Projects and Occasional Offices


This Record Group brings together the records of offices which were established temporarily for a special or particular purpose.


The Burney Project is the result of McGill English professor Joyce Hemlow's main research interest: the novelist and diarist Fanny Burney. In 1958 she published a biography, The History of Fanny Burney, and in 1971, A Catalogue of the Burney Family Correspondence. Since 1962, Hemlow has headed a large research project to edit The Journals and Letters of Fanny Burney (Madame D'Arblay), 1791-1840 (Oxford, 1972-). Hemlow's private papers are in M.G. 1046.

Originals and printed materials, 1962-1980, 8 m (c.14-c.39)

The records of the Burney Project commence in 1962. They comprise administrative correspondence relating to the funding of the project, the location of Burney materials in various libraries, the solution of research problems, and the publication of the volumes by Oxford University Press, and include the financial records of the project. There are transcripts of the Burney letters and journals, typed drafts, and galley proofs for the first nine volumes, as well as index cards for Burney letters in the Berg Collection in New York.


In 1974 the Board of Governors established the History of McGill Project and appointed former Vice-Principal Stanley Brice Frost as Director. The object of the project was a two-volume history of the University. The first volume was published in 1980; the second in 1984. These and other publications on the history of McGill will be found in the Reading Room. In 1975 Frost initiated the James McGill Society (M.G. 2071).


S.B. Frost, McGill University: For the Advancement of Learning, Volume 1 1801-1895, Volume II 1895-1971 (McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal, 1980, 1984)

The first volume covers the history of McGill from the Act of 1801 establishing the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning to the end of the Long Principalship of Sir William Dawson. The second volume concentrates on the Principalships of Sir William Peterson, Sir Arthur Currie and F. Cyril James, and the rapid development, diversification and change which McGill underwent after 1945. The book deals with administrative and financial matters as well as academic and student activities.


This series includes the records of financial campaigns which were promoted either by private individuals or by a special office of the University. Ordinary fund raising was conducted by the Graduates' Society until 1975 when the Development Office was set up (R.G.76, R.G.17).

New Endowment Fund, 1881, 11 pp (c.13)

Report of a meeting of Montreal citizens held on 13 October 1881 and printed to publicize the endowment fund.

McGill Relief Fund, ca 1907, 2 pp (c.13)

Appeal for funds to help repair the Engineering and Medical Buildings, which burned in 1907.

Special Five Million Dollar Fund, 1943-1944, 5 cm (c.44)

This campaign was headed by J.W. McConnell of the Board of Governors, and was aimed at business entities and not individual graduates. The record consists of minutes of a planning meeting, 8 October 1943: progress reports, and photocopies of covering letters and cheques from corporations.


The War Records office was set up by the Board of Governors and the Principal in January 1942 to compile records of the war effort of McGill students and staff, past and present in all branches of armed and civilian war services. Robert Collier Fetherstonhaugh (1892-1949) was appointed custodian of the records. After the First World War he had written histories of various Canadian army units; during the Second World War he edited news columns about the activities of McGill-staff and graduates. In May 1946 the War Records office closed and in the same year the University granted Fetherstonhaugh the honourary degree of LL.D. Fetherstonhaugh was appointed to prepare a book based on the war records which was published in 1947: McGill University at War 1914-1918; 1939-1945. An account of the establishment of the War Records Office is contained in the McGill News (Spring 1942), Vol 23, no. 3.

War Records, 1916-1948, 3.8 m (c.1-c.12)

The greater portion of this collection consists of files arranged alphabetically on individual students, graduates, and staff members of McGill who served during World War II. These files contain newspaper clippings, correspondence, and photographs, 1942-1945. There is also a card index of all who served during the war. As well, there are lists of honours, awards, prisoners of war, killed and missing, 1943-1945. Other files in the collection include: correspondence and newspaper clippings concerning the McGill War Memorial Campaign, 1947-1949; R.C. Fetherstonhaugh's account book of income and expenditures, and some vouchers, 1942-1946; correspondence, memoranda, invoices, reviews, and newspaper clippings, 1947-1948, concerning McGill University at War, 1914-1918; 1939-1945; and copies of correspondence from Capt. Talbot M. Papineau to Henri Bourassa, 1916-1917.