The McCord Museum houses the most extensive First Nations collection of its kind in Québec, the largest costume collection in Canada and the unique Notman Photographic Archives. McCord's diversified collections include the history of Canada, Québec, and especially of Montréal.
The McCord Museum was founded by David Ross McCord (1844-1930), the descendent of a family of merchants and well-known jurists who settled in Canada in the late 18th century. In 1919 he donated his considerable collection of Canadian objects to McGill University. Two years later, these collections were available to the public at the Jesse Joseph residence. The McCord Museum closed in 1936, but re-opened its doors in 1971 in the former McGill University Student Union building, designed by the celebrated architect Percy E. Nobbs.
The museum, which is managed like a private museum with its own board of directors, became autonomous in 1988. However, it maintains a privileged relationship with the university from which it originated.