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Rare Books & Archival Collections Reference Guide

Archival Collections Catalogue

McGill Library Archival Collections Catalogue provides a single interface for searching the library's archival holdings. The catalogue contains descriptions of our collections and fonds and is a work in progress. Where digital copies are available, they are accessible directly from the description. Over time, we will be increasing the content available through the site.

Archival Collections, Rare Books and Special Collections

McGill University Archives

Our online guides and searchable databases provide a range of possible starting points for your research. Once you have found information that you would like to view, make a note of the particular files or items, and record all the information that appears with the item, including any number or codes. Please submit your request to

Canadian Architecture Collection (CAC)

Archival Terminology

The terms “collections”, “fonds”, and “papers” carry distinct meanings in archival practice, but for the purposes of this guide can be used interchangeably to indicate separate groupings of material. Other archival terminology used in this guide includes “file-level” and “item-level” cataloguing. Item-level cataloguing indicates that each individual item (a single letter, for example) is described in the archival catalogue, while file–level cataloguing indicates that descriptions extend to small groupings of items (often stored together in a file folder) but not each individual item.  

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Rare Books and Special Collections


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