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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2006
Contact: Doug Dunbar
Phone: 626-8404

Secretary of State and Legislators Announce Grants
to Safeguard Maine's Historical Records and Artifacts

Mount Desert Island Historical Society to Benefit

AUGUSTA, MAINE – State Senator Dennis Damon and State Representative Ted Koffman joined Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap on Wednesday in announcing that the Mount Desert Island Historical Society will benefit from two grants being awarded this month by the Maine State Archives and the Maine State Museum, with support from the State's New Century Community Program, as well as the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.  In total, over $50,000 will be awarded to more than 20 Maine organizations. 

“We are pleased to share this good news with the people of Mount Desert Island. These grants will help to preserve precious links to the region’s past. Once lost, vital connections of this kind can never be restored. That makes these grants, and the work it will enable, not only valuable for current residents and visitors, but also for future generations,” Senator Damon, Representative Koffman and Secretary Dunlap commented.

According to the Historical Society’s grant application, the first project will stop the deterioration of a “singularly important record of the settlement of Mount Desert Island.”  Drawn by surveyor Salem Towne in 1808, this map depicts the first Mount Desert Island settlements, as well as the coastal features of the western portion of MDI.

Damon, Koffman and Dunlap noted that the map can not be shown to the public because of its condition. This project, in cooperation with the Northeast Document Conservation Center, will protect the map from airborne particles, humidity, insects and other hazards—making it possible for area residents and visitors to once again view, enjoy and learn from this important connection to island life history. The grant is for approximately $1,000.

The second project will further the Mount Desert Island Historical Society’s efforts to preserve and store approximately 450 blueprints and drawings in the Fred L. Savage Collection. This project began in 2001-2002 when the Historical Society received a grant to start conserving the Savage Collection. Nearly 275 of the blueprints and drawings were treated at that time. This second grant of nearly $2,000 will enable the Historical Society to continue this significant work. Specifically, the grant will be used to purchase 5-drawer flat files, a base for the files and sets of locks. The files will be placed in the Historical Society’s climate-controlled storage room.

According to information from the Historical Society, Fred L. Savage was a practicing architect on MDI from 1887 to 1926.  Known for his shingle style homes, Savage is responsible for sketches and blueprints for many significant homes and public buildings on Mount Desert Island. The collection includes materials from over 100 projects conducted by Mr. Savage.

In addition to the work being conducted by the Mount Desert Island Historical Society, projects benefiting from this grant program range from repairing the roof of the Old York Historical Society's Emerson-Wilcox House, to providing a historical records consultant to Christ Church Episcopal in Gardiner, to preserving the archival records of the Bath Area Family YMCA.

The program funds facility improvements to protect collections of historical record and artifacts. It also supports experts on managing historical records or museum objects, as well as those who can assess facility needs. This joint effort by the Maine State Archives and Maine State Museum involves three distinct funding mechanisms. However, they have created a single application process to simplify paperwork for applicants.

June 1st and October 1st are the deadlines for submitting project proposals in 2006. Details and applications are online at www.state.me.us/sos/arc/mhrab/grant.html.  Copies are also available at the Maine State Archives by emailing maine.cric@maine.gov, or by calling 287-7591.