AUGUSTA — Maine State Archivist David Cheever said April 26 that the Monhegan Museum of Art and History will receive $1,000 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.
“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, in a news release. “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 mill down the road. Without these precious records, most questions like this would remain unanswered.”
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. Local governments, historical societies, and libraries are seeking help through grant program such as this one to preserve our heritage,” Cheever said.
Small grants have stimulated local citizens and organizations to commit more of their 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 $1,000 grant is matched through funding from the Monhegan Plantation. The matching funds, demonstrates the local community’s commitment to preserving and understanding their heritage.
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 the Maine State Archives, 287-5790.