Maine Historical Society



Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: December | Ongoing Programs | Podcasts | Annual Trip | Exhibitions | Regional Genealogy Events

Program fees and registration details are listed in the program description. Programs for MHS members are free or discounted. Support MHS by becoming a member today. All programs take place at our facilities at 489 Congress Street in Portland, unless otherwise noted. Click here for Directions or Parking information.

If you have questions about any of the programs listed below, please contact us at (207) 774-1822.

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Ongoing Programs

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

Exhibition Galleries (self-guided) - Changing schedule, year-round. See details.

Historical Walking Tours of Portland - Daily, June - Columbus Day weekend. See details.

Library Tours - First Wednesday at noon in January, March, May, July, September, and November. See below for next scheduled tour.

December Programs

Friday, December 4, 5:00 pm

Imbued with Hues Exhibition Opening

Imbued with Hues Exhibition Opening

Join MHS and Portland artist Patty Allison for the opening reception of the exhibition Imbued With Hues which displays historical images colorized by Patty of

The opening takes place during the First Friday Art Walk and is free to visitors; refreshments will be served.

The exhibition highlights Patty's artistic perspective on Maine life in different eras, and features street scenes, beachgoers, woodsmen, and much more. Her historical accuracy in colorizing images is uncanny, and MHS is pleased to offer an exclusive collection of reproduction color prints for sale while this show is on display. The original black and white images are from the collections of Maine Historical Society.

The show is located in the MHS Lecture Hall gallery, and closes February 27, 2016.

This show is sponsored by Malone Commercial Brokers.

Wednesday, December 9, 6:00 pm

The Camera Discovers Portland: Early Images of a City and its People, 1840-1865

The Camera Discovers Portland: Early Images of a City and its People, 1840-1865

A Talk by Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.

To coincide with Maine Historical Society's exhibition celebrating the technological and artistic achievement of photography, Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. – Maine's State Historian and an authority on Maine photography – will give a presentation on the early images of Portland, Maine. Shettleworth will not only display a selection of beautiful and fascinating photographs, but will discuss the meaning of the images and how the medium of photography shaped life in the state.

Tickets include admission to the exhibition Early Maine Photography, 1840-1870. All images featured in Early Maine Photography are of Maine subjects or were made by Maine photographers between 1840 and 1870. The exhibition delves into the notion of how early photographs provide the background and context for the culture we live in today.

$20 MHS Members; $25 General Admission. Wine and beer reception at 6pm; presentation at 6:30pm. Register online.

Saturday, December 12, 12:00 – 2:00 pm

Wrapping with the Authors

Wrapping with the Authors

Get your books signed and gift wrapped by notable Maine authors & illustrators!

Matt Barker: The Irish of Portland, Maine
Gemma Cannon: Voices of the Night
Annie Finch: Spells: New and Selected Poems
Kate McCarty: Distilled in Maine & Portland Food
Jean Flahive: Billy Boy & Railroad to the Moon (young adult fiction)
Nicole Fazio: Journey of the Sea Glass & Down East in the Ocean (children’s books)
Elizabeth Peavey: Glorious Slow Going: Maine Stories of Art, Adventure and Friendship
Monica Wood: When We Were the Kennedys & Ernie’s Ark
Paul Ledman: A Maine Town Responds: Cape Elizabeth & South Portland in the Civil War
Meg North: Daniel’s Garden & Heart of a Lie
John Babin: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Portland’s Fireside Poet

Program Podcasts

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Annual Trip

Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies
September 27 - October 6, 2016

Join MHS and the New Hampshire Historical Society as we enjoy all the splendors the Canadian Rockies have to offer. From Vancouver to Banff and Lake Louise and finally Calgary, this ten day trip combines striking natural beauty with intimate views of cosmopolitan Canadian cities and explorations of local culture and history. Get Trip Details.


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Morton Block and Wadsworth-Longfellow House, ca. 1912

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland
Opens June 27, 2014

Home: The Longfellow House & the Emergence of Portland uses the Wadsworth-Longfellow House as a prism to explore how Portland has grown and changed over more than 230 years. It's a fascinating new way to look at the House, its relationship to the community, and Portland history. Read More.


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Early Maine Photography, 1840-1870
September 25, 2015 - January 16, 2016
MHS Brown Library

Within the short span of a quarter century, photography became an integral part of life in Maine. Between 1840 and 1870, photography in its various forms recorded the appearance of individual Mainers as well as Maine itself. A host of pioneer photographers left us a precious visual legacy of Maine people and places which so enriches our understanding of the state's past. To celebrate the technological and artistic achievement of photography, and to better understand its impact on Maine, we are opening the Early Maine Photography, 1840-1870 exhibition. Read More


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Baskets from the Dawnland: Weaving the past and future together
August 14 to November 28, 2015

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Our exhibition--Baskets from the Dawnland: Weaving the past and future together--explores the rich history of the baskets made by Wabanaki people, a tradition that has thrived for thousands of years. Read More


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Imbued with Hues
December 4, 2015 - February 27, 2016
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. Lecture Hall

Portland artist Patty Allison brings historical images to life by colorizing them, showing the Maine of our past in the full color in which it was originally experienced. This exhibition features colorized images from the Maine Historical Society collection. Read More


Maine Memory Network

Offers online access to numerous Web–based exhibits and a constantly growing collection of nearly 45,000 historical documents, images, and objects contributed by more than 270 organizations around Maine. New exhibits added regularly. Go to

Regional Genealogy Programs, Events, and Conferences

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