Maine Historical Society on Congress Street (right) can take you on tour.
With increasingly univeral access to the web, museums have been working hard to use digital technology to provide better insight into the collections which they curate. The Library of Congress, for example, established the stunning American Memory project. From 17th century broadsides to 1950s Coca Cola advertisements (right) to anything else you can imagine, they not only have it in their collection, but they can show it to you, digitally, while you're still in your pajamas with coffee in hand. None of this is easy or straightforward.
Institute of Museum and Library Services and crafted its own, Maine Memory project in partnership with more than 200 Maine museums and historical societies statewide. Maine Historical Society Director, Richard D'Abate recently visited the Library of Congress and acknowledged this relationship: "We’ve always kept an eye on the LOC [Library of Congress], as both a model and an inspiration. Their pioneering work with online collections, for instance, directly influenced the creation of the Maine Memory Network. But being there made me think again of what it is we aspire to: collecting fine and significant things, showing the complexity and variety of history, increasing the store of human knowledge and sharing it broadly."(summer 2010 MHS newsletter)
Now, Candace Kanes (left), Maine Memory Network Curator and Historian, has curated a gallery exhibit that draws upon images and text from the Society's Maine History Online component of the Maine Memory project. Candace has been compiling a large number of Maine historical narratives and providing them online. Her "Zoom In" exhibit shares some of these compelling stories by drawing from Maine History Online images and text
Maine Potato Blossom Queen serenade her subjects, then you must explore this chapter of 1960s history. Maine History Online exhibits combine historic television footage, such as this, with digital scans of historic photographs and photos of artifacts. In "Zoom In" these are supplemented with artifacts from the Maine Historical Society collections and contributing partners. Computer stations and video screens in the gallery allow visitors to explore the ways that online resources can enhance their perception of Maine history.
The exhibit runs from June 25, 2010 – May 29, 2011 so there's plenty of time to pick those strawberries and drop the kids off at camp before you visit the gallery or click on Maine History Online.