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University of Alberta Archives
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Bridge

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.

Personal Correspondence

Harris’ Personal Correspondence is comprised of seven files. The files are arranged by subject and chronologically ordered. Document types include correspondence, notes and photographs ranging from 1983 to 2011. The content includes correspondence with professional colleagues, Charlie and Betty Carr, Bill, Margaret and Gretchen Harris as well as family members and various other friends. Most of the personal correspondence occurs after 1992, when Harris’ wife Phyllis died.

Technical Advisory Committee

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) subseries contains thirty-two files concerning the management of high level nuclear wastes and heavily involved with the committee on the Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program for the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL). The files are arranged chronologically by subject. Document types include meeting minutes, meeting agendas, reports, notes, talks, and correspondence. Specific topics focused on in the materials are nuclear fuel wastes, risk assessment, and hazardous wastes management. The materials are created between 1980 and 1994 with some follow up materials from 1996-2000.
The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) was formed in 1979 as an advisory board for the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Program. The committee consisted of independent scientists nominated by their professional societies. The role of the committee was to give advice on the extent and quality of technical research being conducted. It was to also provide counsel to the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) on scientific research going on at Whiteshell in Pinawa Manitoba, for the Canadian Nuclear Fuel Waste Management Program. TAC was to ensure that the appropriate conclusions about high level nuclear wastes were drawn. It was a precautionary body to recommend areas for further study. The committee generated annual reports to publicly share comments and recommendations on research being performed. TAC typically met in Toronto, ON or Pinawa, MB to discuss and share reports. However they also took regular trips to research sites on the Canadian Shield.
Harris became a member of the committee in 1983 and remained on the committee until 1997. He focused on the assessment of risks, and the adverse effects of radioactivity on human health in high, intermediate and low doses. He studied the relationship between dose and the risk of being affected. Harris gave multiple presentations about risk assessments at TAC Meetings and presented low dose risk assessment lectures to the Chalk River and Whiteshell groups. He also regularly submitted progress reports to the Chemical Institute of Canada.

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 textual materials. Document types include minutes, reports, notes, correspondence, presentations, news articles, slides, a 16mm film, 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.

Committees

The Committees series covered Walter Harris’ years spent as a member of three significant committees. The series was divided into three subseries according to these committees: the Technical Advisory Committee, Alberta Environment Hazardous Waste Management Committee and President’s Advisory Committee on Campus Review. Materials date from 1973 to 2009 and were arranged by subject matter. Large topics are chronologically arranged with most media separated from textual materials. This series has a number of document types including correspondence, minutes of meetings, notes, index cards, reviews, articles, reports, research, letters, claims, expenses, photographs, brochures, thoughts and interviews by Harris. It further includes an array of slides, a 16mm film and a VHS videocassette . Harris mentioned that each committee involved “working with new people, travelling and tackling interesting problems”.

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.

Chemistry

(Chem 312, 511, 519, 303 etc.)
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.

Also see accession 1981-177 “Department of Chemistry Notes”, for additional information on the costs involved with the analytical chemistry course Chemistry 312 as well as additional research notebooks.

Teaching Material

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.

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.

Correspondence

The Correspondence series consists of correspondence of Walter E Harris. This series is divided into two subseries; professional and personal correspondence. The materials were created between 1943 and 2011. They are arranged by subject matter or grouped by significant correspondent. Document types include letters, notes, newspaper clippings, reference letters, photographs, and reports.

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