Ann Benson receives a plaque honoring her for her volunteer service to the Mount Desert Island Historical Society from society President Bill Horner. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Benson is outstanding volunteer



MOUNT DESERT — The Mount Desert Island Historical Society gave the Ann Benson Award for Volunteer Service to the award’s namesake, Ann Benson, at its recent annual meeting.

This year and in the future, the award will honor an individual who exemplifies the highest standards of service to the community, demonstrates a love of history, and by example, fosters meaningful engagement with the histories of Mount Desert Island.

Benson richly deserves to be the first recipient and the award’s namesake. She became a member of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society in 2005 and served as a member of the board of directors from 2010 to 2015. She continues to volunteer for the society today.

As chair of the collections committee, Benson assembled a small army of volunteers who have systematically cataloged, preserved, scanned and digitized the society’s collection. Under her leadership, the records of the Champlain Society were cataloged, scanned and transcribed; a new collections policy, consistent with national best practices, was adopted by the board; thousands of catalog entries have been made to help the society understand the value of its collections; and almost the entire collection of photographs has been scanned and made available to the community at www.mdihistory.org.

Rosamond Rea, who has worked closely with Benson for many years, said, “For a decade, Ann has approached her volunteer work with dedication, professionalism and good humor. As the primary caretaker of the historical society’s collection, Ann learned the intricacies of museum collections management and organized a volunteer corps to help her research, catalog and care for all kinds of historic objects.”

Society President Bill Horner said, “Ann is a volunteer’s volunteer.”

The Mount Desert Island Historical Society fosters meaningful engagement with the histories of Mount Desert Island. Call Erin Early Ward at 276-9323 or email erin.earlyward@mdihistory.org.