Online museum project progressing; collections, stories sought

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FARMINGTON – A group working toward the creation of an online museum is sending out a call for collectors, storytellers and volunteers, as it continues to move forward with the project.

The group, consisting of members of Farmington Public Library, MSAD 9, the University of Maine at Farmington, Center for Community GIS, and the Farmington Historical Society, was awarded a $10,000 grant by the Maine Historical Society to digitize historical artifacts and produce a general overview of the town’s history.

The group has, according to Head Librarian Melanie Taylor Coombs, decided on some major themes that the museum will focus on, loosely based on the recently-created “Farmington walking tour.” The first theme is “how education shaped the community.”

The Farmington area once had as many as 31 local schoolhouses. UMF has helped shape the town for years. This history provides fertile ground for the project, according to Coombs.

“We’re finding all this cool stuff,” she said, rattling off an impressive list of financial ledgers, teaching supplies, sports memorabilia and long-gone school district banners.

The group, which is hoping to call upon the community for access to stories, artifacts and assistance, is also considering the themes of the town’s cultural past and the history of the downtown. The project will pay for the equipment to digitize the collections, preserving it for all time.

“I think it will be really exciting,” Coombs said. “it’s obviously a real benefit to get local people to help us with this.

At the end of the project exhibits showcasing Farmingtons history will be on display at www.mainememory.net.

The group is specifically looking for:

if you have a collection, artifact, diary, etc. that might be interesting to the project
if you have a story about Farmington you would like to share
if you would be interested in volunteering time to help the project
if you have a civic group (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.) that might be
interested in helping this community effort
if you would like more information about the project

Contact the Farmington Public Library for more information.

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