A Look Back

With mere days left until the end of 2009, I thought it might be fun to revisit the first half of the ’09-’10 MCHP year in some of the photographs that haven’t yet made it onto the blog.

Pretty soon teams will be hard at work on the second “semester” of the project — learning about more Maine Memory Network tools at the training on January 14, building online exhibits, writing narrative and exhibit text, and constructing their local history websites. So before we say goodbye to the first five months of MCHP, let’s take a look at how far our teams have come.

Here’s a shot from the July Orientation during the panel presentation. Maine Historical Society assistant director Steve Bromage moderates from the lectern as team members from the 08-09 year share their experiences.

Public events in each MCHP community took place over the course of September and October. Above, Cumberland and North Yarmouth residents chat after the formal presentation. Team leader Thomas Bennett is in the center background (with the beard).

Most events included food like this spread in Scarborough (left) and a potluck lunch in Guilford (above).

And all included presentations by team members, such as Mattanawcook Junior High School teacher Heidi Harris, who spoke to the nearly 100-person crowd in Lincoln.

Though it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, “digitization” was on everyone’s lips in the fall. Some teams hit the ground running, even bringing additional community members into the mix. Above, Hallowell team member Jane Radcliffe and volunteer Pete Myer check out a photo they’ve just scanned.

Before you scan, you must select. Here, two young women look over photos at an early scanning workshop in Biddeford. They are two of the dozen participants in Biddeford High School teacher Denise Doherty’s Project Aspire class, which is preparing a Civil War exhibit for the Biddeford MCHP website.

Let them eat cake!

Speaking of students, teams found myriad ways to introduce them to the program this past fall. Some included festive celebrations with tasty treats, such as the custom-designed cake above, which teacher Jessica Kelly presented to her class at Scarborough Middle School after an introductory presentation on MHS/MMN/MCHP.

Students in Bangor (left) and Blue Hill (right) get hands-on experience with the MCHP. Members of Ron Bilancia’s class at Bangor’s Cohen Middle School navigate digital images they’ve scanned, while Della Martin’s Blue Hill Consolidated School kids don aptly-colored gloves at Holt House, the home of the town’s historical society.

Several communities have run student field trips featuring, among other things, scavenger hunts. Students in Hallowell (left) get instructions on the activity at Hubbard Free Library, while students in Lincoln (right) seek out answers within the collections at Lincoln Historical Society.

And while it’s been part of their graded classroom work, students clearly are having fun with MCHP as well. Here, two young men at Hall-Dale Middle School ham it up for the camera. (In sharp contrast to the serious-minded young women in the background!)

Finally, this retrospective wouldn’t be complete without a nod to the reason we’re all involved in this year-long adventure — the history. (Above: Hand-made ladies’ gloves and a child’s wool socks from the collections at Biddeford’s McArthur Public Library.) Hundreds of wonderful images from these MCHP towns are now online thanks to the hard work of the teams. And, though we can’t show them all here, you can go to Maine Memory Network to search to your heart’s content.

Meanwhile, Happy New Year to all, and many thanks for the great things you accomplished in 2009!

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About mainechp

Maine Community Heritage Project at Maine Historical Society
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