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Online Exhibits

Your results include these online exhibits. You also can view all of the site's exhibits, view a timeline of selected events in Maine History, and learn how to create your own exhibit. See featured exhibits or create your own exhibit


Exhibit

Back to School

Public education has been a part of Maine since Euro-American settlement began to stabilize in the early eighteenth century. But not until the end of the nineteenth century was public education really compulsory in Maine.

Exhibit

Biddeford, Saco and the Textile Industry

The largest textile factory in the country reached seven stories up on the banks of the Saco River in 1825, ushering in more than a century of making cloth in Biddeford and Saco. Along with the industry came larger populations and commercial, retail, social, and cultural growth.

Exhibit

In Time and Eternity: Shakers in the Industrial Age

"In Time and Eternity: Maine Shakers in the Industrial Age 1872-1918" is a series of images that depict in detail the Shakers in Maine during a little explored time period of expansion and change.

Exhibit

George W. Hinckley and Needy Boys and Girls

George W. Hinckley wanted to help needy boys. The farm, school and home he ran for nearly sixty nears near Fairfield stressed home, religion, education, discipline, industry, and recreation.

Exhibit

A Town Is Born: South Bristol, 1915

After being part of the town of Bristol for nearly 150 years, residents of South Bristol determined that their interests would be better served by becoming a separate town and they broke away from the large community of Bristol.

Exhibit

Working Women of the Old Port

Women at the turn of the 20th century were increasingly involved in paid work outside the home. For wage-earning women in the Old Port section of Portland, the jobs ranged from canning fish and vegetables to setting type. A study done in 1907 found many women did not earn living wages.

Exhibit

We Used to be "Normal": A History of F.S.N.S.

Farmington's Normal School -- a teacher-training facility -- opened in 1863 and, over the decades, offered academic programs that included such unique features as domestic and child-care training, and extra-curricular activities from athletics to music and theater.

Exhibit

Summer Camps

Maine is home to dozens of summer-long youth camps and untold numbers of day camps that take advantage of water, woods, and fresh air. While the children, counselors, and other staff come to Maine in the summer, the camps live on throughout the year and throughout the lives of many of the campers.

Exhibit

From French Canadians to Franco-Americans

French Canadians who emigrated to the Lewiston-Auburn area faced discrimination as children and adults -- such as living in "Little Canada" tenements and being ridiculed for speaking French -- but also adapted to their new lives and sustained many cultural traditions.

Exhibit

Westbrook Seminary: Educating Women

Westbrook Seminary, built on Stevens Plain in 1831, was founded to educate young men and young women. Seminaries traditionally were a form of advanced secondary education. Westbrook Seminary served an important function in admitting women students, for whom education was less available in the early and mid nineteenth century.

Exhibit

Sagadahoc County through the Eastern Eye

The Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company of Belfast, Maine. employed photographers who traveled by company vehicle through New England each summer, taking pictures of towns and cities, vacation spots and tourist attractions, working waterfronts and local industries, and other subjects postcard recipients might enjoy. The cards were printed by the millions in Belfast into the 1940s.

Exhibit

Poland Spring: Summering in Fashion

During the Gilded Age at the end of the nineteenth century, Americans sought to leave increasing urban, industrialized lives for the health and relaxation of the country. The Poland Spring resort, which offered a beautiful setting, healing waters, and many amenities, was one popular destination.

Exhibit

Dressing Up, Standing Out, Fitting In

Adorning oneself to look one's "best" has varied over time, gender, economic class, and by event. Adornments suggest one's sense of identity and one's intent to stand out or fit in.

Exhibit

George F. Shepley: Lawyer, Soldier, Administrator

George F. Shepley of Portland had achieved renown as a lawyer and as U.S. Attorney for Maine when, at age 42 he formed the 12th Maine Infantry and went off to war. Shepley became military governor of Louisiana early in 1862 and remained in the military for the duration of the war.

Exhibit

Summer Folk: The Postcard View

Vacationers, "rusticators," or tourists began flooding into Maine in the last quarter of the 19th century. Many arrived by train or steamer. Eventually, automobiles expanded and changed the tourist trade, and some vacationers bought their own "cottages."

Exhibit

Maine Eats: the food revolution starts here

From Maine's iconic lobsters, blueberries, potatoes, apples, and maple syrup, to local favorites like poutine, baked beans, red hot dogs, Italian sandwiches, and Whoopie Pies, Maine's identity and economy are inextricably linked to food. Sourcing food, preparing food, and eating food are all part of the heartbeat of Maine's culture and economy. Now, a food revolution is taking us back to our roots in Maine: to the traditional sources, preparation, and pleasures of eating food that have sustained Mainers for millennia.

Exhibit

A Focus on Trees

Maine has some 17 million acres of forest land. But even on a smaller, more local scale, trees have been an important part of the landscape. In many communities, tree-lined commercial and residential streets are a dominant feature of photographs of the communities.

Exhibit

World War I and the Maine Experience

With a long history of patriotism and service, Maine experienced the war in a truly distinct way. Its individual experiences tell the story of not only what it means to be an American, but what it means to be from Maine during the war to end all wars.

Exhibit

Art of the People: Folk Art in Maine

For many different reasons people saved and carefully preserved the objects in this exhibit. Eventually, along with the memories they hold, the objects were passed to the Maine Historical Society. Object and memory, serve as a powerful way to explore history and to connect to the lives of people in the past.

Exhibit

Amazing! Maine Stories

These stories -- that stretch from 1999 back to 1759 -- take you from an amusement park to the halls of Congress. There are inventors, artists, showmen, a railway agent, a man whose civic endeavors helped shape Portland, a man devoted to the pursuit of peace and one known for his military exploits, Maine's first novelist, a woman who recorded everyday life in detail, and an Indian who survived a British attack.

Exhibit

Samplers: Learning to Sew

Settlers' clothing had to be durable and practical to hold up against hard work and winters. From the 1700s to the mid 1800s, the women of Maine learned to sew by making samplers.

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Northern Threads: Silhouettes in Sequence, ca. 1780-1889

A themed exhibit vignette within "Northern Threads Part I," featuring a timeline of silhouettes from about 1775 through 1889.

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400 years of New Mainers

Immigration is one of the most debated topics in Maine. Controversy aside, immigration is also America's oldest tradition, and along with religious tolerance, what our nation was built upon. Since the first people--the Wabanaki--permitted Europeans to settle in the land now known as Maine, we have been a state of immigrants.

Exhibit

Begin Again: reckoning with intolerance in Maine

BEGIN AGAIN explores Maine's historic role, going back 528 years, in crisis that brought about the pandemic, social and economic inequities, and the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020.