Monday, June 1, 2015
Contact: Kristen Schulze Muszynski
W: 626-8404/ C: 441-7638

Maine State Archives to celebrate 50th Anniversary

AUGUSTA ? The Maine State Archives is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015, marking half a century since the 102nd Maine Legislature?s signing of legislation to approve creation of the Office of the State Archivist on June 8, 1965.

To commemorate this milestone of legislative achievement, a ceremony is scheduled for Monday, June 8 at noon. The ceremony will take place at the Maine State Archives in the Cultural Building, 84 Statehouse Station.

State Historian Earle G. Shettleworth Jr., who was a member of the first-ever Archives Advisory Board, will be the featured speaker for the 50th anniversary event. State Archivist David Cheever and Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap will also share remarks about the importance of the Archives? role through the years as well as the challenges of archiving in the digital age.

A 50th anniversary exhibit, highlighting some of the most visually interesting pieces curated from the diverse range of items in the Archives? holdings, will be on display throughout the year. The exhibit includes maps, photographs, business trademarks, historic documents and videos.

As a bureau of the Maine Department of the Secretary of State, the Maine State Archives houses and makes available to the public approximately 95 million pages of permanently valuable, official state records.

Discussion of the need for an archivist began as far back as the late 19th century, but action was delayed by the World Wars and the Great Depression, leaving the State of Maine years behind other states in creating an archival program. Even after the Archives was created, it had no storage or office space until construction of the cultural building, which opened in 1971. This site now provides a permanent home for not only the Archives, but also the Maine State Museum and Maine State Library. Only four people have served as state archivists in the past 50 years.

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