Starting in 2022, people will be able to read Anne of Green Gables online thanks to a new digital version of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s original manuscript.
The manuscript will be the centrepiece of a digital exhibition involving the Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) and the University of Prince Edward Island’s L.M. Montgomery Institute and the Robertson Library.
Anne of Green Gables was released in June 1908 and sold 19,000 copies in the first five months, after previously being rejected by at least five publishers.
Montgomery received her first royalty cheque for $1,730 in 1909. The book has gone to sell more than 50 million copies worldwide.
The author had been inspired by a newspaper story about an elderly couple in England who tried to adopt a boy but received a girl instead. She set her story in her native Prince Edward Island.
Virtual Museum providing funding
A statement says the exhibition, funded with the help of the Virtual Museum of Canada, will “increase accessibility to the manuscript while the digital version will help preserve the original pen and ink on paper manuscript, acquired for the CCAG’s permanent collection in 1967.”
The exhibition will be titled “Exploring a National Treasure: L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables Manuscript.”
People who visit the site will be able to see all 853 pages of the manuscript, including notes and short snippets of work that Montgomery jotted on the backs of her manuscript pages.
Montgomery scholar Dr. Emily Woster will curate the project with L.M. Montgomery Institute founder Elizabeth Epperly consulting. It will offer new research and commentary, as well videos of places on Prince Edward Island represented in the book and animations of key moments that inspired Montgomery.
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