Maine Historical Society



Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: October | November | January | February | March | Online Programs | Ongoing Programs | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Online Exhibitions | Regional Genealogy Events

Maine at 200 graphic

MHS has launched our Bicentennial public programming with MAINE at 200, an exciting virtual (Zoom) series! In live conversations, notable presenters explore how Maine became a State in 1820, what that has meant to Maine people, and how 13,000 years of history has shaped the complex issues that matter to Mainers today. Visit this page often for "Maine at 200 series" program updates. Register early! Most programs in the series are free and open to the public (unless noted as MHS Members Exclusive.)

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Past 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.

October Programs

Thursday, October 22, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Liam Riordan
Becoming Maine

Liam Riordan

Liam Riordan

A fascinating look at how Maine became a state. This illustrated presentation explores the long statehood process that culminated in 1820 with Maine's separation from Massachusetts. That struggle engaged a range of challenging public issues that are still recognizable today. Four broad themes that bridge 200 years in telling ways include: the “two Maines” and sharp partisan conflict, the explosive place of slavery vis-a-vis the Maine-Missouri Crisis, Wabanaki sovereignty, the uncertain location and meaning of the international border.

About the speaker: Liam Riordan has done considerable Public History work to commemorate the bicentennial of the state of Maine in 2019-2020 and organized the Maine Bicentennial Conference on the statehood era and its legacy. He received his bachelor’s degree in history at the University of California, Berkeley, and his doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania. He has been a faculty member in the Department of History at the University of Maine since 1997. A specialist on the American Revolution — especially the religious, racial and ethnic diversity in the Philadelphia region from 1770 to 1830 -- Professor Riordan has an ongoing research project about Loyalists who opposed the Revolution.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Location: online via Zoom. Limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE.

November Programs

Thursday, November 5, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: Presented by Maine-Wabanaki REACH



Maine Historical Society and Maine Wabanaki-REACH invite you to a powerful and unique interactive story-telling and learning experience. We will learn about events in the 450 year colonizing history of Wabanaki people (the Indigenous people of Maine) and Europeans and their descendants. This is a participatory program appropriate for adults and teens. Our goal is to increase public understanding of colonization. Attendance is limited and registration is required.

About Maine-Wabanaki REACH: Maine-Wabanaki REACH is a cross-cultural collaboration that successfully supported the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission. REACH is implementing the Commission’s recommendations, focused on Wabanaki health, wellness and self-determination and community building. REACH envisions and prepares for a future where Maine and Wabanaki people join together, acknowledging truth, promoting healing and creating change.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Attendance Limited. REGISTRATION REQUIRED -- DETAILS FORTHCOMING.

Location: To be determined.

Wednesday, November 11, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: With James E. Francis, Sr (Penobscot)
Pandemics in Wabanaki Communities

James Eric Francis Sr. (Penobscot)

James Eric Francis Sr. (Penobscot)

James Eric Francis, Sr. (Penobscot), Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation, Penobscot Nation talks with Steve Bromage, Executive Director of Maine Historical Society about how pandemics have affected Wabanaki communities since the first Europeans interacted with Wabanaki people on the shores of what is now known as Maine to today’s concerns about COVID-19.

About the speaker: James E. Francis, Sr. is the Penobscot Nation’s Tribal Historian and Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation, for which he studies the relationship between Maine Native Americans and the landscape. Prior to working at the Penobscot Nation, he served with the Wabanaki Studies Commission, helping to implement the new Maine Native American Studies Law into Maine schools, and managed a team of teachers and cultural experts in developing a curriculum. An historical researcher, photographer, filmmaker, and graphic artist, Mr. Francis co-produced a film, Invisible, which examines racism experienced by Native Americans in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration required.

Location: online via Zoom, limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE

Thursday, November 12, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Film Screening of LOST BOUNDARIES (1949) with Dr. Ardis Cameron
Representing Race in Mid-Century Maine Film

Representing Race in Mid-Century Maine Film

In partnership with University of Maine - Augusta
Join us for the screening of LOST BOUNDARIES (1949, Alfred Werker, director) followed by a facilitated discussion with USM Professor Dr. Ardis Cameron.

The film is based on the William Lindsay White's book of the same name and narrates the experiences of a black doctor who passes for white to work in a New England hospital. Based on the real story of a black family in early 20th century New England, LOST BOUNDARIES was filmed in Kittery and York, Maine, as well as parts of New Hampshire, and released in 1949.

Historically, this film is part of the movement that spawned socially conscious films in Hollywood in the 1930's and 40s, but few such films directly addressed racism in New England. This film provides an opportunity to consider the larger context of racial politics in mid-century Maine and the significance of setting a story of racial “passing” in New England.

Cost: Free and open to the public, registration is required.

Location: online via Zoom, limited to 500 attendees

Monday, November 30, 7:00 pm

Performed by Gerald Dickens
A Christmas Carol


Charles Dickens’ literary masterpiece, A Christmas Carol, continues to shape the way we celebrate Christmas over 150 years after the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three spirits of Christmas first touched hearts in 1843.

Join us in welcoming the author’s great-great grandson, renowned actor Gerald Dickens, to perform his uniquely powerful one-man stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol. MHS is again proud to host Mr. Dickens as he brings the classic Christmas story to life on stage in a performance that you’ll remember for many Christmases yet to come!

Cost: Ticket prices TBD at when available. DETAILS FORTHCOMING.

Location: To be determined.

January Programs

Thursday, January 7, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Dr. Richard Kahn
Medicine in Early Maine

Dr. Richard Kahn

Dr. Richard Kahn

You won't want to miss this compelling discussion with Dr. Richard Kahn on the history of medicine and pandemics in Maine, up to the present COVID-19 crisis.

About the speaker: Richard Kahn, MD is an internist and medical historian who grew up in New Jersey and graduated from Rutgers University and Tufts University School of Medicine, where his interest in medical history began. After internship at Maine Medical Center in Portland, he spent two years in the U.S. Public Health Service and then returned to MMC for a residency in Internal Medicine. Practicing in Rockport, Maine, he has had academic teaching appointments at Tufts, Dartmouth, and the University of Vermont medical schools and has always tried to interest his students and residents in medical history. Assisted by his wife Patricia, a medical librarian, Kahn began work on the Jeremiah Barker papers more than 30 years ago with the rediscovery of the Barker Manuscript at the Maine Historical Society Library in Portland, culminating at last in the publication of Diseases in the District of Maine 1772–1820: The Unpublished Work of Jeremiah Barker, a Rural Physician in New England.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration required.

Location: online via Zoom. Limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE

Thursday, January 21, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Lise Pelletier
Acadiens in Maine

Lise Pelletier

Lise Pelletier

Did you know the French established the first permanent European settlement in Maine in 1604? Learn about Acadien history and culture with Lise Pelletier, Director of the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes at University of Maine – Fort Kent.

What does " Acadien" mean? Why is the history of this community important, especially considering Maine's Bicentennial? Why were Acadiens forcibly removed from Maine during Le Grand Dérangement? What is the relationship between the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem Evangeline and Acadien history and culture? Join us for an in-depth look at this fascinating history and wonderful storytelling!

About the speaker: Lise Pelletier is the Director of the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine – Fort Kent. She holds a M.A. in French from the University of Maine and a B.A. in French and English from the Université de Moncton, campus d'Edmundston. She has taught French and Acadian history, participated in the writing and publication of Acadian Roots - Images of the St. John Valley, and participated in three documentaries about Acadia of the Lands and Forests.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration required.

Location: online via Zoom, limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE

February Programs

Thursday, February 25, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Maine at 200 Series: A Talk with Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., State Historian
The Maine Art Collection at MHS

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.

Join us as Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. discusses portraits and landscape paintings from Maine Historical Society’s collection.

About the speaker: At the age of thirteen, Earle Shettleworth became interested in historic preservation through the destruction of Portland’s Union Station in 1961. A year later, he joined the Sills Committee which eventually founded Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964. In 1971, he was appointed by Governor Curtis to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, for which he became architectural historian in 1973 and director in 1976. He retired as director of the Commission in 2015. Governor John E. Baldacci appointed him as State Historian for two successive terms in 2004 and 2008; and Governor LePage appointed him to a third in 2014. Mr. Shettleworth received a B.A. in Art History from Colby College in 1970, an M.A. in Architectural History from Boston University in 1979, an L.H.D. from Bowdoin College in 2008, and an L.H.D. from the Maine College of Art in 2012.

Cost: Free and open to the public, registration required.

Location: online via Zoom, limited to 500 attendees. REGISTER HERE.

March Programs

Thursday, March 11, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

MHS MEMBERS EXCLUSIVE! Maine at 200 Series: A Conversation with Colin Woodard
Maine’s Bicentennial: Looking Backward and Forward

Colin Woodard

Colin Woodard


Join us for a conversation between award-winning author and journalist Colin Woodard and our Executive Director Steve Bromage as they look back on Maine’s commemoration of the Bicentennial and the profound ways in which history shapes the state and its people today.

About the speaker: Colin Woodard is currently the State and National Affairs Writer for the Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram, where he was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist and received a 2012 George Polk Award for his investigative reporting. He is also a contributing editor at Politico and reviews books for The Washington Post. He is author of The Lobster Coast: Rebels, Rusticators, and the Struggle for a Forgotten Frontier (Viking Press, 2004); American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America (Viking, 2011); American Character: A History of the Epic Struggle Between Individual Liberty and the Common Good (Viking, 2016); and Union: The Struggle to Forge the Story of United States Nationhood (Viking, 2020.) He lives in midcoast Maine.

Cost: MHS Members Only - Registration is required. NOT A MEMBER? IT'S EASY TO JOIN!

Location: online via Zoom. Limited to 500 attendees.

Registration ends at 4pm on March 10th.

Register Here!

Ongoing Programs

Wadsworth-Longfellow House Tours - Closed until further notice. See details.

Exhibition Galleries (self-guided) - See details.

Historical Walking Tours of Portland - See details.

Current Exhibitions

State of Mind exhibit logo

State of Mind: Becoming Maine
on exhibit through January 30, 2021

Purchase Tickets

Redact exhibit logo

REDACT: Obscuring the Maine Constitution
Opens September 23. Limited Engagement

Purchase Tickets

Convenient Soldier exhibit logo

A Convenient Soldier:
The Black Guards of Maine

Opens September 23. Limited Engagement

Purchase Tickets

Maine Memory Network exhibit logo

Over 300 online exhibitions
on Maine Memory Network


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.