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Walter Edgar Harris fonds

  • 2012-27
  • Fonds
  • 1915 - 2011

This fonds contains the records of the University of Alberta chemistry professor Dr. Walter Harris. He was instrumental in the modernization of the University’s successful Analytical Chemistry program. Dr Harris was acclaimed for his work in chemistry education, scientific research, and committee service.

The materials date from 1915 to 2011. The records predominately date after Harris began his career at the University of Alberta in 1946. The collection is rich in teaching materials, including a number of lectures written verbatim, an abundance of lecture slides and audio visual recordings of Walter Harris lecturing, as well as a significant amount of Dr. Harris’ research papers and supporting information. The fonds also incorporates materials related to the history of the Chemistry Department at the University of Alberta. In addition, it provides insight into Harris’ book publications with related correspondence, revisions and notes. The fonds is abundant in records relating to Harris’ work as a committee member including meeting minutes, agendas, committee reports, and correspondence.

This fonds contains an array of document types including such textual materials as notes, correspondence, talks, programs, pamphlets, articles, cards, course materials, announcements, books, and personal history information. It also contains yearbooks, plaques, certificates and newspaper clippings, as well as a variety of media types including photographs, slides, negatives, lantern slides, a 16mm film, reel-to-reel audiotapes, a VHS videocassette, a u-matic video tape, and a CD-ROM disk. The fonds geographically pertains predominantly to Canada with some materials created in the United States, and a few materials generated in countries abroad. The materials related to Europe are from international conferences or committee travels taken by Harris.

Harris, Walter Edgar

Cold Rooms

Two cold rooms one for storing volatile and unstable chemicals and the other is equipped as a laboratory.

Main Supply Room

Main supply room for the storage and retrieval of chemicals, glassware and other equipment needed for teaching and research. The supply room was located in the basement of the Physical Science Centre.

Chemical Analysis "Crew"

Chemical Analysis "Crew": R Kratochvil, J Plambeck, D Rabenstein, P Harris, L Ziola, B Burrows, G Horlick, G Johanson, WE Harris. Dated August 1973. Photograph taken outside of the Chemistry Building.

Symposium on Analytical Chemistry Group Photograph

Caption reads: "Symposium on Analytical Chemistry in honor of professor Walter E Harris on the occasion of his retirement from the University of Alberta August 15, 1980". The Symposium was organized by the analytical group at the University of Alberta. It consisted of eighteen presentations by Harris' fellow colleagues from across North America.

Harris in Academic Gown

Harris after the University of Waterloo's fifty-fourth Convocation wearing academic hood and gown. Pictured here with Chancellor James Hadsworth; [?]; WAE (Pete) McBryde, former Dean of Science; and Douglas Wright, President of Waterloo.

Harris with Family and Friends

Harris wearing his Order of Canada medal surrounded by family and friends on November 7, 1988. The "family show and tell" celebration was organized by Harris' daughter Margaret in honour of him becoming a member of the Order of Canada.

Co-60 Gamma Ray

Co-60 gamma ray unit used in cobalt therapy, the use of gamma rays to treat medical issues such as tumors. The Physical Science Centre had a special "cave" built out under the basement with a Co-60 gamma ray unit for the initiation of radio chemical reactions. Slide found in box labeled AECL for the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. Slide likely used in lecture or public talk.

National Research Universal

National Research Universal, Atomic Energy of Canada United in Chalk River, Ontario. Harris spent one summer in Chalk River with R Betts on the isotopic separation of sodium-22 and sodium -24. Slide found in box labeled AECL for the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, likely used in lecture or public talk.

Harris and Friends at a Viewpoint

Harris leaning on his Pontiac car, with his friends taking pictures at a mountain viewpoint. Image found inside card from Audrey and Willard F Allen. Willard Allen was a friend and fellow chemistry teacher at the University of Alberta.

Inorganic and Analytical Research Laboratory

Photograph taken in the Inorganic and Analytical Research Laboratory. Image focuses on the Leeds & Northrup Electro Chemograph Type E with a built in Speedomax Recorder designed for polarography analysis. Machine commonly used in the study of kinetics and mechanism of inorganic reactions. Image also appears in "New Physical Sciences Centre" booklet advertising the newly built facility.

Glass Blowing Shop

Two technicians working on glass lathes in the Glass Blowing Shop. This room was used for the building and design of new glass equipment for research. The shop was located in the basement of the physics-mathematics wing.

Physical Science Center

Physical Science Center at the University of Alberta built to house three departments of Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry. The building officially opened May 24, 1961 and was designed by the Department of Public Works.

Walter Harris Portrait

Close up photograph of Harris. Cropped version of this photograph was used for the article "Chemists reflect on the legacy of Walter Harris, key builder of one of country's top analytical chemistry programs" appearing in Folio November 15, 1996.

Fisher Scientific Lecture Award of The Chemical Institute of Canada

The Fisher Scientific Lecture Award of the Chemical Institute of Canada is awarded for commendable achievement and scholarship in statistical science praising the impact of statistical methods of scientific investigation. Harris won this high esteemed for his outstanding leadership in analytical chemistry and contributions in Gas Chromatography. His award lecture "Gas Chromatography- Developments in Temperature Programming and Pyrolysis GC" was presented during the 52nd Canadian Chemical Conference and Exhibition in Montreal on May 28, 1969. This is the second year that the award had been given out.

Harris in Trail, British Columbia

Harris standing on a hill in Trail, British Columbia. Caption reads "Trail and CMS". The image was likely taken the summer after Harris' third year at University when he worked at Consolidated Minning and Smelting as a general labourer in the phosphate fertilizer plant. Slide used in personal presentation.

National Research Universal Reactor

National Research Universal reactor Atomic Energy of Canada United in Chalk River, Ontario. Harris spent one summer in Chalk River with R Betts on the isotopic separation of sodium-22 and sodium -24. Slide found in box labeled AECL for the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited likely used in lecture or public talk.

Low Dose Risk Assessment Poster

Poster advertising the public lecture "Low Dose Risk Assessment" by Harris with opening remarks by Roger S Smith. The lecture was sponsored by the University of Alberta chapter Society of the Sigma XI- Research Society of North America and held on September 24, 1997. See accession no. 2012-27-235.2 for corresponding lecture slides and accession no. 2012-27-179.1 for respective lecture notes.

TAC at Steep Rock Mine

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on a field trip to Steep Rock Mine in Atikokan, September 1984. TAC went as part of their efforts to research the Canadian Shield. During WWII, the lake at this site had been drained and iron ore was recovered. It had since been refilling with water. Harris' job was to complete a risk assessment of the area. Slide found in the container labeled Hazardous Wastes.

Physical Sciences Auditorium

Physical Sciences Auditorium with 400 sloping seats full of students. The auditorium was housed in a seperate wing to the North of the Mathematics-Physics building and was used for large lecture classes, special lectures and public meetings. A projection booth is also located at the back of the room.

Physics Machine Shop

Physics machine shop with wood and metal-working equipment to create materials for research and undergraduate laboratories. The machine shop was located in the basement of the physics-mathematics wing.

Unknown

Unknown photograph owned by SG Davis. After Davis' passing, it was found among the files in his office and acquired by Harris.

Walter Harris and Harry Habgood

Image of Harris and Habgood. Harry Habgood co-authored Programmed Temperature Gas Chromatography with Harris, the first book published by anyone in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta.

Harris Accepting Award from Cantwell

Harris accepting award from Fred Cantwell, a fellow University of Alberta chemistry staff member and presenter at the conference. This happened during the "Symposium in Honour of W.E. Harris : Analytical Chemistry- its Role in Socio-Economic Development" .

Alberta Centennial Medal Certificate

Walter Harris was awarded this certificate as part of Alberta's centennial celebrations. The certificate reads: "The Alberta Centennial Medal is conferred upon Walter Edgar Harris. In recognition of outstanding service to the people and province of Alberta September 1, 2005".

Harris Signing Register

Harris signing register with registar CT Boyle at the University of Waterloo's fifty-fourth Convocation, where Harris received his Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science.

University of Alberta's Analytical Chemists

Image of the University of Alberta's analytical chemists. Photograph taken for University of Alberta New Trail article "Chain reaction: One man's longtime dedication to the study of analytical chemistry continues to reap awards", regarding the three men from the same faculty each receiving major international scientific awards within seven days. These three men: Harrison, Dovichi and Horlick, all gave credit to Harris' work in Analytical Chemistry education.

Symposium in Honour of W.E. Harris: Analytical Chemistry

Image of Ewing Galen, Walter and Phyllis Harris taken during the "Symposium in Honour of W.E. Harris [50 years of service to analytical chemistry] : Analytical Chemistry- its Role in Socio-Economic Development" that was organized by National Water Quality Laboratory and Research Applications Branch of National Water Research, Burlington, Ontario as well as Water Resources Branch and Ontario Ministry of Environment Toronto, Ontario. It was the third chemical congress of North America combining the meeting of the American Chemical Society, Canadian Chemical Conference and Sociedad Quimica de Mexico held June 5-10, 1988.

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