Welcome to The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections
The William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections acts as the principal repository for rare books, archives, antiquarian maps, and related historical material at McMaster University in support of teaching, education, and scholarship. Named after William Ready, the University Librarian from 1966 until his retirement in 1979, the diverse collections consist of culturally significant books and unique records of national and international scope: manuscripts such as Boethius’s De consolatione philosophiae written in 1150 A.D.; a collection of 35,000 pre-1800 books and journals with a concentration in the eighteenth century; the records of the Anglican Church for the Diocese of Niagara; and archives and books in literature, music, Canadian social history and politics, publishing, philosophy, business, advertising, labour, student organizations, temperance, popular culture, the West Indies, peace and war, Judaica, and the Holocaust. Of special note are the archives and personal library of the philosopher, social activist, and Nobel prize winner Bertrand Russell.
The present facilities of the Division of Archives and Research Collections include a reading room for consultation and research, temperature-and-humidity controlled storage areas at Mills Memorial Library, a digital work space, and a conservation lab. The staff is committed to excellence in the acquisition of rare books and archives, their preservation, description, access to these materials at McMaster University and globally, and in the provision of research help to a wide community of users. The Division of Archives and Research Collections works collaboratively with other repositories to achieve the greater goal of preserving historical resources. Digitization of material from the Division’s collection is an ongoing activity, giving students and researchers worldwide quick, online access to our resources.
Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Exceptions to regular hours:
CLOSED - 28 April-19 May for stack renovations. We will be open again Tuesday, 20 May.
Phone: 905-525-9140 ext. 22789
Fax: 905-522-0691; when faxing, please address to "Research Collections"
Book titles: 125,999 | Periodical titles: 4,694 | Archives: 3,635 metres | Microforms: 12,658 items | Maps: 2,375 | Audio-visual materials: 1,373 items