Maine Historical Society



Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: September | October | November | On-Demand Programs | Ongoing Programs | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Online Exhibitions | Regional Genealogy Events

Begin Again banner

NEW! BEGIN AGAIN Virtual Program Series
(May-December 2021)

Join us for an outstanding program series that examines the roots of social justice issues and Maine’s role in the national dialog on race and equity. Reflecting themes from our BEGIN AGAIN: reckoning with intolerance in Maine exhibition, this series provides a unique opportunity to engage with dynamic scholars, historians, community leaders, and citizens. Unless otherwise noted, BEGIN AGAIN highlighted programs are free and air via Zoom on specified times. Visit this page often for new additions. Register early to avoid disappointment.

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On-Demand Programs - Videos and Podcasts

VIDEOS: Watch topical dialogues, lessons & demonstrations related to Maine history.
PODCASTS: Hear audio recordings of MHS public lectures, stories, and events.

September Programs

Thursday, September 23, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

BEGIN AGAIN SERIES: Recovering History in New England
The Atlantic Black Box Project

The Atlantic Black Box Project

Over 1,740 documented transatlantic slaving voyages were made on vessels constructed and registered in Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut -- or having departed from their seaports -- yet New England’s connection to the history of slavery remains largely untold.

The Atlantic Black Box is a grassroots historical recovery project that empowers New England communities to research, reveal, and begin reckoning with the region’s complicity in the slave trade and the global economy of enslavement while re-centering the stories of its racially marginalized groups. Join Meadow Dibble and Kate McMahon to learn more about the project and how you can join the movement to uncover New England’s historical role in the slave trade and the business of slavery, and how to recover stories of the region’s Indigenous and African-descended communities.

About the speakers:

Writer, educator, and social entrepreneur, Meadow Dibble, Ph.D., has been serving as editor of The International Educator newspaper since 2014 and is currently a Visiting Scholar at Brown University’s Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. She received her Doctorate from Brown’s Department of French with a focus on Postcolonial Studies, and taught Francophone African literature at Colby College from 2005–08. Originally from Cape Cod, Meadow lived for six years on Senegal’s Cape Verde peninsula prior to pursuing her graduate work, where she published a cultural magazine and coordinated foreign study programs. In 2016, she experienced a brutal awakening to the reality of her hometown’s deep investment in the global slave economy. Subsequently, Meadow has been assiduously researching complicity among Cape Cod’s sea captains while developing The Atlantic Black Box Project.

Dr. Kate McMahon is a Museum Specialist at the National Museum of African American History & Culture, and leads research efforts at the Center for the Study of Global Slavery. She received her B.A. in Art History and M.A. in American and New England Studies from the University of Southern Maine. She completed her Ph.D. in History at Howard University in 2017. Her dissertation was The Transnational Dimensions of Africans and African Americans in Northern New England, 1776-1865. Her current research explores New England’s connections to, and complicity in, the illegal slave trade and colonialism from 1809-1900. She is committed to exploring the living legacies of slavery and the slave trade in the present day, and interpreting this history for a broad public audience through frequent public speaking engagements and scholarly production.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Location: online via Zoom. REGISTER.

October Programs

Wednesday, October 13, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Book Talk with Michelle Souliere
Bigfoot in Maine

Bigfoot in Maine

The dark woods of Maine have been the setting for many eerie and unexplained events -- none more captivating than sightings of a giant hominid known as Bigfoot. But what makes this corner of New England such a perfect place for this cryptid to live?

Learn about the ecology and geography that support the legend, and the people forever changed by close encounters with Bigfoot. Michelle Souliere will discuss her latest book Bigfoot in Maine. From previously unpublished eyewitness accounts to modern-day media portrayals, Souliere presents this detailed history of the phenomenon and folklore lurking in shadows for generations.

About the author: Michelle Souliere is a writer and artist who lives in Portland, Maine. A graduate of Maine College of Art & Design, she owns the Green Hand Bookshop, where you can find her most of the time. Her home is shared with her husband, Tristan Gallagher, and their two cats, Meep and Mr. Biscuits. Her work (both written and drawn) is driven by curiosity and inspired by Maine history, the Maine landscape and how we respond to it. Her work as editor of the Strange Maine Gazette and its companion blog gave rise to her first book published in 2010 Strange Maine: True Tales from the Pine Tree State. Since that time, she has been working on Bigfoot in Maine whenever she can, traveling around the state and interviewing eyewitnesses for this book.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Location: online via Zoom. REGISTER.

Thursday, October 14, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

BEGIN AGAIN SERIES: A Talk with Anne B. Gass
"All Power is Inherent in the People:” A Discussion of Maine Voting Rights

Anne B. Gass

Anne B. Gass

Voting rights have evolved from the time of Maine’s founding to the present day. Which groups were initially excluded from voting rights? Why did it matter? What did it take for these marginalized groups to win the right to vote? How do voting rights continue to evolve in Maine? Join independent historian Anne B. Gass for a discussion of Maine voting rights, accompanied by historic slides.

About the speaker: Anne B. Gass is the author of a book about her great-grandmother, Voting Down the Rose: Florence Brooks Whitehouse and Maine’s Fight for Woman Suffrage, published in 2014. She is a popular speaker on women’s rights history at libraries, museums, senior colleges, high schools, and other venues. In 2015, she retraced the route suffrage activists took 100 years prior in 1915 from San Francisco to Washington, DC. This is the basis for her 2021 novel, We Demand: The Suffrage Road Trip. During her trip she met with women’s rights activists to learn what impact having won the vote made to women -- what had changed, and what had not -- since 1915, and she blogged about it at

Gass has continued her great-grandmother’s activist tradition, serving on the Steering Committee for the Maine Suffrage Centennial Collaborative, and as the Maine Coordinator for the National Votes for Women Trail. In 2019 she was appointed to Maine’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, and she is Vice-Chair of the Gray Town Council. Anne is also co-curator of MHS' exhibition BEGIN AGAIN: reckoning with intolerance in Maine. Her writing is inspired and informed by her activism.

Cost: Free and open to the public.

Location: online via Zoom. REGISTER.

Thursday, October 21, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

BEGIN AGAIN SERIES: Trans & Nonbinary Adventures in 19th century New England
A Talk with Jen Manion

SAVE THE DATE! Details Coming Soon

Cost: Free and open to the public

Location: online via Zoom. REGISTER.

November Programs

Wednesday, November 17, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

A Talk with Dr. Calvin Mires
The Wreck of the Steamship Portland: Rediscovering the Titanic of New England

Passenger Steamer S.S. Portland, ca. 1895, MHS/MMN #12138

Passenger Steamer S.S. Portland, ca. 1895, MHS/MMN #12138


On November 27, 1898, the paddlewheel steamship PS Portland was on its way from Boston, Massachusetts to Portland, Maine when it was hit by a powerful storm and sank off of Cape Ann with all hands. Often labeled "New England's Titanic" due to the long-unknown position of the wreckage and substantial loss of life, the loss represented New England's greatest steamship disaster before 1900. It was a significant blow to Portland's Black community as the ship's crew included 19 African-American members of the Abyssinian Meeting House.

Today, the location of the wreckage lies within the federally-protected Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Since 2002 the sanctuary has been exploring the wreck with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and Marine Imaging Technologies, collecting video imagery to develop virtual 3-D models and educate the public about underwater research. Join Dr. Calvin Mires, WHOI research associate, to learn more about this history, preservation efforts, and the new mission to create a virtual exhibit of the shipwreck.

About the speaker: Dr. Calvin Mires is a Research Associate III at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and has led and worked on over 30 maritime archaeology projects around the world. He is co-founder and instructor of SEAMAHP, a training program that leverages the concept of a ship's life-cycle to provide hands-on experiential learning to the public in maritime archaeology. Since 2015, he has co-directed the only maritime archaeology field schools in Massachusetts with cooperation of the Massachusetts Board of Underwater Archaeological Resources, the Trustees of Reservations, and the National Park Service, and has run maritime archaeological summer programs for middle and high school students. He is a Senior Tutor for the Nautical Archaeology Society for the New England region, a group that provides maritime archaeological training for the public. Dr. Mires has received grants from the National Park Service Maritime Heritage Program and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and has published in The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology, The Society for Historical Archaeology, and Bermuda Maritimes. He is currently involved in several projects in Massachusetts, including archaeological investigation of the 1626 Sparrow Hawk and deep-sea research on shipwrecks in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.


Ongoing Programs

Wadsworth-Longfellow House Tours - May - October. See details.

Exhibition Galleries (self-guided) - See details.

Historical Walking Tours of Portland - See details.

Current Exhibitions

Begin Again exhibit logo

Begin Again:
reckoning the intolerance in Maine

Opening May 27, 2021

Purchase Tickets

POW exhibit logo

Passing the time: artwork by World War II
German Prisoners of War in Aroostook County

August 11–December 31, 2021

Purchase Tickets


GreenAcres exhibit logo

The Advent of Green Acre, A Bahá'í Center of Learning
July 7–October 2, 2021

Purchase Tickets

Maine Memory Network exhibit logo

Maine Memory Network: over 300 online exhibits


Group Trips

Stay tuned for information on upcoming trips!

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

Find out about regional conferences and other family history instruction and workshops.