MHS Awarded Grant to Process Central Maine Power Collection
July 15, 2010
The Maine Historical Society (MHS) has been awarded a Museums for America by the Institute of Museum & Library Services to process and provide access to the Central Maine Power (CMP) collection, one of the museum’s largest and most important recent acquisitions.
The CMP collection—donated to MHS by the company in 2002 and physically transferred in 2004—provides a case study of rural electrification in Maine from 1890 to 1998, one of the great technological transformations in American life. The collection is vast, consisting of approximately 1,878 objects and 1500 linear feet of archival material. It includes early electrical equipment and appliances; advertising, marketing and public education materials; and extensive documentation of the politics, economics, and business practices of the utility industry in the 20th century.
According to MHS Executive Director Richard D’Abate, the CMP Collection will be a resource of major significance to researchers in Maine and beyond and provide critical insights into key aspects of economic development and domestic life in the state. “This project will establish physical and intellectual control over the collection, provide comprehensive information about it online, support key goals of our strategic plan, and lay the groundwork for substantial scholarship, exhibition, and programming at MHS. Significantly, the CMP Collection provides valuable context for contemporary efforts to develop alternative energy sources in Maine.”
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