The first collection acquired by the Safety and Health Historical Society is the George W. Harper Collection. This collection contains a range of articles, documents, pamphlets, and other items collected by George W. Harper. There are more than 22,000 items in the collection organized into more than 700 topics. The items in the collection cover the period from about 1915 through the late 1970s.
George W. Harper taught safety engineering and related courses within the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to teaching, he had a professional career in safety in the paper and other industries. He was a founding Director and Officer of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, which began in 1969.