UPEI’s L.M. Montgomery Institute turns 25 today!
The L.M. Montgomery Institute (LMMI) at the University of Prince Edward Island is marking a major milestone today—April 26.
On this date 25 years ago, the LMMI was launched with the goal of promoting research into, and celebrating, the life, works, culture, and influence of Prince Edward Island-born L.M. Montgomery, one of Canada’s most famous authors. During her lifetime (1874–1942), Montgomery wrote over 20 novels, numerous poems and short stories, and 10 volumes of personal journals. She is most famous for her first novel, Anne of Green Gables, with its iconic character, Anne Shirley, whose life in fictional Avonlea continues to delight millions of readers around the world. While Montgomery moved to Ontario after her marriage to the Rev. Ewan MacDonald in 1911, she set all but one of her novels in her beloved Island.
“A 25th anniversary is a time for celebrating all that has been accomplished over these years,” says Dr. Philip Smith, chair of the LMMI. “But even more important is the opportunity to look ahead, to advance new ways of learning about and shaping Montgomery's influence at home on the Island, across Canada, and around the world.”
A long-held dream of Montgomery scholar Dr. Elizabeth Epperly, the LMMI has developed a strong scholarship base over the past 25 years through conferences, publications, and academic courses. The Institute brings together Montgomery scholars and enthusiasts from countries around the globe for biennial conferences on various themes related to or found in Montgomery’s work. The next conference, “L.M. Montgomery and Reading,” will be held at UPEI from June 21–24 of this year.
Housed in the University’s Robertson Library, the Institute has developed its own collection of Montgomery-related artefacts, sponsored courses on Canadian culture, published essay collections based on the conferences, and developed multi-media products to further scholarly discussion of the author’s work.
With 25 years behind it, the LMMI is not resting on its laurels. Last year, UPEI announced the appointment of Dr. Kate Scarth as the inaugural Chair in L.M. Montgomery Studies and Applied Communication, Leadership and Culture. She will create public engagement activities to advance the Institute’s scholarly mission and develop even stronger links with scholars and enthusiasts in PEI, Canada, and internationally.
This fall, the LMMI will embark on a new venture with the creation of the first-ever journal dedicated to Montgomery. A refereed, open digital space, the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies will use new technology to bring together interdisciplinary and international authors and readers, including Montgomery scholars and the broad community of enthusiasts. Papers will be accepted starting September 1, 2018.
For a more detailed look at the LMMI’s history and its future, please read LMMI at 25: Looking Back. Looking Forward by Melanie Fishbane, the Institute’s web coordinator.
The University of Prince Edward Island prides itself on people, excellence, and impact and is committed to assisting students reach their full potential in both the classroom and community. With roots stemming from two founding institutions—Prince of Wales College and Saint Dunstan’s University—UPEI has a reputation for academic excellence, research innovation, and creating positive impacts locally, nationally, and internationally. UPEI is the only degree granting institution in the province and is proud to be a key contributor to the growth and prosperity of Prince Edward Island.