Quick Links

Earth and planetary sciences collection policy

Liaison librarian

  • Giovanna [dot] Badia [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Email) 514-398-7340

History of the collection

The Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at McGill University has its foundations in the arrival of geologist and paleontologist Sir William Dawson, Principal of McGill from 1855 - 1893. In addition, Frank Dawson Adams, was the Logan professor of Geology from 1892 to 1922. As a result of the university's early interest in geology, the collection at McGill University Library is historically rich and significant. With the emergence of new areas of research the collection has continually been updated and maintained to reflect the changing needs of the department.

While every effort is made reflect the current research interest of the department, gaps may develop which need attention, and suggestions to address them are welcome.

Subject scope and current collection development

The Earth and Planetary Sciences department offers undergraduate and graduate programs (M.Sc., PhD.) and is focused on the study of the solid Earth and its hydrosphere and the terrestrial planets. The department is part of the Earth System Science interdepartmental program, and also offers a Joint Major in Physics and Geophysics.

The Osler Library holds a fine collection of early geology books, once the personal collection of Frank Dawson Adams.

The Mossman Collection contains some valuable material on the history of geology.

General collection guidelines


English is preferred. Works published in a language other than English will be acquired if the author or the content is of sufficient importance.

Chronological coverage

Current monographic titles are purchased. The collection provides comprehensive coverage of older materials thanks to the age of the collection and the department at McGill.

Geographical coverage

No restriction

Areas of research in Earth and Planetary Sciences

  • Hydrology
    Hydrogeology (Also collected by Macdonald Campus Library)
  • Chemical oceanography, marine geochemistry
  • Marine sediments
  • Paleoceanography
  • Marine Geology
  • Mineralogy
    Mineral deposits
  • Petrology
    Igneous rocks, volcanic ash, tuff; Sedimentary rocks, sedimentology; Metamorphic rocks, metamorphism; Petrography
  • Dynamic and structural geology
    Geochemistry, environmental geochemistry, freshwater geochemistry, igneous processes; Volcanoes; Earthquakes, seismology; Sedimentation; Earth movements, mass movements, tectonics, landslides; Structural geology
  • Stratigraphy
  • Geophysics
  • Geomagnetism
  • Natural disasters

Collection levels

Definition of the collection levels employed by McGill University Library

LC ClassificationSubjectCollection Intensity
GB651 - GB2998 Hydrology
(Also collected by Macdonald Campus Library)
GC109 - GC149 Chemical oceanography, marine geochemistry 4
GC377 - GC399 Marine sediments 4
QE351 - QE399 Mineralogy 4
QE420 - QE499 Petrology 4
QE461 Igneous rocks, volcanic ash, tuff, etc. 4
QE471 Sedimentary rocks, sedimentology 4
QE475 Metamorphic rocks, metamorphism 4
QE500 - QE625 Dynamic and structural geology 4
QE514 - QE516 Geochemistry 4
QE521 - QE528 Volcanoes 4
QE529 - QE545 Earthquakes, seismology 4
QE571 - QE597 Sedimentation 4
QE 597 - 600 Earth movements, mass movements 4
QE601 - QE625 Structural geology 4
QE640 - QE699 Stratigraphy 4
QE701 - QE996 Palaeontology, paleozoology, paleobotany (Collected by Life Sciences Library) n/a
QC801 - QC809 Geophysics
see policy for Physics
QC811 - QC849 Geomagnetism
see policy for Physics

Questions? Ask Us!  Email • Chat • Phone            Send feedback    Report a problem