May 26 , 2010


McMaster Library receives $2.5-million to digitize and preserve immense collections


Hamilton, Ont. May 26, 2010The McMaster Library has received $2.5-million from the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Foundation—the largest private donation in the library’s history—to digitize its extensive research collections, ensuring they will be accessible to a vast audience.


The gift will be used to establish The Lewis and Ruth Sherman Foundation Digitization and Preservation Centre, which will be located in Mills Memorial Library.  It will help fund the renovation of space and the acquisition of leading-edge technologies.


“We are grateful for this generous gift to our library, allowing us to share a wealth of hidden treasures,” says Peter George, president of McMaster. “The Library touches so many, including students across campus, members of our own community and people from around the world interested in our remarkable collections.”


Before they passed away, Lewis and Ruth Sherman had strong connections to McMaster.  Lewis, who was the former owner of Hamilton’s Allan Candy, was also a bookseller with personal and professional ties to the Library.  His wife Ruth worked at McMaster, most recently in the library’s technical services division.  In addition to the new centre, they have left a legacy to the University, establishing the Lewis and Ruth Sherman Fireside Lounge, located in the McMaster University Student Centre.


"This donation represents a significant commitment on the part of the Sherman Foundation to preserve and enhance access to unique research collections at McMaster” says Jeff Trzeciak, University Librarian. “It is not only an investment in preserving our past but also an investment in building a strong future for McMaster's libraries by emphasizing the role we play in promoting research in a digital realm."


It has been a priority of the Library to digitize its vast collections, some of which are already freely available online through prior digitization projects, namely Peace & War in the 20th Century and Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing.

McMaster University, one of four Canadian universities listed among the Top 100 universities in the world, is renowned for its innovation in both learning and discovery. It has a student population of 23,000, and more than 140,000 alumni in 128 countries.



For more information, please contact:


Michelle Donovan

Public Relations Manager: Broadcast Media

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 22869


Jane Christmas

Manager, Public & Media Relations

McMaster University

905-525-9140 ext. 27988