poster, "The Czechoslovak Flag and Historic Coats of
Arms of the Czechoslovak Lands"
Box 10. Folder 3. Illustrations, The Sage of Old Mountain
Contains copies of illustrations for the book. For original pictures see Oversize box
Box 10. Folder 4. Photograph, Rose Vondrous, 1919
Contains a copy of a Rose Vondrous photograph in a Czech folk costume. For original photo
see Oversize box 10.
Box 10. Folder 5. Poster, Josef Svatopluk Machar
Contains a portrait of Machar with a poem of this famous Czech poet. For original photo see
Oversize box 10.
Box 10. Folder 6. Photograph, Czechoslovak Legation dinner, New York, 1921, Jan. 24
For original photo see Oversize box 10.
Related Material and Resources: Please see other Czech Heritage Collections under the Ethnic American Collections