About the Museum

History

Inaugurated in 1921, the McCord embodies the vision of a passionate collector, David Ross McCord, whose abiding wish was to shed light on the history and cultures of his country and thus bring its people together.

A Museum Born of a Montrealer’s Dream
In 1878, David Ross McCord began adding to the already considerable collection assembled by his family since their arrival in Canada. Sparing neither time nor money, he combed the length and breadth of the country in search of the finest and most historically significant objects. Gradually, a plan began to take shape in his mind: that of founding a national history museum in Montreal, Canada’s metropolis at the time.

On October 13, 1921, the McCord National Museum opened its doors, housed in a building provided by McGill University. Both its collection and its reputation grew rapidly.

A Museum Supported by Montrealers
The citizens of Montreal, heirs to the passion of David Ross McCord, encouraged the Museum’s development. McGill University administered the McCord for over sixty years, until it became a private museum. Leading members of the community, including the families of Walter M. Stewart, T.H.P. Molson and J. W. McConnell, lent their steadfast and generous support to the Museum’s various activities and, with additional government backing, made possible the recent renovation of its building. Today, the McCord is supported by the governments of Canada, Quebec and Montreal, and by a large network of members, donors and sponsors.

A Museum for all Montrealers
David Ross McCord wanted to make history accessible to all. His dream has become the McCord’s mission – a mission whose importance is reaffirmed each year by thousands of visitors.

Two museums join
On July 1, 2013, the McCord Museum and the Stewart Museum signed a merger agreement. Both institutions continue to operate publicly under their respective names and maintain their activities as before. However, initiatives have already begun to consolidate their administrations, integrate their collections and share knowledge in order to maximize synergies. This agreement marks an historic moment for the two Museums; it assures their sustainability and offer new opportunities for their development and the promotion of their collections.

  • The McCord Museum in 1992, following a major expansion of the Nobbs building.
  • The Museum's second home, from 1955 to 1968, was the former residence of A.A. Hodgson. MP-0000.1594
  • The McCord reopened its doors to the public in the spring of 1971 in the newly renovated former McGill Union, designed in 1906 by Percy E. Nobbs, View-4848
  • Officially inaugurated on October 13, 1921, the McCord Museum was first housed in the former residence of the prominent Montreal financier Jesse Joseph. MP-0000.181.4.2

90 Treasures, 90 Stories, 90 Years

In the spring of 2011, to celebrate its 90th anniversary, the Museum presented 90 carefully selected objects, which allowed one to discover Montreal.

Discover the treasures