Mandate and History

a view of the front of the Redpath Museum

Mandate of the Museum

The Redpath Museum is an academic unit of McGill University. Its mandate is to foster understanding and appreciation of the diversity of our biological, geological, and cultural heritage through scientific research, collections-based study, and education.


The Redpath Museum is the oldest building in Canada built as a museum. Completed in 1882, it originally housed the collections of Sir William Dawson, then Principal of McGill. The museum currently holds extensive collections in the fields of paleontology, zoology, mineralogy, and world cultures (ethnology). It has several research labs and a Victorian teaching auditorium. The museum is open to the public. Read more about the Museum's history and architecture and about its directors.

The Redpath at dusk