Fonds F1799 - Maxwell Henderson fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Maxwell Henderson fonds

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1923-1991 (Creation)
    Henderson, Andrew Maxwell

Physical description area

Physical description

14 m of textual records, ca. 80 photographs, 33 audio cassettes

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Andrew Maxwell Henderson was born in Carshalton, Surrey, England on 24 March, 1908. After education at Mill Hill School, London, and Rollins College, Florida, he became a chartered accountant in Halifax in 1929. He married Beatrice Johnstone Maltby, a Toronto artist, on June 1, 1935 and they had one son, David J. Henderson, C.A. After a number of years with various agencies including C.B.C. (comptroller, 1958-60) Henderson was appointed Auditor General of Canada in 1960 by Prime Minister Diefenbaker and served under Prime Ministers Lester Pearson and Pierre Trudeau until his retirement in 1973. In 1974-1975 he served as administrator, and later a director of the Royal Ontario Museum and as a member of the Special Programme Review for the Ontario government. While Auditor General he participated widely as Canadian representative in international organizations: the Board of Auditors of the United Nations where he undertook several projects and studies, the Conference of Commonwealth Auditors General , and the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) where he served as president in 1971. Maxwell Henderson passed away in 1997 at the age of 89.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds consists of correspondence, press clippings, speeches, articles, diaries, scrapbooks, reports photographs, sound recordings and a large collection of political cartoons. The material covers the period from his earliest American accountancy training in 1923 through his professional career and public career as Auditor General of Canada 1960 to 1973 to his present interests. It is in his role as watch dog and critic of government spending that Mr. Henderson is best known and the major part of the fonds is concerned with this role. Mr. Henderson's frank and articulate comments and criticisms of government expenditures and procedures aroused public interest and conflict with the government, especially that of Prime Minister Trudeau. These aspects are well represented in the fonds, along with Mr. Henderson's significant, but less visible, international accounting work.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by Mr. Maxwell Henderson - 1993


A portion of Maxwell Henderson's papers were organized at Queen's University Archives in 1989 and the complete fonds, 14 m, was donated in 1993. Mr. Henderson had carefully kept and organized his papers throughout his career. In 1984 Mr. Henderson published his autobiography, "Plain Talk", and the organization and notes from that work are evident in his papers. The papers were transported from his summer home in Georgian Bay and his Toronto home to Queen's University Archives in July 1993 and reboxed and arranged there. In his collection of political cartoons, 55 were framed under glass and numbers 56 to 95 were matted for their display at the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and had been stored at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

5115SR1185-SR1185.33F3 C1.1.002F3 C2.1.001F3 C2.1.002F3 C2.1.003F3 C2.1.004

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Copyright provisions may apply, please see archivist.

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No further accruals are expected

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Description created on 1999/08/27. Last updated 30/06/2017.
Archivist(s): Anne MacDermaid, Shirley Spragge, Ken Willmott

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


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  • Shelf: 5115
  • Shelf: SR1185-SR1185.33
  • Shelf: F3 C1.1.002
  • Shelf: F3 C2.1.001
  • Shelf: F3 C2.1.002
  • Shelf: F3 C2.1.003
  • Shelf: F3 C2.1.004