FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2022
Maine Historical Records Advisory Board Awarded
Grant for Strategic Plan
AUGUSTA — Last week, the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board (MHRAB) was awarded a $4,360 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) through the Statewide Programming Grant program to develop a new Strategic Plan.
“Preserving Maine’s historic record is an important part of understanding our history and our present,” said State Archivist Kate McBrien, who also serves as the Coordinator of MHRAB. “With hundreds of institutions across the state working to preserve state and local history, it is important to ensure we’re all working in the same direction, and a new strategic plan from the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board will help us accomplish that goal.”
The MHRAB has historically operated a successful NHPRC-funded re-granting program by distributing funds to collecting institutions around Maine for projects involving archival collections. The grants helped many Maine institutions to conduct meaningful projects to improve their archival collections, through either the purchase of archival storage supplies, conducting collections surveys, or offering training in best archival practices. The Board, inactive since 2017, was reconstituted last year under the leadership of Archivist McBrien and following appointments from Governor Janet Mills.
The last strategic plan for MHRAB addressed the 2013 to 2018 period. Given advances in technology, the changing way patrons access the Archive and other historic records, and the increased interest in usage of primary documents for classroom instruction, a new strategic plan is needed. MHRAB expects to complete the strategic planning process by June.
The Archives has been conducting a survey (available at https://forms.office.com/g/ADiaV3hVra) of collecting institutions, including historical societies, libraries, museums and town offices, to gauge what their needs are for support from MHRAB, and what would be most useful to them in the coming years from MHRAB.
MHRAB’s mission is to coordinate and encourage the preservation of and access to historical records in a variety of ways. These include providing information and training to those responsible for such records; guiding the preparation of grant requests to the NHPRC; reviewing those requests; developing an informational base regarding the condition and needs of historical records; promoting the importance of historical records to policy-makers and the general public, and encouraging priority preservation and access projects through advice, grant reviews and a regrant program.
The Maine State Archives, a bureau within the Department of Secretary of State, maintains approximately 8 miles of official State records considered to be permanently valuable. The Archives’ historical material includes documents such as the original state constitution, reported election results, legislative bills, and policies and research created by state agencies among much more. The Archives are currently open by appointment only. Call 207-287-5790 or visit https://www.maine.gov/sos/arc/contact/index.html to learn more about visiting.