Maine Historical Society



Maine Historical Society Museum

On this page:   Current Exhibits  | Collections  | Research  | Donating Historical Items

The MHS Museum features changing exhibitions and programs spanning more than five centuries of Maine life. Drawing from the extensive collections of the Maine Historical Society, original exhibits feature art, artifacts, and documents that vividly bring Maine history to life.

Below you will find information about our current exhibits, but many of our past exhibits live on in our Past Exhibits section. We hope you can visit our museum first hand. Members receive free admission.

Current Exhibits

image of exhibit banner

This Rebellion: Maine and the Civil War
June 28, 2013 – May 26, 2014

This Rebellion showcases a rich array of MHS's Civil War collections related to Maine soldiers' experiences during and after the war. Items in the MHS museum and library collections that help tell the human story of the Civil War inspire this exhibit.

A Memorial Wall presents the names of members of Maine regiments who died during the war. It lists their names, ranks, regiments, and hometowns. The wall also lists those who were missing in action. Read More.


John Nichols, Lewiston, ca. 1880
John Nichols, Lewiston, ca. 1880

From Slavery to Maine
April 4 - May 26, 2014

A number of former slaves, probably several hundred, settled in Maine during and after the Civil War. Some came through the auspices of Gen. Oliver Otis Howard, a native of Leeds and head of the Freedman's Bureau; some with individual soldiers, and others on their own. Letters, photographs, and newspaper articles tell the story of a few of the former slaves who came to Maine in the 1860s. Read More


Explore Past Exhibits.


Museum Collections

The Museum's diverse collection of over 15,000 artifacts includes paintings, prints, and other original works of art, clothing and textiles, decorative arts, Native American artifacts and archaeological material, toys, tools, glass and ceramics, political memorabilia, militaria, and industrial and domestic artifacts that illustrate life in Maine.

Search the collections database to see our museum objects, photographs, autograph letters, some architectural drawings, and newspapers. This is a work in progress; please contact MHS collections staff at for the most complete and accurate research.


Museum Collections

Research access to the museum collections is available by appointment.

Contact the Curator at (207) 774–1822 x224 for more information.

Donating Historical Items

If you are considering donating museum artifacts or library items to the Maine Historical Society, please read our donation guidelines and review the MHS Collections Policy.