The Rare Books collection features nearly 2500 books and brochures with publication dates ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries.

Most of its volumes date from the early 1900s as the collection is largely composed of the personal libraries of David Ross McCord and William Notman. Most of the other works in the collection were published in Canada and complement the Museum’s various collections.

For example, there are books on the history of Canada and Montreal, directories and almanacs, tourist booklets, art books, books written in First Nations languages, explorers’ travel accounts, children’s books, books about magic, military censuses and plan books.

These writings are not only reference documents for collections research, they are also artefacts, available for consultation and displayed as part of exhibitions and other dissemination projects.