For the first time in the Maine State Archives’ 56-year history, researchers can now search the bureau’s listing of collections online to see if the archives is the right resource for their purposes before contacting an archivist to access the actual documents.

In a news release, Deputy Secretary for Archives Katherine McBrien said, “The new ArchivesSpace catalog makes the archives more accessible … by listing the full scope of our holdings.

“This is a first step for the public to have an awareness of what we hold, and we will be building it into a public resource that will eventually link up with the actual digital copies of items such as documents and maps that we have posted to DigitalMaine.”

Only about half of state archives across the country have completed this type of public-facing indexing. ArchivesSpace is a nonprofit organization, created by archivists, that hosts finding aids for subscribers.

The Maine State Archives maintains approximately 100 million pages of official records considered to be permanently valuable, as well as all state records that must be retained for statutory periods of time.

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