Mission Statement

The Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies (CMTS) is dedicated to fostering and supporting scholarship and pedagogy related to all aspects of Mark Twain.  The primary purpose of the CMTS is to serve an international community of scholars and educators.  The responsibilities of CMTS also include oversight of two historic landmarks: Quarry Farm, which has been designated as a scholar’s retreat, and the Mark Twain Study, now located on the Elmira College campus.  Starting in 1871 and for over twenty consecutive summers, Twain came to Quarry Farm and worked in his octagonal Study.  It is here that the author wrote The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, and many other important works, signifying his most productive and most successfully creative time of his life.

In addition, CMTS closely collaborates with the Elmira College Mark Twain Archive, the home of primary and secondary sources dedicated to Twain and his circle.  CMTS also seeks to enrich local and regional community members and organizations by promoting and preserving the legacy of Twain and his deep connection to Elmira.  CMTS fulfills its mission through the facilitation and sponsorship of academic research fellowships and a number of scholarly events, including educational field trips, lectures, teaching institutes, symposia, and the quadrennial International Conference on the State of Mark Twain Studies, the world’s largest scholarly conference focusing on Mark Twain.