Sir John C. Eccles (1903-1997):
Library & Archives

"[…] The last journey of my odyssey is now ended, again across the ocean to Europe […] I have here all my books and journals - many thousands of volumes and a large collection of reprints, so that I can continue my academic life, concentrating on the field that lured me into neurophysiology over 50 years ago - the mind-brain problem."
(From: John C. Eccles, My Scientific Odyssey. In: Ann. Rev. Physiology 39 (1977), 1-18, here: 17).

After publishing this intention in the same year as "The Self and Its Brain" with Karl Popper, John Eccles wrote over 150 papers and 14 books (6 of them with several re-editions and 17 translations) in the following two decades. After his death, Lady Helena Eccles donated his private library, manuscripts and correspondence in order to create an Archive in the Library of the Institute for the History of Medicine of Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf in 2009. In the Düsseldorf Centre for the History of the Neurosciences Reading Room, the opportunity is provided to study the archival material at Sir John's original desk with the background of his own library on open stacks.

Since 2010 the library is accessible (Mo-Fri 12-16, cf. website of the Medical History Library, reservation by phone +49-(0)211-81-06464 or email required for an appointment in building 97.38, Himmelgeister Str. 103, entrance -81-06626).  Since 2013 the Archives are open for scholarly use as far as files are not under retention, cataloguing is continued successively and file descriptions are searchable online via the internet portal Kalliope:

All information is to be displayed on this website (shortlink:

For more detailed information see:
CV John C. Eccles
Opening Symposium 2011
List of Publications by John C. Eccles
Eccles' Private Library Catalogue
Eccles Archives and online catalogue via Kalliope, incl. short manual
Link to Cécile and Oskar Vogt Archives

Literature: Freund, Hans-Joachim /  Koppitz, Ulrich / Labisch, Alfons  (eds.), The legacy of John C. Eccles - selected letters (1937-1963) and guide to the archive in Düsseldorf, Aachen (Shaker)  2011.  ISBN: 978-3-8440-0367-3.

Progress in Neurobiology 78 (2006), 135-326 = Special Issue: The Contributions of John Carew Eccles to Contemporary Neuroscience, ed. by Douglas G. Stuart

De Sio, Fabio / Hansson, Nils / Koppitz, Ulrich (2019): John C. Eccles’ Conversion and the Meaning of ‘Authority’. In: Hansson, Nils / Halling, Thorsten / Fangerau, Heiner (eds): Attributing Excellence in Medicine: The History of the Nobel Prize. Brill-Rodopi, Leiden, 143-174.

Advisory Board: Prof. Hans-Joachim Freund (Düsseldorf), Prof. Dr.phil. Alfons Labisch (Düsseldorf), Prof. Dr.h.c. Wolfgang Schürer (St. Gallen), Prof. Dr. Thomas A. Sears (London), Prof. Helmut Sies (Düsseldorf), Prof. Dr.phil. Henrik Walter (Berlin).

Funding agencies: Since 2009 this project is supported by the Society of Friends and Supporters of Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf / Gesellschaft von Freunden und Förderern der Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf.
In 2012 the archives has been catalogued within the framework of the online portal kalliope with support by the German Research Foundation / Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG who are also co-sponsoring the symposion "The Legacy of Sir John C. Eccles" in Düsseldorf, 2011 Sept. 10-11.

MediathekInformation und Wissen
LageplanSo finden Sie uns