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Lester B. Pearson Fonds

Fonds #


Accession #



Lester B. Pearson fonds

Dates of Creation



3 cm of textual records

Biographical Sketch

Lester Bowles Pearson (1897–1972) was born in Newtonbrook (now part of Toronto), the son of Edwin Arthur Pearson and Anne Sarah Bowles. He graduated from Hamilton Collegiate Institute in 1913, then, at age sixteen, went on to Victoria University that year. At Victoria he lived in residence, and participated in sports such as basketball and rugby. During World War I Pearson served as a Medical Orderly overseas. He completed his B.A. at Victoria in 1919, then returned as a Lecturer in History in 1923; during this period he married Maryon (née Moody). Lester Pearson went on to a distinguished career, first as a diplomat, and then as a politician. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his achievements during the Suez Crisis, and went on to become leader of the federal Liberal Party in 1958, then Prime Minister in 1963. He maintained his affiliation with Victoria University, serving as Chancellor from 1952 to 1959. In 2000, the Lester B. Pearson Peace Garden was established on campus.

Scope and Content

Fonds consists of a scrapbook compiled by Pearson that contains the following material relating to his student years at Victoria University, 1913-1919: first letter from University; ephemera from events and activities, including "The Bob" and the Union Literary Society, lectures, receptions and dinner; clippings; examination results statements; and convocation programmes. The scrapbook also contains the letter appointing Pearson Lecturer in History, 1923; and clippings of letters written by Pearson during his service in World War I, and published in a newspaper.


Source of Supplied Title

Title based on the contents of the fonds.

Availability of Other Formats

Scrapbook has been scanned, and is available in PDF files (Part 1: 30MB, Part 2: 36MB).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Mrs. Landon Pearson, daughter-in-law of Lester Pearson, in 2011.


No further accruals are expected.

Access points

  • Pearson, Lester B., 1897–1972
  • Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.)—Faculty
  • Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.)—Societies, etc.
  • Victoria University (Toronto, Ont.)—Students


  • Academic achievement
  • College students
  • Student activities
  • Universities and colleges—Faculty
  • World War, 1914–1918—Correspondence