Montreal’s McCord Museum launches remarkable new open access online platform

Painting, Anonymous, of Thomas McCord (1750-1824), 1797-1800, M17754.

To mark its 100th anniversary, the McCord Museum is launching a new open access platform with bilingual descriptions of over 140,000 objects, photographs, and archival documents from its collections. The site also features approximately 130,000 royalty-free images that may be downloaded in the highest resolution available, free of charge, with no restrictions on their 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 institutions are opening up their collections to disseminate them more widely.

"The open access concept is perfectly in line with the Museum's social mission,” stated Suzanne Sauvage, President and Chief Executive Officer of the McCord Museum. “Our new platform will make our collections accessible to more people, bringing our collective heritage to a wider audience. It is a major community legacy project to mark the Museum's 100th anniversary."

Since the high-resolution images can now be downloaded, the fees previously charged to obtain copies no longer apply. Museum staff will continue to supplement the descriptions and images on the Online Collections platform, adding thousands of new items every year.

Montreal’s McCord Museum launches remarkable new open access online platform

Designed for both history researchers and those who simply enjoy history, the Online Collections platform presents content on the social history and heritage of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. It targets a broad public — local and international — that includes researchers, students, professors, authors, journalists, and the general public. It includes photographs and archival documents from the combined Archives, Documentary Art, Dress, Fashion and Textiles, Indigenous Cultures, Material Culture and Photography collections of the McCord and Stewart museums.

"The Museum is thrilled to benefit from the generosity of the Azrieli Foundation and Canadian Heritage, whose support has enabled us to create this major platform to disseminate our collections. We are very grateful for their assistance," added Sauvage.

To consult the online collections platform, click on

— McCord Museum

— A. Bonaparte

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