Maine Historical Society



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Maine Historical Society awards 10 grants for Maine Memory Network Projects

October 18, 2012

Maine Historical Society recently awarded 10 new Maine Memory Network Community Mobilization grants to historical organizations and libraries around the state to support the digitization of historic collections and the creation of online exhibits about local history. The grants are designed to help local organizations—historical societies, libraries, and schools in particular—use participation in Maine Memory Network ( to develop skills, build capacity, and expand collaboration with local partners. A total of 39 grants have been awarded since the Community Mobilization program began in the spring of 2011.

The new grants support organizations in the towns of Berwick, Brunswick, Friendship, Greenville, Livermore, Monson, Norway, South Bristol, Westbrook, and Westport Island. Grants ranging from just under $500 up to $1,500 were awarded for the following projects:

- Berwick Historical Society, with the help of Berwick Public Library, to digitize a number of the historic photos in its collection in preparation for the town of Berwick’s 300th anniversary in 2013.

- Bowdoin International Music Festival, to create an online exhibit, in advance of its 50th anniversary next year, focusing on the many notable musicians who have passed through the program as teachers and students, as well on the festival’s important role in the larger college and Brunswick communities.

- Friendship Museum, with the Friendship Village School, to build a Maine Memory exhibit related to historic Friendship wharves. Old photographs, postcards, commercial documents, diaries, artifacts, and interviews with descendents of wharf owners will provide the basis for the project.

- Maine’s Paper and Heritage Museum, located in Livermore Falls, to work with 7th grade students from Spruce Mountain Middle School and the Livermore/Livermore Falls Historical Society to investigate the origins and impact of the paper industry within the larger context of the Industrial Revolution.

- Monson Historical Society, to digitize part of a collection of more than 3,500 glass plates that were donated by a private collector in 2009. Taken by two town photographers from 1890 to 1919, the plates capture portraits, street images, slate quarry mining, cottage life on Lake Hebron, and more.

- Moosehead Historical Society, in Greenville, to create an online exhibit about the many steamboats that cruised on the lake in the latter half of the 19th century, and the relation they had to the tourism and logging industries in the region.

- Norway Historical Society, to create an online exhibit about Norway as the snowshoe-making capital of the country from the 1890s to the 1960s, focusing on the life of Alanson “Mellie” Dunham (1853-1931), the foremost maker of handmade snowshoes during his lifetime. Among other accomplishments, he made snowshoes for Robert E. Peary’s last two Arctic explorations.

- South Bristol Historical Society, in conjunction with South Bristol School, to create an exhibit focusing on the town’s origins. Among other topics, the exhibit will examine the factors leading to secession from Bristol in 1915.

- Walker Memorial Library, in Westbrook, to digitize a number of historic photos in its collection in advance of the city’s 200th anniversary in 2014.

- Westport Island History Committee, to digitize artifacts relating to the life of Samuel Tarbox’s family and property. Like many early settlers, Tarbox (1780-1861) had his hand in several aspects of island life–fishing, shipping, farming, and governance. He also owned the building that is now the Squire Tarbox Inn, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Representatives from each grantee attended a training workshop on October 11 at MHS’s Portland office. All grant-supported projects will be carried out over the next year and result in new content on Maine Memory Network, Maine Historical Society’s statewide digital museum, which provides a robust technical infrastructure, a platform for training and skills development, consistent standards, and broad public access. Launched in 2001, Maine Memory features more than 35,000 historic items contributed by 240+ Maine organizations; hundreds of exhibits; Maine History Online, a broad introduction to Maine history; a Civil War section; and much more.

The next deadline for applications is April 1. For details, including program guidelines and applications, please visit

The Community Mobilization Grant Program is supported by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services.

For more information:

Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

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