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Walter Edgar Harris fonds
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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

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.

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.

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.

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."

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.

Teaching Introductory Analytical Chemistry, Instructors Manuals, 1970-81

After 1970 the booklet "Teaching Introductory Analytical Chemistry" by WE Harris and B. Kratochvil was used as the teaching assistants' manual for Chemistry 312. File contains: (1) 1970-71 revision "with notes on experimental work in Chemical Analysis" - copy includes notes and corrections; (2) 1970 booklet "Teaching Introductory Analytical Chemistry" published by Barnes & Noble to accompany textbook "Chemical Analysis: an Intensive Introduction to Modern Analysis" - copy includes sheet of editorial comments by Phyllis Harris; (3) 1973 revised and updated version of "Teaching Introductory Analytical Chemistry" published by Saunders to accompany "Chemical Separations and Measurements: Background and Procedures for Modern Analysis" - copy includes notes of thanks to Phyllis Harris, see p. iv; and (4) 1981 renamed, revised and updated version, "Instructors Manual to Accompany An Introduction to Chemical Analysis," published by CBS College Publishing.

PACCR, 1982-85 Correspondence

Correspondence, notes etc. Includes notes on index cards for talks given by WE Harris for "PACCR Meeting with Internal Reviewers" and "Progress Report to MH Jan 14/82."

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."

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.

PACCR Reports I, 1981-83

PACCR, President's Advisory Committee on Campus Reviews, annual reports. File contains: (1) First Annual Report, June 30, 1981 - copy includes notes and correspondence; (2) Second Annual Report, June 1982 - copy includes comments by WE Harris on p. 15, 16; (3) Second Annual Report, June 1982 - copy includes comments from G. Baldwin, cover signed by WE Harris; (4) Some Comments on Campus Reviews, January 1983; (5) Third Annual Report, June 1983 - copy contains notes by WE Harris.

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.

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.

Reports, Notes, Correspondence 1984-85

File Includes: Lang Armour Report, June 1984 with note to WE Harris, April 1985; AECL Publication "Risk, Fear and Public Safety" by E. Siddall, 1981; other background material sent to committee; TAC correspondence Aug 1984; letter April 1985; and loose notes by WE Harris.

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.

1986c - Correspondence, Notes

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

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

Two Talks on Nuclear Fuel Wastes by WEH, 1986

Text of two talks given by WE Harris on the subject of Nuclear Fuel Wastes in 1986. File includes: "The Canadian Nuclear fuel Waste Management Program" by WE Harris and KJ McCallum; and "Management of Canada's High Level Nuclear Wastes" by WE Harris.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).


Brochures about the Ryley Facility, by Laidlaw Environmental Services Ltd.

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 Resignation

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

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.

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.

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.

Presentations RE Waste Management

Presentations by WE Harris: (1) "Special Wastes Facility," circa 1984; (2) "Siting of a Hazardous Waste Plant in Alberta," January 1987; (3) "Siting of a Hazardous Waste Plant in Alberta," January 1987, presentation to [Bya?] seminar.

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.

WEH Retirement, 1980

Correspondence, notes, etc on occasion of WE Harris' retirement; volume created by WE Harris. Includes photograph of WE Harris receiving Community Relations award (at back of book), and letter of appointment as PACAR Chairman.

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.

PCBs & Dioxins - Articles by WEH

Articles with interviews of WE Harris about PCBs and Dioxins. File includes: (1) "PCBs: An Interview with Dr. Walter Harris," May 1985, Alberta Special Waste Management Corporation - annotated copy; (2) "The PCB Problem: An Interview," Folio Nov 7, 1985; (3) "The Dioxins: Fears and Facts, An Interview with Dr. W. E. Harris," Folio Dec. 4 & 11, 1986.

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).

Celebrations and Memorials

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

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

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