News & Announcements

Maine Historical Society and the Maine Humanities Council Receive $348,946 from the National Endowment for the Humanities

September 28, 2012

The Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society have received a grant of $348,946 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for Maine in the Civil War: Making Connections through the Humanities and Digital History. This three-year project will allow Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society to partner directly with 10 Maine communities as they explore and share local experiences and connections to the Civil War.

The state of Maine holds a special place in the history of the American Civil War. Though far from the front lines, the state and its citizens played key roles in the coming of the war, the war itself, and its aftermath. More than 70,000 Mainers served in Union blue, and nearly 10,000 lost their lives. More than two dozen Maine men served as Union generals during the war. But the story of Maine and the Civil War is not just about prominent figures, or those who saw action on the battlefield. It is also about the struggles, concerns, and triumphs of the 558,000 Mainers who remained at home. The project builds on the well-established relationship between Maine Humanities Council and Maine Historical Society. It will pilot a model for ongoing collaboration between the organizations designed to combine elements of successful programs currently offered by each.

“This project will be a wonderful opportunity to both explore the impact of the Civil War in Maine during its 150th anniversary, and to draw on and highlight the remarkable collaborative spirit of cultural organizations across Maine,” said MHS Executive Director Steve Bromage.

“The Council is incredibly excited to partner with the Maine Historical Society and communities throughout the state to explore and commemorate the experiences of Mainers during the Civil War, both on the front lines and the home front,” said MHC Executive Director Hayden Anderson.

Each community will engage a diverse range of participants such as students, veterans, low-literacy adults, and the general public. Participating communities will read and discuss books and articles about the Civil War, interact with scholars, and use their community as a laboratory to explore connections between Maine and national themes and experience. Local teams will digitize historic items and create online exhibits related to their community’s experience during the Civil War and share them through Maine Memory Network ( where they will be accessible to an extensive audience of researchers, teachers, students, historians, and members of the general public in Maine and beyond.

Communities will be invited to apply to participate in the program beginning January 1, 2013, with a deadline of March 1, 2013. The project will also include a public symposium that explores Maine’s experience during the Civil War on April 27, 2013 at Hannaford Hall on the University of Southern Maine campus in Portland.

MHC and MHS look forward to partnering with cultural organizations throughout Maine as the state continues to mark the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. During the summer and fall of 2013, 23 Maine institutions will partner to present Civil War-themed exhibits across the state as part of the Maine Civil War Trail.

About Maine Historical Society MHS preserves the heritage and history of Maine: the stories of Maine people, the traditions of Maine communities, and the record of Maine's place in a changing world. Among other services, MHS offers public programs that help diverse audiences engage history; innovative education programs including Local History/Local Schools; tours of the Longfellow House; changing museum exhibits; and nationally-recognized Maine Memory Network, a digital museum that helps communities across Maine build capacity, develop skills, and become active contributors to Maine history.

About Maine Humanities Council The Maine Humanities Council is an independent, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the people of Maine deepen their understanding of themselves, their communities, and the world. The Council works with volunteer literacy programs, educators, school systems and libraries to promote the power and pleasure of ideas through its programming; the Council also provides grants supporting projects in community history, exhibits, workshops and other areas of study.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this press release do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information:

Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

Maine Historical Society preserves and shares Maine's story to enrich life in contemporary Maine.