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Charles H. Harris Collection

Manuscript Collection No.135

Overview | Biography | Scope and Content | Container List


1.0 cubic feet in 3 boxes. 1948-1957.

Provenance: The Ohio University Libraries received the Charles H. Harris Collection as a gift on an undetermined date sometime prior to 1971. Charles A. Sherrill preliminarily processed the collection in July 1979; Janet Carleton-Smith processed it more completely in Spring 1990.

Property Rights: The Ohio University Libraries owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights and/or literary rights as possessed in these papers have been dedicated to the public. Consideration of all other copyrights and possible literary rights is the responsibility of the researcher and publisher.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the Ohio University Libraries.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite collection name, number, and Ohio University Libraries in all footnotes and bibliographical references.

Related Material: Harris, C.H., The Harris History, 1957, and Whiteman, Jane, Surname Index to the Harris History by C. H. Harris, 1978 in the Reference shelves in Archives and Special Collections. Also, Whiteman,Jane, Every Name Index to the Harris History by C. H. Harris, 1970, in the Reference Department collection on the fourth floor.

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Charles Henry Harris was born in Athens, Ohio in November 1884 and remained a member of the community until his death in 1962. He graduated from Athens High School in 1902 and continued on to Ohio University, graduating in 1906.

Harris was associated with the Athens Messenger newspaper from its first daily issue in 1905. His positions included reporter, managing editor, district editor, and later in his career as author of a series of local history articles. These articles and accompanying photographs later became the basis for his 1957 book, The Harris History.

In addition to his service with the Athens Messenger, Harris was employed by Ohio University as a part-time journalism instructor for more than twenty years. Harris also served as Clerk of City Council for 34 years (1911-1945), and as a Council member from October 1948-December 1951. He founded and served as the first president of Ohio's Blue Pencil Club, organized for newspaper editors and copy readers. He was honored as an Ohio author by The Martha Kinney Cooper Ohioanna Library Association.

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The Charles H. Harris Collection consists of three boxes containing newspaper clippings and photographs. Harris reputedly authored one thousand articles for his local history series published in the Athens Messenger from 1948-1957. This collection contains 400 clippings which were considered for inclusion in his book The Harris History; most show signs of editing. Of these, only 200 were actually used. Included are the two series 'From Memory's Well,' and 'Visits to Little-Known District Spots' or 'Visits to Little-Known Areas of the District,' along with numerous columns with no series title. The subjects of the columns cover the southeastern Ohio counties of Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Meigs, Morgan, Vinton, and nearby Mason County, West Virginia.

The collection also contains more than 200 photographic prints of the same southeastern Ohio Counties as the articles, except for Morgan County. Homes, public buildings, and local families are pictured in these. The greatest number of prints are of Meigs County subjects and scenes, with Athens County the next most numerous. Gallia, Hocking, Mason, and Vinton Counties are represented by just a few images. The newspaper photographs here were taken by Harris, but there are also some older family pictures given to him. Most of the photographs of families and homes are organized or identified by locality rather than by county. The public buildings are identified by county.

The collection also includes two incidental clippings concerning the history of Ohio University dated 1910 and 1912, that may have been written by Harris.

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    Box 1
  • Folder 1 - Index to File of Clippings
  • Folder 2 - 1-27 - Athens County
  • Folder 3 - 28-59 - Athens County
  • Folder 4 - 60-86 - Athens County
  • Folder 5 - 87-100 - 'From Memory's Well' series
  • Folder 6 - 101-113 - 'Visits to.. ' series
  • Folder 7 - 114-160 - 'Visits to.. ' series
  • Folder 8 - 161-198 - 'Visits to.. ' series
  • Folder 9 - AT1-AT25 - City of Athens
  • Folder 10 - GA1-GA16 - Gallia County
  • Folder 11 - HO1-HO21 - Hocking County
  • Folder 12 - MA1-MA18 - Mason County, WV
  • Folder 13 - ME1-ME100 - Meigs County
  • Folder 14 - MO1-MO7 - Morgan County
  • Folder 15 - VI1-VI23 - Vinton County
  • Folder 16 - MI1-MI3 - Misc. 1910 and 1912 OU
Photographs Box 2
  • Folder 1 - 1-25 - Families and Homes
  • Folder 2 - 26-50 - Families and Homes
  • Folder 3 - 51-75 - Homes
  • Folder 4 - 76-100 - Homes
  • Folder 5 - 101-125 - Families and Homes
Box 3
  • Folder 1 - 126-144 - Families and Homes
  • Folder 2 - 145-170 - Meigs Co. Public Buildings
  • Folder 3 - 171-200 - Athens and Meigs Counties
  • Folder 4 - 201-223 - Miscellaneous

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