Upcoming Events at the Maine Historical Society
All programs are open to the public and free of charge, and take place at our facilities at 489 Congress Street in Portland, unless otherwise noted.
Tuesday, May 28 – Tuesday, May 28, 2013
MHS Book Group: We Are What We Ate
Facilitator: Larissa Vigue Picard
Join us this January through May for our fourth annual MHS reading group--a great opportunity to engage in discussions about history and connect with members of the MHS community.
This year, we explore a topic that resonates across humanity, inspiring great passion and wide-ranging opinion—food! In non-fiction and fiction, we’ll examine how the food that has been envisioned, produced, sold, shared, cooked, and eaten in the past—whether by desire, tradition, deprivation, or other forces beyond one’s control—has influenced numerous aspects of life. In addition to a wide variety of short readings and excerpts that will be provided as handouts to participants, books include Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton; 97 Orchard by Jane Ziegelman; Something from the Oven by Laura Shapiro; and The Emperors of Chocolate, by Joel Glenn Brenner (Emperors is currently out of print but widely available used).
WHEN: Tuesdays 1/22, 2/26, 3/26, 4/23, 5/28 @ 6:30PM
WHERE: MHS Lecture Hall
FEE: $20 members/$25 non-members
BOOKS: Books are not available through the MHS store; participants must supply these on their own.
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Friday, January 11. Registration is required; space is limited and the group has traditionally filled up fast.
For more information, including a full reading list, and to register, Download Flyer.
Thursday, June 6, 5:30 pm
Poems that Grew from a "Spreading Chestnut Tree"
Speaker: Sydelle Pearl
Join us for a family-friendly, late springtime event in the Longfellow Garden. Author Sydelle Pearl will share how she was inspired to write her new biography Dear Mr. Longfellow: Letters to and from the Children's Poet. Follow her research journey to discover the story behind a special gift made for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow by the children of Cambridge, Massachusetts, to celebrate the poet's 72nd birthday.
"Longfellow's poetry has long had special appeal to children," says Maine State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. "This delightful book documents the special bond between the poet and his young readers during his lifetime and how that enthusiasm for his work continues to this day."
Sydelle Pearl is the author of Elijah's Tears: Stories for the Jewish Holidays, Books for Children of the World: The Story of Jella Lepman, and Hope Somewhere in America: The Story of a Child, a Painting, and a President. A former children's librarian, Pearl has been a professional storyteller for 20 years. She gives presentations at schools, libraries, conferences, and festivals. For more information, visit her website at www.storypearls.com.
Saturday, June 8, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
MHS Annual Meeting: Biddeford on the Move
Join us to conduct the official business of MHS, and to explore the city of Biddeford's past, present, and future. The annual meeting includes awards; the welcoming of new Trustees; a talk by Maine author, historian, and journalist, Colin Woodard; and a tour of the sprawling Pepperell Mills Complex, a 1 million square foot campus being redeveloped for mixed use.
Colin Woodard is the award-winning journalist and author of The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier, Ocean's End: Travels Through Endangered Seas, and The Republic of Pirates, which is the basis of the forthcoming NBC series "Crossbones." His fourth book, American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America was named one of the Best Books of 2011 by the editors of The New Republic and The Globalist and received the 2012 Maine Literary Award for non-fiction. He is currently State and National Affairs Writer at the Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram, where his investigative reporting won a 2012 George Polk Award.
MHS membership is required. Cost is $25/members. For more information, See Invitation Flyer. To register, please call 774-1822.
Wednesday, June 19, 12:00 pm
Intro to MHS: Museum Collections: Recent Acquisitions and PastPerfect Online
Facilitator: Holly Hurd-Forsyth
MHS Museum Registrar Holly Hurd-Forsyth provides a show-and-tell of recent or topical museum collection items, discusses how accessions are researched and processed, and trains participants how to search and use the MHS PastPerfect Online database. (Third Wednesdays in Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, and Dec, at 12PM, in the MHS lecture hall; free; limited to 12. Sign up in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Saturday, June 22, 12:00 am – 4:00 pm
In partnership with Cape Elizabeth Historical Preservation Society
Special Event: Vintage Baseball!
Featuring the Dirigo Base Ball Club & the Essex Base Ball Organization
Join us for 19th century baseball! Last year, more than 150 people attended the double-header Vintage Baseball event at Fort Williams, and it made the front page of the Portland Press Herald. This year we'll be at Southern Maine Community College’s baseball field on Fort Road in South Portland. We hope you’ll grab some friends, a picnic lunch, and come have some unique historical fun by the ocean.
The Dirigo Vintage Base Ball Club is a non-profit, educational and living history organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the game of Base Ball as it was played during its formative years in the mid-nineteenth century and other historic eras.
The Essex Base Ball Organization, a growing league based in Newbury, Massachusetts, also plays by rules and customs of the 19th century. They wear period uniforms and play on an open field. Like Dirigo, EBBO has a well-established outreach program that focuses on education and engagement as well as playing the games.
The teams will play two nine-inning games (60-90 minutes each). Between the games, team members will talk about baseball in that era, and provide opportunities for kids to run the bases, interact with players, and ask questions. The games are free and open to the public.
Thank you to our lead corporate sponsor, Investment Management and Consulting Group, for its generous support of this community event, and John Babbin of Coldwell-Banker Realty, for additional support. The Mainely Burgers gourmet food truck will also be at the event.
Wednesday, July 3, 12:00 pm
Intro to MHS: Library Tour
Tour Guide: Nicholas Noyes, Library Director
This 45-minute tour of the Brown Research Library, fully renovated in 2009, takes participants throughout the first floor reading room and behind-the-scenes into the archive, normally closed to the public. Library Director Nicholas Noyes covers the history of the building, architectural details, the basics of doing research in the library, and even shares a few treasures from the collection. (Monthly on the first Wednesday at 12PM; free; limited to 10. Sign up in advance by sending an email to email@example.com.)
**NOTE: The May tour is full. The next scheduled tour is in July.**
Thursday, July 4, 12:00 pm
Celebrate the 4th of July!
A Public Reading of the the Declaration of Independence & Gettysburg Address
Former Representative Herb Adams and Other Guest Speakers
Join MHS to celebrate the Fourth of July with a public reading of the Declaration of Independence in front of the Longfellow House at 489 Congress Street. An annual tradition not to be missed! And this year, in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg, the Gettysburg Address will also be read aloud by a surprise guest. Lemonade and cookies will be served.
MHS owns one of only 25 surviving copies of the rare 1776 Dunlap Broadside of the Declaration. See and zoom into Maine Historical's copy online.
Tuesday, July 9, 12:00 pm
Student Spotlight: When the Confederates Terrorized Maine: The Battle of Portland Harbor
Speaker: Carter Stevens, 2013 Colby College Graduate
Recent Colby College graduate Carter Stevens presents a talk based on his thesis about the Confederate raid on the city of Portland 150 years ago this June, during the Civil War. While the maritime battle ended with the Confederates surrendering, a U.S. Revenue Cutter was sunk. Stevens's research covers the details of the battle, how it was reported in local and national media, the reactions of Mainers to the raid, and how this small incident fits into the larger picture of the Civil War.
Wednesday, July 17, 12:00 pm
Intro to MHS: Maine Memory Network Demonstration
Facilitator: Kathy Amoroso, Director of Digital Projects
Director of Digital Projects, Kathy Amoroso, provides an in-depth review of content and search functions on Maine's premier statewide digital museum. Bring a laptop or tablet (optional) and search as you go. (Third Wednesdays in Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sept, and Nov, at 12PM; MHS lecture hall; free. Sign up in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Wednesday, July 17, 5:30 pm
Centennial Serenade Band: Songs of the Civil War
The six-piece Serenade Band of Portland’s Centennial Brass Band, recreating a group of the 1850-1875 period, opens MHS’s new Longfellow Garden Series this July. They will play a variety of Civil War era music on horns of the period in honor of the War’s Sesquicentennial, and the opening of MHS’s new museum exhibit on the war (“This Rebellion”). Bandmaster Jon Hall will give a historical narrative between selections, talking about the role of music in that era, and during the Civil War in particular.
Join us for this special treat along the walkway in front of the Brown Library. Light refreshments will be provided. In case of rain, the event moves to the lecture hall.
Tuesday, July 23, 12:00 pm
Student Spotlight: A Land Without Peace: Indians, Colonists, Speculators, and the Struggle for Maine, 1688-1763
Speaker: Ian Saxine, Ph.D. Candidate, Northwestern University
In 2012, thanks to a Graduate Research Grant from Northwestern University, Ph.D. candidate Ian Saxine spent six months at the MHS library researching how different ideas about land ownership between Indians, colonists led to decades of violence in frontier Maine. In this "Student Spotlight" presentation, Ian will share the fruits of his research.
Wednesday, July 24, 5:30 pm
In partnership with Stonecoast MFA/Writers' Conference
The Poetry of Summer: Annie Finch and Her Favorite Poets in the Garden
Maine poet and Stonecoast MFA Director Annie Finch performs her own work along with some of her own favorite summer poems by poets including Keats, Millay, and of course, Longfellow. Part of the 2013 Longfellow Garden Series.
Annie Finch has published more than 20 books and chapbooks of poetry and poetics and performed across the U.S. and in France, Spain, Greece, Canada, Africa, and the U.K. Her collaborations with theater, music, and visual arts have been produced at numerous venues and her poetry has been featured on Def Poetry Jam, National Public Radio, and Voice of America, and has appeared in a number of publications.
Educated at Yale University and Stanford University, Annie is a Senior Fellow at the Black Earth Institute, artist-in-residence at Cherry Hill Seminary, and Director of the Stonecoast MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of Southern Maine. She is a featured columnist for The Huffington Post, and blogs at her website, anniefinch.com.
Wednesday, August 7, 5:30 pm
Hands-On Historic Gardening: A Workshop
Presenter: Jeff O’Donal, Owner, O’Donal’s Nursery
Join us for a hands-on exploration of the issues and opportunities in maintaining or re-creating an historic garden. Using the Longfellow Garden as a laboratory, participants will be introduced to a variety of locally-available plantings, consider which plant varieties are appropriate in a variety of settings, and identify specific plant varieties to introduce at home. This program is free but registration is required.
This event is held in partnership with the Longfellow Garden Club, and is part of the 2013 Longfellow Garden series.
Wednesday, August 7, 12:00 pm
Intro to MHS: Library Catalog Instruction
Facilitator: Jamie Kingman Rice
MHS Research Librarian Jamie Kingman Rice provides in-depth instruction of the MHS library catalog, Minerva, including how to search and access records, as well as other databases available for research. Program lasts about 45 minutes. (First Wednesdays in Feb, Apr, June, Aug, Oct, Dec, at 12PM; two Saturdays, May 4 and Sept 7, at 12PM; Brown Library conference room; free. Sign up in advance by sending an email to email@example.com.)
Thursday, August 22, 7:00 pm
Book Event: Art of Katahdin
Speaker: David Little
Artist David Little has produced a gorgeous new book on Maine’s beloved high peak. With more than 200 illustrations and 15 essays on its subject, Art of Katahdin (Downeast, 2013) is a chronicle of the many artists who have found inspiration in Katahdin including Marsden Hartley, Frederic Church, John Marin, and many others—including Little himself. The book includes early renderings and maps, as well as numerous contemporary views. The talk and slideshow will be followed by a book signing.
Portland resident David Little has been painting the Maine landscape since 1983, and has always been drawn to Katahdin and the surrounding wilderness. He attended the Skowhegan School in 1981-82, received the Carina House Fellowship on Monhegan in 1998, and his work has been included in exhibitions at the Blaine House, Bates College, and the Farnsworth Art Museum. An exhibit related to the book will be on display at the University of New England from July 31 - August 15.
Ongoing & Family Programs
This 45-minute tour of the Brown Research Library, fully renovated in 2009, takes participants throughout the first floor reading room and behind-the-scenes into the archive, normally closed to the public. Head of Library Services Nicholas Noyes covers the history of the building, architectural details, the basics of doing research in the library, and even shares a few treasures from the collection. (First Wednesdays in Jan, March, May, July, Sept, Nov, at 12PM. Sign up in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Library Catalog Instruction (Library Conference Room)
MHS Research Librarian Jamie Kingman Rice provides in-depth instruction of the MHS library catalog, Minerva, including how to search and access records, as well as other databases available for research. Program lasts about 45 minutes. (First Wednesdays in Feb, Apr, Aug, Oct, Dec, at 12PM; two Saturdays, May 4 and Sept 7, at 12PM. Sign up in advance by sending an email to email@example.com.)
Maine Memory Network Demonstration (Lecture Hall)
Maine Memory Network staff provide an in-depth review of content and search functions on Maine's premier statewide digital museum. Bring a laptop or tablet (optional) and search as you go. (Third Wednesdays in Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sept, and Nov, at 12PM. Sign up in advance by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Museum Collections: Recent Acquisitions and PastPerfect Online (Lecture Hall)
MHS Museum Registrar Holly Hurd-Forsyth provides a show-and-tell of recent or topical museum collection items, discusses how accessions are researched and processed, and trains participants how to search and use the MHS PastPerfect Online database. (Third Wednesdays in Feb, Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, and Dec, at 12PM; Limited to 12. Sign up in advance by sending an email to email@example.com.)
CRUISE - 14-day Splendors of Italy: Rome, Tuscany, Venice and the Po River
October 13 - 27, 2013
Enjoy a truly unique experience as Maine Historical Society cruises for 14 days on Uniworld's River Countess through Italy.
Join us as we see Rome like you may have never seen it before, explore the beauty and magic of the Chianti region of Tuscany, followed by seven days on the River Countess exploring Venice and the heart of Italy along the Po River. Eric Baxter from AAA Northern New England and a MHS Trustee will once again serve as your escort throughout trip.
Wired: How Electricity Came to Maine
(June 22, 2012 through May 26, 2013)
(June 22, 2012 through May 26, 2013)
Wired! represents a major institutional success story. Ten years ago we accepted the historical collections of the Central Maine Power Company, virtually a museum unto itself with over 4,000 objects and 300 feet of archival materials. Thanks to a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services—and after 18 months of focused work—the collection is now fully processed.
Our exhibit draws from this collection, and introduces the rich and fascinating history of electrification in Maine. In addition to telling many wonderful stories, the exhibit will provide context for critical contemporary issues, including the politics and economics of sustainable energy. It will also feature the largest object every displayed in our museum: a four-ton turbine once used in Dennistown to generate electricity! Read More.
Maine Things: Recent Museum Acquisitions
(Opens March 1, 2013)
What do these things have in common? A Mt. Katahdin watercolor. A crayon-enhanced photograph of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. A needlework sampler by a 14-year-old. A Maine restaurant sign... Read More
Maine Memory Network
Offers online access to numerous Web–based exhibits and a constantly growing collection of nearly 20,000 historical documents, images, and objects contributed by more than 200 organizations around Maine. New exhibits added regularly. Go to www.mainememory.net.