Fonds UBCA-ARC-1111 - John Conway fonds

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John Conway fonds

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  • Textual record
  • Photographic material

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  • Source of title proper: The title is based on the contents of the fonds.

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12.08 m of textual records
17 photographs

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Name of creator


Biographical history

John Seymour Conway was born in London, England, and studied at St John's College Cambridge. He emigrated to Canada in 1955 and taught International Relations for two years at the University of Manitoba. In 1957 he joined the Department of History at UBC and continued teaching Modern European History and International Relations until 1995. In 1998 he was appointed the Smallman Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of History at Western Ontario. His research concentrated on the role of German Churches in the 1930s and 1940s. From this research, he wrote "The Nazi Persecution of the Churches 1933-1945". This book was first published in Britain in 1968, translated into German, French and Spanish, and reissued in 1997. His researches took him frequently to Germany, which he visited almost every year, including several sabbatical periods at various German universities. In 1970 he was a founding member of the Scholars' Conference on the German Church and the Holocaust. He wrote many articles dealing with the role of the European churches and the Vatican during the Holocaust and on Christian-Jewish relations during the twentieth century. He paid three visits to Israel and lectured at the Yad Vashem Memorial Foundation in Jerusalem in 1993. In 1995 he became the Director of the Association of Contemporary Church Historians and editor of its monthly newsletter, which has a worldwide audience. He was also a member of the editorial boards of Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte and the Journal of Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Conway played an active part in several associations connected with Vancouver's international relations, including being Chairman of the Vancouver Branch of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs and the United Nations Association. For ten years, he was the executive vice-chairman of the Tibetan Refugee Aid Society of Canada. In this connection, he paid several visits to India. In 1977 he was awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal for his services. He also served as a member of the Anglican Diocese of New Westminster's Refugee Liaison Committee. He was long associated with the Student Christian Movement and the World University Service on the UBC campus. He acted for many years as the Faculty Advisor. He served for many years as the editor of the Newsletter of the Association of Contemporary Church Historians. He was also a faithful member of St James' Anglican Parish, Vancouver. Conway passed away on June 23, 2017.

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Scope and content

The fonds consists of minutes, reports, correspondence and published material generated by various organizations with which Conway has been associated. Records represented in the papers include Student Christian Movement (1956-2013), World University Service of Canada (1957-2009), United Nations Association (1959-1990), Canadian Council for International Cooperation (1967-1978), Canadian University Service Overseas (1961- 1991), Vancouver Refugee Council (1985-1989), Canadian Institute of International Affairs (1971-78, 1987-2000), Tibetan Refugee Aid Society (1985-1989), and Canadian Cross Roads International (1966-1990), among others. Other administrative records include material from the Faculty of Arts (1968-1991) and the Department of History (1958-2009). The papers include documents from the William G. Murrin Fund Committee (1979-1993), allocating funding to religious organizations at UBC. John Conway's professional correspondence (1963-2016) is also included.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

The University Archives has acquired the records in several accessions. They are arranged in the order they were received; the most recent was acquired from Conway's family after his death in 2017.


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No further accruals are expected.

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Updated in January 2021, JM.

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