Skip navigation links (access key: Z)Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives CanadaSymbol of the Government of Canada
Français - Version française de cette pageHome - The main page of the Institution's WebsiteContact Us - Institutional contact informationHelp - Information about using the institutional WebsiteSearch - Search the institutional - Government of Canada Web site

Archived Content

This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.

Banner: Directory of Special Collections of Research Value in Canadian Libraries
Introduction SearchHelp

William Colgate Printing Collection
McGill University, Rare Books and Special Collections Library

Printing--History; Printing--Technique; Typography--Specimens; Calligraphy; Paper

The collection was established in 1954. Mr. William George Colgate of Toronto donated several hundred books of typographical interest to the McGill Library in the 1940s and early l950s. The collection has become the Rare Book Department's largest special collection.

The collection is noted for its extensive holdings on the history and technique of printing; calligraphy and letter forms; design of typefaces and typographical productions; typefounding and typefounders, specimens; and printers, manuals and handbooks, including those for colour printing and paper. The collection also includes: specimens of modern fine printing, mostly after 1850; work by W. A. Dwiggins, an American typographer, and three iron printing presses.


13,544 monographs. Currently, 5 serials are received.

Bibliographic Access
Part of the collection is fully catalogued; the rest is partially catalogued. There are some uncatalogues subcollections which are accessible. LC subject headings are used. The material is arranged according to ten classes, based on a local arrangement system.

Physical Access
The collection is open to the public upon registration with the Department and the presentation of a suitable piece of identification. For further information visit:

Interlibrary Loan: No.

Reprography: Yes.

Reference Assistance: Yes.

Publications Describing Collection
None at present.