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special collections


richard [dot] virr [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Dr. Richard Virr) 514-398-4708
Head and Curator of Manuscripts

About the Life Sciences Library

The Life Sciences Library serves McGill students, faculty, researchers and staff primarily in the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry and the Departments of Biology and Clinical Psychology, including those in affiliated hospitals and distributed clinical teaching sites.

About the Birks Reading Room

The history of the Religious Studies collection at McGill began as a co-operative venture in 1912 when the Joint Board of Theological Colleges affiliated to McGill University was established, and the participants made available their various library holdings. Later the Montreal Diocesan Theological College and the United Theological College continued this affiliation with McGill University. In 1948 the library became the Divinity Hall Library, and in 1970, was renamed the Religious Studies Library.

About the Macdonald Campus Library

The Macdonald Campus Library is located in the Barton Building.

The Library’s services and collections support teaching, learning and research by staff and students in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the School of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, the McGill School of Environment, the Institute of Parasitology, three major research centres, the Morgan Arboretum and the Macdonald Farm.

About the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering

The Schulich Library of Science and Engineering occupies the former Macdonald Physics Building, which was built in 1893 by A.T. Taylor. Here, Ernest Rutherford conducted the research (1898 – 1907) that would eventually lead to his Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1908. The building was completely renovated and reopened in 1982 as the Macdonald-Stewart Library Building. At this time, the physical sciences collection and the engineering collection were merged to form the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library.

About the Edward Rosenthall Library

Edward Rosenthall Library is a research library serving the McGill Department of Mathematics and Statistics. The Library was established in 1971. In 1987 the Library was dedicated in honour of the late Professor and Chairman, Edward Rosenthall.

Collection description

Edward Rosenthall Library houses McGill's collection of mathematics and statistics journals as well as monographs in mathematics and statistics at the graduate and research levels.

About the Education Curriculum Resources Centre

The McGill Library and the Faculty of Education are transforming the former Education Library located on the 1st floor of the Faculty of Education Building.

Study space

The bright and welcoming student study spaces are open and available. The dedicated group study rooms and group study zone, the super quiet e-Zone and the entire student space is now maintained by the Faculty of Education and is open for study.

About the Islamic Studies Library

The Islamic Studies library was founded, along with the Institute of Islamic Studies by Prof. Wilfred Cantwell Smith, in 1952. The library has grown from a modest departmental collection to a very well regarded library of over 150,000 volumes striving to cover the whole of Islamic civilization. This sizable and rich collection is quite unique in Canada. It is one of the 12 branches of the McGill Library and provides resources and services to support the teaching and research programs primarily of the Institute of Islamic Studies.


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