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book learning

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

Here are some pictures from a recent Portland Room exhibit of educational books from our Special Collections. Among our niche collections is an array of children’s and pedagogical books.

This display shows readers and (at right) a math book. The New England Primer (at top) is from 1777.

An illustrated book about Portland schools, from 1932, includes classroom photos and an image of Deering High School’s entrance on the cover.

Geographic travels with a large foldout map.

A Children’s Primer at left, and an early-19th century math book at right.

reading photographs

posted: , by Abraham
tags: Library Collections | Adults | Seniors | Portland History

Here in the Portland Room, we sleuth information from visual sources as well as their written counterparts. Often, photographs are neither captioned nor dated, but we can delve into our arsenal of City Directories, maps, reference books, and newspaper archives to assemble background information for the images.

Rather than to do the usual “then and now,” let’s try a “now and then” for the images below. Pictured here is Congress Square (the intersection of High Street and Congress Street), a very familiar Portland crossroads- facing in a northeasterly direction.

Taken on March 10, 2010, this image provides more than directional coordinates. “Reading” this image, we recognize the Eastland Hotel (built in 1927) in its present form, Congress Square Park at center, and the Congress Square Hotel (built in 1896) in the right background. Note the contrasting 19th century storefronts at the right edge. Then look at the photo below!

Now, with your “photo reading eyes,” and an acquaintance with present-day Congress Square, have a good look at this photograph (printed on albumen paper- a photo process hint). The shops in the lower right corner (yes that was a coffee shop!) are recognizable. The row-houses in the foreground are long gone- as well as the trolley tracks. And the Eastland? Not built yet! Now, notice the construction in the background. That’s the Congress Square Hotel being extended along Forest Avenue. The extension was opened in 1910.

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