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Not for publication prior to Monday, Nov. 3
Contact: Chip Gavin
Telephone: 207-626-8406

Historical records effort taking center stage
Week dedicated to materials that document Maine history

Click here to the online "Archives Week" exhibit.

AUGUSTA - The Maine State Archives is celebrating "Archives Week in Maine" from November 2 to November 8 with an event at the Maine State Cultural building, free publications and new historical exhibits, including a web-based retrospective of the Waldo-Hancock bridge.

Governor John E. Baldacci officially proclaimed the week as Archives Week in Maine. "Archival institutions are crucial to collecting, organizing, preserving, and making available to the public records that document the history of the State of Maine and the nation," said an excerpt of the proclamation. "These records have been administered and made accessible by dedicated, yet often unheralded volunteers, trained caretakers, and professional archivists … these archivists and the importance of these records programs seldom receive the recognition they deserve."

All six New England states are celebrating Archives Week. The Maine State Archives, part of the Department of the Secretary of State, is sponsoring an Archives Fair at the Maine State Cultural Building in Augusta from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6. The Archives also will feature a new Internet exhibit about the Waldo-Hancock Bridge. The web-based exhibit includes newspaper coverage of the bridge dedication by Governor William Tudor Gardner in 1932, when the structure was named the nation's most beautiful bridge of the year. The exhibit also includes photographs from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, and documents and photos of bridge renovations in the 1950s.

The Maine State Archives and the Special Collections division of the Maine State Library also will illustrate the depth of their unique original materials and how Maine residents can gain use them for personal, professional, and business purposes.

"The Maine State Archives is an invaluable resource," said Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky.

Other exhibits will feature the Franco-American Collection of the University of Southern Maine campus in Lewiston, resources of the Margaret Chase Library in Skowhegan, grants available through the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board, and technical assistance offered by the Cultural Resources Information Center - a project of the State Archives and the State Museum.

A limited number of Maine State Archives publications will be available free on a first-come first-served basis, including tips on photo preservation, indexes to early legislation; the legal history of Maine towns from before statehood through the 1970's; town records available on microfilm, and selected depositions of Maine Revolutionary War soldiers. The week is capped on Friday and Saturday at Colby College in Waterville with the Fall Conference of Maine Archives and Museums, a statewide association.