Image of Frances Burney, 1782 (painted by Edward Francesco Burney) The Burney Centre at McGill University

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History of the Centre

The main goal of the Burney Centre at McGill University is to prepare modern, complete and unabridged scholarly editions of the journals and letters of Frances Burney.

The Burney Centre was founded in 1960, as the Burney Papers Project, by the late Joyce Hemlow. Dr. Hemlow, the author of The History of Fanny Burney (Clarendon Press, 1958), taught at McGill University from 1948 and served as Director of the Centre until her retirement in 1984. She was succeeded by Lars Troide, who in turn was succeeded in 2003 by the present Director, Peter Sabor.


The Burney Centre website was featured as a "Web Gem" in the McGill Reporter in January 2008.

Current Activities

The Court Journals and Letters of Frances Burney (1786-1791)
General Editor: Peter Sabor

The Letters of Dr Charles Burney (1751-1814)
General Editor: Peter Sabor

The Centre works closely with the Burney Society of North America and the United Kingdom, and produces the Society's Burney Journal and Burney Letter.

The Burney Centre, in conjunction with the Rare Books and Special Collections Division of the McGill University Library, offers an annual Fellowship, designed to assist scholars who need to travel to and establish temporary residence in Montreal in order to use the resources of the Library.


From its inception, the Burney Centre has been supported by funding from McGill University.

In addition, the Centre currently receives generous grants from:

  • the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC)
  • the Canada Research Chairs programme
  • the Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la société et la culture

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