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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Claudine Harris papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1903-2011
Creator: Harris, Claudine (1926-)
Extent: 4.00 linear feet.
Collection Number: IWA0446
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Harris worked in radiation detection instrumentation. She was active in the Johnson County League of Women Voters and the Johnson County Alliance for the Mentally Ill.

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in boxes 1 and 9.

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright held by the donor has been transferred to the University of Iowa, with the exception of the personal writings, for which the donor retains copyright during her lifetime.

Acquisition: The Claudine Harris papers (donor no. 654) were donated by Claudine Harris in 1999 and subsequent years.

Preferred Citation: Claudine Harris papers, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason
Email: lib-women@uiowa.edu
Website: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa

Claudine (Maroni) Harris was born in Paris, France, on December 10, 1926, the daughter of Valentine (Meyer-May) and Robert Maroni. She had two brothers: Yves, born August 31, 1920; and Jacques, born January 9, 1923. Her grandparents, Albert and Dona Maroni, and Paul and Yvonne Meyer-May, were all French. Claudine Harris attended a number of schools in France and the United States. Her early education was in France. She had one year of secondary school remaining when her immediate family came to the United States in 1941 during the Second World War and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Claudine Harris graduated from Cambridge High and Latin School in 1942.

Accepted at Radcliffe College, she received her B.A. degree in physics in 1946. There followed a year as Instructor in Physics at Simmons College, in Boston. She then returned to Harvard University to pursue graduate work in physics and received an M.A. in 1949. She married James Lee Harris on January 1, 1954. Jim (born January 6, 1920 in Richmond, Virginia, died September 20, 2001, in Iowa City) was the son of Janet (Sharp) and James Davis Harris. Claudine and Jim Harris began life together in Cambridge, where their two children were born: Gregory, November 21, 1954 and Nicole, June 5, 1956.

Harris began her professional career working in radiation detection instrumentation, first as a research assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Radioactivity Center, while she was still a student; then with Tracerlab, a Boston company, where she headed a team developing Geiger counters from 1949 until 1953. When she left Tracerlab, she sought work as a technical editor. She worked in that capacity at the MIT Lexington Laboratory until her son was born. She stayed home to raise the children until 1963, when she returned to employment outside the home. From then on, until her retirement from paid jobs in 1993, she was employed in various forms of technical writing and editing, sometimes on a part-time basis, sometimes as a freelancer, and eventually full-time for twenty-one years until her retirement.

From 1963 to 1967, she held several part time jobs in Cambridge. After completing graduate studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Jim Harris had begun a practice in architecture and urban planning in Cambridge. In 1967, he joined the faculty at the University of Iowa to develop the Graduate Program in Urban and Regional Planning, and the family moved to Iowa City.

During her first years in Iowa, Claudine Harris free-lanced for the University of Iowa Press, doing a large number of book indexes, and taking on occasional short editing jobs for faculty members. After the children left for college, she returned to full-time work as a technical writer at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC), first for the State Services for Crippled Children (SSCC), a program partly funded under Title V of the Social Security Act. She wrote grant applications for clinical research projects in areas related to child disabilities, and reports to the granting agencies, the state of Iowa and the UIHC. In 1981, she joined the Information Systems Department of the UIHC where she wrote a variety of materials documenting computer applications for hospital administration and financial management and coordinated the development of a multi-media public information display. At the time of her retirement in December 1993, she was a Senior Application Specialist (Technical Writer).

Until her children finished school and left for college, Claudine Harris devoted herself to the family and to volunteer activities, while occasionally taking on book indexing and short editing jobs for the University of Iowa Press. A major volunteer activity during that period was as editor of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Johnson County's monthly newsletter, the Voter. She had been a member of the LWV since 1961 when she lived in Cohasset, Massachusetts.

She served on the LWV of Johnson County board of directors and participated in a county study. Other volunteer posts were with the Cardinal Council of Girl Scouts and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Iowa City. She also participated in the consultation of Religious Communities and was a director of the Iowa City Area Science Center. In 2001, she returned to the board of the LWV.

In 1985, Claudine Harris had joined the newly-forming chapter of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill (AMI) in Johnson County, which later became the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) and, from that time, advocacy for mental illness services became the main focus of her volunteer activities. She served NAMI in numerous capacities in the county and in the state. She was president of NAMI of Johnson County from 1990 to 1992, and of NAMI Iowa from 1992 to 1996. She served as legislative chair of NAMI Iowa from 1992 to 2001. Her work with NAMI led her to participate in a number of task forces and committees concerned with making changes in the mental health services delivery system in the state of Iowa. She served in 1992 and 1993 on a Restructuring Task Force established by the state legislature to recommend improvements in the mental health care delivery system.

The Claudine Harris papers date from 1903 to the present and measure 4 linear feet. The papers are arranged in seven series: Biographical, Personal Writing, Family Writing and Recipe Books, Correspondence, Professional, and Volunteer Activities, and Valentine Maroni.

The Biographical series contains information and artifacts about Claudine Harris' childhood, education and social life primarily dating from the 1930s-1950s. Within this series are her baby book and her school records from grade school in France through her master's degree from Radcliffe College. Also included is her application for graduate school at Radcliffe in 1947, which contains a statement written by Harris about her educational interest in Nuclear Physics.

Much of the Personal Writing series is autobiographical in nature and reflects various periods of her life. A spectacular example of this is the one page she wrote describing her reaction and the reactions of her classmates to the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Some of the material in this series and the Family Writing series, originally written in French, was translated into English by Claudine Harris. In addition, this series contains Claudine Harris’s personal writing based in Iowa City. She participated in the Poetry in Public project in 2009, where her poem “Blue Jeans” was displayed on an Iowa City bus. Her essays, poems and photographs written during 2006-2010 are based Iowa City and include: Imaging Iowa City, Echospace and Gilbert Street and a Half-Ten Years Later.

The Family Writing and Recipe Books series is rich in information about the Maroni family as well as the family of Claudine Harris' husband, Jim Harris. Writings by Claudine Harris' parents and a collection of poetry and essays by Jim Harris' mother, Janet S. Harris, are included. Recollections, the memoirs of Claudine Harris' brother Yves Maroni, and Looking Over My Shoulder, the memoirs of Claudine Harris' mother Valentine Maroni, complement other biographical information in the collection. The World War Two experiences of Claudine Harris' brother, Jacques Maroni, are documented in his 1940 journal. This series also contains the handwritten recipe books of Claudine Harris' mother and her maternal grandmother Yvonne Meyer-May.

The Correspondence series consists mostly of letters written during World War Two. The letters to Claudine Harris from her mother span the period 1943 to 1946. Correspondence between Claudine Harris and her brother Jacques Maroni during his service in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1946 is included. This series also contains letters from Claudine Harris' great uncle Hippolyte Dreyfus to his family in France during his extensive travels in the Middle East and Asia from 1903 to 1925 on behalf of Baha'I causes and during travels to the United States and North Africa. A few of the letters were written by Hippolyte Dreyfus' wife Laura Barney.


The Professional series documents Claudine Harris' employment history from 1948 to 1999, including her job searches and freelance work. Copies of her resumes are contained in this series. A large part of this series pertains to Harris' employment at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

The Volunteer Activities series relates primarily to Harris' involvement in the Johnson County and Iowa chapters of the Alliance for the Mentally Ill (AMI). Included are correspondence, newspaper articles, writings by Claudine Harris, the tenth anniversary history (1985-1995) of AMI of Iowa and advocacy information pertaining to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) of Johnson County and NAMI Iowa.

The Valentine Maroni series consists of documents from Harris's mother written in French and English, such as personal reflections, ideas for a peace settlement, and fraternity hazing. Also included are materials from Maroni's radio shows, which explored various topics related to international affairs.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
Series 2: PERSONAL WRITING
Series 3: FAMILY WRITINGS AND RECIPE BOOKS
Series 4: CORRESPONDENCE
Series 5: PROFESSIONAL
Series 6: VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
Series 7: VALENTINE MARONI (mother)

  • Series 1: BIOGRAPHICAL
  • Box 1:
  • Baby book and growth charts
  • Concert programs- Radcliffe Choral Society and others - 1943-1946
  • Dance Programs - 1936, 1939
  • Datebooks (2 folders) - 1940-1946, 1948-1953
  • Diploma and Degrees [one is stored in oversized materials]
  • Drivers licenses and permits- French and international - 1949
  • Education: France - 1936-1941
  • Education: United States - 1941-1942
  • Education: Radcliffe College
  • France Trip: Datebook, maps, and guidebook - 1949
  • German warplane silhouettes (magazine clipping) - 1939-1940
  • Immunization and childhood illness records
  • Maine Summer Camp: Les Chalets Francais - 1942-1943
  • Membership cards (non-professional)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology convocation - 1949
  • Naturalization information - 1948
  • Passport - 1949
  • Personal Income Summary - 1943-1953
  • Photography awards - 1986-1987
  • Postcard of ship on which Claudine and parents traveled to United States - 1941
  • Professional memberships
  • Series 2: PERSONAL WRITING
  • Box 1:
  • Autobiographical writings - 1941-2011
  • Journals: journal entry in French with English translation - 1941
  • Journals, c.a. - 1940-1959
  • Poetry: First Poetry Notebook - 1936-1953
  • Poetry: Sonnet Notebook - 1940, 1947
  • Box 2:
  • Poetry: Poetry and sketches, New Hampshire - 1951-1952
  • Poetry (loose sheets)
  • Poetry (selections and translations)
  • Iowa Policy Project (photogrpahs and poems) - 2009
  • Imagining Iowa City: Photographs and Poems - 2010
  • Poetry: Shorelines: Poems and Photographs by Claudine Harris [Shelved in IWA print collection] - 2005
  • Sketches - 1945-1946
  • Philosophy club notes - 1946
  • Short stories: "The Mysterious Atom" - 1950
  • Short stories: "High Hopes, Hard Work, and Skill" - 1952
  • Short stories: "Bubbles" - 1972
  • "Young Iowa Pediatricians..." - 1976
  • Echospace - 2009
  • Fragments of a Mosaic: A Memoir by Claudine Harris [Shelved in IWA print collection] - 2007
  • Gilbert Street and a Half-Ten years later - 2006-2010
  • Guest opinion, Iowa Press Citizen - 2010
  • Miscellaneous notes (undated)
  • Music (undated)
  • Series 3: FAMILY WRITINGS AND RECIPE BOOKS
  • Box 2:
  • Harris, James L. (husband of Claudine Harris): English composition - 1937
  • Harris, Janet S. (mother-in-law of Claudine Harris): Correspondence with publisher
  • Harris, Janet S.: Essays and prose
  • Harris, Janet S.: Notebook and news clippings
  • Harris, Janet S.: Poetry
  • Harris, Janet S.: Wildflower Preservation Society records - 1920-1939
  • Box 3:
  • Maroni, Yves (brother of Claudine Harris): Recollections - 1999
  • Maroni, Jacques (brother of Claudine Harris): Photocopied portions of World War II journal and translation - 1940
  • Maroni, Robert (father of Claudine Harris): Franchise - 1919
  • Maroni, Robert (father of Claudine Harris): Translation of Franchise (Frankness) by Claudine Harris - 1997
  • Maroni, Valentine (mother of Claudine Harris): Lire et Dessiner - 1962
  • Maroni, Valentine (mother of Claudine Harris): Looking Over My Shoulder - 1967
  • Maroni, Valentine (mother of Claudine Harris): Looking Over My Shoulder correspondence - 1963, 1967
  • Family recipe books: Meyer-May, Yvonne (maternal grandmother of Claudine Harris): Dinner date book - 1895-1923
  • Family recipe books: Meyer-May, Yvonne: Recipe Book
  • Family recipe books: Meyer-May, Yvonne: Personal Recipes (translation of Recipe Book by Claudine Harris)
  • Family recipe books: Maroni, Valentine: Recipe book - 1941
  • Series 4: CORRESPONDENCE
  • Box 3:
  • Hippolyte Drefus, biography and translation notes - 1998-2008
  • Dreyfus, Hippolyte (great-uncle of Claudine Harris) - 1903-1914
  • Box 4:
  • Dreyfus, Hippolyte - 1919-1925
  • Dreyfus, Hippolyte: Translation of these letters by Claudine Harris - 1997
  • Hippolyte Dreyfus Sa vie son oeuvre, published by l'Assemblee Spirituelle Nationale des Bahai'is de France - 1996
  • Miscellaneous correspondence - 1936-1937
  • Maroni, Valentine (4 folders) - 1939-1946
  • Maroni, Jacques (brother of Claudine Harris) (7 folders)
  • Maroni, Jacques (3 folders) - 1944-1946
  • Maroni, Jacques: Translation of these letters by Claudine Harris
  • Box 5:
  • Summer Camp Friends - 1942-1944
  • Miscellaneous - 1943-1945
  • Lanzl, Elizabeth Farber (friend of Claudine Harris) - 1945
  • Guipet, Marie "Neon" (Maroni family nanny in France) - 1945, 1949
  • Maine Summer Camp (letters home) - 1949
  • Trip to France - 1949
  • Christmas Letters - 1994-1999
  • Miscellaneous, undated
  • Series 5: PROFESSIONAL
  • Box 5:
  • Resumes - 1969-1998
  • Employment - 1944-1947
  • Radioactivity Center, Massachusetts Institute ofTechnology - 1947-1949
  • Job Search - 1949
  • Tracerlab, Boston - 1949-1953
  • Job Search - 1953
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology - 1953-1954
  • Job Search - 1963
  • Box 6:
  • Harvard Computation Lab - 1964-1967
  • Freelance employment - 1965-1967
  • Freelance editing - 1970-1979
  • League of Women Voters publications (C. Harris co-wrote) - 1972
  • Youth Emergency Shelter brochurepublications (C. Harris co-wrote)
  • Conference Translation from French to English - 1971
  • Job Searches - 1972-1981
  • Selected Freelance employment - 1972-1980
  • Iowa Commission on the Status of Women logo - 1976
  • University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC): General employment records - 1972-1993
  • UIHC State Services for Crippled Children (SSCC) - 1972-1981
  • UIHC SSCC: Classroom Approach to Language Development for Mentally Retarded Children (2 folders) - 1973
  • UIHC SSCC: Maternal and Child Health and Crippled Services - 1973
  • UIHC SSCC: Narrative Report and Supplements, fiscal year - 1974
  • UIHC SSCC: Job Description - 1974
  • UIHC SSCC: Rheumatic Fever Program Final Report - 1955-1975
  • UIHC SSCC: Clinical Research in Mental Retardation Narrative Report, July 1, '75-June 30, '76 - 1975-1976
  • UIHC SSCC: Historical Information/news clippings - 1936-1976
  • Box 7:
  • UIHC SSCC: Recipes for Hearty Appetites, March 1 - 1977
  • UIHC SSCC: State plan - 1978
  • UIHC SSCC: Follow Up Care of High Risk Infants, Final report, April 1, '64-June 30, '78 - 1964-1978
  • UIHC SSCC: Scoliosis - 1978
  • UIHC SSCC: Restoration of Function to Congenitally Deformed Hands - 1980
  • UIHC SSCC: Coronary Heart Disease Prevention in Children
  • UIHC SSCC: Correspondence
  • UIHC SSCC: Drafts
  • UIHC SSCC: Newsletters
  • UIHC SSCC: Pamphlets
  • UIHC SSCC: Projects (C. Harris worked on)
  • UIHC SSCC: Publications
  • UIHC SSCC: Referral Guides
  • UIHC SSCC: Information Systems - 1981-1993
  • UIHC SSCC: Retirement - 1994
  • UIHC SSCC: Awards and Miscellaneous Items
  • UIHC SSCC: Correspondence
  • UIHC SSCC: Touch Display Kiosk brochure
  • Series 6: VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES
  • Sub-Series: Alliance for the Mentally Ill (AMI) Johnson County
  • Box 8:
  • Hospice Road Race - 1989-1990
  • Correspondence
  • Opinion/Editorial New Releases
  • "I'm Still Here" Film correspondence and publicity - 1997
  • Mental Health/Developmental Disability Services - 2000-2002
  • Sub-Series: Alliance for the Mentally Ill (AMI) Iowa
  • Box 8:
  • Advocacy (2 folders) - 1988-2001
  • Awards and Thank Yous
  • Correspondence
  • Clay County Collection Process - 1987-1995
  • History - 1985-1995
  • Iowa Plan Advisory Committee - 2003
  • Legislative Chair - 1999-2000
  • Newsletters - 1993-1995
  • Opinion/Editorials and News Articles
  • Programs for Assertive Community Treatment - 1998
  • State Committees
  • Box 9:
  • Talks and Presentations
  • Tenth Anniversary - 1995
  • Correspondence on University of Iowa Benefits Policies on Mental Illness - 1994-1996
  • Writings - 1992-1996
  • Miscellaneous - 1996-2004
  • Sub-Series: Miscellaneous Volunteer Activities
  • Box 9:
  • Miscellaneous - 1999-2003
  • Johnson County Democrats pioneer award - 2007-2008
  • Series 7: VALENTINE MARONI (mother)
  • Sub-Series: Biographical
  • Box 10:
  • General - 1950-1951
  • Undated and untitled manuscripts
  • "Ceci est une histoire vraie," undated
  • Non-personal writings, undated
  • Personal correspondence - 1947-1951
  • United Council of Word Affairs - 1949
  • UN News for Women Broadcasters newsletters - 1951
  • Sub-Series: Life of your Time radio program
  • Box 10:
  • Correspondence - 1948-1951
  • Scripts
  • "Introductory Program," January 13 - 1949
  • "France," January 20 - 1949
  • "Rice Around the World," January 27 - 1949
  • "Ireland," February 3 - 1949
  • "Latvian Refugees," February 10 - 1949
  • "F.A.O.," with Elisabeth Fautz, February 17 - 1949
  • "Switzerland," with Bernard Reverdin, February 24 - 1949
  • "Great Britain," with Susanna Hoyt and Geoffrey Burton, March 3 - 1949
  • "Italy," with Robert Rocca, March 10 - 1949
  • "Brazil," with Mrs. Lauro Escorel and J.H. Falcao, March 17 - 1949
  • "W.H.O.," with Col. Tom Whayne, March 24 - 1949
  • "France: Bicycle Trip and Songs," with Jim Forsyth and Jan Preston, March 31 - 1949
  • "I.R.O.," with Helen Fogg, April 7 - 1949
  • "F.S.S.P.," With Earl Eames and Harrison White, April 14 - 1949
  • "Unitarian Service Committee," with R. Bragg, April 21 - 1949
  • Scripts
  • "Norway," with B. Brun, April 28 - 1949
  • "Quakers Relief Work," with Jeau Fairfax, May 5 - 1949
  • "Israel," with Sara Wilenski, May 12 - 1949
  • "Greece," with Ralph Kent, May 19 - 1949
  • "Turkey," with Nakibe Uzgoren, May 26 - 1949
  • "UNESCO," June 2 - 1949
  • "Atomic Energy," with Eric Clarke, June 9 - 1949
  • "Foreign Students at MIT," from England and Holland, June 16 - 1949
  • "French Indochina," with Dr. J. M. May, June 23 - 1949
  • "Indochina," June 30 - 1949
  • "Atlantic Union Committee," with Professor Mac Lachlan, July 7 - 1949
  • "Tourism in France and Europe," with Mr. Chambon, July 14 - 1949
  • "Canada," with Mr. Theodore Newton, Consul in Boston, July 21 - 1949
  • "Germany," July 28 - 1949
  • "Declaration of Human Rights" - 1949
  • Exhibit of Institute for Education by Radio - 1950
  • Sub-Series: The World and You radio programs
  • Box 10:
  • General - 1950-1951
  • Correspondence - 1950-1951
  • Schedules - 1950-1951
  • Scripts and notes - 1950-1951
  • Sub-Series: Television and radio ideas
  • Box 10:
  • Correspondence - 1950-1951
  • Drafts - 1951