Celebrate Homecoming 2023 with the Library

Make the Library your happy place during Homecoming! (Re)connect with the McGill community this fall with a masterclass, special events, branch tours, exhibits and more. Our 2023 Homecoming programming has something for everyone. We hope to see you there!

Special Event

Genealogy 201: Finding information in McGill’s collections and in Indigenous records (Hybrid, English)

Graphic featuring a family tree.

Thursday, October 19, 2023 from 3:30 – 4:30 PM (EDT)

Interested in genealogical research? Join librarians and staff at the McGill Library for a workshop to get you to the next level with your genealogical research. You may have used the census, birth, marriage, and death records. Perhaps you’ve consulted family bibles and perhaps even military, land, and court records to identify your ancestors and place them into their historical context. But what’s next? This workshop will introduce you to rare and unique materials and resources held by research libraries. Have you explored any connections you may have to Indigenous peoples of Canada, and in particular, the Métis of the historic Métis Nation Homeland of Western Canada?

We will cover:

  • online genealogical databases for McGill Alumni,
  • the wide range of genealogical data in the historical primary sources in McGill’s Rare Books & Special Collections department and the University Archives,
  • and some techniques for Indigenous genealogy research in Canada, presented by a Métis staff member from the historic Métis Nation Homeland in Western Canada.

We will offer ample time for discussion and sharing of research successes (or failures!) as well as an open question-and-answer period.

  • RSVP to attend the event in-person
  • RSVP to attend the event online

In-person location: Colgate Room, McLennan Library Building
3459 rue McTavish, fourth floor
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0C9



Tours of the Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering (English and French)

Interior of Schulich Library

Join staff members and librarians for a tour of the newly renovated Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering. It is here, from 1898-1907, that Ernest Rutherford conducted the research that led to his Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1908.

No pre-registration required. Meet at the information desk.

Location: Macdonald-Stewart Library Building
809 Sherbrooke Street West
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0C1


Tour of the Marvin Duchow Music Library (bilingual)

Entrance to Marvin Duchow Music Library

Join head librarian Houman Behzadi for a tour of one of the most unique spaces and collections on campus at the Marvin Duchow Music Library.

No pre-registration required. Meet at the information desk on the third floor.

Location: Elizabeth Wirth Music Building
527 Sherbrooke Street West, third floor
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1E3


Tours of the Islamic Studies Library (bilingual)

Islamic Studies Library Octagon Room

Join head librarian Anaïs Salamon for a tour of the Islamic Studies Library including the iconic Octagon Room.

No pre-registration required. Meet at the information desk.

Location: Morrice Hall – 3485 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0E1


Homecoming: Tour of the Nahum Gelber Law Library (bilingual, English)

Nahum Gelber Law Library Reading Room.

Join us for a tour of the Nahum Gelber Law Library, a state-of-the-art facility that houses resources and services that support the teaching and research programs of the Faculty of Law and several Institutes and Research Centres. 

No pre-registration required. Meet at the information desk.

Location: Nahum Gelber Law Library
3660 Peel Street
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 1W9


Open House & Tour: Osler Library of the History of Medicine

People looking at a book in the Osler Library.

The Osler Library of the History of Medicine opened in 1929 to house the collection of rare medical and other books donated by Sir William Osler, the renowned physician and McGill graduate and professor. Today the collection has grown to over 100 000 works including older, rare materials as well as current books and periodicals about the history of the health sciences and related areas.

The library recently reopened after a fire in 2018. As a major resource for historical research in health sciences, the curators have placed their focus on expanding the collection to provide a more inclusive understanding of medical practices from around the world. Current special collections include the Bibliotheca Osleriana, medical diagrams from 17th century Japan, and more. 

You are welcome to drop in at any point throughout the day. 

Guided tours are available at:

Each tour will last approximately 45-minutes. Pre-registration for tours is not required.

Location: McIntyre Medical Building
3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, 3rd Floor
Montreal, Quebec, H3G 1Y6


McGill Visual Arts Collection Tours

Colourful sculpture of human figures on McGill campus.
Image: Human Structures by Jonathan Borofsky. 

For Homecoming 2023, the McGill Visual Arts Collection will offer an “Art on Campus” tour designed for members of the McGill and Montreal community, prospective students and their families, and general visitors alike.

This hour long tour includes highlights from the Visual Arts Collection public art installations such as, the Friendship Fountain by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (1875-1942), the James Sculpture Garden, and our Visible Storage Gallery on the 4th floor of McLennan Library.

Please register for your desired tour at one of the links below:

Meeting at Roddick Gates

Location: 15a Rue Sherbrooke Ouest
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2K6


Exhibits (on-site)

Guided Tours of Voltaire Exhibition

Come to see the highlights of a selection of manuscripts signed, sealed, and delivered by Voltaire to his contemporaries. Samples are drawn from the “Lambert-David Voltaire Manuscripts Collection” deposited by Peter Southam in McGill’s Rare Books and Special Collections

Location: McLennan Library Building – 4th floor –
Rare Books & Special Collections
3459 McTavish Street
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0C9


Exhibition Moshe Safdie and Housing: An Archival Exploration

Black and white Moshe Safdie image from the archives

Celebrate Convocation with ROAAr!

Architect Moshe Safdie, throughout his extensive career, has explored many questions surrounding housing – form, technology, density, and nature. His explorations have resulted in numerous housing projects around the world, both built and unbuilt. This exhibition of archival drawings, models, and documentation examines a selection of Safdie’s housing projects, each one designed to respond to different environmental factors and communities’ needs.

Location: McLennan Library Building
3459 McTavish Street, main floor
Montreal, Quebec, H3A 0C9

On from October 12 – October 31. Open to all during McLennan-Redpath opening hours.


Exhibits (virtual)

McGilliana: 200 years of Student Life

C.I.R.F.U. Champions cap, 1906.

Objects, photographs, and ephemera offer fragments and glimpses of life in another time, showing us details of a larger picture. 200 items have been selected for the occasion of McGill University’s bicentennial anniversary. Each item in this exhibition is part of one or many stories about the people who made the items, the people who used them, and those who chose to keep them. They speak to a larger narrative about the changing experience of being a student at McGill University throughout its 200-year history. These items also tell us about the way that institutions create and maintain their own memories, about the way McGill’s archives play a role in the university’s present and future. In each category, you will find a selection of items drawn from the McGill University Archives; each one representing the many different parts of the life of a student.


Visit the virtual exhibit now to learn more or watch the recording from vernissage held in 2021.

Exhibition curated by Aeron MacHattie, Archivist, McGill Library, as part of her 2020-21 internship in Rare Books and Special Collections. The internship was supported in part by Young Canada Works.

The McGill Daily, War Contingent Supplement, March 1915

McGilliana resources | Student Publications, Old McGill Yearbooks, McGill Remembers, McGill News and more!

The McGill Library & Archives serves as the virtual and physical repository for generations of collective knowledge. Our McGilliana website brings together 200 years of archival resources related to McGill’s long history here for your exploration.

We are happy to announce yet another McGilliana resource! The ROAAr unit recently digitized McGill News publications from 1919 to 2020. Alumni, donors, and historians can now view the entire collection on the Internet Archive.

Take McGill’s hidden gems home with products from our Ex Libris Collection

As we look back and forward, this is a perfect moment to re-discover and celebrate our history in new ways through ROAAr’s vintage-inspired Ex Libris Collection. In collaboration with staff from Le James Bookstore, staff members from different Library units searched high and low for some of the best public domain content from our rare and special collections. Puzzles and pencil cases, notebooks and notecards, magnets and mugs….from our library to yours, check out a few of our favourite things!

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