3459 McTavish Street
CA H3A 0C9
Rare Books and Special Collections
The McGill Library began collecting rare materials in the 1850s, and through gift and purchase the holdings now constitute rich and highly diverse research collections.
More information on special collections can be found here https://www.mcgill.ca/library/branches/rarebooks/special-collections
Some materials from the Rare Books and Special Collections have been digitized. Virtual exhibitions, specialized search engines and digital collections of bookplates, maps, prints and other visual materials are available on the Digital Collections web page. https://www.mcgill.ca/library/find/digitization/
Upon registration, all readers agree to the following rules and regulations governing the use of all Rare Book and Special Collections (RBSC) materials. Access to our collections is conditional upon their observance.
All readers and visitors must register annually in order to consult materials or to view exhibitions on display in the Reading Room.
The registration card must be completed with current mailing address and signed in agreement with the policies outlined in this brochure.
Coats and hats must be hung in the coat racks upon entering the Reading Room.
All bags, including briefcases, knapsacks, bags, purses, and laptop sleeves must be stored in the compartments located next to the coat racks.
Wallets and laptops may be taken to the Reading Room tables and to the Colgate seminar room.
No food or beverages are permitted.
Staff at the desk can suggest avenues for accessing the collections, assist you with your reference questions, help you find relevant gateways to copies available in digital format, and arrange for specialized research assistance.
Use of personal cameras is allowed in the Reading Room with staff permission. Please refer to the “RBSC Policy on Personal Photography”.
Requests for research-quality reproductions (photocopies, scans) or professional, high-resolution scans are handled by RBSC staff on a case by case basis. Ask staff for a reproduction form. Images intended for publication (web or print) must be ordered from RBSC staff using the reproduction form. Fees may apply.
Reproduction of the materials is allowed for personal or scholarly use. The granting of permission to publish by Rare Books and Special collections does not absolve users from securing permission from copyright owners and payment of such additional fees as the owners may require if the division does not own copyright or if the material is not in the public domain. Applicants assume all responsibility for questions of copyright and invasion of privacy that may arise in copying and in the use made of the photographic and digital copy.
Researchers must include the supplied credit line when reproductions are used for publication, exhibition, web site production and video production.