Maine Newspaper Project

Maine’s historic newspapers provide us with unique access to first-hand accounts of the people and events that shaped the history of our state.  Today, over 230 years after the first newspaper in the District of Maine (Falmouth Gazette) was first published, the latest in digital technology is being used to make these publications accessible to anyone with an internet connection, anywhere in the world. 

Digitizing and Sharing Maine’s Historic Newspapers

The Digital Maine Newspaper Project is a collaborative effort led by the Maine State Library to facilitate digitization of Maine’s historical newspapers.  Publications imaged through this initiative will be optimized for searchability and made available online in the Digital Maine repository.

The Maine Newspaper Project involves the following activities:

  • Imaging of Original Newsprint – Original copies of bound and unbound newspapers are being imaged using high-resolution book scanners located at the library’s offices at the Maine State Capitol Complex in Augusta. 
  • Microfilm Scanning - In August 2016, the Maine State Library received funding from the National Endowment of the Humanities that will facilitate the digitization of over 100,000 pages of master microfilm reel copies of Maine newspapers. 
  • Searchable Database – Information gathered through this project will be used to create an interactive online database that will allow users to search newspaper holdings by institution, media format, and availability online.

How You Can Help

  • Identifying Maine newspaper holdings – we are looking for institutional holdings of Maine newspapers including, original paper copies, microfilm and digitized newspapers to update the 1999 Survey of Maine newspaper holdings.  If your collection is not listed in the 1999 survey of Maine newspaper holdings, or if your collection has changed since publication of that list, please let us know!
  • Identifying newspapers already available in digital format – if your community has already begun to digitize your local newspaper please fill out this form to let us know.
  • Tracking down master microfilm reels of Maine newspapers – institutions and individuals holding master microfilm reels of Maine newspapers should contact the Maine State Library to have the content considered for digitization under the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant for microfilm digitization.  The NEH grant will only fund digitization of master film and it is important that we track down everything that is available.  If you have master film of Maine newspapers and don’t see it on this list of master microfilm holdings, contact us as soon as possible.
  • Supporting a newspaper digitization project – we need financial support and committed volunteers to digitize original copies of Maine historic newspapers.  Care about particular publication, geographic area or subject matter?  We will do our best to pair you with a project that may be of interest to you. 
  • Copyright permissions – many newspapers, periodicals and books published after 1922 are protected by U.S. copyright law.  If you are a publisher or author or hold the inherited rights to a copyright-protected publication, let us know if you are willing to allow the content to be digitized and shared online.

For More Information

Contact the Maine Newspaper Project for more details or to learn about opportunities to help with this important effort!