Maine Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections

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This entry was originally written by Alice Eichholz, Ph.D., CG for Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.

This article is part of
Maine sil.png
the Maine Family History Research series.
History of Maine
Maine Vital Records
Census Records for Maine
Background Sources for Maine
Maine Maps
Maine Land Records
Maine Probate Records
Maine Court Records
Maine Tax Records
Maine Cemetery Records
Maine Church Records
Maine Military Records
Maine Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
Maine Archives, Libraries, and Societies
Maine Immigration
Ethnic Groups of Maine
Maine County Resources
Maine Town Resources
Map of Maine


Maine has some excellent periodical sources from the nineteenth century presently in publication. Historical resources include Maine Genealogist and Biographer (1875'78), primarily for Kennebec County; The Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder (1884'98), for Cumberland and York counties; Bangor Historical Magazine (1885'95), for Penobscot Valley; Sprague's Journal of Maine History (1913'26), published in Dover, Maine; and finally, what is known as Maine Genealogies but is actually called Genealogical and Family History of the State of Maine (1909), 4 vols., which has been made somewhat obsolete by later research. Present periodicals include these:

Downeast Ancestry, published six times a year (1977'88; now becoming available online through a number of websites).

Maine Historical Society Quarterly, Maine Historical Society Library; articles on Maine history, available through membership.

Maine Genealogist, formerly Maine Seine, Maine Genealogical Society; publication available through membership.


Local library and historical societies as well as the Maine Historical Society and Maine State Library have indexes to various newspaper vital statistics. The largest collection of microfilmed newspapers can be found at the University of Maine's Folger Library at Orono, which has a computer printout of listings with their holdings. They also supply a typescript, 'Maine Newspapers in the Smaller Maine Public Libraries.' An online article on Maine newspapers, their location, and genealogical usefulness by Russell Farnham, CG, can be found through membership subscription to


Although it does not include acquisitions in the last forty years, Elizabeth Ring, A Reference List of Manuscripts Relating to the History of Maine, 3 vols. (Orono, Maine: University of Maine, 1938'41) is an excellent source. Volume 1 covers towns and manuscript materials related to them; volume 2 covers maps and collections of individuals, including the extensive collections at the Maine Historical Society of professional genealogists; and volume 3 is an index.

Both the Maine Historical Society and Maine State Library have excellent manuscript and single copy typescript collections for research in Maine genealogy.