Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Maine Archives Launches Online Store

AUGUSTA – Joshua Chamberlain’s report on the Battle of Gettysburg, a life-size replica of Maine’s Constitution, and a map of the Province of Maine before the Aroostook War are among the replica items now available through the on-line store of the Maine State Archives. "Enhancing access to some of Maine’s most beloved treasures has been a long-time goal," Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said. "Now people everywhere can appreciate unique pieces of Maine history."

The on-line store (www.maine.gov/online/archivestore ) was officially launched at the State House on March 17, and features a large variety of items, including photographs, maps, letters, documents, and trademarks. "The store makes it possible for anyone with an interest in Maine, its history and its beauty, to enjoy and own something special," State Archivist David Cheever said.

One exciting feature of the online store is the availability of custom printed reproductions of archive holdings, according to Nicole Ladner, Director of Special Projects for the Department of the Secretary of State. "The Archives is home to an amazing array of maps, photographs, prints, and even trademark designs from Maine-made products from days gone by. Now those holdings can become part of your own home, business or office."

The launch of the Archives on-line store was timed to occur near Maine Day, March 15. Maine Day marks the anniversary of Maine’s entrance into the Union as the 23rd State, as a result of the Missouri Compromise that balanced slave and free states. "Through the use of modern technology, we can replicate the actual letter admitting Maine as a State, signed by James Monroe, and make that available to history buffs, teachers, or just people who are looking for items that are unique and project the qualities and history of Maine," Cheever said.

The Archives holds more than 6,000 maps, nearly 10,000 trademarks, and more than 5,000 photographs – plus innumerable documents that help tell the story of Maine. "The launch of the on-line store is only the beginning. Making these items available for people everywhere is an exciting prospect," Dunlap said.

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