Papers and correspondence of Geoffrey Wingfield Harris, 1913-1971

Scope and Content

There is biographical material relating to Harris and his career including family letters and correspondence relating to offers of posts and appointments. There are laboratory notebooks covering the whole of his career, 1931-1970, many notes for lectures, demonstrations, speeches and talks given in Britain and abroad, 1940-1970, drafts for publications and correspondence. The correspondence is mainly late, since much was destroyed by Harris when he moved from London to Oxford in 1962.

Administrative / Biographical History

Harris was born in Acton, London and educated at Dulwich College, 1927-1931, Emmanuel College, Cambridge (M.A. M.B. B.Chir.), 1932-1939, and St Mary's Hospital, London, 1936-1940. He returned to Cambridge University as Demonstrator and Lecturer in Anatomy and Physiology, 1940-1952, moving to the Maudsley Hospital, London, as head of the Laboratory of Experimental Neuroendocrinology, 1952-1962. He was Dr Lee's Professor of Anatomy at Oxford University from 1962 until his death. Harris's work was the study of the control of the multiple activities of the pituitary gland, and the reciprocal interactions of the brain and endocrine glands. He travelled widely, published and lectured extensively, and served on many medical and scientific committees. He was elected FRS in 1953.


By section as follows: Biographical, Laboratory notebooks, Lectures and demonstrations, Working papers, Publications, Correspondence, List of experimental material in the Department of Human Anatomy. Index of correspondents.

Access Information

Entry permitted only on presentation of a valid reader's card or an Oxford University Card displaying the Bodleian logo. All applicants for new or replacement cards must apply in person, with a recommendation and payment if required, and with proof of their identity.

Other Finding Aids

Printed Catalogue of the papers and correspondence of Geoffrey Wingfield Harris (1913-1971) by J. Alton and H. Weiskittel, CSAC catalogue no. 4/73, 12 pp. Copies available from NCUACS, University of Bath.

Separated Material

Harris's experimental apparatus was deposited at the Wellcome Historical Medical Museum, London. In 1976 the museum was transferred on indefinite loan to the Science Museum, London.

Custodial History

Received for cataloguing in 1973 by the Contemporary Scientific Archives Centre from Mrs Margaret Harris, widow. Placed in Bodleian Library (gift) in 1973.

Related Material

Some laboratory material, including slides, photographs and experimental observations remained in the Department of Human Anatomy, Oxford. A selection from this material was accepted in 1984 for permanent preservation in the Bodleian Library after sorting and listing by the Museum of the History of Science, Oxford.