Students walk along the University of Maine campus in this March 12, 2020, file photo. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik

The National Endowment for the Humanities is helping fund the first bilingual online portal to French American heritage records via a University of Maine project.

The university said Tuesday the first-of-its-kind portal would allow access to records from archives in the U.S. and Canada. The endowment is giving the project $60,000 toward the work.

Franco American Programs at UMaine is taking the lead on the project, which the university said will develop an online public history, genealogy and map of French American populations in Maine. The work is important for history researchers, who sometimes have difficulty finding primary sources, said Susan Pinette, director of Franco American Programs at the university.

The website will also bring access to books, correspondence, family records and other materials.