Fonds F2357 - Michael Shenstone fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Michael Shenstone fonds


  • 1979-2019 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

0.13 m of textual records

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Michael Shenstone, CM, was a Canadian diplomat. He was born June 25th, 1928 in Toronto to parents Allen and Molly Shenstone. Raised in Princeton, New Jersey, Shenstone moved back to Canada to attend secondary school at Ashbury College in Ottawa. In 1949, he graduated from Trinity College with a degree in modern languages and history. He later received an MA from Cambridge University.

Shenstone joined the Department of External Affairs in 1952, and worked extensively in the Middle East. In 1972, he was appointed Ambassador to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. From 1974-1976, Shenstone served as the first resident Canadian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. In the late 1970s, he was the Director-General of African and Middle Eastern Affairs, under Prime Minister Joe Clark. And Secretary of State for External Affairs Flora MacDonald. While there, Shenstone was involved in the Canadian Caper: the exfiltration of six American diplomats out of Iran during the Iranian Hostage Crisis. Shenstone kept in close contact with Ken Taylor, the Canadian Ambassador to Iran, who directly oversaw the shelter of the house guests.

In the early 1980s, Shenstone was the Assistant Deputy Minister of Political and International Security Affairs. From 1985-1990, he served as the Canadian Ambassador to Austria. He formally retired from the Department of External Affairs in 1992. In 2002, he was awarded Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his diplomatic service.

Shenstone married Susan Burgess, whom he met while studying at Trinity College, in 1951. They had three children: Thomas, Barbara, and Mary. Michael Shenstone passed away on September 9th 2019 in Toronto, and is survived by his wife and children.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Donated by Michael Shenstone in 2019

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists primarily of diplomatic reports and correspondence between embassies and the Canadian government in Ottawa generated during the rescue of six American diplomats from Iran (known as the Canadian Caper). Also includes interview transcripts, newspaper clippings, and correspondence produced after the fact.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


None expected

System of arrangement

Arranged by the archivist

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No restrictions on access

Conditions governing reproduction

Various copyright holders. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain permission to publish any part of the fonds.

Language of material

  • English
  • French

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