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| Mandate of the Museum | History of the Museum | About the Redpath Biodiversity Project |
| Acknowledgments | How to Contact the Museum |

  Mandate of the Museum

redpath museum.jpgThe Redpath Museum of McGill University exists to foster the study of the history and diversity of the natural world. Its mandate includes geological, biological and cultural diversity and it carries out conventional academic teaching and research activities on the scale of academic departments of comparable size. The museum also provides academic services to other units. Its distinctive feature is the preservation and curation of objects, the registration of their existence, and the provision of access to other collections.Through the public display and interpretation of these objects, it both advances undergraduate and graduate education, and serves the general public.


History of the Museum

The Museum is one of McGill's most prominent buildings, looking out over the McGill campus. The Museum was commissioned in 1880 by Peter Redpath, a prominent businessman who owned Canada's first sugar refinery, to preserve and display the collections of Sir William Dawson. albertosaurus.jpg Dawson had in his possession a collection of fossils and minerals from Nova Scotia, of great scientific value. Peter Redpath publicly announced his donation at a banquet held on April 1880 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Dawson's appointment at McGill. Architects A.C. Hutchison and A.D. Steele were appointed to design the building.

The opening of the Redpath Museum in August, 1882 coincided with the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting held at McGill that year. The building was singled out as one of the best examples of the "good modern work" that had been erected in Canada. Initially it was intended that the museum and its collections should be in the first place for the professors and students of McGill College and University and secondarily for all the students of Natural Science and for the public.

In 1952, the Museum broadened its focus to become effectively a natural history museum for elementary and high school students. In 1971, McGill under extreme financial pressure, dramatically reduced public access and focused on its scientific research and teaching roles. In 1985-86 the doors of the Museum were once again opened in a limited way to the general public.Today, the Museum is opened to the McGill population, the public at large and visiting school groups.


About the Redpath Biodiversity Project

Redpath Biodiversity Project.gifThe purpose of the Redpath Biodiversity Project (RBP) is to provide a central registry of information about biological diversity. This information consists of biological surveys in digital format. It is supplemented by digital maps of the geographical region covered by a survey, including elevation, drainage, climate, land use and other landscape features. This allows the fauna and flora of an area to be related to the structure of the landscape.

The scope of the RBP is both local and global. The local projects are directed towards providing an account of biological diversity in Quebec accessible through the web and therefore available to the general public. This work is funded by the Quebec government. The global projects are concerned to collect the most reliable and systematic biological surveys available, from any region of the world. This work is funded primarily through federal and provincial research grants. All projects are conducted from a computer facility located at the Redpath Museum of McGill University.

The value of the RBP will grow as its data base expands, and so we are always eager to add new high-quality data. Any digital records supplied to us are stored on a server and backed up. They will be used for educational purposes only, and will not be made available to any third party without the express permission of the donor. We are always willing to collaborate by providing supplementary data for a group or a region.



The Redpath Museum gratefully acknowledges the invaluable cooperation and contribution of the following individuals and organizations:

This website was funded by a grant called "Étalez votre Science", Programme de soutien au developpement de la culture scientifique et technique, Ministère de la Culture et des Communications, Québec.

Québec Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune, in particular Gilles Lamontagne, Robert Morin, Jacques Jutras, Denis Fournier and all the regional MEF wildlife offices who made data available; Guy Jolicoeur at the Centre des Données sur le Patrimoine Naturel du Québec; Jean Gauthier at the Canadian Wildlife Service; David Rodrigue of the Ecomuseum.

Technical Support:
Shannon Glenn for her expertise and assistance with the GIS datasets, Keith Paddington and Slant Productions for web consulations; Jake Vander Zanden for identification of bird slides, and a number of students who helped with the creation of this site: Andrew Dong, Avina Gupta, Pawel Olezjczyk, Saima Shaukat and Kevin van Doorn of McGill University and Jason McMullen of Vanier College. We also thank Sophie Kantas and Nancy Long for assistance on the graphic design of the site.

Content and Materials:
Amanda Vincent at McGill University; Natalie Zinger at WWF-Québec for editorial comments and useful information; the Mont St. Hilaire Nature Center for access to their slide collection, Luc Brouillet of the Institut de Recherche sur la Biologie Végétale, Jean-Luc Desgranges of the Canadian Wildlife Service, Benoit Gauthier of the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Faune, Joan Kaylor of the Redpath Museum, David Marcogliese of the Saint Lawrence Center, Greg Thompson of the Biodiversity Convention Office for editorial comments.

Jake Vander Zanden for the text on birds and fish of Québec; Shannon Glenn for text on Value of Biodiversity and Conservation in Quebec and Torsten Bernhardt for text on Biodiversity Surveys and Mont St. Hilaire.

Illustrations and Photos:
Torsten Bernhardt for original line art used in the homepage design and various icons. Unless otherwise identified, photos for this site are courtesy of the Mont St. Hilaire Nature Center. The following individuals and organisations also kindly contributed photos to the site: Delise Alison, Christina Couroux, Adrian de Bruyn, Susan Gabe, Rees Kassen, Jen Kovecses, Jason McMullen, the Mediatheque of the Montreal Botanical Gardens, Quebec MEF, Anthony Ricciardi, Monique Richard, David Rodrigue, Helen Sarakinos and Jake Vander Zanden.

How to contact the Museum

Redpath Museum, McGill University
859 Sherbrooke St. W. , Montréal,
Québec H3A 2K6

(514) 398-4086

(514) 398-3185




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