2nd Floor

Hodgson Gallery

Hodgson Gallery commemorative plaqueLocated at the top of the stairs leading to the 2nd floor, the Hodgson Gallery, named after famous benefactor and former McGill graduate Duncan McIntyre Hodgson, provides an introductory handshake to the wonders of the natural world.

Learn about the diversity and unique structure of minerals, marvel over one of the most comprehensive and awarded shell collections amassed by world renowned collector Abe Levine, and discover the rich history and impact of many McGillites on the natural sciences, including John William Dawson, former principal of McGill, director of the Redpath Museum and one of Canada’s most celebrate scientific minds.

View of the Hodgson gallery from the staircase


What to look for on this floor?

Abe Levine Shell Collection

Orange shell from the Abe Levine collectionBorn in Montreal, Abe Levine developed a passion for shell collecting in the 1970s, and slowly amassed one of the world’s most awarded and impressive collections ever assembled.

Displaying over 2,000 gem quality shells, this exhibit in the Hodgson gallery at the Redpath Museum, pays homage to Levine and the quality and diversity of his collection.

Shell #117 on displayCome learn about the myriad of colors and shapes that make up the genus Cyprea, sea snails that were one of Abe Levine’s specialties. Wonder over the strange shapes of predatory sea snails, the elegance of cone shells, and the complex structure of bivalves like clams and oysters. Come experience the beauty of one of the most diverse groups of animals, ever to exist on earth.


Multiple specimens of shells on various levels of the display case


McGill Minerals

General view of the McGill Minerals caseThe history of McGill university would not be complete without the key members who made great advances in the field of mineralogy. Come learn about the many individuals that contributed to the knowledge and understanding of mineral structures, mineral species and the complex processes that are responsible for their formation.

Over more than a century of research, that continues today, this exhibit tells the story of pioneers in geological sciences, whom have been immortalized in the naming of many different mineral species, such as Dawsonite (John William Dawson), Adamsite (Frank Dawson Adams) and McGillite (McGill University). Come discover their contributions to mineralogy and learn about the history of mineralogy at McGill University and the Redpath Museum.

Specimen of Adamsite


Inside view of one of the mineral display casesThe mineral collection at Redpath Museum goes as far back as the 19th century and is one of the oldest, most historical collections in the Redpath museum.

Comprising of tens of thousands of specimens, the best and most charismatic minerals are on exhibit for all to enjoy.

Come discover how minerals form in nature, how they exist in such a diversity of colors and the many important functions they have in today’s economy. Learn about mineral classification and explore the many sites worldwide, from Canada to England to Japan, that produce some of the most interesting and unique mineral species anywhere.

A specimen of Gypsum from Saxony, Germany



Sir John William Dawson

View of the Sir John William Dawson displayArguably one of McGill’s most famous people, Sir John Willian Dawson is a key figure in the history of science and research in Canada. Former director of the Redpath Museum and principal of McGill College (University), Dawson contributed greatly to the understanding of the natural world and the importance of museum collections in research.

An avid collector of all things natural, some of Dawson’s most famous contributions include his discovery of Eozoön canadensis (pseudofossil), the carboniferous reptile Hylonomus (considered the earliest known reptile) and for his many publications, including Acadian Geology, an important text on the geology of eastern Canada. Come witness the history of science at McGill, through the works of one of the most influencial and respected scientific minds in Canadian history.


A specimen of Dawsonoceras Hyatti


Land Acknowledgement

McGill University is on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. We acknowledge and thank the diverse Indigenous peoples whose presence marks this territory on which peoples of the world now gather.

The Redpath Museum's director EDI statement.

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