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Walter Edgar Harris fonds
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1983 Correspondence and Notes

Correspondence, notes etc; includes letter of welcome to committee 1983 Aug 17; background material sent to committee, some with notes by WE Harris; letter from WE Harris to Chairman, 1983 Nov 22.

1984 Correspondence, Notes and Talks

File includes: Background material sent to committee, some with notes by WE Harris; Thoughts and writings by WE Harris; Committee correspondence, Sept-Nov 1984; Notes for a talk given by WE Harris to Rotary Club, Nov 1984.

1986c - Correspondence, Notes

Correspondence, notes etc, June-August 1986. Includes information about attendance at International Conference on Radioactive Waste Management, Winnipeg MB, Sept 1986.

2003 & 2005 Editions and Photos

Material prepared in 2006 by WE Harris for the University of Alberta Archives, intended to accompany the green binder (item #190). File contains: "Department of Chemistry: History and a Memoir" by WE Harris, December 2003 printing and 2005 revision; two envelopes of photographs; and an envelope of slides.

AECL Report, 1987

AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) Semi-Annual Status Report of the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program, 1986 April 1 - September 30, Pinawa MB 1987. Report contains inserts and notes by WE Harris.

Agriculture and Forestry

Agriculture and Forestry subseries contains seventeen files regarding the planning and teaching of a new course at the University of Alberta, AGFOR 300 & 400. This course, called "Man and Resources," was co-taught with WE Harris and several other lectures. Harris’ lecture topics focused on energy, the use of resources and population. Materials date from ca. 1970-1979 with course planning materials dating from as far back as 1961. Document types include notes, index cards, lecture outlines, correspondence, course content, course reviews, student essays, test questions, assignments, articles and research on energy and resources. As well there are two u-matic video tapes, and an audiotape of lectures. Significant material covered planning materials for the class, Harris lecture “Three Critical Resources” as well as course materials such as assignments, tests, essays and lectures.

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".

Alberta Environment Hazardous Waste Management Committee

The Alberta Environment Hazardous Waste Management Committee subseries consists of twenty-eight files on the management of hazardous waste, often in connection with the Alberta Special Waste Management Corporation (ASWMC). The files are arranged by subject matter with most media separated from their respective subject. Document types include minutes, reports, notes, correspondence, presentations, news articles, slides, a movie projector tape, and a VHS videocassette. Materials are created between 1979 and 1999. Specific topics focus on PCBs & Dioxins, Hazardous Waste Management, and Risk Assessment.

The Ministry of Alberta Environment appointed a Hazardous Waste Management Committee on September 14, 1979. It was composed of three civil servants and three members of the public, one of whom was Harris. The committee’s task was to classify materials of concern, including who produced them and where they were being produced. The results were compiled into a report on Hazardous Waste Management in Alberta. It recommended that an integrated waste treatment system be established in Alberta with the Alberta Government playing a leadership role in the program. Harris’ main contribution was the section entitled “Concepts of Hazards, Toxicity and Risk”, focusing on the assessment of risks. In order to study successful hazardous waste management facilities, the committee visited plants all over Europe. Public talks were held throughout the Province of Alberta, mostly by Harris, to educate the people in hopes of finding a host for the proposed treatment facility. Ryley and Swan Hills were publicly accepted by their communities to host the treatment facility. Swan Hills was chosen as the location and on December 31, 1985 Harris resigned from the committee.

An Introduction to Chemical Analysis

"An Introduction to Chemical Analysis" by WE Harris and B Kratchovil, published by Saunders in 1981. This book was the final renamed, revised and updated version of the Chemistry 312 student laboratory manual by the authors. A note by WE Harris indicates "This is the first copy of the book sold at retail." Also contains two sheets of editorial notes and corrections by Phyllis Harris, "changes for 2nd ed."

Analysis of Instructional Workloads

Publication "Analysis of Instructional Workloads in the Faculties of Arts, Education, and Science, Winter Session, 1983-84" by the University of Alberta Office of Institutional Research and Planning. Copy is stamped "confidential."

Articles and Photographs - WEH

Various newspaper clippings, articles and photographs about WE Harris, including: - Photo of Technical Advisory Committee members, 1989; Slide of Presidents' Advisory Council on Academic Reviews members, ca. 1985; B&W photo of WE Harris and Harry Habgood (co-author of Programmed Temperature Gas Chromatography), 1964; B&W photo of WE Harris in office, 1977; Color photo of WE Harris, Jed Harrison, Norm Dovichi, and Gary Horlick, Department of Chemistry, 1996; Closeup photo of WE Harris for Folio, 1996. Other Materials include: Brochure, "The Theory of Chromatography", 1968; Program, "19th Annual Summer Symposium Analytical Chemistry", 1966 held at the University of Alberta.

[Assorted Slides]

"Kodak" carousel cardboard box, contains slides in small plastic boxes and loose slides. Small boxes are labelled: History; Alberta Siting Program; PACCR (4 boxes); Risks, slides not best; Risks; Risk Assess (2 boxes); Writing a Book; Waste - Denmark; Waste - Germany; Haz Wastes; Traces, Dioxin (2 boxes); Dioxin, Public; Swan Hills; Nuclear Waste; Anal Chem; Anal Chem History; W-Wing, Chemistry; Kratchovil low doses symposium; Ion Selective Electrodes.

ASWMC 1985

Correspondence, minutes, reports, notes, etc regarding the Alberta Special Waste Management Corporation, to Sept 1985.

ASWMC Nov-Dec 1985

Correspondence, notes etc; includes report by Woods Gordon, Nov 1985; and letter of resignation by WE Harris, 31 Dec 1985.

ASWMC Publications

Various articles and reports collected by WE Harris, including: "Siting a Fully Integrated Waste Management Facility in Alberta" by J. McQuaid-cook and KJ Simpson, Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association 36, Sept 1986; and "Development and Operation of a Waste Management System in Alberta, Canada" by J. McQuaid-Cook and CS Simons, Waste Management & Research 7, 219-227, 1989.

ASWMC Resignation

Correspondence, notes, thoughts, and interviews by WE Harris regarding Hazardous Waste Management Committee and a political decision.

Bioethanol - Correspondence & Writing

Published letters: "Bioethanol Larger Carbon Footprint then Gasoline" and "Ethanol less environmentally friendly than gasoline" appearing January 21, 2007. with relating correspondence, newspaper articles etc. on the topic of Bioethanol.


The records in this series present an overview of the life of Walter Edgar Harris. They contain highlights of his career and important contributions to the scientific community. The materials are arranged by subject with some of the media separated from their respective subjects. This series focuses on his time spent as a student, professor, scholar and committee member. A significant portion of the material includes recognition of his academic achievements in the form of awards, celebratory letters, and opening statements. There are also feature articles with brief summaries of Harris’s academic life, personal biographical writings and two of his yearbooks from university. The documents are primarily textual with a few photographs and a large number of 35mm slides. Other document types include examination questions and notes for various courses Harris had taken as a student, essays, lists of expenses, diplomas, birthday cards, newspaper clippings, biographical notes and correspondence regarding awards. These records were created between 1929 and 2011 with one slide from Harris’ public school from 1919. Harris collected and compiled the materials, complete with a personal history and extensive notes. Harris’s personal accounts include reflections on his early life, graduate school, career, committees and late life interest in the game of bridge. It also includes his personal thoughts on marriage, science, religion, his brother Raymond, uranium, and energy, among other subjects.

Biographical Information

Biographical overviews of the life of Walter E. Harris with comments on his important achievements. File contains: (1) "Comments by G. Horlick at the Academy of Science Royal Society of Canada Reception and Dinner, Tuesday, March 30, 1999" - Dr. Gary Horlick, Chairman of the Chemistry Department, University of Alberta, provides an overview and highlights of WE Harris' career, at a dinner honoring his receipt of the Order of Canada; (2) Comments on award of Honorary D.Sc. at the University of Alberta, 1991; (3) "Walter Edgar Harris" - comments by Dr. W. McBryde on the award of Honarary D.Sc at the University of Waterloo, 1987, mentioning achievements in three areas: as a scholar and investigator, as an educator, and as an administrator; (4) "Symposium on Analytical Chemistry in honor of Professor Walter E. Harris, Aug. 15, 1980" - this brochure provides a summary of WE Harris' important scientific contributions; (5) Three articles about WE Harrris, from the University of Alberta Folio and New Trail, explain his legacy in analytical chemistry; (6) Memorial written by Dr. William Harris (son), 2011; (7) "Aspects of the Life of an Analytical Chemist" - a personal memoir by WE Harris; (8) "CV, 2011" - a curriculum vitae of Walter Harris.


The Bridge subseries is composed of five files regarding Harris’ serious hobby in the card game of bridge. The subseries was compiled ca 1990 to 2011 and the arrangement is based upon the original order in which the donor presented the items. WE Harris competed in many bridge competitions. He also taught and wrote about bridge lessons for beginners, typically with HB (Brian) Dunford. The document types include advertisements, correspondence, notes, and books. Specific topics include the books: “Bridge: Direct, Simple & Winning” and “Bridge”, as well as, supporting notes.

Bridge - Various

Correspondence, notes etc to do with WE Harris' involvement in the card game, bridge. File includes: 1967 award to WE Harris and son for a Grand Slam Vulnerable; List of awards and trophies for bridge, golf, and curling; "Memoirs of Bridge at the University" by WE Harris 2008; Edmonton Marigold Seniors Games, duplicate bridge 2008; Last duplicate bridge game with partner Brian Dunford on 15 Oct 2011.

Bridge Book, 1998 - 2002

File contains self published book, "Bridge" by WE Harris, first (1998) and third (2002) printing. WE Harris used this book when teaching bridge lessons to beginners.

Bridge Book, 2011

File contains: softcover book, "Bridge: Direct, Simple & Winning" by WE Harris and HB Dunford 2011; and correspondence, notes etc.

Bridge Lessons

File contains notes by WE Harris for teaching bridge lessons and an advertisement for bridge lessons. WE Harris donated his time to charities as a bridge teacher. The charities sold bridge lessons at silent auctions.

Celebrations and Memorials

Correspondence, notes etc: 90th birthday, 2005, from family and friends; 90th birthday, 2005, from chemistry colleagues; 96th birthday, 2011; memorials, 2011.

Chem 312 Student Lab Manuals

File contains lab manuals for: 1962-63; 1963-64; and 1964-65. Two copies of the 1962-63 manual; one is a revision copy with extensive handwritten notes by WE Harris.

Chemical Analysis

Chemical Analysis, by HA Laitenen, published by McGraw-Hill. First edition of book, with notes throughout by WE Harris. Also contains enclosures: index cards with notes for a March 1971 meeting; two pages of comments by WE Harris; review of book by Pilipenko; and revision recommendations by Mc-Graw Hill 1960.

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.

Chemical Analysis, 2nd Ed.

Chemical Analysis, 2nd edition by HA Laitenen and WE Harris, published by McGraw-Hill. Contains notes and corrections throughout by WE Harris. "This copy has all the collated corrections."

Chemical Separations and Measurements

File contains: (1) "Chemical Separations and Measurements: Background and Procedures for Modern Analysis" by WE Harris and B. Kratochvil, published by Saunders, 1974; (2) Supplement, 1977; (3) Supplement, 1978; (4) Correspondence with publisher, 1972. This book was a renamed, revised and updated version of the Chemistry 312 student laboratory manual.


The Chemistry subseries includes twenty-eight files connected to the teaching of analytical chemistry lectures and the development of Harris’ laboratories. The subseries is arranged by subject matter and ranges in date from 1951 to 1997. Although Harris taught a number of chemistry classes his most notable is his Chem 312 “Quantitative Analysis” course. This comprised a two-term introductory chemical analysis course with an extensive practical laboratory component. Document types include correspondence, notes, articles and reports on teaching and cost of running classes, as well as student evaluations with comments, thank you letters, greeting cards, course guide, lecture cards, class schedules, class tests, and class records. There are also 35mm lecture slides and lantern slides as well as transparencies. It also includes an audiotape of Harris’ last lecture to Chemistry 312 and some photographs. A large portion of the material contains early stages in the development of WE Harris' Chemistry 58 and 312 laboratory manuals, along with revisions written by Harris. Chem 58 was the forerunner to Chemistry 312. Other materials include the development of Chemistry 312 laboratory manual that was worked on with Dr Byron (Ron) Kratchovil from the Chemistry Department.

Chemistry Data Sheet

Correspondence, notes, and other information about the Chemistry Data Sheet that was organized and copyrighted by WE Harris and SG Davis. File includes negatives and prints of various periodic table designs. File also includes an envelope addressed to University Archives (BARD), containing a memo from WE Harris, October 2006, describing the history of the Chemistry Data Sheet by WE Harris and SG (Stuart) Davis, and copyright registrations.

Chemistry Dept. Booklets

File contains: (1) booklet, "Chemistry at the University of Alberta" 1978-79; (2) brochure with b&w photograph, "Dedication of Field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility" May 24, 1979; (3) brochure, "Analytical Chemistry at Alberta, circa 1982;" (4) booklet, "Chemistry at the University of Alberta" 1984-85; (5) listing of members of the Chemistry Department in 1991; (6) article, "Science hit hard by cutbacks" by WE Harris, The Gateway, March 14, 1978; (7) article, "Fifteen areas of established excellence: analytical chemistry" by Michael Robb, Folio Nov 4, 1994.

Chemistry Graduands to 2004 & Mailing Addresses

File includes: (1) Listing of University of Alberta Department of Chemistry Graduands, "from the beginning to 2004," with dates, supervisors, and areas of study; (2) Mailing addresses from the Faculty of Science, with a sample letter; (3) "Chemistry graduates who have gone on for advanced training," a list compiled by SG Davis in 1958.

[Chemistry Slides]

"Kodak plates" cardboard box contains slides used by WE Harris in early lectures. Slides made by Department of Extension at the University of Alberta.

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