The museums of McGill University are for the most part independent entities, although there has been at various times some unifying control in the form of the Museums Committee, a Director of Museums or a Vice-Principal responsible for museums. While a report of 1932 identified at least 16 museums or special teaching collections (Cyril Fox, A Survey of McGill University Museums, Montreal, 1932), only those museums whose records have been deposited in the Archives appear here.


A standing Committee of Senate, the Museums Committee included the Curator, later Director of University Museums. The Committee dealt with all campus museums, Redpath and McCord accounting for most of their business.

Administrative records, 1917-1971, 30 cm (c.12)

These include minutes of meetings, correspondence with the Principal and others and various reports.


Administrative records, ca. 1935-1971, 1.2 m, (c.11, c.13 - c.15)

These records mainly concern the administration of the McCord (until ca. 1960) and the Redpath Museums. Much of them relate to the administration of Alice Johannsen as Director of University Museums, 1951-1971 and particularly to Redpath Museum, and include correspondence, annual reports, budgets and publicity.


The oldest museum at McGill, this institution was probably inaugurated by Principal William Dawson and served as a repository for geological, biological and mineralogical specimens. These collections later formed the nucleus of the Redpath Museum.

Catalogue, 1858-1880, 1 vol, 2 cm (c.1)

This catalogue marked "Vol II" contains list of specimens received in several collections, in chronological order, within each collection.


A gift of Peter Redpath, the museum opened in 1882. The first major museum to be built in Canada, it houses the palaeontological collection gathered by Principal William Dawson, as well as other palaeontological, mineralogical and zoological collections. Open to the general public for most of its existence, the Museum at present primarily serves a teaching and research function. Redpath Museum is presently administered by a Director and a Museum Committee.

Minute Books, 1882-1917, 2 vols, 4 cm (c.1)

The minutes of the Redpath Museum Committee document the erection and organization of the Redpath Museum.

Administrative Records 1924-1977, 2.5 m (c.1-c.6, c.10)

Among these records are a xerox copy of the deed of the donation; correspondence of E.L. Judah, Curator of Museums, with the Principal and others, ca 1924-1935; files on the expansion of the Redpath and its activities ca 1950-1970; files on auxiliary workers, ca 1953-1970; a file of letters in reaction to the closing of the Museum to the public, 1970; register of donations; visitors registration books, 1938-1960; and a scrapbook.See also the records by the Curator/ Director of University Museums.

Zoology Department, ca 1960, 8 cm (c.9)

General correspondence of the curator of the Zoology Department.

Publications, 25 cm (Printed Collection)

In addition to publications about Redpath Museum, there are Museum serials, reports and articles by members of the staff.

Photographs (See Photography Inventory)

Photographs of the Redpath Museum and its collections will be found in the Archives Photograph Collection.


The private collection of David Ross McCord of Canadian artifacts and art was given to McGill University in 1919. First housed in the former Joseph house at the corner of Sherbrooke St. and McTavish St., the McCord Museum moved into the remodeled former Student's Union in 1971. The papers of David Ross McCord relating to his collecting art found in Private Manuscripts, Section VIII.

Administrative Records (Microform Inventory)

Microfilm copies of the McCord Accessions Register, volumes 1-15, which generally record the donor's name, the date, a brief description of the gift, and an accession number. The originals are in the McCord Museum. See also the records of the Curator/Director of University Museums.

Publications (Printed Collection)

There are a few programmes of events and openings and newsclipping about the Museum.

Notman Photographic Archives, 1880-1936, 43 reels, (See Microform Inventory)

Microfilms have been made of both the administration records of William Notman (including wages book, account book, appointment book, and correspondence) and picture books. The originals are in the McCord Museum. Index books for 1860 to 1936 have also been filmed.


This museum was the legacy of Henry Lyman who left his collection of lepidoptera, an entomological library, and a bequest to the University. Housed in the Redpath Museum from 1914 until 1961, it was then moved to Macdonald College.

Publications (Printed Collection and c.8)

Included are an account of the Museum, 1964 and various publications sponsored by the Museum.


Medical Historical Museum 1910-1913, 1918-1935, 10 cm (c.10)

The Medical Museum was under the curatorship of Dr. Maude E. Abbott from 1907 until 1935. These records consist of registers, correspondence and notices of the Medical Historical Museum. There is also a series of records concerning exhibitions organized by the Museum. These include the "Century of Progress International Exhibition" at Chicago in 1933. Listed.

Pathological Museum, n.d., 5 cm (c.10)

The Pathological Museum was under the curatorship of E.L. Judah from 1925 to 1931. These records consist of descriptive commentaries of pathological specimens.