Learn more about the Innis Library, its history and its namesake.
Discovery searches journal articles + the Library’s collection of books, e-books, media, and more
Catalogue searches the Library’s collections of books, e-books, journals, media, maps, and more
Select a database to find articles, data, reports, videos and more.
Innis is the business library on central campus. A variety of borrowing, research and technology services are available, along with a collection of business resources and spaces for individual and group study.
We had planned to shut down Innis Library at the end of term to make way for a new building project, but the COVID-19 situation compelled us to close our doors a bit earlier. As of March 19, 2020, Innis Library is no longer open to the public. Thank you for 46 wonderful years!
We’ll be back better and brighter in the new McLean Centre for Collaborative Discovery, a nine-story addition to the DeGroote School of Business, slated to open in 2023/24.
You'll find our tutorials and guides in the Research Help section of the website. Check it out!
Here are a few specific support resources you might find useful:
Ask a question at one of our Service Desks
Innis Library is located in the north tower of Kenneth Taylor Hall (KTH), Room 108, adjacent to the DeGroote School of Business (DSB) and across from the David Braley Athletic Centre (DBAC). It is one of the best kept secrets on campus, in part, due to its "hidden" location within and between two buildings. Since there are no signs outside the buildings informing you of its existence, we've created a series of maps and videos to help you find our little library. Find us and be part of the INnisCrowd!
Sterling Street to Innis Library
Parking Lot H to Innis Library
Parking Lot M to Innis Library
The three routes below are accessible by wheelchair having ramps, elevators and automatic door openers.
Parking Lot C to Innis Library
Parking Lot E to Innis Library
Mills Library to Innis Library
Innis Library is named after Harold Adams Innis (1894-1952), influential Canadian scholar and McMaster alumnus (BA 1916, MA 1918, Hon. LLD 1945).
View Harold's graduation portrait taken when he received his master of arts from McMaster University in 1918. Read his MA thesis The Returned Soldier online via MacSphere, McMaster's institutional repository.
Check out books by and about Harold Innis in McMaster libraries.
Read a profile of Harold Innis from The Canadian Encyclopedia.
Innis Library offers course-related and course-integrated instruction to McMaster students, faculty and staff on how to find, evaluate and use information effectively and ethically.
We can ...
To request library instruction for Commerce classes or business related sessions, please contact the Business Librarian.
For instructional support in other subjects and in other libraries, visit Request Library Instruction for Your Course
There are no washrooms inside the Innis Library, however, they are located nearby.
The washrooms closest to Innis are in the basement of Kenneth Taylor Hall (Men, KTH-B115 | Women, KTH-B114) and in the atrium of the DeGroote School of Business (Men, DSB-134 | Women, DSB-103).
All washrooms are wheelchair accessible and gender inclusive.
Still not sure where to find relief? Watch this short video to help you pinpoint these washroom locations.
The Library subscribes to hundreds of databases which contain full-text articles (from academic journals, popular/trade magazines & newspapers), company profiles, financial data, industry reports and statistics. Some of our most popular business databases include:
These and other frequently used business resources can be accessed from our Top Business Databases guide.
All newspapers, in all formats (print, online, microform), available at McMaster libraries are noted in the Catalogue.
The Innis Library houses the current issues (approximately 1-3 months) of the following 6 newspapers in print. The issues are located in the display stand and baskets near the entrance/exit gate in alphabetical order.
Online Journals & Magazines
Print Journals & Magazines
Use the Catalogue to find books, journals, magazines, newspapers, government publications, working papers, videos and more at Innis and other McMaster libraries. The Catalogue includes items in all formats (print, online, microform, etc.).
For a listing of all titles recently added to our Catalogue, go to New Items and select Yesterday, Past 5 days or Past 30 days.
The latest print books coming into the Innis Library are shelved in our New Books display near the entrance/exit gate and are available to borrow with a valid McMaster ID card.
Not sure where to start your research? Can't find the information you need? Try consulting our research guides for assistance.
There are several business related guides that highlight resources for specific courses and for finding specific types of information (e.g., company financials, industry reports, SWOT analyses, etc.).
Some instructors will put course materials (e.g., textbooks, readings) on reserve at the library for short-term loan (e.g., 2 hours). These materials are noted in the Course Reserves listing. Search by course code or instructor.
The Innis Library houses course reserves for undergraduate Commerce and some graduate courses in Business and Finance. Take note of the call number and status of the reserve item when requesting it from the Innis Service Desk.
For instructors interested in placing items on reserve for a course, please visit Course Reserves for Instructors.
Need to borrow library materials? Visit the Innis Service Desk located in the west wing by the entrance/exit gate. NOTE: Innis does not have a self-checkout machine. All materials must be signed out face to face at the Innis Service Desk.
Items you can borrow include:
Your McMaster ID card is your library borrowing card. Your ID card (with its 14-digit barcode) is what you need to checkout library materials at Innis and other campus libraries.
For information about loan periods and policies, visit Borrow from McMaster Library
If you have a question or need help with research, don't hesitate to get in touch with library staff for guidance and assistance.
Contact us ...
If your question is very complex, you may be asked to book an appointment with the Business Librarian at Innis Library.
For research tips, you may also want to consult our ...
Innis Library has 15 desktop computers available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click the Windows 10 Start button (lower left taskbar) on a public PC to access a program from the alphabetical list in the Start menu. The software listed below is available on all public PCs at Innis Library.
For computer and software information in other libraries, visit Computers & Software
Additional software (e.g., Arena, JMP Pro, SAP Business ByDesign, XL Miner, Web-HIPRE, etc.) is also available to DeGroote School of Business (DSB) faculty, staff and students via the DSB Virtual Lab.
Innis Library has 1 electronics charging station located in the west wing (front area), near the information rack and archway.
When your cell phone or tablet is running low on power, plug your device into a cubicle and keep it secure with a combination lock of your choice.
Can't retrieve your device from the locked cubicle? Please fill in this form - Electronics Charging Unit Problem - and library staff at the Service Desk will assist you.
Innis Library has 1 machine that can print, copy and scan documents. It is located in the west wing (front area), next to the archway.
Prices for copying and printing:
NOTE: Only letter-size paper (8.5"x11") is available in this machine. The default setting for printing is double-sided. Change properties for single-sided.
Price for scanning to email in PDF format only:
For complete details on this service, visit Print/Copy/Scan.
Material not held in the collections at McMaster libraries can often be borrowed from other libraries (in Canada and elsewhere) using interlibrary loan (I.L.L.). These requests are made using a system called RACER (Rapid Access to Collections by Electronic Requesting).
For complete information about our interlibrary loan service, visit Borrow from Other Libraries.
The following equipment and supplies are available at the Innis Library.
For a listing of equipment in other libraries, visit Equipment You Can Borrow.
In the late 1960s, when the plans for the Arts III building were being finalized, it was decided that the new home for the Faculties of Anthropology, Business, Economics, Political Science and Sociology would also include a study space for the students in those Faculties.
In 1971 when the newly dubbed Kenneth Taylor Hall opened to the campus community its new study hall featured seating for about 90 students as well as a caged area that housed reserve material for courses offered by the various Faculties. Materials would be accessible only for a few hours a day, courtesy of a temporarily transplanted staff member from Mills Memorial Library.
This new space was named after Harold Innis, famed economist, communication theorist and McMaster alumnus. The Innis Room was quickly embraced by students from the moment it opened its doors.
The heaviest users of the Innis Room were from the Faculty of Business. To compete with business programs at other universities, McMaster pursued accreditation. One of the requirements for this level of certification was to have a dedicated business library.
In the fall of 1973, after much deliberation and negotiation with the adjoining Faculties, it was decided that the Innis Room would become known as a business library. A full-time librarian was hired and plans for the transition began to take shape.
In the early summer of 1974, the Innis Room was closed so that the reserve cage could be removed. Books, shelves and furniture were also transferred from Mills Library.
On July 2, 1974 the Innis Room officially re-opened as a business library and soon boasted over 5,000 reserve items. Despite its modest size, the space saw approximately 180,000 people pass through its turnstiles in its first year of operation.
Traffic at Innis continued to grow at a steady pace throughout the seventies and into the eighties. By the end of that decade, it had become quite clear that overcrowding had become a problem, exacerbated by the steady growth of its book and periodical collections.
By the early nineties, when construction began on the DeGroote School of Business building, a major expansion and renovation of Innis was integrated into the plan, eventually more than doubling its floor space and seating capacity and most symbolically, changing its designation from “Room” to “Library”.
Over the decades, microfilm and print have slowly been usurped by the proliferation of online databases which provide access to countless reports and articles in thousands of periodicals. Despite the changes in technology and access to information, the needs of McMaster’s business and commerce students remain very similar to those of the early seventies; to find reliable and relevant information, quickly and efficiently.
Innis Library has proudly been taking care of business for 40 years and will continue to strive for new and innovative ways to serve its users.
Source: Erasmi, Alessandro (November 4, 2014) "Taking Care of Business for 40 Years: A Brief History of Innis Library" McMaster Libraries.
If you would like the library to scan one article from a print journal or one chapter from a print book available in McMaster libraries, use our scan and send service.
Eligible titles will have a button in the full Catalogue record. Current McMaster students, faculty and staff can select this button and complete the resulting form to request a scan from the library at no charge. A link to the scanned PDF will be emailed to you within 24-48 hours during weekdays.
For full details, visit Request a Journal or Chapter Scan.