Ellwood S. Harrar papers, 1928 - 1975

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Harrar, Ellwood S. (Ellwood Scott)
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. English.
2 Linear Feet
2000 Items
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

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.

Biographical / historical:

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.

Acquisition information:
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

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Collection is open for research.

Terms of access:

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.

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Preferred citation:

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