Guide to the Ellwood S. Harrar Papers, 1928 - 1975


Ellwood S. Harrar served as a Professor of Wood Technology at Duke University from 1936 to 1974, and as Dean of the Duke University School of Forestry from 1957 to 1967. He researched and published extensively on forestry and dendrology. The Ellwood S. Harrar Papers contain documents related to his interests in the lumber industry and wood production. As a Dean, he participated in the planning for the new Biological Sciences Building and frequently corresponded with contractors and vendors regarding its construction. The materials in the collection are primarily correspondence, but it also includes academic papers, biographical sketches, and photographs, among other materials. Major subjects include the U.S. wood industry, wood technology, and forest research. Major correspondents include the Navy Bureau of Ships, Swift and Company, J.P. Perry, J. George Harrar, and the Brunswick Pulp Research Fund.

Descriptive Summary

Ellwood S. Harrar papers 1928 - 1975
Harrar, Ellwood S. (Ellwood Scott)
2 Linear Feet , 2000 Items
University Archives, Duke University
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult University Archives, Duke University.

Collection Overview

Collection includes correspondence, papers, photographs, and other documents related to Ellwood S. Harrar's career as a professor of forestry and Dean of the School of Forestry at Duke University. It is organized into the following series: Series 1, Personal, 1928-1975; Series 2, Duke University, 1951-1974; and Series 3, Correspondence, 1946-1974.

Restrictions on Access & Use

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warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.

No restrictions.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

The documents are arranged alphabetically by subject.

This series features biographical information about Harrar. Included are biographical sketches, letters of congratulation, and Harrar's Ph.D. Thesis. The Personal series also includes administrative correspondence with Duke officials regarding sabbaticals, committee appointments, and retirement.

Biographical, 1967-1975 and undated
Box 1 Folder 1
Clippings, 1957-1975 and undated
Box 1 Folder 2
Personal, 1957-1975
Box 1 Folder 3
James B. Duke Professorship Nomination, 1962-1967
Box 1 Folder 4
Appointment to Dean of Forestry, 1957-1958
Box 1 Folder 5
Election to Presidency of Forest Products Research Society, 1958
Box 1 Folder 6
Honorary Doctorate of Science, 1961
Box 1 Folder 7
Personal, 1932-1967
Box 1 Folder 8
Textbook of Dendrology, 1937-1941
Box 1 Folder 9
Southern Trees, 1961
Box 1 Folder 10
Retirement, 1974-1975
Box 1 Folder 11
Masters or Doctoral Thesis, 1928-1935
Box 1 Folder 12
Panels and Committees, 1961-1966
Box 1 Folder 13
Publications, 1943-1968
Box 1 Folder 14

This series is arranged alphabetically by subject.

The Duke University series includes correspondence, photographs, and other papers that document Harrar's interactions with Duke University as a faculty member and Dean. Among the documents are extensive correspondence and several photographs related to the construction of and furnishings for the Biological Sciences Building. Also included are materials, mainly correspondence, about the School of Forestry, and its educational philosophy, curriculum, and funding. In 1965, the Duke School of Forestry hosted the International Symposium on Tropical Forestry, and this series includes papers, summaries of proceedings, and biographical sketches of the participants of this symposium.

Allen, George V., 1961-1966
Folder 15
Biographies, Paper Summaries, Travel Plans, etc., 1963-1965
Folder 16
Biology - Forestry Building, 1962-1963
Folder 17
Bradley Plywood Corporation, 1959-1962
Folder 18
Broce, Thomas E., [University Development, 1961-1966]
Folder 19
Folder 20
Folder 21
Folder 22
Folder 23
Cherokee Flooring Corporation, 1958-1962
Folder 24
Darlington Veneer Company, Inc., 1958-1962
Folder 25
Duke University Staff and Faculty, Non-Forestry, 1956-1968
Folder 26
E. L. Bruce Company, 1958-1962
Folder 27
Frank, William O., Architect, 1958-1960
Folder 28
Georgia-Pacific Corporation, 1958-1962
Folder 29
Georgia Plywood Corporation, 1959-1962
Folder 30
Gross-Edens Controversy, 1963-1974
Folder 31
Haig, I. T., 1965
Folder 32
Hardwood Corporation of America, 1958-1961
Folder 33
Higgins Industries, Inc., 1958-1961
Folder 34
Korstian, Clarence F., 1968-1969
Folder 35
Lilly Company, 1958
Folder 36
Masonite Corporation, 1958-1962
Folder 37
Miller Brothers, Inc., 1958
Folder 38
Moseman, A. H., 1964
Folder 39
Nickey Brothers, Inc. 1958-1962
Folder 40
Papers, 1965
Folder 41
Potlatch Forests, Inc., 1958-1962
Folder 42
Roddis-Plywood Corporation, 1958-1961
Folder 43
Folder 44
Folder 45
Folder 46
Folder 47
1966-1971 and undated
Folder 48
Setter Brothers, Inc., 1958-1960
Folder 49
Southern Plywoods, Inc., 1959-1962
Folder 50
Standard Plywoods, Inc., 1958-1962
Folder 51
Statesville Plywood and Veneer Co., 1958-1962
Folder 52
Summaries of Proceedings, 1965
Folder 53
Thomason Plywood Corporation, 1958-1962
Folder 54
Tropical Forestry Symposium - Miscellaneous, 1963-1965
Folder 55
U.S. Plywood Corporation, 1958-1962
Folder 56
Virginia Plywood Corporation, 1958-1962
Folder 57
Vogt, William, 1964-1966
Folder 58
Von Canon, Fred, 1960-1965
Folder 59
Wallace, William, Engineer, 1958-1961
Folder 60
Wood-Mosaic Corporation, 1958-1962
Folder 61

The documents are arranged alphabetically according to the name of either the individual or organization with which Harrar corresponded. The only exception is folder titled "[General] Correspondence - Miscellaneous," which is filed at the end of the series.

The correspondence series contains letters to and from Harrar regarding his professional career as a researcher and forestry expert. Among Harrar's correspondents were those associated with the lumber industry, in regard to marketing, foreign resources, and technical problems related to wood. The series documents Harrar's work as a consultant to the Navy Bureau of Ships, Army Corps of Engineers, and the Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories. The series also contains information about Harrar's participation with North Carolina's Governor's Advisory Committee on Forestry and the Presidential Commission on Increased Use of Agricultural Products.

Active Investments, Inc., 1962-1964
Folder 62
American Institute of Biological Science, 1964-1967
Folder 63
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Company, 1948-1955
Folder 64
Bennett Place (Committee on Restoration), 1961-1962
Folder 65
Brevard College, 1965-1966
Folder 66
Brunswick Pulp Research Fund, 1953-1966
Folder 67
Bureau of Ships, 1952-1958
Folder 68
Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation, 1957-1959
Folder 69
Commonwealth Fund, 1950-1958
Folder 70
Coman Lumber Company, 1961-1962
Folder 71
Congressional Correspondence, 1958-1964
Folder 72
Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Co. - Employment as Engineering Manager, 1944-1945
Folder 73
Dunn, Paul M., 1953-1958
Folder 74
Fifth World Forestry Congress, 1959-1960
Folder 75
Forest History Foundation, Inc., 1957-1965
Folder 76
S. M. Frank and Company, 1960-1968
Box 2 Folder 77
Governor's Advisory Committee on Forestry, 1961-1964
Box 2 Folder 78
International Association of Wood Anatomists, 1936-1947
Box 2 Folder 79
Harrar, J. George, 1962-1964
Box 2 Folder 80
The Lane Company, Inc., 1961-1965
Box 2 Folder 81
Lester Case, 1949-1958
Box 2 Folder 82
[Folder removed]
Box 2 Folder 83
Mulford, Walter, 1946-1955
Box 2 Folder 84
Box 2 Folder 85
Box 2 Folder 86
Box 2 Folder 87
Box 2 Folder 88
Perry, J. P., 1947-1971
Box 2 Folder 89
Presidential Commission, 1957
Box 2 Folder 90
President's Commission, 1956-1958
Box 2 Folder 91
Research Triangle Committee, 1958-1965
Box 2 Folder 92
Rockefeller Foundation - General, 1958-1966
Box 2 Folder 93
Scott Lumber Company, 1961-1962
Box 2 Folder 94
Southeastern Forest Experiment Station, 1952-1954
Box 2 Folder 95
Southern Railway System, Washington, D.C., 1950-1951
Box 2 Folder 96
Standard Fruit and Steamship Company, 1953-1954
Box 2 Folder 97
State of North Carolina, Department of Conservation and Development, 1945
Box 2 Folder 98
Box 2 Folder 99
Box 2 Folder 100
Box 2 Folder 101
Technical Problems - Examples, 1953-1968
Box 2 Folder 102
U.S. Army Biological Laboratories, 1962-1963
Box 2 Folder 103
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1960
Box 2 Folder 104
U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Laboratories, 1964
Box 2 Folder 105
Wellwood, Dr. R. W., 1945-1955
Box 2 Folder 106
Winterthur [The H. F. duPont Winterthur Museum, 1973 - 1974]
Box 2 Folder 107
[General] Correspondence - Miscellaneous, 1947-1968
Box 2 Folder 108

Historical Note

Ellwood Scott "Scotty" Harrar was born on January 18, 1905 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Oberlin College for two years, but received his bachelor's degree from the New York College of Forestry at Syracuse University. Syracuse also awarded Harrar his master's and doctoral degrees, in 1928 and 1936, respectively. Harrar taught at the College of Forestry at the University of Washington in Seattle from 1928 until 1936, when he joined the faculty of Duke University.

At Duke, Harrar began as an Associate Professor of Wood Technology, and in 1945 became a full Professor of Wood Technology. In 1957, he was named Dean of the Duke University Graduate School of Forestry. He served in this capacity until 1967, and in 1974 Harrar retired from teaching. In his 38-year career at Duke, Harrar left only once: during World War II, he served as Chief Administrative Engineer of the Airplane Division of the Curtiss Wright Corporation.

During his tenure at Duke, Harrar participated in a number of professional organizations, including the Society of American Foresters, of which he was elected Fellow in 1965. He also served as Secretary-Treasurer of the International Society of Wood Anatomists from 1938-1948, President of the North Carolina Forestry Council in 1958, and President of the Forest Products Research Society in 1959. Harrar published extensively, and his Textbook of Dendrology became a staple of forestry programs across the country. Other popular publications included his Guide to Southern Trees and his numerous articles on forestry and dendrology topics for the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Harrar was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from his alma mater, Syracuse in 1961. In 1967, he was named a James B. Duke Professor, the highest honor awarded to faculty at Duke University. In 1974, Harrar donated his collection of over 5,000 wood samples to the Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Delaware, for future researchers. Harrar died on February 5, 1975, at the age of seventy.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ellwood S. Harrar Papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.


The Ellwood S. Harrar Papers was received by the University Archives as a gift in 1969 and 1974.

Processing Information

Processed by Valerie Gillispie

Completed May 27, 2003

Although original folder names were preserved, they have been alphabetized within each series for easier access. Date ranges were added to folders where no dates were provided originally.

Personnel information was discarded for reasons of privacy.

Encoded by Valerie Gillispie, May 27, 2003

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.