John Buchanan fonds

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John Buchanan fonds

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Reference code

MG 2, vol. 1887-1973 and Photo Division No. 1995-185 and SMI Nos. Ac 2812, Ar 8992, Ar 8993, Vc 1274, Vb 422-425.

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1948 - 1993 (Creation)
    Buchanan, John, 1931-

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Physical description

25.7 m of textual records and other material

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Name of creator


Biographical history

John MacLennan Buchanan was born on 22 April 1931 in Sydney, N.S. He graduated from Sydney Academy and later attended Mount Allison University where he received a B.Sc. and Engineering Certificate in 1954. He then studied metallurgy at the Nova Scotia Technical College and law at Dalhousie University. He received an LLB in 1958 and began practicing law in Halifax. He entered politics in 1967 and was elected for the Progressive Conservatives in the new provincial riding of Halifax Atlantic. He was re-elected in the general elections from 1970 to 1988. From September 1969 to October 1970 he served as minister of fisheries and public works. On 6 March 1971 he was elected leader of the Progressive Conservative Party. After winning the general election of September 1978, Buchanan was sworn in as premier on 5 October 1978. On 17 April 1982 he became a member of Privy Council along with other Canadian premiers who had participated in negotiations for repatriation of the Canadian constitution. He resigned as premier in September 1990 when he was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. Buchanan was the recipient of numerous awards and honours including five honourary degrees from Nova Scotia institutions. He married Mavis Forsyth of Bear River in 1954 and they had five children.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consists of records documenting Buchanan's political career and private life. Fonds contains correspondence, reports, articles, newspaper clippings, surveys, statistics, and press releases accumulated by Buchanan as MLA and leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party. The fonds also includes personal correspondence (1963-1990), scrapbooks (1948-1993), and photographs (1932-1990). The photographs depict John M. Buchanan's early life, Buchanan family members, various Canadian federal and provincial politicians, foreign politicians, the British and Dutch royal families, entertainers, athletes, and social and political events.

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Physical condition

Includes 2 albums (26 photographs), 199 loose photographs, 5 videocassettes, 2 audio tape reels, and 1 audio cassette.

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by John Buchanan in July 1995.


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Restrictions on access

Restricted access to most files until 2015 A.D.

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Finding aids

File list available.

Associated materials

Related records concerning Buchanan's term as premier may be found in the Office of the Premier fonds. Similar material concerning Progressive Conservative Party affairs may be found in the G.I. Smith, John Leefe, Chuck MacNeil, and Guy LeBlanc fonds in MG 2.

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