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|VOLUME 19 NUMBER 1, SPRING 2011|
“Whoever wishes to foresee the future must consult the past; for human events ever resemble those of preceding times.” Machiavelli
During a visit to Bangor Public Library last year, Senator Susan Collins was invited to view the Library’s collection of WWII posters. Librarian Bill Cook brought the posters to the BPL lecture hall where Collins was joined by Barbara McDade, director of Bangor Public Library and Joyce Rumery, dean of libraries at the University of Maine. This poster collection, thought to be the largest in the country, numbers around 800 pieces. There are also an unspecified number of World War I posters in the collection. This visit proved to be the first step on a journey of discovery and preservation.
When Eugene P. Daigle, Fogler Library’s manager of network services heard about Collins’ visit and the posters from Rumery, he saw an opportunity to use technology to provide greater access to this important resource. His enthusiasm lead to a collaborative project between the two libraries to digitize the entire poster collection.
Daigle explains, “Some 450,000 U.S. men and women died in action from 1941 to 1945 when our population was about 160 million. Every neighborhood was involved in the war effort and these posters are part of the voice of the people who were part of the final victory in August of 1945. “The purpose of the project is to allow people born after the World War II to look at these artworks and try to get a sense of the conflict and how each and every citizen was asked to contribute to the war effort — to help their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and cousins defeat the Axis powers.”
Daigle and his wife Barbara generously agreed to fund the project. The images are being produced by James Daigle Photography of Bangor with Fogler Library providing web hosting services. The goal is to have all 800 posters digitized by Veteran’s Day 2011, when the collection will be made accessible to the public. This will be about a month before the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, which drew the United States into World War II.
Once there are 100-200 images available, the two libraries will begin selling
the posters. Proceeds from the sale will be used to preserve the original print
posters. Anyone interested in contributing to the project should contact Bangor
Public Library director Barbara McDade at 947-8336.
Home | Olive Tree | Spring 2011 Issue
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