Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

About Maine Historical Society

On this page:   Our Mission  | Wadsworth–Longfellow House  | Garden  | Library  | Museum  | Maine Memory Network  | MHS Store  | See what MHS has to offer  | 2020 Impact Report

A growing museum, incomparable library and statewide educational resource, we are located in the heart of Portland’s downtown cultural district. Founded in 1822, the Maine Historical Society is the third oldest state historical society in the United States.

Maine Historical Society employs a professional staff of approximately 25. Our one–acre campus, which is open year round, is situated in downtown Portland, across from Monument Square. The Maine Historical Society strives to serve the entire state through its education and outreach programs and through the digital museum, the Maine Memory Network.

MHS is comprised of the Wadsworth–Longfellow House and Longfellow Garden, the museum, store, the Brown Research Library and the Maine Memory Network.

Hours and Directions.

Mission

"Maine Historical Society preserves and shares Maine's story to enrich life in contemporary Maine."

Wadsworth–Longfellow House

Wadsworth-Longfellow House
Wadsworth–Longfellow House

The 1786 Wadsworth–Longfellow House is the childhood home of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 19th–century America's most famous poet.

Maine Historical Society opened the house to the public in 1901, making it the first historic house museum in Maine. One of Maine’s oldest treasures, the house is a National Historic Landmark.

Guided tour information

Longfellow Garden

Longfellow Garden
Longfellow Garden

The secluded Longfellow Garden behind the house is an oasis of green and quiet in the heart of downtown Portland. Located on what had once been the domestic farmyard for the Wadsworth Longfellow family, the Longfellow Garden Club created the Colonial Revival style garden in 1926. A favorite respite for visitors and locals, the popular garden is open in seasonal weather. To read more about the garden, visit The Longfellow Garden page on the HWLongfellow.org website.

Brown Research Library

Library Door
John Marshall and Alida Carroll Brown Research Library

The Brown Research Library serves casual readers and scholars, school children, local historians, genealogists, and professional researchers of every kind. The unrivalled collection, from the 16th to 21st centuries, is the state’s most comprehensive resource for the study of Maine and New England history. The rich and voluminous manuscript collections include personal papers, diaries, maps and the records of businesses, proprietorships and towns. Every county in the state is represented. Special collections include major photographic holdings, broadsides, postcards, railroad and engineering drawings, and the largest single collection of architectural plans in the state.

Among the Library’s many treasures is the Declaration of Independence, one of 25 known copies printed on July 4, 1776.

More information, hours, collections guides, and catalog.

Maine Historical Society Museum

Gallery Door
Museum building

The museum at Maine Historical Society features changing exhibitions and programs spanning more than five centuries of Maine life. Original and provocative exhibitions feature art, artifacts and documents that vividly bring Maine history to life.

Politics, culture, sports, religion, art and business all find expression through the Society’s extraordinary collections.

More information about the collections, our current exhibit, and hours

Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network
Visit Maine's Statewide Online Archive, Museum, and Educational Resource www.MaineMemory.net

The Maine Memory Network is a free statewide digital museum, archive and educational resource that makes the rich treasury of Maine's history available to the public at large. Collecting organizations from across the state contribute historical documents, images, maps, photographs, stories, and more. You'll find over 47,000 historical items, 300 online exhibits about Maine history, and access a comprehensive history of Maine on Maine History Online.

Learn more.

MHS Store

MHS Store
MHS Store

The MHS Store offers unique books and gifts related to Maine history. Store items span the cultural, social, political, environmental, economical, and recreational history of Maine.

The MHS Store is open in conjunction with the museum at Maine Historical Society and is located in our museum and administrative building.See Hours.

MHS members receive a 10% discount. New members receive a 20% discount off their first MHS store purchase.

MHS Store items are also available online.

See what MHS has to offer

See what MHS has to offer!

2020 Impact Report

Maine at 200 graphic

MHS members and donors make our work possible. View our 2020 Impact Report for an overview of recent projects and accomplishments fueled by philanthropic support.