PAPERS, 1903-2007

4 linear feet





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


The »papers are open for research.


»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. 


In Boxes 1 and 9.


Stacy Ross, 2001Your name, year».


Janet Weaver, 2003; Sarah Dorpinghaus, 2009.  [HarrisClaudine.doc]



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.


Beginning in 1991, she served several terms on the Iowa Mental Health Planning and Advisory Council, which reviews the state mental health plan and recommends allocations of the federal mental health block grant received by the state. She was a governor's appointee to the State-County Management Committee (SCMC) representing consumers and advocates for mental health, mental retardation and developmental disabilities. This committee reviewed county management plans for mental health and disability services and developed recommendations to the governor concerning allowable growth and related issues in regards to mental health services. She has participated in coalitions working to improve mental illness services in Iowa, to monitor the state’s managed care plan for mental health services, to eliminate stigma and discrimination, and to bring parity insurance coverage for mental illnesses to the state.


Scope and Content Note


            Begin text here:The Claudine Harris papers date from» 1903 to the present and measure 4» linear feet.  The »papers »are arranged in six» 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.


            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.




Box no.           Description


Box 1


                              Baby book and growth charts

                              Concert programs- Radcliffe Choral Society and others, 1943-1946

                              Dance Programs, 1936 and 1939

                              Datebooks, 1940-1946, 1948-1953 (2 folders)

                              Diploma and Degrees [one is stored in oversized materials]

                              Driver’s licenses and permits- French and international, 1949


                                    France, 1936-1941

                                    United States, 1941-1942

                                    Radcliffe College

                              France Trip: Datebook, maps, and guidebook, 1949

                              German warplane silhouettes (magazine clipping), c. 1939-1940

                              Immunization and childhood illness records

                              Maine Summer Camp: Les Chalets Francais, 1942-1943

      Medical Information

      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


                        Personal Writing

                              Autobiographical writings


                                    1941 journal entry in French with English translation

                                    1940s or 1950s


Box 2                   


                                    1936-1953 First Poetry Notebook

                                    1940-1947 Sonnet Notebook

                                    1951-1952 Poetry and sketches, New Hampshire

                                    Poetry (loose sheets)

                                    Poetry (selections and translations)

                                    Shorelines: Poems and Photographs by Claudine Harris, 2005 [Shelved in IWA print collection.]

                              Sketches, 1945-1946

                              Philosophy club notes, 1946

                              Short stories

                                    1950 “The Mysterious Atom”

                                    1952 “High Hopes, Hard Work, and Skill”

                                    1972  “Bubbles”

                              1976 “Young Iowa Pediatricians…”

                              Fragments of a Mosaic: A Memoir by Claudine Harris, 2007 [Shelved in IWA print collection.]

                              Miscellaneous notes (undated)

                              Music (undated)


                        Family Writings and Recipe books

                              Harris, James L. (husband of Claudine Harris)

                                    1937 English composition

                              Harris, Janet S. (mother-in-law of Claudine Harris)

                                    Correspondence with publisher

                                    Essays and prose

                                    Notebook and news clippings


                                    Wildflower Preservation Society records, 1920s and 1930s


Box 3                          

                              Maroni, Yves (brother of Claudine Harris)

                                    Recollections, 1999

                              Maroni, Jacques (brother of Claudine Harris)

                                    Photocopied portions of World War II journal, 1940 and translation

                              Maroni, Robert (father of Claudine Harris)

                                    Franchise, 1919

                                    Translation of Franchise (“Frankness”) by Claudine Harris, 1997

                              Maroni, Valentine (mother of Claudine Harris)

                                    Lire et Dessiner, 1962

                                    Looking Over My Shoulder, 1967

                                    Looking Over My Shoulder correspondence, 1963, 1967, and undated

                              Family recipe books

                                    Meyer-May, Yvonne (maternal grandmother of Claudine Harris)

                                          Dinner date book, 1895-1923

                                          Recipe Book

                                          “Personal Recipes” (translation of Recipe Book by Claudine


                                    Maroni, Valentine

                                          Recipe book (started 1941)



                              Dreyfus, Hippolyte (great-uncle of Claudine Harris)



Box 4


                                    Translation of these letters by Claudine Harris, 1997

                                    Hippolyte Dreyfus Sa vie son oeuvre, published by l’Assemblée

                                          Spirituelle Nationale des Bahá’ís de France, 1996

                              1936-1937 Miscellaneous

                              Maroni, Valentine, 1939-1946 (4 folders)

                              Maroni, Jacques (brother of Claudine Harris) (7 folders)

                                    1944-1946 (3 folders)

                                    Translation of these letters by Claudine Harris


Box 5

                              1942-1944 Summer Camp Friends

                              1943-1945 Miscellaneous

                              1945 Lanzl, Elizabeth Farber (friend of Claudine Harris)

                              1945, 1949 Guipet, Marie “Neon” (Maroni family nanny in France)

                              1949 Maine Summer Camp (letters home)

                              1949 Trip to France

                              1994-1999 Christmas Letters

                              Miscellaneous, undated



                              Resumes, 1969-1998

                              1944-1947 Employment

                              1947-1949 Radioactivity Center, Massachusetts Institute of  Technology

                              1949 Job Search

                              1949-1953 Tracerlab, Boston

                              1953 Job Search

                              1953-1954 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

                              1963 Job Search


Box 6

                              1964-1967 Harvard Computation Lab

                              1965-1967 Freelance employment

                              1970s Freelance editing

                              1972 League of Women Voters publications (C. Harris co-wrote)

                              Youth Emergency Shelter brochure (C. Harris co-wrote)

                              Conference Translation from French to English, 1971

                              1972-1981 Job Searches

                              1972-1980 Selected Freelance employment

                              1976 Iowa Commission on the Status of Women logo

                              University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

                                    1972-1993 General Employment Records

                                    1972-1981 State Services for Crippled Children (SSCC)

                                          1973 Classroom Approach to Language Development for

                                                Mentally Retarded Children (2 folders)

                                          1973 Maternal and Child Health and Crippled Services

                                          1974 Narrative Report and Supplements, fiscal year 1974

                                          1974 Job Description

                                          1955-1975 Rheumatic Fever Program Final Report


                                    State Services for Crippled Children (cont.)

                                          July 1, 1975-June 30, 1976 Clinical Research in Mental

                                                Retardation Narrative Report

                                          1936-1976 Historical Information/news clippings



Box 7

                                          March 1, 1977 Recipes for Hearty Appetites

                                          1978 State Plan

                                          April 1, 1964- June 30, 1978 Follow Up Care of High Risk

                                                Infants, Final Report

                                          1978 Scoliosis

                                          1980 Restoration of Function to Congenitally Deformed Hands

                                          Coronary Heart Disease Prevention in Children





                                          Projects (C. Harris worked on)


                                          Referral Guides

                                          1981-1993 Information Systems

                                          1994 Retirement

                                          Awards and Miscellaneous Items


                                          Touch Display Kiosk brochure


Box 8              Volunteer Activities

                              Alliance for the Mentally Ill (AMI)

                                    Johnson County

                                          Hospice Road Race, 1989-1990


                                          Opinion/Editorial New Releases

                                          “I’m Still Here” Film correspondence and publicity, 1997

                                          Mental Health/Developmental Disability Services, 2000-2002


                                          Advocacy, 1988-2001 (2 folders)

                                          Awards and “Thank You’s”


                                          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

                                    Miscellaneous, 1999-2003




                        2007 ACCESSION

Box  10

                        Valentine Maroni (mother)


                                    General, 1950-1951, and undated

                                    Undated and untitled manuscripts

                                    “Ceci est une histoire vraie…,” undated

                                    Non-personal writings, undated

                                    Personal correspondence, 1947-1951, and undated

                                    United Council of Word Affairs, 1949 and undated

                                    UN News for Women Broadcasters newsletters, 1951

                              Life of your Time radio program

                                    Correspondence, 1948-1951

                                    Scripts, 1949 (2 folders)

                                          “Introductory Program,” January 13

                                          “France,” January 20

                                          “Rice Around the World,” January 27

                                          “Ireland,” February 3

                                          “Latvian Refugees,” February 10

                                          “F.A.O.,” with Elisabeth Fautz, February 17

                                          “Switzerland,” with Bernard Reverdin, February 24

                                          “Great Britain,” with Susanna Hoyt and Geoffrey Burton, March 3

                                          “Italy,” with Robert Rocca, March 10

                                          “Brazil,” with Mrs. Lauro Escorel and J.H. Falcao, March 17

                                          “W.H.O.,” with Col. Tom Whayne, March 24

                                          “France: Bicycle Trip and Songs,” with Jim Forsyth and Jan Preston, March 31

                                          “I.R.O.,” with Helen Fogg, April 7

                                          “F.S.S. P.,” With Earl Eames and Harrison White, April 14

                                          “Unitarian Service Committee,” with R. Bragg, April 21

                                          “Norway,” with B. Brun, April 28

                                          “Quakers Relief Work,” with Jeau Fairfax, May 5

                                          “Israel,” with Sara Wilenski, May 12

                                          “Greece,” with Ralph Kent, May 19

                                          “Turkey,” with Nakibe Uzgoren, May 26

                                          “UNESCO,” June 2

                                          “Atomic Energy,” with Eric Clarke, June 9

                                          “Foreign Students at MIT, from England and Holland,” June 16

                                          “French Indochina,” with Dr. J. M. May, June 23

                                          “Indochina,” June 30

                                          “Atlantic Union Committee,” with Professor Mac Lachlan, July 7

                                          “Tourism in France and Europe,” with Mr. Chambon, July 14

                                          “Canada,” with Mr. Theodore Newton, Consul in Boston, July 21

                                          “Germany” July 28

                                    “Declaration of Human Rights,” 1949

                                    Exhibit of Institute for Education by Radio, 1950

                              The World and You radio programs

                                    General, 1950-1951, and undated

                                    Correspondence, 1950-1951

                                    Schedules, 1950-1951

                                    Scripts and notes, 1950-1951

                              Television and radio ideas

                                    Correspondence, 1950-1951

                                    Drafts, 1951 and undated