Maine Historical Society recently awarded 10 new Maine Memory Network Community Mobilization grants in the categories of Digitization Projects and Online Exhibits. Awards range in size from under $500 up to $1,500 and support equipment purchases, staff time, and supplies.
Representatives from the organizations receiving awards will come to MHS on October 11 for a full day of technical training, and to learn about the tenets of “good history,” assessing historic collections, and how to capture local history online dynamically.
The group of grantees represents a diverse array of organizations, areas of the state, and historic content. The awards are outlined below.
Berwick Historical Society – With the help of Berwick Public Library, historical society members will digitize a number of the historic photos in its collection in preparation for the town of Berwick’s 300th anniversary in 2013.
Bowdoin International Music Festival – For its 50th anniversary in 2014, festival staffers plan to create an online exhibit focusing on the many notable musicians who have passed through the program as teachers and students, as well on the festival’s important role in the larger college and Brunswick communities.
Friendship Museum – Working with its longtime partner, the Friendship Village School, the Museum will guide students through the process of building a Maine Memory exhibit related to historic Friendship wharves. Old photographs, postcards, commercial documents, diaries, artifacts, and interviews with descendents of wharf owners will provide the basis for the project.
Maine’s Paper and Heritage Museum (Livermore Falls) – Sixty 7th grade students from Spruce Mountain Middle School will work with the museum, as well as the Livermore/Livermore Falls Historical Society, to investigate the origins of the paper industry within the larger era of the Industrial Revolution. Their research and digitization of historical photos, documents, and objects from the Paper Museum will form the basis of an online exhibit.
Monson Historical Society – The historical society, already a Maine Memory contributing partner, owns a collection of more than 3,500 glass plates that were donated by a private collector in 2009. Taken by two town photographers from 1890 to 1919, the plates capture portraits, street images, slate quarry mining, cottage life on Lake Hebron, and more. The grant will support adding a number of these to Maine Memory.
Moosehead Historical Society – Moosehead’s online exhibit will bring to life the many steamboats that cruised on the lake in the latter half of the 19th century, and the relation they had to the tourism and logging industries in the region. The historical society will select from thousands of historic photos and other ephemera related to the topic to illustrate its exhibit.
Norway Historical Society – From 1890 to the 1960s, Norway, Maine, was the snowshoe-making capital of the United States. Alanson “Mellie” Dunham (1853-1931) was the foremost maker of handmade snowshoes during his lifetime; he made snowshoes for Robert E. Peary’s last two Arctic explorations. Mellie’s story–which also includes being a champion fiddler–will be the focus of Norway Historical Society’s online exhibit.
South Bristol Historical Society – South Bristol will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2015. The Historical Society, in conjunction with South Bristol School, will create an exhibit focusing on the town’s origins. Among other topics, the exhibit will examine the factors leading to secession from Bristol in 1915.
Walker Memorial Library (Westbrook) – In 2014, the city of Westbrook celebrates its 200th anniversary. This digitization project will involve uploading a significant number of historic photos in the library’s collections to Maine Memory to celebrate this coming milestone.
Westport Island History Committee – The Island’s digitization project plans to concentrate on Samuel Tarbox’s family and property. Like many early settlers, Tarbox (1780-1861) had his hand in several aspects of island life–fishing, shipping, farming, and governance. He also owned the building that is now the Squire Tarbox Inn, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.