Maine Historical Society



Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: August | November | Online Programs | Ongoing Programs | Podcasts | Group Trips | Exhibitions | Online 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 or online, unless otherwise noted. Directions and parking information.

Please review our Refund and Return Policies for tickets and event admissions.

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

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Online Multimedia Programs

VIDEOS: Watch topical dialogues, lessons & demonstrations related to Maine history.

PODCASTS: Hear audio recordings of MHS public lectures, stories, and events.

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.

August Programs

Thursday, August 27, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Mémère's Notebook: a Night of Acadian Music with Robert Sylvain

Musician Robert Sylvain’s grandmother, Elisa Sylvain (née Thibodeau), grew up in the St. John River Valley, in the heart of Maine’s Acadian region. As the matriarch of a family of forty grandchildren Elisa made the quilts, cooked the tourtière, and kept the songs of her heritage alive for her progeny. As the keeper of songs in his generation, Robert inherited his Mémère’s cherished notebook of old Acadian ballads, which he has painstakingly researched for their historical sources, found the original melodies, translated and arranged the songs to present to a new generation as proof that Acadian culture still lives in Maine. Join us as Robert performs this cherished music from his Acadian roots!

About Robert Sylvain: Robert Sylvain, Jr. is an Acadian-Maineiac committed to bringing the rich musical heritage of his ancestors forward to a new generation of listeners, exploring the depths of traditional culture and the edges of modern culture to present heritage music that is both relevent and timeless. With over 30 years of professional experience in performance and recording arts, Robert has earned accolades for innovation and inspiration among trad-music aficionados and critics worldwide.

To learn more about Robert and Mémère's Notebook, visit

Cost: Free and open to the public, registration required

Location: online via Zoom, limited to 100 attendees; REGISTER HERE

November Programs

Thursday, November 12, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

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

Representing Race in Mid-Century Maine Film: Screening of LOST BOUNDARIES (1949)

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.

Location: Maine Historical Society, 489 Congress Street, Portland
Cost: Free and open to the public

Program Podcasts

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Group Trips

Stay tuned for information on upcoming trips!


State of Mind: Becoming Maine
March 13, 2020 through January 30, 2021

Main Gallery at Maine Historical Society

State of Mind: Becoming Maine will analyze Maine as the homeland of the Wabanaki people, as a European province, as part of the District of Massachusetts, and the State of Maine. Read More


Rudy Vallee and Fay Webb, ca. 1932

Icons & Influencers: Celebrity Photographs from the Evening Express, 1920-1935
August 30, 2019 through June 2020

Maine Historical Society Shettleworth Gallery

America's obsession with celebrity is nothing new. While photo journalism began during the American Civil War, newspapers seldom used photography to illustrate or enhance stories until nearly seventy years later. Beginning in the 1920s, newspapers started featuring paparazzi-style candid photographs of cultural icons, including celebrities, politicians, and athletes, as a way to engage new audiences and increase sales. This exhibition features examples of celebrity photographs from the Evening Express, between 1920 and 1935. Read more.


My Island Home: Recollections of Verlie Colby Greenleaf of Westport Island
November 8, 2019 through April 25, 2020

Showcase Gallery at Maine Historical Society

Verlie Greenleaf (1891-1992) bore witness to over a century of Westport Island's history. From her earliest memories, there was no ferry or bridge—only boats to carry people on and off the island. Her words frame the exhibition, providing a first-person account of her life. Read More


Online Exhibitions

Maine Memory Network homepage

Maine Memory Network - Over 300 Online Exhibitions

Offers online access to numerous Web–based exhibits and a constantly growing collection of over 46,000 historical documents, images, and objects contributed by as many as 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.