Campus News

Published by Communications and Public Affairs (519) 824-4120, Ext. 56982 or 53338

News Release

August 26, 2002

Online 'scrapbook' of L.M. Montgomery's life to be launched

A new digital scrapbook that will provide Canadians with a “virtual” glimpse into the life of writer L.M. Montgomery is being launched this week. The web page was created from collections housed at the University of Guelph’s McLaughlin library and four other archives and museums.

“Picturing a Canadian Life: L.M. Montgomery's Personal Scrapbooks and Book Covers" will be unveiled at 11 a.m. EDT on Friday, Aug. 30, in Charlottetown, PEI. Staff at the McLaughlin Library plan to witness the launch from Guelph. The online exhibition, which can be found at, includes materials that have never before been brought together, said Lorne Bruce, head of archival and special collections at the McLaughlin Library. "The Internet is the only way we could have brought together so many different images, text and optional enhancements for so many different audiences and free of charge," he said.

The scrapbook’s target audience is students in grade school through graduate school, teachers, Montgomery scholars and readers, cultural tourists. The virtual collection will bring to life little-known aspects of Montgomery's work. "Viewers will have the opportunity to see Canada at the turn of the century through her eyes: what interested her, the swatches of fabric she loved, the photographs she prized, the news items she preserved,” Bruce said.

Montgomery, who wrote 20 novels, a book of poetry and numerous newspaper articles and short stories during her lifetime, was also an avid photographer, letter writer and gardener. The scrapbooks will include items from the author's personal collections, book covers, journals and photographs, many of which are housed at Guelph.

Currently, Montgomery's scrapbooks are available to the public only for limited viewing because the pages are brittle and the fragile pressed flowers, clippings and photographs can't be handled safely. But the virtual scrapbook, which will be bilingual, will include selected digitized images of these materials. It will be annotated and layered so that viewers can either scroll through the selected pages rapidly or stop to study them intensely. There will also be video and audio clips, animation and other interactive elements.

The project is headed by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery and Museum in partnership with the L.M. Montgomery Institute at the University of Prince Edward Island, the National Library of Canada, and the Virtual Museum of Canada of the Canadian Heritage Information Network.

Lorne Bruce, archival and special collections
(519) 824-4120, Ext. 2089

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs, (519) 824-4120, Ext. 3338.

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