The L.M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI) is housed in the Robertson Library at the University of Prince Edward Island. Admired internationally for more than one hundred years, L.M. Montgomery’s works have been translated into more than thirty languages. The LMMI honours Montgomery's achievements and provides a dynamic research centre focused on her life and works.
Mandate and history
The LMMI promotes research into, and informed celebration of, the life, works, culture, and influence of the Prince Edward Island-born, acclaimed Canadian writer, L.M. Montgomery. The LMMI celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2013. The L.M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI) was launched in April 1993 with three years of base funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grants in Aid of Small Universities. The LMMI has since been supported by grants, donations, research project funding, and biennial international conferences.
Some contributing factors to the formation of the LMMI (on PEI and at UPEI):
Montgomery graduated from Prince of Wales College (PWC) in 1894 (in 1969, PWC and St. Dunstan’s University together formed the University of Prince Edward Island). She is thus an alumna of UPEI.
Island historian and UPEI History professor, Dr. F.W.P. Bolger, was inspired by the newly rediscovered girlhood letters of Montgomery to her cousin, Penzie Macneill in Cavendish, and published the ground-breaking The Years Before Anne in 1974. He donated Montgomery’s manuscript letters to UPEI.
In 1978, Dr. Bolger invited Dr. Elizabeth R. Epperly to edit with him a collection of letters written by Montgomery to her Scottish pen pal, G.B. MacMillan. McGraw-Hill Ryerson published the book in 1980 (and Oxford University Press, in 1992) as My Dear Mr. M: Letters to G.B. MacMillan from L.M. Montgomery.
Mary Rubio and Elizabeth Waterston co-edited volumes I, II, III, IV and V (Oxford UP 1985, 1987, 1992, 1998, and 2004) of the Selected Journals of L.M. Montgomery and Montgomery scholarship came into its own.
- When Elizabeth Epperly rejoined the UPEI campus in 1992, after publishing the first full-length critical study of all Montgomery’s novels, The Fragrance of Sweet-Grass, founding Women Studies professor Dr. Elizabeth Percival urged her to make a Montgomery proposal for the SSHRC competition. Dr. Epperly’s proposal for the creation of the LMMI was enthusiastically endorsed by Dr. Bolger as well as by Dr. Percival and the Dean of Arts, Robert Campbell.
When funding was announced in 1993, the LMMI was officially launched and was attended by Island Montgomery fans and relatives, as well as by special guests from Ontario: Montgomery’s daughter-in-law, Mrs. Ruth Macdonald; Montgomery’s granddaughter, Kate Macdonald Butler; and renowned Montgomery scholars Dr. Elizabeth Waterston and Dr. Mary Rubio.
For five years, the LMMI ran an English-language, Montgomery focused, immersion programs for Japanese women, and also provided ways for international fans and scholars to discuss Montgomery’s life and writing, such as the Kindred Spirits listserv. The success of the first international Montgomery symposium in 1994 led to a themed, biennial, international conference series. The twelfth conference, L.M. Montgomery and Gender Conference, was held in 2016.
The LMMI conferences have inspired numerous collections of essays, individual books, and other artistic creations.
The LMMI is managed by a UPEI faculty and staff committee, including ex-officio members and special (community/scholar) guests; every two years an outstanding Montgomery scholar is invited by the committee to select a conference theme and to oversee the academic integrity of the conference and a possible publication or project inspired by it. The LMMI reports to the UPEI Vice-President Academic and Research, Robert Gilmour, who appoints the chair for a three-year term. Philip Smith is the current chair.
The LMMI counts among its active Canadian celebrity supporters the Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, who was Canadian Patron while Governor General of Canada; and best-selling authors Jane Urquhart and Anne-Marie MacDonald; and Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan, who has served as International Patron of the LMMI since 2004.
In addition to start-up and conference funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the LMMI has benefited from the generous support of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation. The LMMI has received financial support for special research and design projects from the Wanda Wyatt Foundation for the creation of the award-winning CD-ROM, The Bend in the Road; the Virtual Museum of Canada, for the online exhibition (in partnership with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, the Lucy Maud Montgomery Birthplace, the University of Guelph Library, and the Heirs of L.M. Montgomery) Picturing a Canadian Life: L.M. Montgomery’s Scrapbooks and Book Covers (this exhibition was subsequently chosen as Canada’s gift to Japan Expo in 2005 and was translated into Japanese by Canadian Heritage); Smart Communities and the Knowledge Economy Partnership, for workshops and school programs; Aliant Leadership Sponsor funds, for four years of support for multiple educational programs and lectures.
The Friends of the LMMI (FLMMI), was founded to support the LMMI's collections and on-going work. Begun by L.M. Montgomery Literary Society in Minnesota, the FLMMI welcomes members from all over the world. Please click here for information about donation to the Friends.
Thanks to private donors, such as the Montgomery Heirs and collectors, such as Dr. Donna Campbell (the Ryrie-Campbell Collection), the LMMI now has in the Robertson Library of UPEI the world’s largest collection of Montgomery first editions, foreign editions, and periodicals containing Montgomery’s published stories and poems. These items are being made digitally available.
The LMMI publishes print-on-demand works and special art works, as well as special exhibitions, such as the Macdonald Collection and the Annes of the World Collection.
Located on 140 acres in Charlottetown, the birthplace of Confederation, the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) has a rich history with roots in two founding institutions: Prince of Wales College (est. 1834) and St. Dunstan’s University (est. 1855). UPEI honours this proud legacy through a growing reputation for research innovation and academic excellence.
UPEI’s four faculties (arts, education, science, and veterinary medicine) and two schools (business and nursing) offer a wide range of programs and degrees to approximately 4,400 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. Home to multiple Canada Research Chairs, a Canada Excellence Research Chair in Aquatic Epidemiology, endowed or sponsored research chairs, and 3M Teaching Award-winners, UPEI offers its students access to over 1,100 exceptional faculty and research staff. UPEI students come from all walks of life and from local, regional, national and international locations. As of September 2016, international students from close to 70 countries comprise 21 per cent of the University’s total enrolment.
The campus consists of 28 academic, administrative, residential and athletic buildings including Don and Marion McDougall Hall housing the School of Business; Bill and Denise Andrew Hall; the W. A. Murphy Student Centre; and, a new facility for the School of Nursing and the Applied Human Sciences programs, the Health Sciences Building, was officially opened in early 2012. A new, 75,000 square-foot School of Sustainable Design Engineering opened in August 2016. Athletic facilities have grown substantially over the past decade including the new UPEI Alumni Canada Games Place track and field facility, the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre, a lighted, synthetic-surface sports field, and a community-based partnership athletic facility with competitive and leisure pools and two professional-sized ice surfaces in MacLauchlan Arena. The campus also houses the National Research Council’s Institute for Nutrisciences and Health at the Regis and Joan Duffy Research Centre.
With over $5.4 million in scholarships, international exchange and study opportunities, an active Student Union, expanding graduate programs and outstanding student-faculty interaction, UPEI offers its students a unique campus experience. Our alumni enjoy success in their chosen fields and are a constant reminder of the value and promise inherent in a UPEI education.
As an official, independent institute, the L.M. Montgomery Institute has the privilege through UPEI of issuing tax receipts for gifts accepted. The LMMI welcomes gifts of appropriate artifacts (such as rare Montgomery editions, letters or post-cards to or from her, Montgomery family items and photographs) and also gifts of funds.
Naming the LMMI in estate planning is welcomed. Please ask for details about recognition opportunities. As an independent institute within UPEI, the L.M. Montgomery Institute welcomes gifts and donations. Tax receipts are issued by UPEI’s Advancement Services. If you would like to make a donation, please contact the University Archivist, Simon Lloyd: firstname.lastname@example.org.