RMC Research Project

(refer to Redpath Research Journal Tab for an updated list)

The RMC Research Project is FINALLY up and running!!!

For those of you who are not aware of what it is – it’s a group research project, were each of us chooses a McGill, or Redpath Museum-related topic, finds as much information as we can about it, and write up a small essay (4-10 pages, or longer if you have time or are comfortable doing so!).

References are required – we want to make sure you aren’t making these interesting facts up. Once we have amassed enough essays, we will be able to publish it with your photographs and artworks as well!

I have compiled a list of possible topics that you can choose from. You are by no means limited to this list – if you have other ideas, please go for it, and if none of the below ideas appeal to you… then email us what you are sort of interested in (i.e. science, religion, frogs – or whatever peaks your interest) and we’ll find you a topic that’ll work for you!

This is an opportunity to get our club out there in the McGill community and also for you to get involved more! So if you want to see your work published or another thing to put on your resume, this is a great opportunity for you!

List of possible topics: (Note: these topics will be updated as we come up with more ideas, and as people start claiming topics we will bold the taken topic, so bolded topics mean they have been taken. First come, first serve!)

McGill Related Topics

  • • about the Redpath Mansion (located near the MMFA, a double-murder happened there in early 1900s, and it’s still a mystery)• Hochelaga – the aboriginal community that was supposedly located on the McGill campus’ land waaay back• James McGill and his house that used to be where Burnside is (burned down like 3 times)

    • The clock on campus that has just been re-installed on the Roddick Gates

    • The Faculty Club building – originally it was owned by a German family, during World War II it was taken away from them by the government, and then given to the McGill’s principal at the time – now it’s still used by McGill Faculty (but the principal no longer lives there)

    • the minerals used in certain buildings on campus • the development of campus from a field with cows grazing on it, to what we see today (the process of beautifying it)

    • famous alumni

    • looking at the many mansions donated to McGill University during World War II as soldiers died, and no one was left to look after these houses • McGill’s influence in the War effort

    • McGill Students as soldiers during WorldWarII

    • Protests at McGill

    • The Puppet Collection in McGill’s Rare Books Collections

    • The McGill Observatory

    • Peter Redpath and his sugar ties

    • Birks Building – the library and the chapel

    • Stephen Leacock

    • The three bares statue (Goodwill Fountain), and other art on the McGill campus

    • McGill Tobacco (we had our own brand of cigarettes)

    • McGill’s role in the beginning of ice hockey

    • Body snatching Medical students

    • McGill fashions throughout the ages

    • history of McGill songs, on example from the early 1900s being-

    James McGill, James McGill,

    Peacefully he slumbers there,

    Though he knows we’re on the tear,

    He’s our father

    Oh yes, rather,

    James McGill!!!!!

    The Montreal Millionaires who lived right around McGill

    • the Ogilvies, the Strathcones, the Shaugnesseys, the Courols and more

    • McTavishes and the Quesnels – the magnates of the North West Fur Company

    • the Molsons and the Dows – the early brewers

    • the Bleurys, the Shuters and the Vigers – the real estate proprietors

    • John Molson, expertise as a brewer, branched into the steamship business and more astonishingly into theatre ownership, his success rested primarily on his trade

    • Lord Strathcona – one of the co-founders of the Royal Victoria Hospital which was opened in 1893, and also responsible for the opening of the Royal Victoria College for women students at McGill

Redpath Museum Related Topics

  • The architecture of the Museum• Where the mummies came from (expo 67)• More about the man who lived in the basement of Redpath

    • How we acquired certain artifacts (if there is an artifact that intrigues you, this may be interesting)

    • Information about the variety of other collections at McGill found here: http://www.mcgill.ca/historicalcollections/


    • The collections of Walter F. Ferrier: Who was Ferrier, what was his relationship to McGill, and how did he acquire his spectacular collection?

    • The ‘cave party’: Rumor has it that one McGill geologist (possibly Dr. James Douglas) once threw a party in a cave. The minerals in the Douglas Collection are all cave deposits from the same cave. What is the story behind this?

    • The story of the ‘McGill minerals’: mcgillite, dawsonite, thomasclarkite, donnayite, gaidonnayite etc. What are these minerals, and how did they come to acquire their names?

    • The Canon Diablo meteorite in the mineral collections: Possibly one of the single most valuable items in the whole Redpath Museum. How did McGill acquire it? Where does it come from? Why is it so valuable?


    • The Abe Levine shell collection: Who was Abe Levine? How many awards did he win for his spectacular shell collection? How many shells are in the collection? How did McGill come to acquire it?

    • What about the lion, the stable antelope, bongo or the giant beluga whale skeleton on the first floor?

    • McGill has a huge and notable mammal collection, including mounts and skeletons of rare specimens such as platypuses, echidnas, a giant anteater, a tapir, a pangolin and several koalas. How many species are represented? How long have they been in the collection and who collected them?

Each of these topics are just a starting point, once you know which once you want, claim it fast. I’ve already got some sources prepared for some of these/contacts in mind, so you are not on your own!


One thought on “RMC Research Project

  1. Hello,
    I would like to do the topic
    “looking at the many mansions donated to McGill University during World War II as soldiers died, and no one was left to look after these houses”.

    Diana Kontsevaia

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