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The McCord Receives $600,000 CURA Grant

Montreal, February 28, 2000 — The McCord Museum of Canadian History, in partnership with the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and the Université de Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), has been awarded an important Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) grant. Administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the grant was awarded to the McCord to implement an innovative educational initiative called the Laurier Project. Thanks to the generous support of the ministère de la Culture et des Communications, the project will also include an exhibition of works by Canadian history students, featuring art inspired by historical events of the twentieth century in Canada.

The Laurier Project aims to integrate museum-based teaching resources into the Canadian history curriculum at the elementary and secondary levels. The new resources will be developed in a collaborative effort between university historians, history teachers, and the community. Through this project, the McCord Museum will provide instructors with new tools to explore the discipline of history.

By collecting and preserving images, documents, and objects that make up our common heritage, museums are able to provide a continual contact with the past, and keep history alive. The Laurier Project aims to facilitate the contact between museums and classrooms by adding to traditional didactic methods and exploring new technologies such as the Internet. These new media can provide an effective educational interface for museum collections such as the McCord's.

The McCord Museum's collection, featuring nearly a million objects, images and manuscripts, bears witness to the social history and material culture of Montreal, Quebec, and Canada.

The McCord's Notman Photographic Archives includes more than 850,00 photographic images. These family portraits, landscapes, photos of community events, architecture and leisure activities are an invaluable source of information about the history of Canada from 1840 to the present day.

The Costume and Textiles Collection contains more than 16,400 articles of clothing and accessories dating from the eighteenth century to the present day. It is the largest and one of the most significant collections of Canadian costume in the world.

The 13,000 ethnological and archaeological objects in the First Nations Collection document the arts, crafts, cultures, and traditions of aboriginal communities from across Canada. The age and diversity of this collection make it the most important of its kind in Quebec, and one of the most significant in the world.

The Paintings, Prints and Drawings Collection, dating principally from the eighteenth century, comprises a wealth of visual memories of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. Eloquently conjuring up the personalities, places and events of bygone days, this collection contains some 56,700 iconographical pieces, making it one of the largest of its kind in Canada.

Including furniture, pottery, silverware, glass, fine china, and toys, the wide variety of objects in the Decorative Arts Collection document the material environment within which Montrealers, Quebecers and Canadians lived in centuries past. Emphasis is on objects that illustrate the growth of the country from a colony to the urban and industrial society of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Laurier Project will integrate the riches of the McCord's collection into the Canadian history curriculum in three phases. The first phase will initiate the program and define its components. The second will develop and test educational components in regional schools, and the third phase will take the program into schools across the nation.

The SSHRC received 72 applications for its four-year pilot program of CURA grants. The McCord's Laurier Project is one of 22 projects financed by the SSHRC this year.

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Source:
Annie Daoust (514) 398-7100, ext. 251
annie@mccord.lan.mcgill.ca

The McCord wishes to acknowledge the support of the Heritage Canada Museums Assistance Program, the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications and the Arts Council of the Montreal Urban Community.