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Description found in Archives

Date(s)

1881-1973

Place of creation

No place, unknown, or undetermined

435.71 m of textual records.
1 microfilm reel negative and positive.
3124 photographs b&w.
61 photographs col.
11 albums (427 photographs).
273 audio reels.
98 medals
45 drawings
25 audio discs.
17 audio cassettes.
4 paintings oil.
3 pictures
3 film reels (47 min).
2 prints aquatint.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of the official and personal papers of the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson. The fonds contains information on almost all aspects of Pearson's diplomatic and political career, including his winning the Nobel Peace Prize, the flag debate, lasting accomplishments and the political scandals that plagued his terms in office. Although all of Pearson's life and career are documented, the fonds places a particular emphasis on his years and his work as Prime Minister. It also contains extensive documentation on Canada's foreign policy and involvement in international affairs. The fonds is arranged chronologically to reflect the different stages of Pearson's career, from his diplomatic career in the Department of External Affairs to his post-political work. The fonds contains extensive correspondence, both official and private, reference material, a comprehensive set of Pearson's speeches, and a small amount of personal memorabilia. The fonds also contains sound recordings of speeches, press conferences and interviews with Lester B. Pearson and other Canadians and foreign politicians and personalities or heads of state about Canadian and international affairs, and Canada's Centennial and reports by René Lévesque, Michel Robida, Raymond Marsillac and Roland Lelièvre on the visit of Vincent Auriol, President of France to Canada, 1951-1968. As well, there is a short documentary film entitled He is a good man promoting Pearson's 1962 campaign and a television interview of Maryon Pearson, [ca. 1964].

Textual records
Textual records: microform
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
There are no access restrictions on phot
ographs.
Moving images (film)
90: Open
Sound recordings
90: Open
Textual records: microform
90: Open
Microfilm reel
C-018532
PA-117617
PA-117622
Restrictions not set
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Volume
from 7 to 26
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Box
02549
04408
C 0085
SC 0548
SC 2034
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Box
03894
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Box
04898
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Box
05014
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Box
05550
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Box
06237
from C 0100 to C 0103
TCS 01203
TCS 05000
TCS 10071
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Box
C 0123
90: Open
Graphic (photo)
90: Open
Box
from SC 0362 to SC 0363
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
020000 Item no. assigned by LAC 5
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
2000860720
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
A300-03
90: Open
Graphic (art)
90: Open
Box
A340-02
90: Open
Object
90: Open
Medals
from 13275 to 13330
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Former archival reference no.

Terms of use

Photographs: Copyright expired. Credit: Name of photographer / National Archives of Canada / Copy negative number.
Moving images and sound recordings: Reproduction and use in any form require the written permission of the copyright holders.
Graphic material: art No restriction. Copyright: various copyrights. Credit: National Archives of Canada.
Object: No restriction. Copyright: various copyrights. Credit: National Archives opf Canada.

Textual record Each series has its own finding aid identified by series number (ie: MSS0877 N1). Most finding aids are in paper format, however some also exist in electronic form. Consult the Archivist for any possible finding aids in process. MSS0877 90 (Paper)

Moving images and sound recordings: See MISACS for item level descriptions. (Electronic)

Biography / Administrative history

Prime Minister of Canada

Lester Bowles Pearson was born at Newtonbrook, Ontario near Toronto on 23 April 1897. He was educated in Ontario public schools and at the University of Toronto (B.A. 1919) and Oxford (B.A. 1923, M.A. 1925). After service in World War I, he became a member of the Faculty of the University of Toronto. He married Maryon E. Moody of Winnipeg in 1925. In 1928, he joined the Department of External Affairs and served in a number of responsible positions with that department including service at Canada House in London, 1935-1941 and at the Canadian Legation in Washington, 1942-1945. He was appointed Ambassador to Washington, 1945-1946 and Deputy Minister of External Affairs 1946-1948. He was named to the cabinet of the Rt. Hon. Louis St-Laurent as Secretary of State for External Affairs, when he was first elected to the House of Commons in 1948. Pearson held that post from 1948 until 1957. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.

Mr. Pearson was elected Leader of the Liberal Party in 1958 and served as Leader of the Opposition from that date until 22 April 1963 when he became Prime Minister. He retired from politics in 1968, assuming the chairmanship of the Commission on International Development, whose report was issued in 1969. Mr Pearson was Chairman of the International Development Research Centre from 1970 until his death in 1972.

Additional information

The majority of the Pearson Papers were transferred to the National Archives in 1968. Several additional accessions have been received since that date. The papers were left to the Archives by the terms of Mr. Pearson's will. They were formally presented by the family in October 1973. In 1976 photographs were transferred to the Visual and Sound Archives Division (accession 1976-37 and 1976-143). A further transfer was made in 1978 (accession 1978-188).

Arrangement note
The fonds was redescribed in 2001, but no major changes were made to the physical arrangement of the material.

Subject heading

1. Ambassadors, 1945-1946.
2. Canada. Dept. of External Affairs.
3. Prime ministers Canada.
4. Premiers ministres Canada.
5. Politicians Canada.
6. Algoma East (Ont.)
7. Canada. Prime Minister (1963-1968: Pearson)
8. Politics and government. Canada
9. Canada. Secretary of State for External Affairs.
10. Canada. Privy Council Office.
11. Carleton University (Ottawa, Ont.), .
12. Autobiography. Pearson, Lester B., 1897-1972
13. Notebooks, sketchbooks, etc., . Pearson, Lester B., 1897-1972
14. Cabinet ministers Canada.
15. Nicholson, Alexander M., b. 1900.
16. Commission on International Development.
17. Pearson, Edwin, ca. 1881-1931.
18. Speeches, addresses, etc., Canadian.
19. Diaries. Pearson, Lester B., 1897-1972
20. Funeral, etc. Pearson, Lester B., 1897-1972
21. Foreign relations Canada
22. Relations extérieures Canada

Private

Other system control no.

Related control no.

1. 1964-155 PIC
2. 1969-0004 MISA
3. 1969-107 NPC
4. 1972-0130 (MISA)
5. 1976-024 PIC
6. 1976-037 NPC
7. 1976-143 NPC
8. 1978-188 NPC
9. 1980-0135 MISA
10. 1980-222 NPC
11. 1982-160 PIC
12. 1983-0163 MISA
13. 1983-0272 MISA
14. 1983-084 NPC
15. 1983-127 PIC
16. 1983-152 NPC
17. 1984-132 NPC
18. 1988-199 DAP
19. 1989-0499 MISA
20. 1989-167 DAP
21. 1995-210 X DAP
22. 1995-211 X DAP
23. 123-040409-0
24. 123-040410-4
25. 1999-00144-3
26. 2000-01589-1
27. 2012-00335-4
28. MG26-N
29. MG26-N13