Papers of Sir Douglas Alexander Earsman Harkness, 1902-1980, arts graduate, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Lecture notes and essays 1919-1924;
  • Correspondence and testimonials 1922-1926;
  • Published materials, including many written by Douglas Alexander Earsman Harkness 1924-1950;
  • Notebooks and ephemera 1922-1929.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Douglas Alexander Earsman Harkness was born on 12 September 1902 to George Wightman Harkness and Jane Earsman Harkness. He first matriculated at the  University of Glasgow , Scotland, in  1919  where he studied French, History and Political Economy. He graduated with an MA in  1922  gaining a 2nd Class Honours in History in that year and 1st Class Honours in Economic Science in 1923. From  1923-1924  he was a Reid Stewart Fellow in Economic Science at the University of Glasgow.

In  1924  he was given his first appointment in the Civil Service in Northern Ireland in which he was to serve until his retirement in  1963  . His first appointment was with the Stormont Ministry of Agriculture and during this period (1926) he was also appointed to the Lectureship in Agricultural Economics at the Queen's University of Belfast. He was promoted Assistant Secretary of the Ministry in 1936 and became Permanent Secretary in 1948. He transferred to the Ministry of Commerce and subsequently to the Ministry of Finance becoming Permanent Secretary and head of the Civil Service of Northern Ireland in 1953. He was awarded the CBE in  1946  a KBE in  1956  and an honorary LLD in 1962. Sir Douglas Harkness died on  28 December 1980  .


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Lady Harkness : 1981

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

GB 255, Sir Edward Archdale and Sir Douglas Harkness Papers held at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (ref: D3373).

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names


Collection catalogued by Vikki Laidlaw, Hub Project Assistant, 14 April 2005 (fonds level description) and by members of Glasgow University Archive Services staff (lower level descriptions). Converted to Encoded Archival Description by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 22 April 2005. Edited by Gemma Tougher, Assistant Archivist (Cataloguing), 1 October 2012.

Geographical Names