The establishment of the McGill University Archives was announced
in 1962 along with the appointment of McGill’s first University
Archivist, Mr. Alan Ridge. The initiative toward an archives programme can
be traced to an exchange of correspondence in the late 1950s between
Professor John Irwin Cooper (Department of History) and then Principal F.
Cyril James regarding "...the necessity for a survey of McGill University
records...the establishment of University Archives..." and the need to "
better appraise the University’s records." (MUA Records
of the Principal RG 2 C246 F7401 "Archives and Records").
James’ announcement in 1962 recognizes the role of the records and archives for
both administrative and historical purposes:
Storage for the University Archives was first located in the stacks of the Redpath Library, with the office of the University Archivist located in the James Administration Building. In 1971 the University Archives moved to consolidated storage, access and administrative offices on the Ground Floor of the McLennan Library, where it remains today.
Annual reports between 1965 and 1980 detail successive developments in the holdings of the
University Archives (including the extension of its collecting areas to include Montreal-based
organizations with a connection to McGill), development of standards for description of holdings,
and development of records management classification for the University community.