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Fonds JGD/MG01 - John G. Diefenbaker fonds
Reports

Title proper

John G. Diefenbaker fonds

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Level of description

Fonds

Reference code

JGD/MG01

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Date(s)

  • 1815-1979, predominant 1925-1979 (Creation)

Physical description

593.2 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator

Diefenbaker, John George, 1895-1979

Biographical history

John George Diefenbaker was born in Neustadt, Ontario, 18 September 1895 and died in Ottawa 16 August, 1979. A lawyer and a politician, he served as Prime Minister of Canada from 1957 to 1963.

Diefenbaker's family moved to the Fort Carlton region of the then North-West Territories in 1903; he attended school in several communities before the family moved to Saskatoon in 1910. After receiving a B.A. (1915) and M.A. (1916) from the University of Saskatchewan, he enlisted for service during the First World War; he subsequently completed his law degree (1919) and was called to the bar the same year.

First practicing law in Wakaw, he moved to Prince Albert in 1924. He ran unsuccessfully in the federal elections of 1925 and 1926 and the provincial elections of 1929 and 1938, before being elected as the MP for Lake Centre in 1940.

In 1956, Diefenbaker was selected as the new leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, and became Prime Minister in 1957 - considered an upset. In March 1958, he led his party to the biggest majority government to that point in Canadian history, with 208 seats.

After the 1962 election, the Diefenbaker Conservatives were reduced to a minority, and they lost power in 1963. He was challenged as leader, and lost the vote at the leadership convention in 1967. Continuing to serve as an MP until his death, he was elected for the 13th time in May 1979. He died in August 1979 and was buried in Saskatoon on the campus of the University of Saskatchewan (next to the Diefenbaker Canada Centre) following a state funeral in Ottawa and a cross-Canada train journey.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds includes personal correspondence and papers, as well as background and reference material assembled by John Diefenbaker
and his staff. There is also large collection of press clippings, supplemented by press clippings gathered by the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Arrangement

The fonds is divided into twenty-three series:

  • I Legal Series
  • II Pre 1940 Series
  • III 1940-1956 Series
  • IV Leader of the Opposition, Dec. 1956 - June 1957 Series
  • V Family Series
  • VI Prime Minister’s Office Numbered Correspondence Series
  • VII Reference Series, 1957-1967
  • VIII Prime Minister’s Office Unnumbered Correspondence Series
  • IX Second Leader of the Opposition, 1963-1967 Series
  • X Office Administration Series
  • XI Member of Parliament, 1967-1979 Series
  • XII Personal and Confidential Series, 1957-1979
  • XIII Reference Series, 1940-1957
  • XIV Memoirs Series
  • XV Historical Series, 1815-1974
  • XVI Press Clippings Series
  • XVII Photographs and Slides Series
  • XVIII Audio-Visual Series
  • XIX Scrapbook Series
  • XX Poster Series
  • XXI Speech Series
  • XXII Prime Minister’s Office/ Second Leader of the Opposition Press Release Series
  • XXIII Cabinet Ministers’ Statements and Speeches

Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Series I through VIII and part of series XII are available on microfilm; see series descriptions for details.

Restrictions on access

Some restrictions apply; see series-level descriptions for details.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Hard copy finding aids available; file-level descriptions also available in separate database (all series except XVI, XXI, and XXIII; series XIV is also currently unavailable) - http://library.usask.ca/tools/solr_ajax/dief_search.php. See photographs and slides series description for link to item-level image database.

Associated / related material

Accruals

Other notes

  • Location note: This collection is stored off-site; please contact the Archives in advance to arrange in-person use

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