All Library locations will be closed at 1pm on Wed, Dec 24, and all day Dec 25 for Christmas. We will re-open for regular hours on Fri, Dec 26.
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Life of the Library

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back to school

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Exhibits & Displays | Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Portland History

Yes, it’s that time of the year! Here are a few images from a recent exhibit in the Portland Room, displaying books from our collections on the topic of education and schools. We focused on the old-fashioned “3 R’s.”

A primer, a math book, and a slide rule

Reading and writing books

Portland school reports, with an old Portland Public Library card


The Portland Room & genealogical research

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Library Collections | Online Services | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Genealogy | Portland History

Among our most popular queries here in the Portland Room- whether by phone, by e-mail, and certainly in person- are genealogical questions.  People research their family roots for many reasons, discovering anew while searching historic depths.  Sometimes the search begins with a family story- or an old photo.  Are there names? Dates? Places? Is there something in the picture that helps place it (such as the church wall inscription in the picture below).

Norwegian family wedding in Portland, 1938.

Family researchers can apply tools that include printed books and serials, as well as electronic databases. The printed genealogical materials in the Portland Room are focused on the Portland area. The databases reach further afield. Here are a few of the tools that are used here on a daily basis:

Printed books and serials specializing in Maine and Portland. This category includes microfilmed Portland newspapers reaching back to the late 18th century and filmed Maine State Vital Records reaching up to 1955.

An example of a Portland City Directory. Notice the jobs of the people listed are indicated with their names and addresses. Any “cordwainers” in the family?

Ancestry.com is available at any computer inside the Library. This is a set of databases that has numerous search capabilities. Great place to start.

Heritage Quest is another set of databases which includes a US Census search. Heritage Quest can be accessed from home, with your Portland Public Library card barcode number.

Additional genealogy web site links here.


moxie !

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Teens | Kids & Families | Seniors | Portland History

The weekend after July 4th draws near, and that means Moxie Fest, the annual weekend of celebration in Lisbon Falls begins!  Moxie was invented here in Maine by Dr. Augustin Thompson in 1876- and refined later in 1884 as America’s oldest mass-marketed soft drink. Moxie is the official beverage of the State of Maine, and there’s more to learn about the spicy soda-pop right here in the Portland Room.

A picture taken 1947 of a treasure-trove of Moxie, taken by a Portland Press Herald photographer.

“The Moxie Mystique,” from the stacks of the Portland Room describes all things Moxie.

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