Fonds MS-2-575 - John Godfrey fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John Godfrey fonds

General material designation

  • Graphic material
  • Textual record

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Dates of creation area


  • 1956-1987, predominant 1966-1986 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

3.25 m of textual records and other material. - -- 19 photographs ; 3 audio reels ; 10 videocassettes

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Archival description area

Name of creator

Biographical history

Dr. John Ferguson Godfrey was born December 19, 1942 in Toronto to Senator John Morrow Godfrey and Mary Burwell. Godfrey graduated from Upper Canada College in 1960 and went on to attend Neuchâtel Junior College in Switzerland in 1961. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Trinity College (University of Toronto) in 1965, a Master of Philosophy degree from Balliol College (Oxford) in 1967, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree from St. Antony’s College (Oxford) in 1975.

In 1970, Godfrey became a history professor at Dalhousie University. During this time, he worked with Dr. David Crook on developing a method of teaching History 100 to non-history majors, using lectures, videos, rap sessions and happenings, and dividing historical events from 1870-1970 into ten thematic decades.

Dr. Godfrey was Don of Chapel Bay at the University of King’s College from 1971-1976 and went on to serve as President and Vice-Chancellor of King’s College from 1977-1987. In 1988, he became the editor of Financial Post, a position he held until 1991. Godfrey also served as Chairman of the Art Gallery of Dalhousie and was a member of the National Film Board of Canada, the Canadian Council of Christians and Jews, the Halifax Board of Trade, and the National Board of C.U.S.O. He was active in many other associations.

In the early 1980s, Dr. Godfrey ran unsuccessfully as a provincial Liberal candidate for Halifax-Citadel. He ran and won in Toronto's Don Valley riding in 1993 and served as Parliamentary Secretary under Jean Chrétien from 1996-2004. In 2004, Godfrey was appointed Minister of State for Infrastructure and Communities by Paul Martin, a portfolio he held until 2006. That year, Godfrey announced he was running for the Liberal leadership, but he withdrew due to health problems and announced his support for Bob Rae. In 2008, Godfrey resigned his seat.

Custodial history

All records were donated by Dr. John F. Godfrey. Materials arrived in six accessions. The bulk of the material was donated in four accessions in 1987. Videocassettes were donated in one accession in 2005 and the final accession of materials, the Double 0 Zero Productions materials, were donated in 2007.

Scope and content

Fonds consists of materials created or collected by Dr. John F. Godfrey while he was a professor at Dalhousie University and President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Material consists of correspondence, course material, lecture notes, videocassettes, shooting scripts and research for History 100 videos, manuscripts, notes, printed material of local history and locations, and meeting minutes and memos from committees, the Faculty of Arts and Science, and the History Department at Dalhousie University.

Notes area

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Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

  • English

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Restrictions on access

There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room. Materials may be under copyright. Contact departmental staff for guidance on reproduction.

Finding aids

Associated materials

See Dalhousie University Reference Collection (MS-1-Ref, Box 29, Folder 11) for additional records on John Godfrey.

Related materials


Futher accruals are possible, but not expected.

General note

Preferred citation: [Identification of item], John Godfrey fonds, MS-2-575, Box [box number], Folder [folder number], Dalhousie University Archives, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

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