Mount Desert Island Historical Society volunteers Betsy Hewlett and Carolyn Ball at work digitizing materials in the Society's collection. PHOTO COURTESY OF MDI HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Volunteers needed for preservation

MOUNT DESERT — The Mount Desert Island Historical Society is searching for local volunteers to help tackle a backlog of historical treasures by adding items to the collection, preserving them with archival materials and digitizing material as needed.

MDI Historical Society has been thrilled to acquire numerous extensive collections in the last two years, including more than a hundred years of detailed records from the Somesville Sewing Circle, Somesville Village Improvement Society and Pretty Marsh Corporation. Other materials include ephemera from community events and programs such as the Arcady Music Festival and the installation of the Somesville Bridge, and collections featuring materials from Thomas Vining, Sargent Collier, the Roscoe Jackson family, Antoine Robichaud and more.

Collections volunteers are provided their own space at the Schoolhouse to work on tasks, and training is available as needed. Some tasks may even be completed remotely, such as editing transcriptions of oral histories.

Computer knowledge is helpful, but not essential. Some of the volunteer tasks are as simple as organizing each collection’s materials into two piles — those that are relevant to MDI and those that aren’t.

Local students are also encouraged to sign up for volunteer hours.

Since 1931, The Mount Desert Island Historical Society has preserved the island’s history and promoted a greater appreciation of its value. The Historical Society fosters meaningful engagement with the histories of Mount Desert Island by keeping thousands of artifacts at the Sound Schoolhouse and maintaining a website with free historical resources and access to our digital archive. For more information, contact Jenna Beaulieu, Collections Coordinator, at [email protected] or 276-9323.

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