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Walter Edgar Harris fonds
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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.

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.

Correspondence - Charlie & Betty Carr

Correspondence with Charlie and Betty Carr, former colleagues from the University of Minnesota, who worked on the wartime rubber project along with Walter, and who became good friends of Walter and Phyllis Harris.

Celebrations and Memorials

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

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

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.

Correspondence with Personal Friends

File includes correspondence with: author June Bhatia (Helen Forrester); Heather Halpenny (Crocker) of Planned Parenthood Edmonton; Jocelyn Crocker, her daughter; Therese Gareau, bridge partner and travelling companion; and Frances Jordan, fellow Ashbourne resident.

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.

Order of Canada Binder

Notes, correspondence, newspaper clippings, etc regarding Order of Canada 1998; Royal Society of Canada dinner honoring WE Harris, 1999, with remarks by G. Horlick; Correspondence regarding other nominees.

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.


Correspondence with colleagues about the History/Memoirs; some with further information about individuals.

University of Alberta

Awards, photographs, correspondence, and other information: Thirty Year Service Award, 1976; President's Club, 1984; Honorary D.Sc., 1991; Recognition dinner, 1997; Alumni Honor Awards, 2003; Certificate of Appreciation, 2006

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.

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.

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.

Other Awards - Royal Society, etc.

Awards and other information: Fellow of Chemical Institute of Canada, 1956; Fisher Scientific Lecture Award, 1969; Government of Alberta Achievement Award, 1974; Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) Chemical Education Award, 1975; Royal Society of Canada, 1977; American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Fellow, 1980; Planned Parenthood Certificate of Appreciation, 2000; Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) Honorary Fellow, 2001; Canadian Governors General Golden Jubilee Medal, 2002; Alberta Centennial Medal, 2005.

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".

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.

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.

Symposia, Workshops, Student Awards

Photographs and other information: Midwestern Universities Analytical Chemistry conference (MUACC), 1976; Symposium on Analytical Chemistry, 1980; American Chemical Society special Symposium in Honor of WE Harris, 1988; Canadian Society for Chemistry, Douglas Ryan / Walter Harris Award; Harris Workshops on Teaching of Undergraduate Chemistry.

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.

Correspondence, Notes etc, 1996-2000

Correspondence, notes, two reports, etc. Report of the Nuclear Fuel Waste Management and Disposal Concept Environmental Assessment Panel, "Nuclear Fuel Waste Management and Disposal Concept", Februrary 1998. Report, "Government of Canada Response to Recommendations of the Nuclear Fuel Waste Management and Disposal Concept Environmental Assessment Panel", December 1998.

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.

ASWMC Resignation

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

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.

Risk Assessment, Other Talks

Notes for various other presentations about risk assessment given by WE Harris; includes lecture notes on index cards. File contains WE Harris' last lecture, given to Sigma Xi in 1997 (see Box 28 for slides used in the lecture).

Low Dose Risk Assessment Lecture Notes

Full lecture notes on Walter Harris' talk "Risk Assessment" given to Sigma Xi at Corbett Hall on September 24 1997. See accession no. 2012-27-235.2 for corresponding lecture slides and accession no. 2012-27-235.1 for a poster that advertised the 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.

Low Dose Risk Assessment Slides

Slides for the public lecture "Low Dose Risk Assessment" by Harris and sponsored by the University of Alberta chapter Society of the Sigma XI. The lecture was held on September 24, 1997. See accession no. 2012-27-179.1 for corresponding lecture notes and accession no. 2012-27-235.1 for a poster that advertised the public talk.

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.

Swan Hills Plant

Reports and news articles, collected by WE Harris, about the opening of the Alberta Special Waste Treatment Centre at Swan Hills, and subsequent sale of plant.

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.

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

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.

Correspondence, Notes etc, 1992-94

Correspondence, notes etc. Report, "Summary of the Environmental Impact Statement on the Concept for Disposal of Canada's Nuclear Fuel Waste", September 1994 with notes by WE Harris.

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.

Other Advisory Meetings & Correspondence

Correspondence, notes etc regarding meetings with: Yellowhead Regional Planning Commission 1989; Alberta Forestry Association 1990; Alberta-Pacific Scientific Review Panel 1990; Institute for Environmental Chemistry 1992; FEESA 1992; NFWDC (Nuclear Fuel Waste Disposal Concept) Panel 1993.

Siting a Hazardous Waste Facility, Presentations by WEH

Presentations by WE Harris: (1) "Siting of a Hazardous Waste Treatment Facility," a special seminar to the University of Toronto, Institute for Environmental Studies, 1987; (2) "Siting a Hazardous Waste Facility," presented at the Society for Risk Analysis, Baltimore MO, 1991; (3) "Siting the Hazardous Waste Plant in Alberta" circa 1992, with appendices A1-A61. File also contains: "Toolkit" by Citizens Against Toxic Herbicides, 1979; and "Protest, Property Rights, and Hazardous Waste" by RC Mitchell and RT Carson, 1986.

Other Campus Reviews

Reports and correspondence regarding reviews of other campuses. File includes: (1) "Report of External Examiners, Department of Chemistry" by RE Childs and WE Harris, Feb 1987 [probably for Dalhousie University]; (2) "Report of the External Reviewers for the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan" by WE Harris and JA Morrison, April 1979; (3) Mount Royal College: Report on the Question of Capability to Offer Degrees" by H. Kreisel and WE Harris, March 1991.

Memoirs of Herbert Laitenen

"The Memoirs of Herbert August Laitenen, 1915 - 1991" with notes by WE Harris, p. 36-37. Herb Laitenen was a colleague of WE Harris at the University of Minnesota, and co-author of the textbook "Chemical Analysis" 2nd edition.

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.

U of A Correspondence, 1980-89

Various correspondence, notes etc within the University of Alberta. File includes a 1982-02-09 memo from Kevan Warner, University of Alberta Archives Assistant, listing an inventory for Accession No. 81-159, "Harris-Kratochvil Computer Manuscript Preliminary Inventory".

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