The teaching of history at McGill began in 1855, although the department itself was only formally founded at the turn of the twentieth century by Charles William Colby in association with Stephen Leacock and C.E. Fryer. In 1997 the Department of Classics was merged into the Department of History, and in 2010 the name was formally changed to the Department of History and Classical Studies.
Today it is one of the largest History departments in Canada, composed of 47 full-time faculty members, as well as a strong complement of visiting professors, faculty lecturers, and post-doctoral fellows. This array of dedicated teachers and scholars supports high quality instruction and research across the periods of history and regions of the globe. The department is also home to programs in Classical Studies, which offer training in Greek and Latin languages and literature as well as a stimulating array of courses in ancient history. A minor concentration in Neo-Hellenic Studies has recently been added to the programs administered by the department.