McCord Museum
Musée McCord

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The McCord Museum of Canadian History owns a collection of artifacts, photos and documents illustrating the history of Canada and Montreal in particular from the settlement of the Amerindians to the twentieth century.

David Ross McCord

McCord Museum of Canadian History, Montreal
McCord Museum of Canadian History
Gallery in the McCord Museum of Canadian History, Montreal
Museum gallery

The museum was founded by David Ross McCord, whose family owned a sizeable collection of historical objects. In around 1878, McCord decided he wanted to expand the collection, so he started to travel around the country in search for objects of historical value.

Four decades later, when his private collection contained about 15,000 objects, David Ross McCord set out to establish a national history museum. To achieve his goal, he bequeathed his collection to McGill University. Two years later, the museum opened its doors to the public.

Feathered war bonnet, McCord Museum, Montreal
Feathered war bonnet
Display of Montreal in the 19th century, McCord Museum, Montreal
19th-century Montreal

The museum is housed in the Nobbs Building, a gray limestone edifice built in 1906 by Percy Erskine Nobbs near the McGill University. In 1992 the building was expanded with a south annex, providing additional space for exhibits and a library.

The Collection

The McCord Museum now owns well over a million objects, images and manuscript related to Canada’s History. The museum continually organizes temporary exhibitions on top of its permanent exhibitions.

These include a close look at the heritage of First Peoples. The exhibition ‘Wearing Our Identity’ shows the importance of clothing in the identity of the First Nations, Inuits and Métis. The stories behind the colorful costumes and textiles give a fascinating insight in the culture of these societies.

Another interesting exhibition explores the history of Montreal, from an early settlement of native people to a cosmopolitan city with a subway and skyscrapers. Through photos, historic objects and interactive multimedia displays, the exhibition shows the dramatic changes the city underwent in its recent history. The displays also provide background information on the people who put their stamp on Montreal and give us an insight in the cultural and social aspects of this rich and complex city.

In the stairwell, you can also see an authentic totem pole from the Haida, indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast.

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