Title and statement of responsibility area
J. Alan Beesley fonds
General material designation
- Multiple media
Other title information
Title statements of responsibility
- Source of title proper: Title based on the provenance of the fonds
Level of description
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
Statement of projection (cartographic)
Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
- Beesley, J. Alan
Physical description area
2.35 m of textual records and other material
Publisher's series area
Title proper of publisher's series
Parallel titles of publisher's series
Other title information of publisher's series
Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series
Numbering within publisher's series
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Archival description area
Name of creator
John Alan Beesley (1927-2009) was born in Smithers, B.C. From 1949 to 1950, he obtained his B.A. and LL.B from the University of British Columbia. The following year, Beesley was called to the Bar of British Columbia, where he practiced law with Crease & Co. in Victoria until 1956. In September of 1956, he joined the Department of External Affairs, and in 1967 he became the Director of the Legal Division and held this position until 1971.
Beesley's assignments have included: the Canadian Embassy in Israel; the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva (1964-1967); Assistant Under-Secretary and Legal Advisor (1972-1973); Ambassador of Canada to Austria, IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) and UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) from 1973-1976; Canadian High Commissioner to Australia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu (1978-1980); Ambassador for Disarmament, New York (1980-1982); Ambassador to United Nations at Geneva to the Disarmament Conference and GATT (1983-1987); Visiting professor at the University of British Columbia Law School (1987-1988); and Ambassador for Marine Conservation and Special Environmental Advisor to Canadian Foreign Minister (1989-1991). In addition, Beesley is remembered for his leading role and contributions as Ambassador to Law of the Sea Conference and Chairman of the Conference Drafting Committee from 1967 to 1983. In 2003, Beesley was invited to participate in Canada's Ratification of the Convention under Jean Chrétien.
Beesley's significant honours have included earning honorary doctorates in Environmental Studies (University of Waterloo, 1983) and Law (Dalhousie University, 1994). He received the Order of Canada in 1984 and the Prime Minister's Outstanding Public Service Award in 1983. In addition, medals have included the Admiral's Medal for Contributions to Canadian Maritime Affairs (1993), Medal of Honour from the United Nation Association of Canada (1995), the Human Rights Medal of Honour, and the Commemorative Medal for the Golden Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (2002). John Alan Beesley died on 22 January 2009.
Scope and content
Fonds consists of personal and professional materials of Beesley’s related to his career. The fonds is divided into seven series: Biographical/Personal Information series (1946, 1972-2009); Correspondence series (1973, 1979, 1980-1984); Articles, Statements, and Speeches series( 1967-2004); Newspaper Clippings series (1972-1982); International Law Commission (UN General Assembly Reports) series (1986-1992), Photographs series (1962-1963, 1972-1984, 1989, 2003), and Audiovisual series (1972-1982).
Immediate source of acquisition
Materials were acquired in two separate accruals from John Alan Beesley and his wife Ruth Lechner Beesley.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
Boxes 11 and 12 contain materials labelled as personal or confidential and restricted until 24 May 2022.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
Online Finding Aid
Please see the finding aid for an inventory of files.
Uploaded finding aid
Photographs have been digitized and included in UBC Library Open Collections series (UBC 126.1).
Includes: 95 photographs, 8 audiocassette tapes, 7 digital images, 3 reel-to-reel tapes, 3 CD-R discs,1 floppy diskette.