The Olive Tree
In Part I of this article, we discussed Fogler Library’s efforts to collect
records of Maine’s fishing industry, a major sector of the state’s economy but
one that is not was well documented as agriculture or logging.
In addition to collecting original archival materials, Fogler Library has been working to digitize and make available online a large body of unique fishing-related documentation that is held by various Maine repositories. The primary purpose of this project is to facilitate historical research on fish populations in the Gulf of Maine. For this reason, the project has focused on digitizing logs of fishing vessels, catch and landing records, and records of fish sales, as they provide data that can be used for this kind of research.
Thus far, we have digitized several thousand pages of materials from the Boothbay Historical Society, the Castine Historical Society, Machiasport Historical Society, Old Berwick Historical Society, Monhegan Museum, Maine State Archives, Maine Maritime Museum, Penobscot Marine Museum and Fogler Library.
These can be searched and viewed at the University of Maine System’s Digital Collection site:
In the next few months we will be adding to this online collection, relevant publications that are in the public domain and some additional archival materials from Fogler Library and other repositories.
We will be seeking outside funding to expand the collection by scanning materials in archives in Canada, Europe, and Massachusetts and by including materials relating to freshwater fisheries in tributaries to the Gulf of Maine. On an ongoing basis, we will be seeking to acquire or digitize relevant unique materials that remain in private hands.
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