The L.M. Montgomery Collection is an essential national repository for Montgomery studies. This collection, which features primary and secondary sources, began in 1981 with the purchase of Montgomery's diaries (1889-1942) and scrapbooks from her son, Dr. E. Stuart Macdonald, who also served as her literary executor. After his death, additional materials were purchased in 1983 and, in 1999, the manuscript of Rilla of Ingleside, thought to have been lost, was donated to the library. Montgomery's final note, dated 22 April 1942, written two days before her death, was donated to the library in 2009.
The collection is extensive and diverse, serving the needs of literary scholars, historians, many researchers, and the public. At its centre are Montgomery's journals, which consist of ten legal-size written volumes and unpublished, edited typescripts. Four of her scrapbooks, covering the years 1910 to 1936, provide additional information on her activities and interests while a fifth contains newspaper reviews of her books. The scrapbooks and journals are illustrated with pictures, swatches, and other memorabilia.
The Montgomery papers comprise a selection of materials including the original manuscript of Rilla of Ingleside, correspondence and legal materials relating to her estate, royalty statements and genealogical notes. As well, there are poems, stories, business correspondence, and financial records (e.g., a ledger for poems and stories sold). The picture section contains 1273 photos, 1181 negatives, and 3 family photo albums. Included in the sixty-four piece artifact section are needle works, a cushion cover, and ceramics.
Printed publications include Montgomery's personal library: 175 books reflect her wide range of reading interests with approximately 70 first and subsequent editions of her own works in English and translations in other languages. A newspaper section, which corresponds with the period of Montgomery's life, includes relevant Charlottetown, Halifax, and Georgetown newspapers on microfilm.
Montgomery's twenty-three presentation copies of her works to her long time friend and correspondent, George B. MacMillan, Alloa, Scotland, are held in the George B. MacMillan Collection.
The entire collection can be accessed by using printed finding aids available in the Wellington County Room.
All holdings are recorded in the library's Omni online catalogue with the phrase "L. M. Montgomery Collection" (records can be sorted, emailed and printed. Catalogue descriptions of sections of the collection (not digitized pages) may be accessed as follows:
- Rilla of Ingleside manuscript: XZ5 MS A004
- Montgomery's journals: XZ5 MS A001
- Montgomery's scrapbooks: XZ5 MS A002
- Short stories, articles, business and legal items, manuscripts and typescripts, personal papers of Montgomery: XZ1 MS A098
- Montgomery's personal library: XZ1 MSA094
- Picture collection (more than 1,200 photographs): XZ1 MS A097
In 2002, the library partnered with the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown, PEI, to assist with the development of the web site Picturing a Canadian Life: L.M. Montgomery's Personal Scrapbooks and Book Covers.
More than a thousand of the library's L.M. Montgomery digital images can be searched and viewed via our ongoing partnership with the Our Ontario portal.