Inaugurated in 1921, the McCord embodies the vision of a passionate collector, David Ross McCord, whose abiding wish was to shed light on the history and cultures of his country and thus bring its people together.
A Museum Born of a Montrealer’s Dream
In 1878, David Ross McCord began adding to the already considerable collection assembled by his family since their arrival in Canada. Sparing neither time nor money, he combed the length and breadth of the country in search of the finest and most historically significant objects. Gradually, a plan began to take shape in his mind: that of founding a national history museum in Montreal, Canada’s metropolis at the time.
On October 13, 1921, the McCord National Museum opened its doors, housed in a building provided by McGill University. Both its collection and its reputation grew rapidly.
A Museum Supported by Montrealers
The citizens of Montreal, heirs to the passion of David Ross McCord, encouraged the Museum’s development. McGill University administered the McCord for over sixty years, until it became a private museum. Leading members of the community, including the families of Walter M. Stewart, T.H.P. Molson and J. W. McConnell, lent their steadfast and generous support to the Museum’s various activities and, with additional government backing, made possible the recent renovation of its building. Today, the McCord is supported by the governments of Canada, Quebec and Montreal, and by a large network of members, donors and sponsors.
A Museum for all Montrealers
David Ross McCord wanted to make history accessible to all. His dream has become the McCord’s mission – a mission whose importance is reaffirmed each year by thousands of visitors.
Two museums join
On July 1, 2013, the McCord Museum and the Stewart Museum signed a merger agreement. Both institutions continue to operate publicly under their respective names and maintain their activities as before. However, initiatives have already begun to consolidate their administrations, integrate their collections and share knowledge in order to maximize synergies. This agreement marks an historic moment for the two Museums; it assures their sustainability and offer new opportunities for their development and the promotion of their collections.
The Stewart Museum
The permanent closure of the Stewart Museum was announced in February 2021. The museum was located in the heritage Fort on St. Helen’s Island in Parc Jean-Drapeau. The Stewart Museum's collection has been integrated with that of the McCord Museum since the merger of the two museums in 2013. The collection will be moved to the McCord museum and will continue to be preserved and shared through virtual programming, exhibitions and a new digital platform.