Maine Historical Society

The Maine Historical Society is the official state historical society of Maine. It is located at 489 Congress Street in downtown Portland. The Society currently operates the Wadsworth-Longfellow House, a National Historic Landmark, Longfellow Garden, the Maine Historical Society Museum and Store, the Brown Research Library, as well as the Maine Memory Network, an online database of documents and images that includes resources from many of state's local historical societies.


The Maine Historical Society was founded in 1822 and is the third oldest state historical society after the Massachusetts Historical Society and New York Historical Society. Influential members of the Maine Historical Society included many of Maine's Yankee philanthropists, such as James Phinney Baxter.


William Willis, Mayor of Portland, was the president of the Maine Historical Society (1856–1865).[1] Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., official State Historian of Maine, was president of MHS from 1977 to 1979.

Brown LibraryEdit

The research library at the Maine Historical Society is named for John Marshall Brown and his wife Alida (Carroll) Brown. The current library building was built in 1907, designed by Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, nephew of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The library underwent an extensive renovation in 2007, at which time it was named for the Browns.[2] Since 1822, the Maine Historical Society has maintained a library collection. The holdings are dedicated to the history of Maine and include books, archival material, maps, newspapers, photographs, as well as engineering and architectural drawings. The library also collects on family history, specifically Maine, early New England and eastern Canada.

Maine Historical Society MuseumEdit

The Maine Historical Society Museum is located at the Society's headquarters at 489 Congress Street, Portland. Topics for the changing exhibits include Maine's history, politics, culture, sports, religion, art, and business.

Collections of the Maine Historical SocietyEdit

First Series

Second Series

Third Series

Documentary History of the State of Maine (1869–1916)Edit

Also known as the Second Series, this series was published simultaneously as the Collections of the Maine Historical Society, which unfortunately also maintains its own second series.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "William Willis Papers M189".
  2. ^ "Maine Historical Society: Library Grand Re-Opening".
  3. ^ "MHS Publications - Maine Historical Society".

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 43°39′24″N 70°15′37″W / 43.6568°N 70.2603°W / 43.6568; -70.2603