Collection RC0427 - McMaster University Collection

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

McMaster University Collection

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Edition area

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Dates of creation area


  • 1887-2013 (Creation)
    McMaster University

Physical description area

Physical description

301 boxes of textual records and graphic images
107 3/4 inch video cassettes
47 16mm reel to reel films
architectural drawings

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

McMaster University was founded in 1887 in Toronto, Ont. and named after Senator William McMaster who had bequeathed sufficient funding to endow an Christian institution of higher learning. It opened in Toronto in 1890. Inadequate facilities and the gift of land in Hamilton prompted the institution to relocate in 1930. Until 1957 the Governors of the University were elected by the Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec. In that year, the University became a non-denominational institution.

The head of McMaster University was given the title of Chancellor until 1950 when George P. Gilmour was given the title of President and Vice-Chancellor and a new Chancellor, E. Carey Fox was chosen. Gilmour had been Chancellor of McMaster University since 1941. Since 1950 seven presidents have headed McMaster University: George P. Gilmour, 1950-1961; Henry G. Thode, 1961-1972; Arthur N. Bourns, 1972-1980; Alvin A. Lee, 1980-1990; Geraldine A. Kenney-Wallace, 1990-1995; Peter J. George, 1995-2010; Patrick Deane, 2010-present.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The collection consists of a vast range of records and documents created throughout the University's existence, both in Hamilton and Toronto. However, it is not a complete record of the University's activities.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


The materials related to McMaster University have been divided into five general series:

  1. Administration and Governance
  2. Academics
  3. Libraries
  4. General – includes history of the University, photographs, and other material
  5. Publications

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Script of material

Location of originals

Researchers interested in the early history of McMaster should consult the Canadian Baptist Archives at McMaster's Divinity College.

Researcher may also be interested in the Archives of Hamilton Health Sciences and the Faculty of Health Sciences in the Health Sciences Library at McMaster.

Availability of other formats

Material that has been digitized: Films (partial) Ephemera/Realia (partial).

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