The McCord Museum of Montreal launches a remarkable new open-access online platform | Arts

To mark its 100th anniversary, the McCord Museum is launching a new open-access platform with bilingual descriptions of more than 140,000 objects, photographs and archival documents from its collections. The site also offers approximately 130,000 royalty-free images that can be downloaded in the highest resolution available, free of charge, with no restrictions on use.

Created to provide unparalleled access to the Museum’s collections, the project is a first for the institution. The new platform, whose content will be constantly updated, was launched with the support of the Azrieli Foundation and Canadian Heritage.

The platform is a significant development in the digital transformation of the Museum, which operates in a field where more and more institutions are opening up their collections for wider distribution.

“The concept of open access is perfectly in line with the Museum’s social mission,” said Suzanne Sauvage, President and CEO of the McCord Museum. This is an important community legacy project to mark the Museum’s 100th anniversary.

Since high-resolution images can now be downloaded, fees previously charged for obtaining copies no longer apply. Museum staff will continue to add descriptions and images to the online collections platform, adding thousands of new objects each year.

Designed for both history researchers and simple history enthusiasts, the Online Collections platform presents content on the social history and heritage of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. It is aimed at a wide audience, local and international, made up of researchers, students, professors, authors, journalists and the general public. It includes photographs and archival material from the combined Archives, Documentary Art, Clothing, Fashion and Textiles, Indigenous Cultures, Material Culture and Photography collections of the McCord and Stewart Museums.

“The Museum is delighted to benefit from the generosity of the Azrieli Foundation and Canadian Heritage, whose support has enabled us to create this important platform for the dissemination of our collections. We are very grateful for their help,” added Sauvage.

To consult the online collection platform, click on

— McCord Museum

— A. Bonaparte

Stephen V. Lee