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Description found in Archives
Fonds consists of
1. <De-accessioned> John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
2. <De-accessioned> John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
3. John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
4. <De-accessioned> John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
5. John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
6. John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
7. John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
8. John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
9. John G. Diefenbaker collection [graphic material]
10. John Diefenbaker Collection [object]
11. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual records] (119-020020-1)
12. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual records] (119-020195-X)
13. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual records] (122-020010-7)
14. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual records (microfilm)] (120-020170-1)
15. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual records (microfilm)] (123-020056-8)
16. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual records (microfilm)] (123-020079-7)
17. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual records (microfilm)] (1996-03015-9)
18. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual records] (1997-03009-8)
19. DIEFENBAKER, John G
20. RIGHT HONOURABLE JOHN G. DIEFENBAKER CENTRE, THE / CENTRE DU TRES HONORABLE JOHN G. DIEFENBAKER, L'
21. <Deposit> RIGHT HONOURABLE JOHN G. DIEFENBAKER CENTRE, THE / CENTRE DU TRES HONORABLE JOHN G. DIEFENBAKER, L' [sound recording]
22. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual record (microform)] (1999-01462-6)
23. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual record (microform)] (2001-00166-5)
24. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual record (microform)] (2004-01718-X)
25. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual record (microform)] (2010-00214-8)
26. John Diefenbaker fonds [textual record (microform)] (2010-00215-6)
1761-1987, predominant 1888-1987
Place of creation
48.3 cm of textual records.
4 audio videocassettes (2 h, 56 min, 30 s).
4 audio cassettes (2 h, 30 min).
10 photographs b&w.
8 prints photochemical reproductions, watercolours, drawings.
1 medal gold.
Scope and content
Fonds documents the life and career of the Rt. Hon. John G. Diefenbaker. The fonds includes records relating to both of Diefenbaker's careers; that of a respected defence lawyer and as Canada's thirteenth prime minister. The fonds provides information on all aspects of Diefenbaker's political career, including his work within the Conservative Party, as a Member of Parliament, Leader of the Opposition and Prime Minister. These political records document policy development, program initiatives, such as northern development and the Bill of Rights, as well as international affairs, the cold war and government scandals. The fonds contains extensive records pertaining to Diefenbaker's personal life, and that of his family. Olive Diefenbaker's life as a political wife is also well documented. Diefenbaker's strong desire to preserve material relating to his personal history and that of his family has resulted in a comprehensive set of family papers. In addition to records about the "Chief", the fonds contains a great deal about life in western Canada, particularly Saskatchewan, in the first half of the twentieth century. For example, Diefenbaker's legal records offer insight into the activities of a small town, prairie lawyer in the 1920s and 1930s. The Saskatchewan political scene is captured in these records, and much of the family correspondence depicts the lives of ordinary Canadians trying to build a life on the prairies. Aforementioned textual records have been divided into the following series: Original documents; Series I, Legal series; Series II, Pre-1940 series; Series III, 1940-1956 series; Series IV, Leader of the Official Opposition; Series V, Family series; Series VI, Prime Minister's Office: Numbered files, 1957-1963; Series VII, Reference series, 1957-1967; Series XII, Personal and confidential series; and Series VIII, PMO unnumbered correspondence series. Fonds also contains moving images including a television episode entitled The Homestead Years, from the television series The Diefenbaker Years. The episode deals with stories of the early days of Diefenbaker on the prairie. Photos, drawings and memoirs are woven throughout to tell this story. Also included in fonds are sound recordings documenting oral history interviews of Marjorie Pound, Beatrice Eligh, Archie McQueen and Gordon Heatherington, former staff members in the Prime Minister's office during Diefenbaker's tenure as prime minister. Fonds also contains photographs including portraits of Edna Mae Diefenbaker by Ashley and Crippen, 1929; interior of speakers' chambers, Centre Block Parliament Building, Ottawa, 1926; photo by Louis Jaques of J.G. Diefenbaker speaking in the House of Commons, Ottawa, 1948; children kneeling at the Canadian War grave, Reviers - Bény-sur-Mer, France, ca. 1950; signed official portrait of J.G. Diefenbaker, ca. 1957; signed official portrait of L.B. Pearson, ca. 1963; 27th Parliament, 12 January 1967; and a presentation of a video copy of the television program, The homestead years, to the Dominion Archivist, Dr. W.I. Smith, by J.G. Diefenbaker, in his office at the House of Commons, 18 April 1973. Also included are reproductions of 8 watercolours and drawings related to the early life of J.G. Diefenbaker use in the CTV production of The homestead years (1972). Original works by Eleanor Kish and Rachel H. Beaulieu. In addition, fonds includes an enamelled gold collar and pendant badge of a Knight of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, given with a presentation plaque to Jeffrey, Lord Amherst, March 1761. Included in original fonds were photographs of John G. Diefenbaker, John Einarsson, and Michael A. McMillan in France; Diefenbaker, Canadian Officer's Overseas Draft, Regina, Saskatchewan, 29 August 1916; and a visit of Diefenbaker with Sir Winston Churchill, London, England on 12 May 1960. These photographs were de-accessioned to The Diefenbaker Canada Centre, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, in April 2001.
Conditions of access
Sound recording: Consultation of Pound a
nd McQueen interviews require permission of interviewees. Consultation of Heatherington interview requires permission of donor.
Object: Documents must be consulted unde
r close supervision for conservation reasons.
Moving images: Reproduction requires written permission of copyright owner. No donor restrictions.
Sound recordings: Restrictions vary. Reproduction of McQueen interview requires written permission of interviewee; reproduction of Heatherington interview requires written permission of donor. Reproduction of Pound and Eligh interviews require written permission of interviewees.
Photographs: No restrictions on use. Copyright varies. See individual items. Credit: Photographer name / National Archives of Canada / Copy negative number.
Artistic material: No restrictions on use. Copyright held by Rolly Productions, Ottawa. Credit: National Archives of Canada.
Object: No restrictions on use. Copryright unknown. Credit: National Archives of Canada / Accession number 1961-002.
Textual records The finding aid is a list of file titles denoting microfilm numbers, volume numbers and page numbers. MSS1218 90 (Paper)
Moving images Consult AV Collection file for additional information. (Paper)
Sound recording Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Electronic)
Photographs Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Electronic)
Artistic material Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Electronic)
Object Refer to MINISIS for item-level descriptions. (Electronic)
Creator / Provenance
Biography / Administrative history
John George Diefenbaker was born on 18 September 1895 in Neustadt, Ontario, the son of William Diefenbaker and Mary Florence (Bannerman) Diefenbaker. In 1903 the Diefenbaker family moved to a homestead in the Fort Carlton area of the Northwest Territories. They settled in Saskatoon in 1910. John Diefenbaker studied at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, receiving his Bachelor of Arts degree (1915), Master of Arts (1916) and Bachelor of Law (1919). He enlisted in the 196th Battalion in 1916 and served in England until February 1917. He established his first law practice in Prince Albert in 1924. He continued to practice law until 1957.
John Diefenbaker first entered politics to support a local candidate in 1917. He ran unsucccessfully in the federal elections of 1925 and 1926 in Prince Albert, as well as in the 1929 and 1938 provincial elections. Diefenbaker was leader of the Saskatchewan Liberal-Conservative Party from 1936 to 1941. In the 1940 federal election he was elected as the member for the Lake Centre Riding. From 1953 he represented the Prince Albert Riding. He contested the Conservative Party leadership at the 1942, 1948 and 1956 leadership conventions. On 14 December 1956 Diefenbaker was selected as leader of the Conservative Party. He became Prime Minister on 21 June 1957. His government was defeated in the 1963 federal election. He then served as Leader of the Opposition until his defeat in September 1967 at a Conservative Party leadership convention. He continued to represent the Prince Albert riding until his death on 16 August 1979.
John Diefenbaker married Edna Brower in June 1929. She died in February 1951 in Saskatoon. In December 1953 he married Olive (Freeman) Palmer. Olive Diefenbaker died in December 1976 in Ottawa.
The Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre is located at the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The Centre was built to house the personal effects of John G. Diefenbaker which were bequeathed to the University in his will, prior to his death in 1979. The Centre was completed in 1978 and opened on 12 June 1980. In the mid 1990s the name of the Centre was changed to The Right Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre for the Study of Canada. It was thereafter renamed The Diefenbaker Canada Centre. The Diefenbaker Canada Centre. University of Saskatchewan website. 15 May 2002. .
Sound recordings were received between 1986 and 1989 from The Rt. Honourable John G. Diefenbaker Centre, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Photographic material was acquired between 1968 and 1977.
Artistic material was received in 1973 from Rolly Productions, Ottawa, Ontario.
The medallic object in accession 1961-002 (MED) was acquired in 1961.
The medallic object (1961-002 (MED)) was given to Prime Minister Diefenbaker by H.R. Macmillan of Vancouver, B.C.
Location of originals note
1. Political parties
4. Legal documents - Saskatchewan, 1919-1956.
5. Law - Saskatchewan - Cases, 1919-1956.
6. Associations, institutions, etc. - Saskatchewan, 1919-1956.
7. Law firms - Saskatchewan, 1919-1956.
8. Politicians - Saskatchewan, 1909-1956.
9. Elections - Canada, 1911-1979.
10. Elections - Saskatchewan, 1909-1940.
11. Civil rights - Canada, [1911-1956]
12. Prince Albert (Sask.) - Constituents (Political), 1953-1956.
13. Lake Centre (Sask.) - Constituents (Political), 1940-1952.
14. Diefenbaker family, 1888-1979.
15. Politique et gouvernement .
17. Politics and government.
18. Diefenbaker, Elmer,
19. Diefenbaker, Edward,
20. Prime ministers
22. Premiers ministres
23. Brower, Edna May, d. 1951.
25. Canada. Prime Minister (1957-1963: Diefenbaker)
26. Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.
27. Saskatchewan Liberal-Conservative Party.
28. Weir, Carolyn (Palmer)
Other system control no.
Related control no.
1. 1961-002 MED
2. 1966-021 NPC
3. 1967-127 NPC
4. 1968-037 NPC
5. 1968-063 NPC
6. 1968-128 NPC
7. 1973-0166 MISA
8. 1973-104 DAP
9. 1974-022 NPC
10. 1976-234 NPC
11. 1977-178 NPC
12. 1986-0763 MISA
13. 1989-0307 MISA
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