- This page is considered an official policy on Anne of Green Gables Wiki. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone should follow. Except for minor edits, please make use of the forum to propose changes to this policy.
There have been many books, films, television series, plays and spinoffs based on the Anne of Green Gables series, some of them authorised and approved by Lucy Maud Montgomery or her heirs, some of them wholeheartedly unauthorised and unapproved. This policy page will make clear what information should be included on this wiki, and where.
Canon is a word generally used to describe what is considered "official" in a particular franchise or universe. Often the line between the original works and the adaptations becomes blurred, so this page is here to explain and enforce the separate canons of the Anne of Green Gables universes as used on this wiki.
The prospect of defining canon is a daunting one, as most Anne fans have their own ideas about what they think should be included. Anne's story has been told and retold many times, through the original books, movies, miniseries, TV series, anime, manga and loose adaptations which may keep the spirit of the story, but not the letter. As a wiki, we don't want to rank any retelling higher than another retelling, but we do want to keep the many different stories separate. That is, including information from every story, even if the stories conflict.
Here is our solution.
The different "universes"
On this wiki, for the purpose of articles, we have defined 12 different "universes" (not including the "out of universe" category, which is for articles about things in the real world, such as Lucy Maud Montgomery or Anne of Green Gables). You may read more about these universes by visiting Anne of Green Gables universes.
For every different incarnation of a character, place or thing, we have a different article. Anne Shirley is for the books' version of Anne, which Anne Shirley (CBC) is for the Anne from the newest CBC TV series. This allows us to have as much information as we want, while still keeping universes internally consistent and understandable.
Distinguishing which universe a page is about is easy: just look at the colours of the infobox on the right (all pages from the same universe have the same two-colour scheme), and also see the small words at the very bottom of the infobox, which will tell you the name of the universe. This works for all infoboxes used on in-universe pages.
To learn more about how to change the infobox colours, see the Manual of Style.
But what about Before Green Gables?
This is a question we get asked a lot.
Before Green Gables is a prequel novel fully authorised and approved by Lucy Maud Montgomery's heirs. While we understand that not everyone has read it, or likes it, or wants to recognise it as part of Anne's story, we have made the choice to include information from it on the wiki, included side-by-side with the original books.
However, we know that some people may want to only read information from the original LMM novels and short-story collections, and don't want anything from BGG. That's why we try to clearly reference information as coming from it, if applicable. But, a wiki is a work in progress, and not everything is referenced clearly yet. Of course, you are welcome to help us out (see Help:References for help with referencing the books). The references mean that you can see where information is from, and decide for yourself whether or not to take that into account.
This means that Anne's birthday is the fifth of March if you want to include BGG; otherwise, it is simply in March. We don't want to divide Anne fans by setting boundaries; we understand that readers like to choose for themselves what to take as canon, and that's okay.
But what about inconsistencies (e.g. Shirley's birthday)?
Shirley's birthday is a tricky instance, because L.M. Montgomery herself made a self-contradictory error. Shirley turns 18 in early 1917, when Rilla (born in July 1899) was nearly 18 as well, which is not possible.
The admins of this wiki discussed this discrepancy in detail (see here and here). Suffice to say, Shirley's birth year is listed on the wiki as 1897, because he is two years older when Rilla is born in Anne of Ingleside. His birthday is April 2 because that was the Monday before the United States declared war (April 6).
Of course, this year of birth contradicts the impossible birthday in Rilla of Ingleside. But Anne of Ingleside was published afterwards, so the admins decided to take Shirley being two years older than Rilla as canon.
Using images in articles
Rule of thumb: match images to the correct universe. Only pictures taken from book covers or book illustrations should be on book universe pages.
Information should be from the original language of the source material, unless the source was originally in a language other than English, and there is an official English translation available. Information present only in translations may be added, but only to the "Behind the scenes" section (as a point of comparison or trivia), not the main part of the article.
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