Fonds UBCA-ARC-1505 - Lionel Harrison fonds

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Title proper

Lionel Harrison fonds

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  • Moving images
  • Born-digital records
  • Textual record

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Dates of creation area


  • 1941 - 2008 (Creation)
    Harrison, Lionel

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Physical description

99cm of textual records
1 film reel (16 mm)
2 floppy disks (3½”)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Lionel Harrison was born May 29, 1929, in Liverpool, U.K. He received his first degree in chemistry in 1949 and a doctorate in physical chemistry in 1952, both from the University of Liverpool. He worked for Imperial Chemical Industries in Ardeer, Scotland, from 1952 to 1955. Shortly afterward, he moved to Canada and began teaching at UBC, becoming an associate professor in 1963 and a full professor in 1967. In 1973 he chaired an oral exam for Thurston Lacalli’s doctoral dissertation and became interested in the chemical underpinnings of biological patterning. As well as numerous articles, he published two books, Kinetic Theory of Living Pattern and How Does Life Devise Its Shapes and Sizes? published posthumously.
Additionally, Harrison was asked by CBC-TV to produce a computer simulation of the growth of Acetabularia, a green seaweed that grows in warm seas. He was the recipient of a research grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada in Physical Chemistry, Especially Kinetic Theory, of Biological morphogenesis. He was a fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada, a member of the Institute of Applied Mathematics at UBC, and the Department of Botany. Harrison retired and became an emeritus professor in 1994. He died in 2008.

Custodial history

Thurston Lacalli and David Holloway, executors of Dr. Harrison’s estate, kept Harrison’s papers in storage until they donated them to the University Archives in December 2011.

Scope and content

The fonds consist of Harrison's personal and professional materials related to his career, including correspondence, laboratory notes, teaching notes, and manuscripts. The fonds is divided into four series: Professional Life series (1966-2008); Undergraduate and Graduate Education (1941-A); Correspondence series (1973-2002), and Poetry series (1966-1968). A film is also included, entitled Asymmetry and Dissipation, or, Life is so Irreversible – listed in the Archives as UBC Film # 111.

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No further accruals are expected.

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