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St. John's College fonds: Home

St. John's College fonds

Call Number: Ua 1, Pc 141, Tc 88, Mc 4 (A.93-39, A.96-53, A.97-81, A.98-54, A.99-57, A.05-54)

Title: St. John's College fonds.

Dates: 1815-2003.

Extent: 26.5 m of textual records and other material.

Administrative history: St John's College is a small, Anglican College located on the University of Manitoba campus in Winnipeg, Canada. St John's College was officially opened by Bishop Robert Machray on November 1, 1866, but the College's roots lie in the early years of the Red River Settlement.  The first Anglican clergyman in the Northwest interior of Canada was Reverend John West who, in 1820, established the first Anglican school in the Red River Settlement. The growth of the Red River Settlement led to the creation of the Diocese of Rupert's Land in 1849. The first bishop of the diocese was David Anderson. When he arrived at Red River, he established the first school to bear the name "St John's". For the school and the proposed theological college that would grow from it, Anderson chose the motto, which remains the College motto: "In Thy light we shall see light" (Psalm 36, verse 9). The new school provided both academic and missionary instruction to the people of the settlement and of the North. By 1859, declining enrolment and a lack of qualified teachers forced the Bishop to close the school.

Robert Machray became the Bishop of Rupert's Land in 1865 and arrived in the Red River Settlement later that same year. He recognized the need for an Anglican college and set about finding the necessary funds to re-open St John's. The buildings from Bishop Anderson's school were renovated and others acquired to house the boarders and faculty of the new school. The Reverend John McLean came from London, Ontario to become the College's first warden. When the school was re-opened on All Saints Day in 1866, it had nineteen boys attending as either boarders or day students and three students enrolled in theology courses.

In 1877, St John's College, St Boniface College, and the Manitoba College became the founding colleges in the University of Manitoba.  St. John's College has maintained its strong connection to the Anglican Church. The College School remained on Main Street until 1950 when they amalgamated with Ravenscourt School in Fort Garry to become St. John’s Ravenscourt. The St. John’s Council made a definite decision in 1955 to sell its Broadway Avenue site and move to the University campus. The College accepted a building site on Dysart Road and the initial fund-raising drive was kicked off with the Hey Day Celebration. The College and University signed a 99-year lease agreement for the nominal sum of one dollar. The agreement was signed October 4, 1957.

Custodial history: The fonds was donated to University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections in several accessions by St. John's College between 1993 and 2005.

Scope and content: The earlier accessions are comprised of 25.5 m of textual records divided into 22 series: College corporation, College Council, College Assembly, College Board, Warden's Office, Registrar's Office, Bursar's Office, Dean of Studies, Canadian Studies Conference, Canadian Studies Committee, St. John's College Press, faculty papers, Chaplain Gibbons' papers, student council papers, Ladies Auxiliary, alumni, library, miscellaneous ledgers, College Building Fund, Jack Chamber Memorial Foundation, oversized ledgers and scrapbooks, and artifacts. These records date from 1832 to 1996 and detail the operations of St. John's College throughout its many incarnations. The map collection dates from 1885 to 1994 and consists of 23 folders of oversized textual material and cartographic records that detail the history of St. John's College. The photograph collection dates from 1815 to 1998 and consists of 1050 photographs, 155 negatives, 187 slides, and 4 film reels that provide a graphic account of the history of St. John's College throughout its many stages of existence. The tape collection dates from 1958 to 1991 and consists of four audio reels and three audio cassettes. The audio reels relate to the opening of St. John's College on the Fort Garry Campus and to the celebrations surrounding the College's 100th anniversary.

The 2005 accession consists of textual and photographic records dating from 1982 to 2003 that detail the operations of St. John's College during this period in time.

Restrictions: Certain files within the earlier accessions contain confidential information and have been labeled "Restricted." The entire 2005 accession is confidential. Please contact Archives & Special Collections staff for access.

Accruals: Further accruals are expected.

Related material: Rupert’s Land Relics of the Diocese (MSS SC 2), Samuel Pritchard Matheson fonds (MSS SC 14)A. Bowerman fonds (MSS SC 73)Kenneth Hughes fonds (MSS SC 76), Laurence Wilmot fonds (MSS 122, PC 132, TC 64)Faculty of Arts fonds (UA 27)Office of the President fonds (Administrative Files) (UA 29), University publications (UPC SJC 1-20 - includes College Magazine and The Johnian, both publications contain gaps when the magazine was not printed due to financial constraints), PC 68 - Bishop Mountain centenary, UPC GEN 184.965 (St. John’s College Calendars commencing in 1895, running non-concurrently until 1990).

Finding aid: Printed finding aids are available in the Archives reading room and on-line finding aids are available at the links below:

UA 1, PC 141, TC 88, MC 4 (A.93-39, A.96-53, A.97-81, A.98-54, A.99-57)

UA 1 (A.05-54).

We greatly acknowledge the financial support of the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism and the Heritage Grants Advisory Council in the creation of this finding aid.