Publications of Maine Historical Society
Current and Recent Publications
Maine History is the only periodical devoted to scholarship on the history of Maine, and is a peer-reviewed publication. It is published twice a year, in January and July, by the Maine Historical Society in cooperation with the Department of History at the University of Maine. A subscription to Maine History is one of the benefits of membership in MHS. Institutions may purchase subscriptions to Maine History for $30 per volume.
Volumes 9 forward are full-text searchable via this website to MHS members. View and Search past issues
Volume I, Number 1, of the MHS Quarterly Newsletter appeared in June 1961. The following January the Society announced that future issues would appear quarterly in February, May, August, and November. For the next eight years the society maintained that schedule. The content consisted of Society news, lists of new members, news of other historical societies, recent writings on Maine history in books, periodicals, and newspapers; recent additions to the Society's library; and suggested readings in Maine history. Book reviews appeared from time to time.
In summer 1969 the Newsletter became a scholarly journal. The first issue of the new journal appeared as Maine Historical Society Newsletter, Volume 9, Number 1. Four years later the journal's name was changed to Maine Historical Society Quarterly, and its name changed once more in 1994 to Maine History.
Submitting Articles to Maine History
Maine History is published by Maine Historical Society in conjunction with the History Department at the University of Maine. Articles can be submitted by postal mail or electronic mail.
All correspondence and article submissions should be sent to either Editor at Editorial Office, Department of History, 5774 Stevens Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469 or email@example.com.
If sent by post, send two copies of the manuscript. (see guidelines below)
If sent by email, please send the manuscript as an attachment in MS Word. Images may also be included, either on a disk if sent by post, or as separate jpg attachments if sent electronically. (see guidelines below)
Submissions will be acknowledged upon receipt. A decision about a manuscript’s acceptability for publication is usually made within sixty days.
The manuscript should be double-spaced and should conform to The Chicago Manual of Style, 14th ed. Articles accepted for publication in Maine History are typically 20-30 pages in length. Submissions should include a title page with the author's name and contact information, including an email address. The author's name should not appear anywhere else on the manuscript. Manuscripts will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The articles appearing in Maine History are abstracted in Historical Abstracts and America: History and Life.
The Maine Historical Society assumes no responsibility for the opinions and interpretations expressed by its contributors. If an article is accepted for publication, the editors will make all final judgments regarding editorial changes.
Books for review should be sent to the book review editor: Stanley Howe, Director, Bethel Historical Society, Dr. Moses Mason House, Bethel, ME 04217.
A Maine Prodigy: The Life and Adventures of Elise Fellows White, 2011
A Maine Prodigy is the story of Skowhegan native Mary Elise Fellows White, compiled from her autobiography, diaries and other primary sources. Marked as a violin prodigy from an early age, Starting in 1883, Elise studied in Boston at the New England Conservatory. A Maine Prodigy evokes the joys and struggles of a woman who seeks refinement, artistic recognition, and financial security from childhood to old age. Throughout the book we have her sharp eye and articulate voice. "Surely someone must find my diaries worth keeping...I have put myself into them, heart and soul. All the life I have known is depicted in them..." Purchase this book
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and his Portland Home, 2004
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow grew up in the Wadsworth-Longfellow house, built by his grandfather Peleg Wadsworth in 1785-1786. In 1901, Anne Longfellow Pierce, the poet's sister, bequeathed the residence to the Maine Historical Society, the site of which has been the home to the society since 1907. This book celebrates the Wadsworth-Longfellow House and its restoration. Extensive research of the family and their furnishings along with the reproduction of documented wallpapers, carpeting, textiles and paint colors contribute to an authentic recreation of an historic ante-bellum American interior. The poet would recognize many features of his boyhood home as it appears today. Purchase this book
Maine Historical Society has produced dozens of volumes relating to Maine history. With their wealth of narrative and documentary history, they are a rich resource for scholars and laymen alike.
Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Series One
The volumes of this series, published over a period of sixty years beginning in 1831, contain historical studies on many subjects and include two major town histories: "History of Portland, Part I" by William Willis, which appeared in Volume 1; and "History of Scarborough" by William S. Southgate, which takes up much of Volume 3. Volume 2 contains reprints of two important but rare seventeenth century publications: "Briefe Narration" by Sir Ferdinando Gorges; and "Voyage to New England" by Christopher Levett. These were originally published in London in 1658 and 1628 respectively. Volume 10 (1891) is a cumulative index for the first nine volumes.
Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Series Two and Series Three
In 1890, The Society began another series called the Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society, Second Series. This series, commonly referred to as Series Two, includes ten volumes published between 1890 and 1899. A Third series, titled Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Series Three was launched in 1904.
The volumes of the Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Series Two and Series Three—twelve in all—follow the pattern of Series One, with studies and reports on a great variety of Maine related subjects. The volumes of the Second Series differ in one respect from the Third Series by including records of Society meetings (proceedings).
Documentary History of the State of Maine, Collections of the Maine Historical Society, Second Series
In 1869 the Society embarked on the Documentary History of the State of Maine, unfortunately also called Second Series. This collection of volumes, 24 in all, include the below mentioned Trelawney Papers, Baxter Manuscripts and Farnham Papers. This series should not be confused with Collections and Proceedings of the Maine Historical Society, Second Series (1890-99).
Volume 1 covers the age of discovery, containing a "History of Discovery of Maine" by J. G. Kohl as well as numerous articles pertaining to early exploration. Volume 2 includes articles on colonization, and printed for the first time Richard Hakluyt's "Discourse Concerning Western Planting." Written in 1584, this manuscript is an important contribution to the knowledge of early voyages to the New World.
Trelawney Papers and Baxter Manuscripts
James Phinney Baxter, long time member of the Society and its president from 1889 until his death in 1921, was responsible for most of the Documentary History volumes commencing with Volume 3, "The Trelawny Papers", which Baxter annotated and edited. Baxter spent a year in Europe searching for manuscript material. His discoveries there, in Massachusetts, and elsewhere resulted in nineteen more volumes of documentary history.
The Trelawney Papers are the richest documentary source available on the operation of a fishing and trading colony in Maine in the 1630s and 1640s. The colony was managed by John Winter, for his father-in-law, Robert Trelawney, and Trelawney's partner Moses Goodyear, and was located on Richmond's Island off Cape Elizabeth. The papers were discovered by society member John Wingate Thornton in 1872 at the Trelawney family seat in Devon, England. Thornton persuaded the owner to give them to the society.
Nineteen volumes of documentary history (Vols. 4-6 and Vols.9-24) known as "The Baxter Manuscripts" consist of deeds, depositions, letters, grants, reports, petitions, resolutions, and other original papers.
The Farnham Papers
Volumes 7 and 8 of the Documentary History series are known as "The Farnham Papers", so called because the documents therein were compiled by Mary Frances Farnham, a faculty member at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. They concern the state of Maine's territorial development and changes in government from 1603 to 1871.
The deeds of York County are the most complete archive of New England property titles in existence. The first volume of early deeds of York County came off the press in 1887. By 1896 the Society had published eleven volumes, covering the period 1642 to 1726. After Volume 11, the Historical Society turned the series over to the Maine Genealogical Society, which produced Volumes 12 through 18 covering the period 1726 to 1737.
Province and Court Records of Maine
The Society published another documentary series: the Province and Court Records of Maine, from 1928 to 1975. The documents contained within range from 1636 to 1727. In 1991 the Society reprinted Volume 1. Neal Allen in his preface of the new edition said the Province and Court Records "constitute a mirror of the social order, of local government, of economic conditions". All aspects of life in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries are covered.
For a complete bibliographical narrative of past publications of the Maine Historical Society, please see Harland Eastman's article "Major Publications of the Maine Historical Society: A Brief Account", published in the society's journal Maine History, Vol. 45, no. 4 (July 2011).