Arts and Science


The Faculty of Arts of McGill College, established in 1843, evolved as a multi-disciplined faculty concentrating in the arts, pure and applied science and commercial studies. After 1853 it was headed by a Dean. In 1873 teaching in applied science was transferred to the newly created Faculty of Applied Science (now Engineering). In 1930 the faculty was divided into two divisions: the Arts Division and the Science Division, each administered by an individual dean, the Dean of the Arts Division also serving as the Dean of the Faculty. The name of the faculty was changed to the Faculty of Arts and Science. In 1940, the Arts Division was discontinued and replaced by the Humanities Group and the Social Sciences and Commerce Group. At the same time the Science Group was discontinued and replaced by the Biological Sciences Group and the Physical Sciences Group. Within its respective jurisdiction, each of the groups was responsible for teaching, research and student discipline, and each was administered by a chairman and the faculty was headed by a dean. Further change came in 1965 when the Groups were discontinued and replaced with the Humanities Division, the Social Sciences Division, the School of Commerce Division, the Biological Sciences Division and the Physical Sciences Division. In 1968 the School of Commerce Division united with the Graduate School of Business to form the Faculty of Management. The Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science became two independent faculties in 1971. The Faculty of Arts and the Faculty of Science continue to interfile some records series such as student academic files and budget records. Those Faculty of Science records which have been maintained separately since 1971 will be in R.G. 27: Faculty of Science.


1853-1886 William Turnbull Leach

1887-1903 Alexander Johnson

1904-1921 Charles E. Moyse

1921-1923 Gordon Laing

1924-1930 Ira Allan Mackay


1930-1934 Ira Allan Mackay

1934-1936 William Dudley Woodhead

1937-1939 Charles William Hendel

1940-1947 Cyrus J. MacMillan

1948-1962 Horace Noel Fieldhouse

1962-1964 F. Kenneth Hare

1964-1969 Harry Woods Douglas

1969-1971 Edward J. Stansbury


1971-1981 Robert Amos Vogel

1981- Michael Perceval-Maxwell


1971-1977 Edward J. Stansbury

1977- Svenn Orvig


Faculty, 1873-1971

Minutes, 1873-1971, 4 m (c.62, c.322-c.324, c.705-c.713, c.717-c.718)

The minutes of the Faculty of Arts and Science record the proceedings of this body. They are in chronological order and are accompanied by a Name Index 1902-1927 (c.712) and a Subject Index, 1902-1927. For the period 1944-1953 a joint name and subject index is bound with the minutes. In addition there are rough minutes, 1902-1905, 1918-1923, 1928-1954, which were notes taken during the meetings and used for the compilation of the minutes. There is also a record book of Higher Degrees containing references to Faculty Minutes, ca 1894-1902 (c.62).

Arts and Science Council, 1967-1968, 50 cm (c.54)

Minutes of the Arts and Science Council.

Humanities Group, 1947-1963, 40 cm (c.53-c.54)

The Humanities Group was one of the divisions of the Faculty of Arts and Science. This administrative body dealt with programmes, teaching, research and discipline in the Humanities. This series consists of chairman J.E.L. Launay's correspondence, as well as minutes and reports of the Humanities Group, 1947-1963.

Physical Sciences Group, 1940-1964, 10 cm (c.54)

The Physical Sciences Group, in existence from 1940 to 1965, was responsible for teaching research and student discipline within its respective jurisdiction. This series consists of minutes, 1940-1964; internal and external correspondence and memoranda, 1947, 1952-1956, 1960-1961; and reports of the Curriculum Committee on Physics, 1942.

Physical Sciences Division, 1964-1971, 20 cm (c.55)

The Physical Science Division was one of the four divisions within the Faculty of Arts and Science. It existed from 1965 until 31 May 1971. This administrative body dealt with programmes, teaching, research and discipline in the Physical Sciences. This series consists of Committee Minutes and appendices of supporting documents, 1964-1971.

Science Division, 1930-1940, 3 cm (c.713)

One volume of minutes.

Advisory Committee of Bachelor of Science Courses in Arts, 1930-1938, 10 cm (c.712, c.713)

This body approved the establishment of courses as well as programmes for students and researchers in the sciences. There are two volumes containing minutes as well as lists of committee members, 1903-1938. There is no index.

Office of the Dean, 1904-1974

Dean Moyse, Administrative Records, 1904-1919, 2 m (c.1-c.5, c.7, c.712-c.713)

This series consists of two chronological series of incoming correspondence arranged alphabetically, 1904-1919 (c.1-c.5), and 1909-1916 (c.7), and five letter books. Moyse's private papers are in M.G. 4001.

Deans McKay, Woodhouse, Hendel and MacMillan, Administrative Records, 1920-1946, 5 m (c.6, c.8-c.23) RESTRICTED

This series of general administrative files contains correspondence, committee minutes, examinations, statistics, and reports. Their arrangement is a mixture of subject headings with some student records arranged alphabetically.

Dean Fieldhouse, Administrative Records, 1947-1962, 2.5 m (c.24-c.31, c.644) RESTRICTED

There are two series of correspondence files, one arranged by surname (c.24-c.26), the other by subject (c.26-c.28). There also a series of subject files (c.29-c.31).

Deans Hare, Wood, Stansbury and Vogel, Administrative Records, 1959-1975, 13 m (c.32-c.46, c.50-c.52, c.56-c.61, c.325-c.328, c.564, c.960-c.965, c.1026) RESTRICTED

This series includes records of the period after 1971 when the Faculty was divided into two faculties: Arts and Science. The records contain correspondence, examinations, reports, statistics. There are various series of records: 1959, 1963-1970 (c.32-c.38); 1968-1974 arranged alphabetically (c.39-c.46, c.56-c.61); annual reports of the Faculty arranged alphabetically, 1969-1976 (c.50-c.52); a series of administrative files, 1962-1970 (c.325-c.328); a series of departmental correspondence, 1969-1975 (c.960-c.965) and correspondence with the National Research Council, 1962-1964 (c.1026).

Vice-Dean, E.J. Stansbury, Administrative Records, 1968-1970, 1 m (c.47-c.49) RESTRICTED

These records consist of general administrative papers including correspondence reflecting the activities of the Vice-Dean. Files are alphabetically arranged.

Vice-Dean, C.D. Gordon, Administrative Records, 1969-1971, 60 cm (c.329-c.330) RESTRICTED

Correspondence and administrative files.

Other Administrative Records, 1911-1967

Reading Periodical Register, 1911-1926, 2 cm (c.62)

This lists all the magazines kept in the Arts Reading Room.

Awards and Scholarships, 1956-1967, 12 cm (c.34, c.54)

Awards and Scholarships is a collective series of records reflecting the activities of a variety of committees whose tasks are to administer the funding and selection of candidates for awards. This series includes the annual reports, minutes and agenda of the Carnegie Arctic Scholarships Committees, 1956-1961 (c.34).

Timetables, 1966-1968, 1 cm (c.1026)

These give the hours and locations of course lectures.


Budget Papers, 1963-1978, 7 m (c.804-c.816, c.941-c.944) RESTRICTED

These include budget sheets and correspondence usually arranged by department. Partially listed.

DEPARTMENTS, 1886-1972

Department of Anatomy, 1923-1949

Examinations, 1923-1949, 10 cm (c.801)

Examination question papers.

Department of Biochemistry, 1942-1969

Biochemistry had its origins in the teaching of related sciences at the Montreal Medical Institution. In 1874 William Osler introduced physiological chemistry into the Faculty of Medicine. The Department of Biochemistry was created in 1921 in the Faculty of Medicine and was administered by the same faculty although degrees were awarded by the Faculty of Arts and Science.

Examination Questions, 1942-1969, 10 cm (c.63)

Examination question papers of the department.

Department of Botany, 1945-1971

Departmental Records, 1949-1971, 1 m (c.64-c.66) RESTRICTED

Correspondence, departmental reports, budget papers and Biological Sciences Group/Division minutes.

Department of Chemistry, 1886-1958

Lectures in chemistry were given in the Faculty of Medicine as early as 1829, but it was not until 1843 that chemistry was taught as an independant discipline. In 1907, the Department of Chemistry was created in the Faculty of Arts, with the amalgamation of all courses in chemistry, excepting biological and physiological which continued to be taught in Faculty of Medicine. Notes and articles on the history of the Chemistry Department have been written by Prof. R.V.V. Nicholls and by Prof. Leo Yaffe.

Department Minutes, 1930-1944, .cm (c.67)

Minutes of the meetings of the department.

Departmental Correspondence, 1896-1939, 2.1 m (c.63, c.67, c.70-c.75)

The greater part of the departmental correspondence was created by the chairman. It deals with internal and external matters concerning staff, students, construction of facilities and general policies of the department. It consists of one volume of outgoing correspondence, 1897-1906 (c.67) from B. Harrington, and correspondence, 1904-1963 (c.70-c.75).

Committee of the Chemistry and Mining Building, 1897-1923, 20 cm (c.67)

Contains minutes of the Committee, 1897-1909, the Building Record Book, 1901-1903 and the Building Library Register, 1903-1923.

Attendance Registers and Mark Books, 1886-1958, 50 cm (c.68-c.69) RESTRICTED

Registers of those who attended classes, labs and their marks.

McGill University Chemical Society, 1902-1942, 2 cm (c.67)

Minutes of the Society, 1902-1940 and notes and reports of the Chemistry Curriculum Committee, 1942.

Publications, n.d., 30 cm (c.966)

Reprints, papers and reports generally dealing with the History of Science or with polymerization.

Teaching Aids, n.d., 40 cm (c.967)

Molecular models used by professors Hatcher, Purves and Nicholls.

Department of Classics, 1935-1940

Book Orders, 1935-1940, 3 cm (c.62)

Correspondence about and lists of books ordered for the Department.

Department of Economics and Political Science, 1944-1978

Departmental Correspondence, 1944-1947, 1 cm (c.70) RESTRICTED

Correspondence of the chairman, J.P. Day about staff appointments and memoranda from Principal James on the same subject.

Student Records, ca 1958-1978, 3.3 m (c.940, c.945-c.954) RESTRICTED

Departmental files for students who graduated or who withdrew.

Department of English, 1947-1964

The Drama Programme, 1947-1964, 2.5 m (c.76-c.78, c.79, c.719)

The Drama Programme records contain correspondence, financial reports, scripts of experimental plays, and clippings, designs and programmes. (See also Photograph Inventory)

Department of French Language and Literature, 1922-1965

Departmental and Personal files, 1922-1965, 40 cm (c.53, c.54)

There are the records of the chairmen René D. DuRoure and J.E.L. Launay. They include correspondence, reports of University committees, the French Summer School and the Humanities Group.

Registration Records, 1939, 1 cm (c.62) RESTRICTED

Records of students taking French.

Department of Genetics, 1941-1969

The Department of Genetics was created in 1934. In 1970 the department amalgamated with the Departments of Botany and Zoology to form the Department of Biology.

Chairman's Records, 1941-1969, 2 m (c.734-c.740)

General records from John Stanley chairmanship containing internal and external correspondence and annual reports.

Department of Geography, 1953-1972

Chairman's Records, 1961-1972, 4 m (c.720-c.731) RESTRICTED

Records of the chairman Trevor Lloyd containing Committee Minutes, correspondence, reports and general administrative records.

Arctic Meteorology Research Group, 1953-1964, 10 cm (c.733) RESTRICTED

Correspondence and financial statements of the Group.

Department of Geological Sciences, 1887-1971

Geology as a discipline was first taught in 1855 with the appointment of Principal William Dawson. The Department of Geology was created in 1892.

Budget Submissions, 1964-1968, 10 cm (c.741) RESTRICTED

Budget submissions are arranged chronologically.

Personnel Records, 1959-1971, 20 cm (c.741) RESTRICTED

Personnel records of former faculty, secretarial and technical personnel.

Examination Questions, 1887, 1925-1964, 10 cm (c.719)

A scattering of examination question papers of the department.

Research Data, n.d., 5 cm (c.719)

Data on rock types of Mount Royal Reservoir, probably by Frank Dawson Adams.

Publications, ca 1900-1972, 22 m (c.968-c.1025)

The first 47 boxes contain reprints of geological studies by members of the department, their colleagues, or students. The remaining 10 boxes contain reprints selected from the library collection for their particular historical interest as well as files on the research and business connections of the members of the department. Partially listed.

Department of History, 1973-1975

History has been taught since about 1854, and was associated with Classics and later with English literature. In 1895 a History course independent of languages was offered. Sir William Macdonald endowed the Kingsford Chair of History in 1898. Since the 1920's courses and areas of concentration have been offered in a wide range of fields.

Canadian Studies Programme, 1973-1974, 3 cm (c.719)

File of the Acting Co-ordinator, Carman Miller.

Colloquium on Canadian Society in the Late Nineteenth Century, 1975, 6 cm (c.719)

Papers presented at the Colloquium.

Department of Mathematics, 1968-1970

Mathematics was first taught as early as 1848 when it was a discipline of Natural Philosophy.

Chairman's Records, 1968-1970, 20 cm (c.38)

Chairman E.M. Rosenthall's records containing correspondence with Deans of Science, annual reports and minutes of department.

Department of Meteorology, 1798-1972

Although the Department of Meteorology was only established in 1960, scientific observation began officially in 1856 when Charles Smallwood, M.D., was appointed Professor of Meteorology. Smallwood had his own observatory at St-Martin since 1841. In 1863, his equipment was transferred to the new McGill Observatory. Smallwood died in 1873. The next year, 1874, McGill Observatory became a "chief station" for the Meteorological Service. From 1874 until 1917, C.H. McLeod directed the Observatory. There is a brief history entitled "Century of Records of McGill Observatory, 1874-1974".

Meteorological Records, 1798-1972, 5 m (c.955-c.957, c.1026-c.1039; See also Microfilm Inventory).

These include meteorological registers; wind records; synoptic observation records; bi-hourly and soil temperature records; barograph, thermograph and hydrograph records and various monthly summaries and abstracts not only from the McGill Observatory but also from some early observers such as Drs. Spark at Quebec City and Smallwood at St-Martin. Listed.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, 1931-1972

Correspondence, 1931-1972, 50 cm (c.742-c.743) RESTRICTED

Internal and external correspondence of the chairman and staff members.

Department of Philosophy, 1926

Examinations, 1926, 2 cm (c.62)

Unworked examination papers in philosophy.

Department of Psychology, 1957-1952

From 1871 to 1924 psychology was taught in the Department of Philosophy. In 1924 it was divided into two departments: the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Psychology.

Correspondence, 1946-1951, 5 cm (c.744)

Correspondence relating to space needs of the department.

Examinations, 1947-1962, 8 cm (c.719)

A scattering of examination question papers and psychological tests administered by the department.

Department of Physics, 1891-1959

General Administrative Records, 1891-1963, approx. 6 m (c.784-c.799, c.836-c.839, c.842-c.843) RESTRICTED

These files include correspondence, reports, budget and other financial papers, staff files concerning appointments, minutes, teaching manuals and other official department publications.

Macdonald Physics Building, Apparatus and Equipment Records, 1891-1959, 1 m (c.784, c.800, c.835, c.837)

These include the minutes of the committee of management of the Macdonald Physics Building, 1893-1927, annual reports and a key register; and for the Physics Laboratory annual reports and two "volumes" of invoices for the original equipment.

Foster Radiation Laboratory, 1939, 1955, 8 cm (c.750)

Correspondence, memoranda, plans and estimates of construction and maintenance of the Cyclotron Laboratory.

Student Records, ca 1905-ca 1958, 1 m (c.784, c.800, c.840-c.842) RESTRICTED

Correspondence, files on scholarships, student notes, research and theses, attendence register, examination marks, Library Loan Registers, and examinations.

Scrapbooks, 1925-1959, 15 cm (c.784, c.920)

Newspaper clippings about the Physics Department and staff.

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, 1921-1971

Minutes of Departmental Meetings, 1954-1967, 10 cm (c.755, c.757)

General Administrative records, 1921-1971, 2 m (c.748-c.749, c.755-c.759) RESTRICTED

These records include internal and external correspondence and other materials dealing with teaching, research and administration.

Financial Records, 1962-1968, 10 cm (c.749, c.757)

Statements of account, invoices.

Staff records, 1969-1971, 1.2 m (c.760-c.763) RESTRICTED

This sample of applications for staff positions contains in addition to curriculum vitae and letters of application, samples of many applicants' work, i.e., pamphlets, theses, books and papers.

Research Papers, 1951-1964, n.d., 15 cm (c.63, c.65, c.745-c.747)

Research papers written in undergraduate and graduate courses, and questionnaires by F. Harvey.

Department of Zoology, 1953-1969

Zoology was first taught by Sir William Dawson, but it was not until 1897 that the Department of Zoology was created. In 1970 it merged with the Departments of Botany and Genetics to form the Department of Biology.

General Administrative Records, 1959-1969, 1.3 m (c.764, c.767, c.921-c.923) RESTRICTED

General administrative records containing internal and external correspondence including that of the chairman John Stanley who was also Director of the Biological Building, 1956-1961. Partially listed.

Student Records, 1953-1969, 30 cm (c.765) RESTRICTED

Individual files of students containing correspondence and marks. etc.


Registration Records, 1868-1942

Entrance Register, 1868-1903, 2 vols, 10 cm (c.827-c.828) RESTRICTED.

The Entrance Register contains name of student, date of registration, birthdate, birthplace, guardian, school, address, and religious denomination. These registers list those enrolled in the Faculties of Arts and the Royal Victoria College (listed as Donaldas). For other student registers and record, see Student Records in R.G. 7.

Registration Book, 1937-1942, 1 vol, 4 cm (c.825) RESTRICTED

The Registration Book lists student's name and courses in which the student was registered. Student names are entered within chronologial blocks.

Student Files, 1947-1978

These are student records of those individuals who were registered in a degree programme in the Faculty of Arts and Science. They document a student's academic record, and include applications for admission, transcripts of courses, marks, grade point average, date of birth, sex, marital status, mother tongue, place of birth, citizenship, address and other vital information. There are a number of different series which reflect different filing practices. In some cases files of students who have been granted degrees have been separated from those who were not, and in other cases they are interfilled. Within each block, records are grouped according to the year when the degree was granted or the student left the University and within these chronological groupings, student files are arranged alphabetically.

B.A., B.Sc., Misc., 1947-1957, 12 m (c.672-c.703) RESTRICTED

These files contain the records both of students who were awarded

degrees and of those who were not.

B.A. Degree, 1958-1979, 70 m (c.121-c.130, c.140-c.150, c.215-c.218, c.228-c.239, c.241-c.247, c.260-c.265, c.281-c.285, c.291-c.294, c.315-c.317, c.331-c.347, c.404-c.426, c.474-c.493, c.531-c.550, c.567-c.589, c.610-c.638) RESTRICTED

B.Sc. Degree, 1958-1979, 47.6 m (c.131-c.139, c.151-c.161, c.181-c.192, c.219-c.221, c.248-c.254, c.266-c.271, c.286-c.290, c.295-c.298, c.318-c.320, c.348-c.358, c.427-c.442, c.494-c.506, c.520-c.530, c.590-c.606, c.610-c.634, c.639-c.640) RESTRICTED

B.Sc. (M.D.,C.M.) Degree, 1965-1967, 60 cm (c.298, c.320) RESTRICTED

The B.Sc. (M.D.,C.M.) programme admitted students from high school in a double course in Science and Medicine.

B. Social Work Degree, 1971-1979, 3 m (c.163, c.221, c.386, c.473, c.507-c.508, c.551, c.608-c.609) RESTRICTED

B. Commerce, B. Education, B.Ed.-P.E.D., 1964, 30 cm (c.641) RESTRICTED

B.A., B.Sc., Misc., 1966-1978, 32 m (c.79-c.120, c.193-c.209, c.359-c.385, c.443-c.472) RESTRICTED

These are student records of those individuals who were not granted degrees; the students may have withdrawn from their programmes or may not have paid fees. The records contain applications for admission, transcripts of courses, marks, gradepoint average, date of birth, sex, marital status, mother tongue, place of birth, citizenship, address and other vital information.

Special and Visiting Students, 1973-1978, 6.6 m (c.211, c.214, c.387-c.393, c.509-c.514) RESTRICTED

These are the records of those students who completed one academic year of their education at McGill, but were registered in a programme at another University. The contents are similar to B.A., B.Sc., Misc. (above).

Other Student Records, 1905-1972

Applications, 1905-1906, 1909, 1921-1932, 1934, 1940, 1945, 1963, 50 cm (c.704-c.705, c.651) RESTRICTED

Incomplete series of applications for admission arranged alphabetically.

Student Record Cards, 1900-1915, 1963-1970, 3.3 m (c.162, c.255, c.276-c.278, c.312-c.314, c.652-c.653) RESTRICTED

Student record cards list students name, registered courses, marks, and additional vital information. There are three blocks 1900-1915, 1963-1966, 1966-1970. The block for 1966-1970 is arranged in alphabetical order; the others are not.

Arts and Science Premedical Advisor Records, 1968-1972, 30 cm (c.606) RESTRICTED

Commentary and letters of recommendation and marks of those students from the Faculty of Arts and Science who applied for admission to the Faculty of Medicine. The records are neither alphabetically nor chronologically arranged.

Student Marks, 1937-1979

Examination Mark Sheets, 1937-1979, 10 m (c.164-c.177, c.397-c.400, c.519, c.565-c.566, c.557-c.562, c.642-c.643, c.660-c.670) RESTRICTED

Examination Mark Sheets list the final course mark of each student. The names of students are alphabetically arranged on sheets which list the course name. These sheets are collectively arranged by department which are filed in alphabetical order.

Deferred Examination Mark Sheets, 1975-1979, 1.3 m (c.558-c.562) RESTRICTED

Deferred Examination Mark Sheets list the final course mark of those students who wrote final examinations at a time other than that of the scheduled period. The names sheets are collectively arranged by department which are filed in alphabetical order.

Mark Changes, 1975-1977, 1 m (c.394-c.396) RESTRICTED

Mark Changes are those sheets submitted by an Instructor to the Faculty giving changes or corrections of a students' marks. These records are filed within chronological blocks.


Examination Signature Sheets, 1950-1956, 1962-1965, 1967-1979, 6.6 m (c.178-c.180, c.210, c.223-c.227, c.401-c.402, c.488, c.515-c.518, c.555-c.556, c.645-c.648, c.650, c.671-c.672)

The Examination Signature Sheets list the students who wrote examinations. In addition, the date of the examination, the course number, the student's printed name and the student's signature are given. The sheets are collectively grouped by examination date.

Public Reports of Examinations, 1861-1919, 3 vols, 10 cm (c.829-c.831)

These printed records are the lists of those students who passed examinations. The records are arranged by course within a chronological grouping.

Examination Papers, 1966-1974, 1.2 m (c.801-c.803, c.938, c.1026)

Unworked sample examination papers from various departments.