McCord Museum

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McCord Museum
Musée McCord
Musee McCord 02.jpg
The McCord Museum
McCord Museum is located in Montreal
Location in Montreal
Established October 13, 1921[1]
Location 690 Sherbrooke Street West, Downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Coordinates 45°30′16″N 73°34′25″W / 45.5044°N 73.5737°W / 45.5044; -73.5737Coordinates: 45°30′16″N 73°34′25″W / 45.5044°N 73.5737°W / 45.5044; -73.5737
Type History museum
Collection size 1,440,000 objects, images and manuscripts[2]
Visitors 79,082 (2011)[3]
President Suzanne Sauvage[4]
Public transit access MtlMetro1.svg McGill

The McCord Museum (in French, Musée McCord) is a public research and teaching museum dedicated to the preservation, study, diffusion, and appreciation of Canadian history. The museum, whose full name is McCord Museum of Canadian History, is located at 690 Sherbrooke Street West, next to McGill University, in downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[5]


Pierre Granche sculpture, museum exterior.

On October 13, 1921, the McCord National Museum, as it was then called, moved to the former McGill Union building, designed by Percy Erskine Nobbs in the Arts and Crafts tradition.[6] The collection was based on the McCord family collection. Since 1878, David Ross McCord had been adding to the already considerable collection assembled by his family since their arrival in Canada. Over the years he developed the plan of founding a national history museum in Montreal, at that time Canada's metropolis.

The museum was administered by McGill University for over sixty years until it became a private museum. Leading members of the community, including the families of Walter M. Stewart, Thomas H.P. Molson and John W. McConnell, lent their support to the Museum over the years. Today, the McCord Museum is supported by the governments of Canada, Quebec and Montreal, and by a large network of members, donors and sponsors.


The museum was founded in 1921 by David Ross McCord, based on his own family collection of objects.[7] Since then the museum's holdings have increased substantially.

Ethnology and Archaeology[edit]

This collection of 15,800 objects documents many aspects of the ways of life, arts, cultures and traditions of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. It also includes a number of objects from communities living in Alaska and the northern United States.

In this collection there are more than 7,300 historical aboriginal objects, dating from the early 1800s to 1945 (clothing, accessories, headgear, domestic tools, baskets, hunting weaponry, etc.) and more than 8,500 archaeological objects dating from about 10,000 years ago to the 16th century (stone tools, potsherds).[8]

Costume and Textiles[edit]

This collection of 18,845 objects consists of women’s dresses, parasols, hats, fans and footwear, many created by some of Montreal’s greatest 20th century designers. The menswear in the collection includes suits, coats and accessories. There is also an important selection of embroidered samplers, quilts and other textiles, including North America's oldest known patchwork quilt (1726).[9][10]

Notman Photographic Archives[edit]

This collection includes 1,300,000 photographs and various items of early photographic equipment and accessories. It provides a visual history of Montreal, Quebec and Canada from the 1840s to the present.

The collection contains the William Notman & Son Photographic Studio fond constituting more than 600,000 photographic images (including 200,000 glass negatives) dating mostly from 1840 to 1935.

The collection also includes approximately 700,000 images taken by other photographers, including such known figures as Alexander Henderson and John Taylor.[11]

Paintings, Prints and Drawings[edit]

This collection of 69,000 iconographical pieces illustrates the personalities, places and events that made the history of Montreal, Quebec and Canada, from the 18th to the 21st centuries.

It includes paintings (oils, acrylics and watercolours, mostly from the 19th century), miniatures, silhouettes, prints (maps, plans, portraits, mostly from 1751 to 1900) and caricatures from the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries (John Collins, Serge Chapleau and Terry Mosher alias Aislin).[12]

Decorative Arts[edit]

The 38,900 objects included in this collection documents the material environment within which Montrealers, Quebeckers and Canadians lived in past centuries.

This collection consists of furniture, glassware, ceramics, ironware, sculpture, hunting equipment, sports equipment, items of folk art and a major collection of 19th century toys.[13]

Textual Archives[edit]

This collection, which total 262 running meters, includes manuscripts, correspondence, personal journals and other documents showing the history of Canada from the 18th century to the present.

The documents come from families (the Dessaulles, McCord, Armstrong-Deligny-Philips and Bacon families); from well-known individuals (Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Maurice-Régis Blondeau, Hélène Baillargeon Côté); from companies and associations (Women's Art Society of Montreal, Victoria Rifles of Canada, Gibb & Co.); and from collections (New France, British Empire, Concert and Theatre Programs, Valentines).[14]

The museum's exterior features the sculpture Totem urbain / histoire en dentelle, an allegorical representation of Montreal history, by Pierre Granche.


The Museum is affiliated with: CMA, CHIN, and Virtual Museum of Canada.


  1. ^ "Its History". McCord Museum. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "The Collection". McCord Museum. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Base de données 2011 - Attraits/Attractions". Tourisme Montréal. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  4. ^ "Museum Staff". McCord Museum. Retrieved 27 May 2013. 
  5. ^ The Canadian Encyclopedia
  6. ^ Wagg, Susan (1982). PERCY ERSKINE NOBBS Architect, Artist, Craftsman. Kingston and Montreal: McCORD MUSEUM, McGill University by McGILL - QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY PRESS. ISBN 0-7735-0395-1. Retrieved 2008-11-19. 
  7. ^ "Golden Square Mile". Compass American Guides: Montreal. Fodor's. 2 November 2004. pp. 132–135. ISBN 978-1-4000-1315-9. Retrieved 5 December 2011.  |coauthors= requires |author= (help)
  8. ^ The Ethnology and Archaeology Collection from the McCord Museum. Retrieved on December 7, 2010.
  9. ^ Quilt dating from 1726 from the McCord Museum. Retrieved on December 7, 2010.
  10. ^ The Costume and Textiles Collection from the McCord Museum. Retrieved on December 7, 2010.
  11. ^ The Notman Photographic Archives from the McCord Museum. Retrieved on December 7, 2010.
  12. ^ The Paintings, Prints and Drawings Collection from the McCord Museum. Retrieved on December 7, 2010.
  13. ^ The Decorative Arts Collection from the McCord Museum. Retrieved on December 7, 2010.
  14. ^ The Textual Archives from the McCord Museum. Retrieved on December 7, 2010.


  • (English) Exhibition Catalogue (1992). Wrapped in the Colours of the Earth.Cultural Heritage of the First Nations. McCord Museum. ISBN 1-895615-07-0. 
  • (English) Exhibition Catalogue (1992). Form and Fashion. Nineteenth-Century Montreal Dress. McCord Museum. ISBN 1-895615-00-3. 
  • (English) Exhibition Catalogue (1992). The McCord Family. A Passionate Vision. McCord Museum. ISBN 895615-05-4 Check |isbn= value (help). 
  • (English) Exhibition Catalogue (1992). Eclectic Tastes. Fine and Decorative Arts from the McCord. McCord Museum. ISBN 1-895615-02-X. 

External links[edit]