January 19, 2023 – For the first time ever, L.M. Montgomery’s original manuscript of Anne of Green Gables is available to readers everywhere through a new digital exhibition.
The Anne of Green Gables Manuscript: L.M. Montgomery and the Creation of Anne officially launched online today. The digital exhibition will allow people to explore Montgomery’s original text, see what was written on the back of pages, and find out how famous moments were developed or revised. The interactive website includes never-before-seen material, such as Montgomery’s publishing contract for the novel.
“Visitors can pore over every pen stroke – there are bits of short story drafts and heavily scratched out passages that just beg for one to zoom in. We have also added hundreds of photo and video annotations to learn from,” says Dr. Emily Woster, an L.M. Montgomery scholar who curated the exhibition. “This is a celebration of Montgomery’s creative process, and we invite scholars and fans alike to explore the site and trace the origins of Anne.”
The high-quality digitization of the manuscript gives visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the author and Prince Edward Island, and reflect on Anne’s legacy in print, on screen, and on stage – including the nearly 60-year history of Anne of Green Gables–The Musical™ at The Charlottetown Festival.
The digital exhibition is presented by Confederation Centre of the Arts, the University of Prince Edward Island’s Robertson Library and L.M. Montgomery Institute, and developed with funding from the Digital Museums Canada investment program. The Digital Museums Canada investment program helps build digital capacity in Canadian museums and heritage organizations and gives Canadians unique access to diverse stories and experiences. Digital Museums Canada is managed by the Canadian Museum of History, with the financial support of the Government of Canada.
The history of the novel dates back to the summer of 1905, when Montgomery began writing Anne’s story in the kitchen of her home in Cavendish. The classic novel is beloved the world over, inspiring millions of readers in over 40 languages. The original manuscript resides in the archives at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown, and only a lucky few have been able to see it or study it in person.
“This important project will vastly increase access to the manuscript, generating new understanding and appreciation of the novel’s beginnings and of its author,” says L.M. Montgomery Institute chair Dr. Philip Smith. “The digitization by the expert staff at UPEI’s Robertson Library will allow enthusiasts around the world to discover Montgomery’s creativity in interactive ways not previously available.”
The digital exhibition is available in English and French and can be viewed online at annemanuscript.ca.
Photo cutlines: Portrait of L.M. Montgomery courtesy of the Anne of Green Gables Museum
Anne of Green Gables manuscript, photo by Jean-Sébastien Duchesne
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