Genealogy and Family History Research at MHS
The Maine Historical Society has one of the largest collections of genealogy material in Maine. We are always adding to our collection, which includes published and compiled genealogies, town histories, vital records, census records, city directories, town reports, maps, photographs, manuscripts, journals, and many other resources to help you with your family history research.
Watch this video about a family history discovery at the Brown Library.
The Research Library collection consists of over 100,000 printed books and pamphlets, and two million manuscript pages from the 15th to the 21st centuries.
- MHS Members can use the library at no additional charge.
- The library offers in–library access to the databases on NewEnglandAncestors.org, Ancestry Library, HeritageQuest™ Online, and the Proquest Digital Sanborn Maps of Maine.
- Our Guide to Genealogical Resources at the Maine Historical Society will help you find out what library holdings we have that are specific to genealogy.
- Our Book and Manuscript Catalog is online. Most of our catalogs have been converted to the online Minerva database. Please contact us if you don't find what you are looking for.
Become a Member to access our online resources!
Check the Visiting the Library page for hours, fees, policies, etc.
For those patrons unable to visit the library, we offer various categories of free and fee–based research. Find out more about our Research Services that could help you discover your Maine ancestors.
We offer Image Reproduction Services, including photographic copy prints and digital scans. You can search for a selection of photographs and manuscripts from our collections on the Maine Memory Network, many of which are available for sale on Vintage Maine Images.
Online Maine Genealogy Forum
Genealogists can collaborate by posting questions on our genealogy forum at http://www.mainehistory.org/discus/.
The Online Maine Genealogy Forum is an electronic bulletin board. Someone asks a question such as "Looking to find marriage records or other information on Joshua Prescott of Williamsburg, ME, born circa 1830." Someone else can read the message (either right away or anytime in the future) and reply with an answer or a suggestion for a resource. Discussion often goes back and forth, with people sharing information, giving tips, trading experiences, and helping each other with Maine–related genealogy issues.
The forum is divided into 6 topics of interest: Surname Queries, Locality Queries: Maine Queries, U.S. Queries, International Queries, Genealogy Software, and General Inquires. You can post a question anonymously, but we do offer online accounts for "power users" who want to receive email notification when someone has answered a question they've posted.
It's a great way to network and find others who may have genealogy information you've been looking for. In fact, if you're interested in researching your family's history, the Online Maine Genealogy Forum would be a great place to start because you could familiarize yourself with genealogy resources, meet other people who share similar interests, and continue your library research from home.
Click here to access the Online Maine Genealogy Forum.