Stephen Beauregard Weeks

Item Description

Stephen Beauregard Weeks arrived on the campus of Trinity College in September 1891, then located about 70 miles west of Durham in Randolph County, to assume the post of Professor of History. Only 26 years old, Weeks was already an accomplished scholar, with a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, and a second Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University.

At Johns Hopkins, Weeks was trained in the seminary method of historical inquiry, which emphasized the production of original research based on primary sources. Within eight months of his arrival, Weeks created the Trinity College Historical Society for the purpose of expanding the holdings of the College's library, specifically regarding the history of North Carolina and the South. He encouraged his fellow North Carolinians, faculty and students alike to donate primary historical materials.

In 1893, Weeks left Trinity College for a career as a historian in the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Education and as a public school teacher. In Nannie Tilley's The Trinity College Historical Society, 1892-1941, she writes that Weeks was "essentially a collector rather than a teacher." His most lasting impact on the study of history may be his library of approximately 9,000 books and pamphlets of North Caroliniana—the finest collection of its kind at the time. Upon Weeks' death in 1918, the collection was purchased in its entirety by the University of North Carolina as the nucleus of its unrivaled North Carolina Collection.