FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New England Electric Railway HistORICAL Society Library RECEIVES GRANT TO PRESERVE HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS
AUGUSTA- Maine State Archivist David Cheever has announced New England Electric Railway Historical Society Library will receive $1,011.50 to preserve and provide better access to its historical collections as part of the Historical Records Collections Grant Program. The program is administered by the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board, with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The grant program is coordinated in Maine by the State Archives. Work on the grant project will take place on the campus of York County Community College. YCCC student Olivia Weiser has been selected to be the Preservation Intern for the project.
Recent studies show that cultural resources are important in decisions to locate businesses or to choose a community in which to retire. These grants help sustain the basic infrastructure of this key element of our society.
“Grants such as this support community efforts to protect the stories of our birth, property rights, government, and how we lived our lives,” said Cheever. “People need to document their birth or naturalization to obtain a passport or to get medical care; others research their property boundaries; some seek long-lost relatives or to understand the history of the old saw mill down the road. Without these precious records, most questions like this would remain unanswered.”
Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says a recent report to the Maine Legislature indicates that many of Maine’s historical collections (photographs, paintings, natural history collections, and letters) are in danger of being lost to fire, theft, mold, or misuse.
“Maine has an estimated 200 million such records, many in facilities with little or no security, fire protection, or environmental controls. Recent surveys show that local governments, historical societies, and libraries are seeking help to preserve our heritage,” Secretary Dunlap commented.
Small grants have stimulated local citizens and organizations to commit more of their own resources to these projects. "Although financial support is important, recognition of local concerns and efforts through an award also generates a substantial amount of enthusiasm," Cheever said.
The Maine State Archives is a Bureau within the Department of the Secretary of the State. For information about the Historical Records Collections Grant Program, call Janet Roberts at 287-5791 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.maine.gov/sos/arc/mhrab/grant.html.