The McGill University Herbarium is a research museum of dried plant specimens currently housed within the Plant Science Department and located on the first floor of the Raymond Building, Macdonald Campus.
The McGill College Herbarium and the Macdonald College Herbarium were united into a combined university herbarium in 1971, at which time all the plant specimens were moved to the Macdonald Campus. The original McGill College Herbarium was founded in 1856 with a gift of more than 500 plant specimens collected in the Montreal region in the early 1820s by A. F. Holmes, one of the founders and first head of the McGill medical faculty. These specimens are among the earliest plant specimens collected in Canada which were not sent to European herbaria. The Holmes collection is only one of a rich set of 19th-century collections housed within the McGill Herbarium.
The Macdonald College Herbarium was founded in 1907 with a gift of specimens from John Macoun to be used for teaching in the Faculty of Agriculture. It subsequently developed extensive collections from the circumpolar arctic and subarctic, through the research activities of students and staff and exchanges with herbaria in Copenhagen and Leningrad. With the merger of the two herbaria in 1971, the herbarium numbered nearly 90,000 specimens. It has since grown to more than 140,000 plant specimens that document the research activities of McGill staff and students over the past century and serve as a rich source of research material for biologists.
For further details about the history of the McGill University Herbarium, please read the following article from the Collection Forum [.pdf].