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Walter Edgar Harris fonds
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Drafts of "Department of Chemistry - History and Memoir" by WE Harris

Supplemental information to drafts

WE Harris is Professor Emeritus - Dept of Chemistry

Harris, Walter Edgar

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.

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.

University of Minnesota, Correspondence etc

Various correspondence, notes, transcripts, etc to do with WE Harris' time at the University of Minnesota: Ration coupons; Alien Registration cards; Immigration and Naturalization Service; Two articles about student life; Society memberships; 1943 job offers; Transcripts; Ph.D. degree, 1944; Telegram of congratulation from parents.

Coil Binders from U. of Minnesota

WE Harris became a Ph. D. student at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 1939. File includes: Analytical Seminar, Fall 1939; Anal. Chem. Seminar, May 1940; Chemical Microscopy.

Programmed Temperature Gas Chromatography

Book, "Programmed Temperature Gas Chromatography" by WE Harris and HW (Harry) Habgood, 1966, and reviews of book. Copy contains handwritten thanks to Phyllis Harris by Harry Habood and Walter Harris (see first page inside cover). WE Harris: "This is the first book to be published in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Alberta."


Notes, etc "probably development for Chemical Analysis book". Includes an envelope with information on nomenclature to be used in 2nd edition of Chemical Analysis.

Teaching Materials

The records in this series highlight Harris’ lifelong role as an educator. Harris was described as being an organised and interesting lecturer with useful laboratories, who always encouraged students in their progress. The primary focus of the series is on scholarly and public lectures, talks, lessons, and conference presentations. This includes many verbatim transcripts of lectures given by Harris with accompanying slides. Mixed in with his teaching slides are also a variety of images capturing the construction of the chemistry building and committee outings. This series includes a variety of document types such as index cards, notes, lecture outlines, correspondence, course materials, course reviews, student essays, test questions, assignments, articles, reports, letters, cards, u-matic video tape, and lecture audiotapes. This series contains three subseries: Chemistry, Agriculture and Forestry, and Bridge. The subseries are divided according to subject matter and were created between ca. 1950 and 2011.

[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.


Articles and notes about energy and resources; includes notes by WE Harris and articles by Dr. F. Bentley and Dr. R. Folinsbee.

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 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.

Bridge Book, 2011

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

Lecture Notes on Index Cards

Lecture notes on index cards. Topics include: Developments in Teaching Analytical Chemistry; Chemistry class lectures (Chromatography, Separations, etc); Instructions to Teaching Assistants (TAs); Thoughts on Teaching; Teaching and Research; 1974 talk to Dawson College; 1976 meeting with Hon. Drury; Energy; Three Critical Resources; Hazards and Risks; History of Analytical Chemistry; History - Personal.

Hazardous Waste Management in Alberta

File contains information compiled by WE Harris for presentations to TAC: (1) Hazardous Wastes Experience in Alberta 1979-84; (2) Hazardous Wastes and the Public - presentation to TAC May 1985; (3) Alberta Chronology: Special Wastes Facility.

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.

Risk Assessment Workshop Material

Material for workshops given by WE Harris. File includes: (1) "Risk Assessment" by WE Harris, with notes [no date]; (2) "Risk Assessment" for Environmental Services Association of Alberta workshop June 11, 1993; "Risk Assessment Low Dose, Workshop and Reading Material" for 7th Annual Calgary Environmental Conference, Oct 31, 1994

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.

Hazardous Waste Team - Reports

File contains: (1) "Hazardous Waste Management in Alberta," a report by the Hazardous Waste Management Committee, Jan 1980 (signed by WE Harris as a member of the committee, p. 96); (2) "Observations, Discussions & Documentation RE Site Visits: England, Denmark, Germany" by WE Harris, Nov 1981 - "a report prepared as a member of the Hazardous Waste Implementation Team," regarding site visits to hazardous waste treatment sites in other countries; (3) "Hazardous Wastes in Alberta: Final Report," Dec 1981, by the Hazardous Waste Team Implementation Program (signed by WE Harris as a member of the team, p. 5).

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.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Seven trays of slides to do with hazardous waste disposal, possibly related to WE Harris' involvement with the Alberta Hazardous Waste Management Committee.

PACCR Reports II, 1986-90

PACCR, President's Advisory Committee on Campus Reviews, annual reports. File contains: (1) Sixth Annual Report, June 1986; (2) Seventh Annual Report, June 1987; (3) Campus Reviews, Third Edition, January 1988; (4) Eighth Annual Report, June 1988; (5) Ninth Annual Report, June 1989; (6) Tenth Annual Report, June 1990 - copy includes notes by WE Harris.

Professional Correspondence

The Professional Correspondence subseries is composed of twenty-eight files relating to correspondence of a professional nature inside and outside the University of Alberta. The files are arranged by subject and ordered chronologically. Document types include correspondence, letters, notes, reports, memos, and programs. It also incorporates University of Alberta records from the time of his appointment on faculty in 1946, until his retirement from the Chemistry Department in 1980. It also includes correspondence related to his activities as Emeritus Professor up to the time of his death in 2011. Files with external professional colleagues run from 1960 to 2011 with a few items generated from 1943. Specific topics covered include travel and attendance at a number of symposiums or conferences related to Chemistry and a consulting job for analytical methods in oil drilling. Topics also relate to IM Kolthoff his colleague, the Chemistry Program at the University of Alberta, and various other professional correspondence.

IM Kolthoff

Correspondence, notes etc: includes correspondence regarding symposium honoring Kolthoff, 1982 and other correspondence about Kolthoff to 2009; various articles about Kolthoff, 1981 - 2008.

Material from Office of SG Davis, 2006

Correspondence, notes, photographs. Memo addressed to University Archives (BARD) from WE Harris, October 11, 2006, indicates that the material is from the office of Dr. SG Davis. Contents include folders labelled "Gunning"; "Analytical"; "Chemistry Building"; "Chemistry Department"; and "Davis."

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.

History, Analytical

Correspondence, notes etc. Includes manuscript "Analytical Chemistry in Canada" by WAE McBryde, ca 1989 and "Osmand James Walker" by SG Davis and WE Harris, p. 42-47 in Essays in Chemical History, Canadian Society for Chemistry 1988.

Evergreen & Gold, 1931, v. XI

University of Alberta student yearbook: Evergreen & Gold, 1931, v. XI, Evergreen & Gold, 1932, v. XII and Evergreen & Gold, 1933, v.XIII. These yearbooks pre-date WE Harris' time at the University so must have been given to him by someone else.

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.

Submissions to the Millennium Project, 1999

WE Harris submitted three essays to the University of Alberta Association of Professors Emeriti for possible publication in their millennium project. The second essay was accepted and later published in "Echoes in the Halls." File contains "Submissions to the Millennium Project, 1999," with three essays: (1) Personal thoughts on religion and science; (2) President's Advisory Committee on Campus Reviews; (3) Aspects of the life of an analytical chemist. File also contains "Echoes in the Halls" by the Association of Professors Emeriti, 1999, which includes on p. 161 a chapter by WE Harris, "Looking at Ourselves: The President's Advisory Committee on Campus Reviews," along with correspondence, notes etc.

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