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Special Collections

Search Guides to Manuscript Collections
This is a pilot web site for searching finding aids located in special and archive collections in Maine. This searchable database indexes the full text of 250 finding aids in Maine. A finding aid is a descriptive guide for an archival or manuscript collection. Typically, it includes information about the origin, history, content, date and format of the records, as well as the physical and intellectual arrangement of them.


University of Maine at Orono

  • Acadian Archives -->

    University of Southern Maine

    • Special Collections Department
      Special Collections is composed of three units:
      • Rare Books and Manuscripts, which contains rare materials and personal papers of individuals related to the University.
      • University Archives, which contains the records of the University of Southern Maine as well as it precursors, Gorham Normal School through the University of Maine in Gorham (1878-1970), Portland Univesity (1921-1961), Portland Junior College (1933-1957), and the University of Maine in Portland (1957-1970)
      • Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine which consists of the African American Collection of Maine, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Collection, and the Judaica Collection.


    • Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education
      The Osher Map Library and Smith Center for Cartographic Education is the only separately established rare map library in northern New England. The Smith and Osher collections comprise find examples of original maps, atlases, geographies, and globes spanning the years from 1475 to present. They constitute a rich and multifaceted resource for the study and teaching of geography, history, art, and cultrual development. These materials office such compelling insights into the past that anyone, regardless of age or educational level, can enjoy and learn from them. For the University, the people of Maine, scholars, students, and visitors, the collections are indeed a treasure.

    Lewiston-Auburn College

    • Franco-American Heritage Collection
      The Franco-American Collection contains material on politics, religion, language, education, industry and business, theater and music, genealogy, Lewiston-Auburn history, and civic leaders. There is also material on sociological aspects of Franco-American culture relating on a state-wide and regional level covering ethnicity, community demographics, work and labor issues, and French newspapers.

    Maine State Library

    • Special Collections at the State Library
      One of the primary mandates of the Maine State Library is to serve as a premier research facility for the history and publications of Maine. The MSL Special Collections add considerable depth to the history of conservation, natural resources, the state and its political subdivisions, authors and publishing, and the people, places and industries in Maine.