Fonds PR3825 - John Tobias Fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John Tobias Fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material - photograph
  • Moving images

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  • Source of title proper: Title based upon the provenance of the fonds.

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Reference code

PAA PR3825

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1964 - 2013 (Creation)
  • 1964-2013 (Creation)
    Tobias, John

Physical description area

Physical description

3.40 m of textual material, 2 photographs, 3 videocassettes, and 1 DVD-R.

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Name of creator


Biographical history

John Luke Tobias was born February 27, 1942 in Pennsylvania, USA, the eldest of five children of John
William and Eva Amelia Jean Tobias. In 1964, in pursuit of a post-graduate education, he moved to
Edmonton to study history at the University of Alberta. There he met Bea, to whom he was married for
45 years. They had two sons, Paul and Michael, born in 1977 and 1978 respectively.

Tobias completed his MA and Ph.D. in 1971 in European history at the University of Alberta. Unable to find work as a teacher of European history after graduation, he took a position with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians. Tobias wrote several articles that are widely cited in First Nations historical research. His research provided information that would be crucial in establishing the validity of land claims and disputes, and he became a highly sought-out subject matter expert in court cases. He participated in the Central Alberta Historical Society and other historical organizations, and presented papers about his research at the Red Deer and District Museum and at various historical conferences.
Tobias accepted a job teaching history at Red Deer College in 1975. His role evolved to include college leadership as acting Dean and as Faculty President. Shortly after joining the faculty, Tobias became a member of the city’s archives committee, where he advocated for permanent staffing of the archives, along with the enhancement of the holdings. He taught at Red Deer College for 30 years before retiring in 2007.
Tobias’ interests included golf, barbequing, hiking, classical and folk music, sports, and reading. He passed away on December 23, 2009.

Custodial history

Bea Tobias, widow of John Tobias, deposited the records in 2013 and 2015.

Scope and content

The fonds contains research papers, lecture notes, research notes taken for his dissertation, papers from Tobias’ teaching career at Red Deer College, court case files from his time as a subject matter advisor, high school memorabilia, and recordings of lectures and presentations.

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Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Arrangement has been based upon the original order of the records.

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

Finding aids

File list is available.

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Further accruals are not expected.

General note

Includes the following accessions: PR2012.0564, PR2015.0960.

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