Maud and Anne: The Treasures of Lucy Maud Montgomery and Anne of Green Gables

June 1, 2017 | Chantel

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With the first season of the CBC series Anne wrapped up, new and seasoned fans are looking for a way to fill the void. Fortunately, there is a treasure trove of over 200 items relating to Anne Shirley and her creator, Lucy Maud Montgomery – and it can be found at the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books on the 4th floor of the Lillian H. Smith branch. For those of us who need a bit more Anne in their lives, the Osborne Collection might be able to do the trick.

Montgomery introduced us to Anne in her first novel, Anne of Green Gables. It was written in 1905, but the work was rejected by publishers. She tried again in 1907, and the book was published by LC Page, a Boston company, in 1908. The Osborne Collection has the first impression (above) tucked away on its shelves, and it is exciting for any Anne fan to clutch (delicately, of course) and flip through (using a page turner and book cradle, of course).    

Though Montgomery’s writings were inspired by her journals and actual events, Anne is fictional. Montgomery once wrote to an adoring fan, Trudy Ramsay: “No, dear, Anne is not a real girl...but if she is real to you, that is all that matters.” This letter, among others, are a part of the Osborne Collection.

Recently, and to everyone’s excitement, the Osborne Collection purchased two more letters with the assistance of the Lilian H. Smith Acquisition Trust Fund to celebrate Canada 150. Montgomery was devoted to her fans and it is evident in her correspondence with them.

There are also books in the collection that are signed and inscribed by Montgomery. One book that is particularly interesting (especially if you’re a cat person) is Anne’s House of Dreams. Normally, Montgomery would sign her name with a flourish and a cat...yes, a small silhouette of a cat. However, in Anne’s House of Dreams she signed with two cats – a rare find and something the Osborne Collection is proud to have on its shelves.

All the items in the collection are reference items, meaning that they can only be used in the branch. If you want see any of the material in the collection, you’ll have to come in, and maybe chat with some other Anne Fans (otherwise known as staff).

So come to the Osborne Collection of Early Children’s Books. Bring your families, your friends, your classes and yourselves and have a look at our rare and special items.