Maine Historical Society



Upcoming Programs & Events

Events on this page: July | September | 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.

July Programs

Thursday, July 23, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

ONLINE film screening and discussion with Sian Evans
Maine’s Home Movies: Treasures from Northeast Historic Film

A crowd gathered to wave to the filmmaker, Moses Pike of Lubec, one fine day in the 1930s. Collections Northeast Historic Film

A crowd gathered to wave to the filmmaker, Moses Pike of Lubec, one fine day in the 1930s. Collections Northeast Historic Film

In partnership with Northeast Historic Film and Farthest Films

Register now to join us for a screening of Maine’s Home Movies: Treasures from Northeast Historic Film followed by a discussion with filmmaker Sian Evans!

Home movies offer a unique and intimate window into the minds of the Mainers who captured them. These dreamlike vignettes show what people chose to remember, commemorate and treasure. As the Bicentennial celebrates Maine as a state, these movies illuminate Maine as a state of mind. We see ourselves, today, in these films celebrating Maine people and Maine identity in the past.

An elegiac selection from the archives’ unique collections documents Maine’s strong sense of place - from Allan Preble Robinson’s horse-drawn logging operations on deep snow in the Kennebec Valley; to Veilleux family lobster bakes and picnics in the woods (a collection delivered to the archives in a baby diaper box); from E.B. White’s saltwater farm animals and the building of a small boy’s first boat, to the Horovitz Family Collection of friends visited over the years (saved from a Massachusetts dump).

About Northeast Historic Film (NHF):
One of Maine’s primary cultural institutions, the state’s largest nonprofit archives is dedicated to home movies, amateur films and tv, from and about New England. With over 10 million feet of film, the archives collect and preserve a sense of Maine families, Maine places, and Maine work. Archivists respond to public, academic and commercial production company requests, digitizing old films to new digital files.

About Sian Evans:
The founder of Farthest Films, Smash Inc. and Ffilmcompany, Sian has worked as a director and producer since 1981. She writes and directs her own essay documentaries, many of which explore the influence of the child’s perspective. She works extensively with home movies, which embody a sense of the private, the domestic and the uniqueness of place.

Cost: Free and open to the public. Registration required -- link coming soon!
Location: Broadcast live on the web.

September Programs

Saturday, September 26, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

MHS presents the sixth annual
Magical History Tour

Magical History Tour

MHS is thrilled to host our sixth annual Magical History Tour, an amazing self-guided experience in Greater Portland, on Saturday, May 9. This family-friendly excursion allows access to fascinating historic places that aren't usually open to the public--and provides a unique opportunity for Mainers to celebrate our shared values and special sense of place.

This year brings new excitement with Maine's Bicentennial. Look for sites connected to Portland life in the early 19th century at the time of Maine Statehood. NEW—a Magical History Breakfast for Patrons and Sponsors featuring renowned Maine State historian Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. ALSO NEW - Trolley service at many of our stops!

+Magical History Breakfast for Patrons and Sponsors: Saturday, May 9 (8:30 - 10:00 am) - Mechanic's Hall
+Magical History Tour: Saturday, May 9 (10:00 am - 4:00 pm)

Visit our Magical History Tour event page for details, sponsorship opportunities, and tickets.

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.