Eight helpful links to help you navigate the McGill Library

Welcome to the McGill Library and Archives! Drawing on almost two centuries worth of resources, the Library has accumulated one of the largest and most unique collections in North America. We offer access to over 5 million print volumes and journals, 2.3 million e-books, e-theses and e-journals, and hundreds of thousands of sound and video recordings, musical scores, microforms and maps.

To help you get the most out of these tremendous resources, our team of world-class librarians and support staff are here to help you find the information  you need to maximize your time at McGill. Whether you’re using the Library for the first time or a frequent user wanting to know a bit more, here are eight useful links to help familiarize you with all the services we have to offer! If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to Ask Us! via phone, email, chat or text or by coming to see us in person!

Branches and locations

Every year, the Library system welcomes 2.3 million visitors across its series of branches, from more heavily-used locations like the Humanities and Social Science Library and the Schulich Library of Science and Engineering to more intimate sites like the Islamic Studies Library and the Osler Library of the History of Medicine. Each branch offers different services and atmosphere to help students, faculty and staff reach their academic potential. Use this handy map to take a tour of the branches and discover which one matches your own personal needs and studying style!


If you’re new to McGill or just starting to use the Library for the first time, the Welcome to the McGill Library! orientation page is the one-stop location to familiarize yourself with all the resources at your disposal. The page provides all the information to help you get started in the Library, including a short welcome video offered in six different languages (English, French, Arabic, Chinese, Persian and Spanish), a longer video tutorial series explaining everything from how to borrow items from the Library to accessing resources from around the world and links to virtual tours of all the branches.

1394449_666807626693512_1411408150_nWorkshops and tours

Throughout the semester, the Library hosts a variety of free activities to familiarize students with all of the services on offer so youcan get most out of their time at McGill. Early in each term, guided tours are offered of the main Library branches in a variety of languages, including including Spanish and Mandarin. Once familiar with the basics of the Library, you can register for a series of workshops to delve deeper into the Library’s services, including hands-on instruction for using programs like Endnotes, creating research tool kits and developing search strategies to maximize the capabilities of the catalogue.

Library Guidesorien

Looking for information for one of your courses and not sure where to start? Check out the Library’s LibGuides, a series of academic toolboxes personally created by each discipline’s respective Liaison Librarian. The LibGuides provide all the resources you need to fulfill your information needs, from the most relevant Library catalogue databases for your course to subject-specific dictionaries and thesauri. If you would like some one-on-one assistance, the Library’s team of Liaison Librarians are happy to help you find the information you need.

ScanningJournal and book scanning request

Schedule too packed to make it into the Library but need access to an article or chapter in one of the Library’s print-only items? Don’t worry! McGill students, faculty and staff can request scanned copies of journal articles or book chapters from the Library’s print collections, to be sent to a McGill email address within 2 to 4 days. Students, faculty and staff can also request a digitized copy of one of the treasures in the Library’s exquisite Rare Books & Special Collections.

Interlibrary LoanILL

If you need a rare book that isn’t in McGill’s extensive collection, the Library’s award-winning Interlibrary Loan (ILL)  team is here to help. McGill partners with other academic libraries across North America, providing students, faculty and staff with access to a tremendous array of unique and extraordinary resources. Using a McGill email address (firstname.lastname@mcgill.ca or @mail.mcgill.ca) and password, users can request a copy of the item be shipped to McGill with the help of the ILL team, one of the winners of the 2015 Principal’s Awards for Administrative and Support Staff.

Fiat Lux: Let There Be LightFiat Lux

Generously supported by the Friends of the Library, Fiat Lux: Let There Be Light is the culmination of an exhaustive planning process to reimagine the Library to match McGill’s evolving 21st century needs. The feasibility study proposes a newly reinvented McLennan-Redpath complex, a prudent but ambitious, flexible but flowing facility that will allow students, faculty and researchers to meet their scholarly potential. The downloadable Fiat Lux document and accompanying Master Plan and Appendix provide the thought process behind the new facility and aspirational visions of the Library of the 21st century.

Research Commons

Nowhere are the exciting advances in Library technology more prevalent than in our new Research Commons, opened earlier this spring. Boasting state-of-the-art technology like 3D printers and scanners and the largest visualization wall anywhere on campus, the Research Commons is an interactive and innovative site that brings together integrated services and resources, transforming the very way the McGill community learns, teaches and researches.

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