Collections and Research


For over 90 years, the McCord Museum has been collecting objects, images and documents that are tangible witnesses to the people, places and events that have marked Canada’s history over three centuries. The initial nucleus of the collections reflected David Ross McCord’s interest in First Peoples and key events in Canada’s past. The collections have grown to focus more specifically on Montreal, once heralded as the economic and cultural centre of the country. The collections document Montreal’s pivotal role in Canada’s development from the early 18th century through the 21st, and the social and cultural dimensions of the lives of those connected to the city.


Formely attibuted to Joseph Légaré, The Burning of the Parliament Building in Montreal, 1849. M11588 © McCord Museum

82,500 objects / 29,490 online
Oil paintings, watercolours, pastel and charcoal drawings, miniatures, silhouettes, lithographs, etchings, woodcuts, posters, cartoons, original caricatures and drawings, dating from the 18th century to the present day.

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Shoes, La Gioconda, about 1930. Gift of Alan Grant, M2013.54.2.1-2 © McCord Museum

19,800 objects / 980 online
Clothing and accessories belonging to Canadian men, women and children, covering three centuries; garments from Montreal designers, manufacturers and retailers; quilts, coverlets and other hand-made domestic textiles.

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Moccasins, Nêhiyawak, 1920. Gift of the Art Association of Montreal, ME928.8.1-2 © McCord Museum

16,450 objects / 5,835 online
Clothing and accessories, domestic objects, hunting and fishing equipment, weapons of war, objects used for transportation, ceremonial items and various forms of artistic expression, archaeological objects.

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Powder horn, 1759. Gift of David Ross McCord, M6935 © McCord Museum

40,700 objects  / 2,730 online
Furniture, silver, ceramics, glass, pewter and other metal objects, items related to food preparation and household decoration and management, toys and games, sports equipment, weapons, hunting and fishing tools, folk art and numismatic materials.

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Alexander Henderson, Spring inundation, near Montreal, about 1865. MP-0000.308.5 © McCord Museum

1,309,000 objects / 82,765 online
Vintage prints and glass negatives, stereograms, composites and painted photographs of 19th century Canada. Daguerreotypes and other types of early photographic processes, family albums, vernacular photographs, documentary photographs, artist portfolios, cameras and photographic equipment from 1840 to the present day.

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Thomas Molson’s notebook, 1820-1824. Gift of Miss Mabel Molson, M19113 © McCord Museum

277 linear metres / 815 objects online
Correspondence, diaries, minutes, books of account, deeds of sale, maps and plans, dance cards, advertisements, menus and other documents, all reflecting the histories of individuals and families, associations, administrations and businesses, events, and social customs and practices.

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See the short descriptions of more than 165 archival fonds and collections

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