Comfort, Rare Books, and the History of the Appalachian Trail
September 14, 2012
Coordinator of Public Services
What do those things have in common? All are represented in the Maine State Library (MSL) Special Collections and all were featured in an interview conducted by C-SPAN3 American History. The segment is scheduled to run during the weekend of Oct. 6 & 7 as part of a special feature on Augusta, Maine. [Note: On BookTV on C-SPAN2 and American History TV on C-SPAN3. In Augusta, C-SPAN cable channels are 19 for C-SPAN, 20 for C-SPAN2 and 149 for C-SPAN3]
Peggy O'Kane, Coordinator of Public Services for MSL, spoke with C-Span about gems in the collection including the Diary of Martha Ballard, (1785-1812); the 1830 first edition Book of Mormon; the papers and photographs of Myron Avery, one of the founders of the Appalachian Trail; and Comfort magazine, a mail order magazine published in Augusta from 1888-1942.
The Maine State Library preserves and makes accessible many of the treasures of Maine's rich history. It was an honor to be able to showcase a few of them.
The Diary of Martha Ballard is a handwritten journal of everyday life in central Kennebec County, Maine. Ballard's diary was transcribed and edited into a highly regarded book and documentary, The Midwife's Tale by Laurel Ulrich.
The first edition Book of Mormon entered the library collection sometime between 1846 and 1850. As the original sacred scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, it is a seminal work in American history and culture.
Myron Avery, born in Lubec, Maine in 1899, was one of the founders of the Appalachian Trail. He is generally credited with being the individual most responsible for physically building the Trail. In 1936 he became the first thru hiker of the Trail. On his death in 1952 many of his papers and photographs that related to the Trail in Maine were bequeathed to the State Library.
William H. Gannet, an entrepreneur and resident of Augusta, started Comfort magazine in 1888 as a way to sell Giant Oxien directly to people all over America. Like many patent medicines of the day, Giant Oxien was guaranteed to cure any disease, restore beauty to any woman and courage to any man. During its heyday Comfort reached more than 1 million readers.
Visit Maine State Library on Flickr to see photos: http://bit.ly/cspan2012
Share a Comment
- Please include the title of the news article you are commenting on.