Maine State Archives Bicentennial Projects

The Maine State Archives is celebrating the State of Maine’s bicentennial in 2020 with two special projects to help the public engage with Maine history. Our archivists have curated this information from our holdings and beyond to provide a glimpse into the people and places that have played an important role in the history of our State, in hopes of inspiring Mainers and admirers of the State to dig deeper in to the Archives holdings and other historical resources to learn more. Content will continue to be added during the commemoration period.


Maine Virtual Reality Experience

The Maine Virtual Reality Experience uses VR technology to put you in some of Maine’s most notable places. Viewers will feel as though they are standing at the site of interest and can activate pop-ups of historical anecdotes about the site simply by directing their gaze. These experiences can be viewed on a desktop computer, but are most effective when using a cell phone in a VR headset, for the full 360-degree immersive view. The Archives has headsets available and welcomes groups to visit and explore Maine through VR. (VRs located on Thinglink.) Interested in having the Archives staff bring our VR kit to your school or community group? Email Heather Moran to set up a visit.

Maine State House
Maine State House, Augusta, Maine
Old Orchard Beach Pier
Old Orchard Beach Pier
Special thanks to: Old Orchard Beach Historical Society, OOB Historian
Dan Blaney and “The Great Steel Pier” by Peter Dow Bachelder
Penobscot Bridge
Penobscot Narrows Bridge & Observatory
Special thanks to the Maine Dept. of Transportation, PNBO/Fort Knox Executive
Director Dean Martin, and Capt. Thomas N. Curtis of Verona Island Charters

More VR experiences coming soon...

Maine Bicentennial Moments

The Maine Bicentennial Moments are 30-second public service announcements featuring Maine history. Each PSA includes images and documents from the Archives and other sources to highlight a particular person, place or event in Maine history. These PSAs will be aired on broadcast television throughout the State during the bicentennial commemoration period in addition to being posted online. Batches of PSAs will be released seasonally during the bicentennial commemoration period, taking viewers from Maine’s Act of Admission to the Union all the way up to modern times. Each PSA is meant to pique viewers’ interest and encourage further exploration of the topic.

Introductory Video: Welcome to Maine’s Bicentennial Commemoration

Autumn 2019: PSAs #1-15 Autumn 2019 (close list)
  1. John Quincy Adams
    Maine’s Act of Admission to the Union

  2. Gov. William King
    Gov. William King

  3. Fish swimming
    Tribal Fishing Rights

  4. Hodgdon Yacht
    Hodgdon Yachts

  5. Samuel Adams
    Bowdoin College

  6. Maine Tournaline
    Maine Tourmaline

  7. Treat Journal map
    The Treat Journal

  8. Gov. Enoch Lincoln
    Gov. Enoch Lincoln

  9. Abyssinian Church
    The Abyssinian Church

  10. Charles Bullfinch
    Charles Bulfinch and the State Capitol Building

  11. William Henry Harrison
    The Kennebec Arsenal

  12. Martin Van Buren/John Fairfield
    The Aroostook War

  13. Alexander Baring
    Daniel Webster and the Border Treaty

  14. Hiram Ricker
    Hiram Ricker of Poland Spring

  15. Abraham Lincoln/Hannibal Hamlin
    Vice President Hannibal Hamlin
Winter 2020: PSAs #16-30 Winter 2020 (close list)
  1. Adjutant General John Hodsdon
    Adjutant General John Hodsdon

  2. Samuel Cony
    Samuel Cony and the University of Maine System

  3. Atlantic Coastline
    The Atlantic Coast pilot logs

  4. Colby College
    Colby College

  5. L.L. Bean shop
    L.L. Bean

  6. Gen. Joshua Chamberlain
    Gen. Joshua Chamberlain (Civil War)

  7. Charles Tilden
    Charles Tilden and the 16th Maine (Civil War)

  8. Percival Baxter
    Baxter State Park

  9. Road in Acadia
    Acadia – Creation of the national park/ Pres. Woodrow Wilson

  10. Rocks in Acadia
    Acadia – Beatrix Jones Farrand’s landscaping and carriage trails

  11. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith
    Sen. Margaret Chase Smith

  12. Fire tower
    Fire tower maps

  13. Skier on Sugarloaf
    Amos Winter and Sugarloaf Mountain

  14. Myron Avery
    Myron Avery and the Appalachian Trail

  15. Gov. James Longley
    Gov. James Longley

More content coming soon...