Papers of Hamlet J. "Chips" Barry, III
Scope and Contents
The Papers of Hamlet J. "Chips" Barry, III, consists of documents dated 1951 to 2011, with the bulk falling from 1973 to 2010. The documentation of Barry's employment with the Micronesian Legal Services Corporation, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, law firm Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw and Harring, and Denver Water is representative but not comprehensive. A 30-year span of his calendars gives a sense of his daily appointments and activities. Additionally, files of his speeches and writings on typical subjects such as mining, energy, and water law, planning, and administration provide further insight into his thoughts on such matters. His subject and reference files show his interests in these same and other topics, such as Alaska, the Marshall Islands, Theodore Roosevelt, and humor. Personal papers range from grade school report cards and college papers to sympathy cards he received after his 2001 accident and condolence cards his family received after his death. A small amount of photographs, videotapes, and DVDs show Barry at work or entirely concern Denver Water. A variety of artifacts, from letter sweaters to awards, preserve some of the special items in his life.
- Creation: 1951-2011
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1973-2010
- Barry, Hamlet J., III, 1944-2010 (Person)
Restrictions on Access
All "confidential" markings on correspondence or other materials have been determined to be for administrative purposes, not national security information; therefore, these materials are open for access.
Restrictions on Use
Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.
Chips Barry served as the manager of Denver Water for nearly twenty years. He brought a career as a natural resources attorney and administrator to the position, as well as his outgoing nature and jovial good humor.
Hamlet Joseph Barry, III, was born in Oceanside, California, in 1944. He earned his lifelong nickname by being "two chips" off the old block. His parents, Denver natives, brought the family back to Denver when Barry was two. He earned a B.A. in American studies from Yale University in 1966 and a J.D. from Columbia University in 1969. Shortly after graduation, Barry headed for a year in Alaska as a VISTA volunteer and field attorney for the Alaska Legal Services Corporation.
After just over a year back in Denver clerking for Judge Robert McWilliams of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, Barry departed again, this time for the Marshall Islands. He spent most of 1972 through 1974 as the directing attorney for the local office of the Micronesian Legal Services Corporation. There, he worked on numerous civil cases and assisted people of the Bikini and Enewetak atolls displaced by atomic and hydrogen bomb testing since the 1940s.
After Barry returned to Denver, he spent a year working for the Western Governors' Regional Energy Policy Office before becoming a self-employed consultant from 1976 to 1978. This consulting work focused on contracts for the Colorado Department of Natural Resources (DNR), primarily on matters of water, reclamation, and energy. As a consultant, he began work on the Colorado Water Policy Study, which resulted in a four-volume report that examined various consequences of alternatives for water distribution and use in the state.
Barry finished this work as a DNR employee in mid-1978. He then served as the director of the Mined Land Reclamation Division until 1980, when he was appointed deputy director and then acting executive director in 1983 for seven months, resuming the position of deputy until 1985. He left public service to be an associate with the Denver law firm Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw and Harring. In December 1987, Governor Roy Romer appointed Barry executive director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, where he served until 1990.
Barry began work as the manager of Denver Water, the largest water utility between Chicago and California, in January 1991, just months after the agency's proposal for Two Forks Dam was unexpectedly vetoed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Barry was tasked with finding new ways to provide a secure water supply for over one million people in the Denver metropolitan area. Recurring drought added to this challenge but also helped make people aware of water issues and thus spur unprecedented conservation.
Barry enjoyed tennis, squash, golfing, and skiing, though poking fun at himself and joking with others may have been his favorite pastimes. While returning from a 2001 ski trip, a car accident on an icy mountain road left Barry blind in one eye, deaf in one ear, and unable to move half his face. While these injuries and some bone fractures slowed him down for a few months, they also gave him a new outlook on life, and something new to joke about.
Throughout his career, Barry actively served on several energy-, law-, and water-related boards and committees. An able and entertaining speaker, he also frequently spoke at conferences -- and portrayed Theodore Roosevelt on occasion. He received several awards, including the 1993 Thorne Ecological Institute Award for Environmental Achievement and the 2007 George E. Cranmer Award from Colorado Open Lands.
Barry married Gail Nelson in June 1968, and they had two sons: Pennan (1974) and Duncan (1980). Barry was approaching his 2010 retirement from Denver Water when he was killed in a tractor accident on his farm in Hawaii.
25.5 linear feet (30 document boxes, 2 record cartons, 3 flat boxes, 1 flat file)
Language of Materials
Hamlet J. "Chips" Barry, III, served as the manager of Denver Water for nearly twenty years. The documentation of Barry's employment with the Micronesian Legal Services Corporation, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, law firm Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw and Harring, and Denver Water is representative but not comprehensive. A 30-year span of his calendars gives a sense of his daily appointments and activities. Additionally, files of his speeches and writings on typical subjects such as mining, energy, and water law, planning, and administration provide further insight into his thoughts on such matters. His subject and reference files show his interests in these same and other topics, such as Alaska, the Marshall Islands, Theodore Roosevelt, and humor. Personal papers, photographs, videotapes, DVDs, and a variety of artifacts also document Barry's home and work life. A portion of the collection is digitized and online.
The collection had little organization upon arrival so was substantially rearranged to create series by material type. It consists of 6 series in 35 boxes and 1 flat file.
Series 1: Career, 1963-2011 and undated
Subseries 1.1: General documentation, 1966-2010 and undated
Subseries 1.2: Calendars, 1976-2010
Subseries 1.3: Micronesian Legal Services Corporation, 1963-1974
Subseries 1.4: Colorado Department of Natural Resources, 1973-1990 and undated
Subseries 1.5: Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw and Harring, 1985-1987
Subseries 1.6: Denver Water, 1990-2011 and undated
Series 2: Speeches and writings, 1965-2010 and undated
Subseries 2.1: Speeches, 1975-2010 and undated
Subseries 2.2: Writings, 1965-2010 and undated
Series 3: Personal papers, 1951-2011 and undated
Series 4: Subject and reference files, 1954-2008 and undated
Series 5: Media, 1979-2011 and undated
Subseries 5.1: Photographs, 1979-2011 and undated
Subseries 5.2: Videotapes and DVDs, 2002-2010 and undated
Series 6: Artifacts, 1962-2011 and undated
The Papers of Hamlet J. "Chips" Barry, III, was donated to the Water Resources Archive by Gail Barry in December 2013.
Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context.
Processing was completed in March 2015. Materials were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. Items were removed from binders and some framed items were removed from frames. Binder clips and paper clips were removed and replaced with plastic clips as necessary. Duplicates beyond two copies were removed, as were some family materials, publications not by Barry or annotated by him, and reference materials that were basic photocopies. Correspondence was screened for attorney-client and attorney work product documents; any found were either cleared or returned to the donor. Photographs were sleeved, media were rehoused in archival containers, and artifacts were stabilized. Everything in boxes 1-7 was digitized at the donor's request; two items in Series 3 were scanned and returned so only exist in the collection digitally.
Note: Title information supplied by the archivist is bracketed. Estimated pagination is preceded by an "e." Two identical copies of the same item are indicated by the phrase "2 copies" at the end of the entry, following the number of pages of each copy. Authored articles, books, and studies are listed in bibliographic form. HJB=Hamlet J. Barry, III
- Barry, Hamlet J., III, 1944-2010. (Person)
- Denver (Colo.). Board of Water Commissioners. (Organization)
- Colorado. Department of Natural Resources. (Organization)
- Colorado. Mined Land Reclamation Division. (Organization)
- Micronesian Legal Services Corporation. (Organization)
- Calkins, Kramer, Grimshaw & Harring. (Organization)
Genre / Form
- Denver (Colo.)
- Marshall Islands.
- Micronesia (Federated States)
- South Platte River (Colo. and Neb.)
- Guide to the Papers of Hamlet J. "Chips" Barry, III
- Edited Full Draft
- Prepared by Patricia J. Rettig
- Copyright 2015
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA