The four libraries in the University Library system are here to help you with your research, teaching & learning!

The general public is welcome to visit the libraries and use our resources on site. More information on what services are available to those who are not members of the McMaster community can be found here. If you have specific questions please call Lynne Serviss, Services Librarian, Mills, at 905-525-9140 x24053.

Key Stats and Neat Facts

  • In a year more than 2,300,000 patrons enter the libraries and more than 20,000 research help questions are answered.
  • The Library's William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections houses extensive archives including those of Bertrand Russell and a noteworthy collection of eighteenth-century literature.
  • The combined collections of the libraries total more than 1.9 million print and electronic books, 86,000 print and electronic journal titles, and 14,000 linear feet of archival resources.
  • General collection strengths support the research and teaching strengths of the University. Particular areas of emphasis include Biology, British History, Business, Chemistry, Classics, Economics, Engineering, English Literature, Geography & Earth Sciences, Health Sciences (with particular emphasis on problem-based self-directed methods of teaching and learning), Maps, Nuclear Physics and Religious Studies.
  • The libraries acquire print, non-print, and electronic materials from multiple sources. The acquisitions budgets for the University Library and Health Sciences Library are funded separately, and materials are ordered, received and processed independently as well. To find out more about acquisitions and collection development for each library, click on one of the following links: Collections & Facilities: University Library (Mills, Innis & Thode)
  • The libraries participate in a number of consortial projects including CRKN (Canadian Research Knowledge Network) and COAHL (Consortium of Ontario Academic Health Libraries) for digital content.
  • The libraries use the integrated Symphony software system from SirsiDynix to manage online cataloguing, circulation, and acquisitions and VUFind to power the search functionality of our catalogue.


The Library is a proud member of...

  • AAHSL (Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries)
  • AAO (Archives Association of Ontario)
  • Alouette Canada
  • ARL (Association of Research Libraries)
  • Archives Association of Research Libraries
  • BitCurator Consortium
  • Budapest Open Access Initiative (via CARL membership)
  • CAPDU (Canadian Association of Public Data Users)
  • CARL (Canadian Association of Research Libraries)
  • CIDL (Canadian Initiative on Digital Libraries)
  • CLA (Canadian Library Association)
  • CLIR (Council on Library and Information Resources)
  • CNI (Coalition for Networked Information)
  • CNIE (Canadian Network for Innovation in Education)
  • COAR (Coalition of Open Access Repositories)
  • CRKN (Canadian Research Knowledge Network)
  • DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)
  • Duraspace 
  • EDUCAUSE (McMaster University is a member). An individual can create an acct. to view publications
  • IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations)
  • Islandora Foundation
  • NDLTD (Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations) 
  • NEADS (National Educational Association of Disabled Students)
  • OCA (Open Content Alliance)
  • OCUL (Ontario Council of University Libraries)
  • OUETD (Ontario Universities Educational Technologies Directors)
  • OLA (Ontario Library Association
  • Public Knowledge Project (PKP)
  • SPARC (Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition)