The Helen and Newton Harrison papers at Stanford Library

The Helen and Newton Harrison Papers document the life and work of married couple Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison, leading pioneers of the eco-art movement, whose collaborative career began in the late sixties. Throughout their career, the Harrisons worked with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists, creating works that support biodiversity and community development. They have had numerous international solo exhibitions, and their work is in the collections of many public institutions, including the Pompidou Center, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2013, the Harrisons became the first recipients of the Corlis Benefideo Award for Imaginative Cartography; they are professors emeriti at the University of California Santa Cruz and at the University of California San Diego.

The Helen and Newton Harrison Papers is approximately 260 linear feet, the bulk of which documents the Harrisons’ many projects and professional career. The collection contains personal papers; project files pertaining to art projects; correspondence; performance, exhibition, and presentation material; business records; research; interview transcripts; writings; material pertaining to the Harrisons’ time at both the University of California, San Diego and the University of California, Santa Cruz; photographic material; public relations material; audiovisual material; and computer media.

A significant amount of audio/visual material and mixed born-digital files are available for viewing in the reading room. Additionally, the Harrisons email accounts have been processed and will be available in July. Also in July, extracted entities (personal names, corporate names, and locations) from the Harrison’s email accounts will be available in the SUL’s email Discovery Module at

Helen & Newton Harrison papers, circa 2947-2011 (257.85 linear feet)

The Harrison papers finding aid is available at the Online Archive of CA

Visit The Harrison Studio website


The collection was processed by Lucy Waldrop and Freya Channing, with assistance from Griselda Mercado with funding provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. This project was completed through a collaborative effort between the Manuscripts Division of the Department of Special Collections, the Conservation Department, Stanford Media Preservation Lab (SMPL), Digital Library Systems and Services (DLSS), and the Born-Digital Preservation Lab (BDPL). This site was created by Freya Channing in Special Collections.