The oldest McGill library is the Medical Library which can be traced back to 1829. Its operation, particularly in the nineteenth century, tended to be independent of the rest of the University Libraries. The Medical Library records are housed in the Osler Library. The first University Librarian was appointed in 1845 but it was probably only in the late 1850s that a College Library was set up, containing books in non-medical disciplines, such as Classics, Philosophy and History. From 1862 to 1893 the library was located in the west wing of the Arts Building (Molson Hall), where the collection slowly expanded. It was administered by unpaid assistant librarians under a permanent committee of the University Corporation. In 1893, Redpath Library opened, offering greatly expanded facilities. At the same time, the first full-time University Librarian, Charles H. Gould (1893-1919) was appointed. The collection and staff expanded under Gould and Gerhard Lomer (1920-1947), but by the 1920s and 1930s the central library's lack of space was encouraging the establishment of various departmental and area libraries. In 1953 a large addition to Redpath Library was opened and the University Librarian became primarily responsible for this collection, the holdings of which were mainly in the humanities and social sciences. Area libraries in Medicine, Law, Engineering, Physical Sciences, Divinity, Nursing and other disciplines were largely independent. In 1969, McLennan Library (Humanities and Social Sciences) opened, and Senate set up a University Libraries Commission whose Report (1971) recommended reorganization and greater coordination in the administration of the library systems. By the mid-1970s, the 22 McGill libraries had been organized into 5 chief areas: 1) Humanities and Social Sciences (McLennan Library); 2) Life Sciences; 3) Physical Sciences and Engineering; 4) Law; 5) Undergraduate (Redpath Library).
1845-1852 Joseph Abbott
1852-1855 William Turnbull Leach
1855-1857 John William Dawson
1857-1882 Charles F.A. Markgraf
1882-1883 William McLennan, Honorary Librarian
1882-1888 M. William Taylor, Assistant Librarian
1883-1893 George Cornish, Honorary Librarian
1883-1901 Henry Mott, Assistant Librarian
1893-1919 Charles H. Gould
1920-1947 Gerhard R. Lomer
1947-1965 Richard Pennington
DIRECTORS OF UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
1964-1967 John Archer
1967-1972 Keith Crouch
1972-1974 Richard A. Farley
1975-1984 Marianne Scott
1984- Hans Moller, Acting
OFFICE OF UNIVERSITY LIBRARIAN/DIRECTOR OF UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES 1863-1960
Correspondence, 1863-1893, 20 cm (c.2)
Incoming letters to the College Librarians, and to Principal Dawson on Library matters. Included are copies of a few outgoing letters. Arranged chronologically. Listed.
Incoming Correspondence, 1893-1919, 3 m (c.3-c.13)
Letters from internal McGill departments and external bodies about book orders, memberships and administrative matters. Arranged alphabetically within chronological blocks of one year. Listed.
Letterbooks, 1893-1920, 30 vols, 2 m, (c.56-c.61)
Copies of University Librarian's letters about book orders, equipment, administration of Redpath Library, relations with external libraries and groups. Includes many letters on the A.L.A. Conference of 1900 (c.61). Arranged chronologically, indexed and listed.
Administrative Records, 1857-1960
General Administrative Records, 1857-1919, 60 cm (c.2, c.14-c.15)
A small series covering 1857-1892 (c.2) concerns donations, the McGill Book Club, and purchases; also includes reports, statistics, and correspondence with Peter Redpath. A larger series of files created between 1893 and 1919 includes correspondence with other libraries, organizations, Andrew Carnegie, Melvil Dewey and other individuals, as well as material relating to book acquisitions, donations, cataloguing (Cutter system), expansion of Redpath Library and its collections. Arranged alphabetically and listed.
Administrative and Correspondence Files, 1920-1960, 1969-1973, 10 m (c.15-c.46, c.108-c.110)
This major series combines the internal operational files and the
correspondence of the University Librarian. It contains files on various functions such as salaries, statistics, acquisitions, exhibits, administration of Redpath Library, relations with other McGill libraries and departments, external organizations, Library Committees, Gest Chinese Collection, equipment, Canadian Legion War Services, Inc. (1940-1944), and the Librarian's incoming correspondence with individuals, including F.D. Adams, Principal Arthur Currie, Casey Wood, Francis McLennan, Cleveland Morgan, and A.P.S. Glassco, with copies of outgoing letters. The arrangement is alphabetical within annual blocks.
Administrative Files of Librarian, Redpath Library, 1940-1960, 1.3 m (c.62, c.48-c.51)
The University Librarian's files, chiefly on the internal operation of Redpath library, including budgets, statistics, the Circulation Department and the extension erected in 1953.
Administrative Files of Assistant Librarian, Redpath Library, ca 1945-1965, 30 cm (c.55)
Correspondence and memoranda on departmental and area libraries.
Records of the Head of Reference Services, ca 1969-1977, 1.5 m (c.102-c.103, c.105-c.106, c.118-c.119)
These are general administrative fields which contain some correspondence and reference statistics.
Minutes of Committees, 1935-ca 1970, 60 cm (c.36-c.37, c.47, c.104)
Minutes of the Library Committee (of Corporation), of Library Subcommittees, and various others including the Carnegie Library Committee.
Staff Records, 1930-1970, 2 m (c.47, c.63-c.67) RESTRICTED
Files maintained in the Librarian's office on Library staff members. Included are several files on appointments, transfers, and resignations, 1968-1974. The arrangement is alphabetical. There are 2 series; 1930-1959, 1960-1970. Listed.
Information Files, 1939-1952, 15 cm (c.51)
These are mainly about McGill events, personalities, buildings and royal visits. Listed.
Cataloguing Department, ca 1930-1960, 1 m (c.52-c.54)
Mainly relating to the technical operations of cataloguing, the files include Cutter classification schedules, and cover subjects
such as storage and the union catalogue.
Catalogue, 1862-ca 1872, 2.5 cm
RARE BOOK DEPARTMENT
This catalogue of books in the College Library contains a subject and author index.
McGill University Libraries Union Catalogue, ca 1970-1978, (approx. 400 reels) (See Microform Inventory)
In the early 1970s, the card catalogue of the area libraries were microfilmed as part of the essential records protection programme. They are listed in the Archives Microform Inventory where they are arranged according to name of Library.
AREA AND SPECIALIZED LIBRARIES, 1901-1982
BLACKADER LIBRARY OF ARCHITECTURE, 1917-1923
RARE BOOK DEPARTMENT
Administrative Records, 1917-1923, (CM73.002.20)
These documents relating to the formation of the Gordon Home Blackader Library include minutes of the committee formed to establish it.
DENTISTRY LIBRARY, 1970
Library of Congress card catalogue, with shelf list, 1970, 3 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
DIVINITY LIBRARY, 1970
Cutter card catalogue with Cutter and other shelf lists, c.1970, 15 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
ENGINEERING LIBRARY, 1970
Library of Congress and Cutter card catalogues with shelf lists, c. 1970, 10 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
GRADUATE NURSING, 1970
Belleview card catalogue and shelf list, 1970, 4 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
ISLAMIC STUDIES, 1970
Cutter card catalogue and shelf list, 1970, 9 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
LAW LIBRARY, 1970
Cutter card catalogue and shelf list with other card catalogues for periodicals, and specialized holdings, eg. AIR LAW of legal documents, 1970, 18 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
LIBRARY SCIENCE LIBRARY, 1970
Library of Congress and Cutter Dictionary Catalogue, Library of Congress Shelf List and Dewey Children's Catalogue, 1970, 7 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
MACDONALD COLLEGE LIBRARY, 1970
Library Catalogue, 1970, 34 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
McLENNAN TRAVELLING LIBRARY, 1901-1968
Beginning in 1899, this travelling library was supported by the McLennan family and administered by McGill University. It operated mainly in rural Quebec. In 1978 its functions were absorbed by the programme of the Bibliothèque centrale de l'Estrie.
Letterbooks, 1912-1921, 3 vols, 15 cm (c.60-c.61)
They contain letters from the University Librarian and others to local libraries in Quebec and other provinces about the various travelling collections. There is also some material on donations and finances. Indexed.
Registers, 1901-1955, 10 vols, 60 cm (c.68, c.75-c.78)
Registers recording accession number, classification number, author, title, publication information, purchase date and prices of books acquired, 1900-1955. Also traffic registers giving contents and destinations of various travelling Libraries, and registers of books lost and repaired and of pictures loaned. Listed.
Administrative Records, 1949-ca 1970, 5 m (c.1, c.68-c.74, c.111-c.117)
One series of correspondence and files on donations and book orders was created by the Director of Extension Services at Macdonald College, 1950-1960. A second series of operational files covers book orders, repairs, office supplies, catalogues, correspondence with local libraries, displays, the short course in librarianship, donations, finances and procedures. Listed.
Annual Reports, 1921-1961 2 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
Mainly typed reports, summarizing the year's activities and policies, gifts to the Library, statistics on circulation and acquisitions of books. There is also a cumulative list of the towns in all provinces except British Columbia to which the Library sent books.
Historical Materials, ca 1920-1968 (See Microform Inventory)
Microfilm of material documenting the Library's history, including addresses and typescripts on the history and operations of the Library, newsclippings about Library activities, a very small number of photographs and a record book of the trial run of the Bookmobile in the Eastern Townships in 1951.
MANAGEMENT LIBRARY (HOWARD ROSS LIBRARY) 1942-1982
Administrative Records, 1942-1982, 5 m (c.79-c.95, c.107)
These records of the School of Commerce Library (until 1968) and Management Library (after 1968) consist of incoming external correspondence with copies of outgoing letters, with individuals,
organizations and societies and internal correspondence from individuals and departments within the University. Arranged alphabetically by title of organization within one or two year blocks. For 1943-1968, file titles consists of letters of the alphabet only. For ca 1968-1970, full titles are given (c.92-c.93). Listed.
Harvard card catalogues and shelf lists with other shelf lists for periodicals government documents and series, 1970, 11 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
MEDICAL LIBRARY, 1845-1976
General Records, 1913-1923, 1 cm (c.120)
These include a printed rules and regulations and statistics on accessions, readers and circulation, 1913-1923.
Name/Subject Card catalogues, Shelf Lists, serials catalogue, 1970, 33 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
Medical Library, Administrative Records, 1845-1976, 30 m (Acc. 544)
These records include catalogues, accession registers, requisition books, Library Committee reports and minutes, various other reports, notes and surveys, staff records, building and financial records, library procedure documents, circulation records and records of gifts. Most of this material covers the period after 1900. The Medical Library Archives also holds many private records and those of professional societies as well as some Medical department and faculty records. For details see Martha Benjamin, "Guide to the Archives of the Medical Library, McGill University" (1972).
MUSIC LIBRARY, 1909-1962
Library of the Music Faculty, 1909-1962, 10 cm (c.120)
Included is correspondence on the Library's administration and registers of loans and acquisitions.
Library of Congress and Cutter Card Catalogues, 1970, 5 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
NORTHERN STUDIES LIBRARIES, 1976
Shelf list, 1976, 1 reel, (See Microform Inventory)
OSLER LIBRARY, 1922-1980
Administrative Records, 1929-1946, 2 cm (c.120)
These include the programme for the dedication of the Library, reports from the Board of Curators to Senate, 1944-1946, and some correspondence about accessions.
Card catalogues and Shelf list, 1970, 11 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
Osler Library, Admnistrative Records, 1922-1980, (Acc. 152,197,298)
This collection contains the administrative and operational records of the Osler Library and its departments. It includes correspondence, memoranda, notes, reports, agenda, minutes, newsletters, financial accounts, invoices, receipts, plans, catalogues, photographs and printed material. The major part of this collection is in Accession 388. For details see the card index and printed guides to Acc. 388 in the Osler Library.
PHYSICAL SCIENCES LIBRARY, 1970
Library of Congress, Cutter, Periodicals card catalogues and shelf lists, 1970, 12 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
RARE BOOKS AND SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Catalogues, and Shelf lists, 1970, 12 reels, (See Microfilm Inventory)
ROYAL VICTORIA COLLEGE LIBRARY, 1970-1971
Library of Congress Dictionary card Catalogue and Shelf list, 1970-1971, 6 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
SOCIAL WORK LIBRARY, 1970
Dewey card catalogue and shelf list, 1970, 7 reels, (See Microform Inventory)
Official Guides and Regulations, 1883-ca 1980, 1 cm (c.1)
These publications include regulations for the use of the Library (1883), a guide to the Redpath Library (1970), and guides, mainly issued in the 1960s and 1970s, to the various area libraries.
Bibliographical Guides, ca 1972-1982, 10 cm (Printed Collection)
The Reference Department of McLennan Library produced guides on an occasional basis to reference sources in the various social sciences and humanities.
Library News, 1974-1981, 8 cm (Printed Collection)
An unofficial production of library staff members containing articles and interviews on matters related to the McGill library system.
Osler Library Newsletter, 1970-1982 (gaps), 2 cm (Printed Collection)
Contains articles about Sir William Osler, the Osler Library, its collection and medical history.
Medical Library Bulletin, ca 1970-1982, 8 cm (Printed Collection)
Issued several times a year by the Medical Library, giving authors, titles, and call numbers of recently acquired books and journals.
Special Events, 1893, 1969, 1 cm (c.1)
Programmes of ceremonies opening Redpath Library in 1893, including speeches, and McLennan Library in 1969.