A little history lesson

Have you ever wondered why the Humanities and Social Sciences Library has so many names? Is it McLennan? Is it Redpath? Where is this Blackader everyone says is a great place to study?

The mystery lies in the history of the building. If you stand on McTavish Street and look at the entire complex, you can see how the Humanities & Social Sciences Library is actually composed of several separate building styles.

The original library was housed in what is now called Redpath Hall and was built in 1893. ┬áIn fact, you can still see Redpath Library etched in stone on the building’s exterior although it no longer functions in that manner. If you get a chance, catch a performance by students and faculty from the Schulich School of Music and imagine the room as it once was.

In the 1950s, an extension was added (this is the section of the library referred to sometimes as the “Redpath Library”), which currently houses primarily study spaces, a computer, lab, as well as the Cybertheque and cafeteria in the basement.

The library was further expanded in the 1960s when McLennan was built (the six story component that houses all of the library’s books at the corner of Sherbrooke and McTavish).

We tried to ease confusion by calling the complex (Redpath + McLennan) the Humanities and Social Sciences Library but the two separate building names have stuck.This is why however the building can feel confusing to get around some times as different sections were conceived and built in different decades.

Take a walk around and see if you can catch the architectural differences!

P.S. The elusive Blackader Lauterman is located on the third floor of the Redpath section. Take the staircase located between the men’s washroom and the new seating area.


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