Vose Library plans to host a presentation on the photographs in partnership with the Union Historical Society sometime in the spring. Details will be announced later.
Research for the exhibit was conducted by individuals and historical societies from virtually every Knox County community and coordinated by Liz Fitzsimmons, a historian who volunteers at the museum. The exhibit was funded by a grant from the Maine Community Foundation and generous sponsorship from Camden National Bank.
The Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. photos, taken a century ago, are aesthetically beautiful to view and are fascinating on many levels for the history and sense of place that they convey. The founder of the company sent his crews with their box cameras into tiny towns all over Maine and instructed them to ask local citizens what was important about their town. This is a unique feature of the Eastern collection, giving it great breadth and authenticity. The collection is a survey of what nearly every New England town looked like in the first of half the 20th century.
The Eastern collection is the largest single photographic collection in Maine, consisting of nearly 50,000 images of Maine and the rest of New England and upstate New York. Most of the photos are on glass-plate negatives. The museum is raising funds to acquire more of Eastern’s negatives, and have recently added a searchable database of the images online on their website. Photo prints are available from the museum, with proceeds from their sale going to expand the collection.