Some patrons may be having trouble using our Marvel! database resources from home. We are working on the problem with the state and hope to have this resolved soon. The Reference Desk may be able to offer some assistance (871-1700 x725). Our apologies for any inconvenience.
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Life of the Library » Online Services

What’s new?


The New Business Gateway

posted: , by Sonya Durney
tags: Online Services | Adults | Business

PPL’s  Business and Government Team would like to introduce the new  Business Gateway  (also linked from PPL’s homepage).

New additions to this page include:

  • LegalForms (Thousands of legal forms;Official, State Specific, Federal, Business, Personal, Real Estate and General forms covering hundreds of legal subjects and issues)
  • DemographicsNow – Featuring  Demographics – Access a demographic report on any geography – or compare multiple geographies – for information including income, housing, race, age, education, retail spending, consumer expenditures, businesses and more.  Maps – Access the maps tab to view a simple map or use the advanced mapping tools for thematic coloring or additional customization of your maps. And 2010 Census Information – Access the 2010 census files as they are released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Look here to for easy access to other data files in the future.
  • Small Business Resource Center – small business management resources via a combination of periodicals and reference content. Includes business plan samples from the Business Plans Handbook
  • Business Insights Global (which all Marvel libraries will migrate to in late July from Business Company Resource Center).

All the familiar resources are still here, e.g. ReferenceUSA, ValueLine, Business Source Complete and Morningstar Investment Research Center.  Also, the “FURTHER RESOURCES’  links on the right hand side of the page will take users to the “old” business research page – should there be any links  you are accustomed to using.

Questions? Comments? Contact Sonya Durney at durney@portland.lib.me.us


Portland History and Children’s Theatre of Maine

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

Children’s Theatre of Maine, beginning in 1924, is America’s oldest continuing children’s theatrical company. Some of their earliest performances were at the Elm Theatre which stood where the eastern portion of the Portland Public Library now stands! Children’s Theatre has a history filled with colorful highlights and milestones, and these are preserved in the Archives in the Portland Room and in the Library’s Digital Commons digitized collections.

CTM is now part of the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine, on Free Street.

The image below shows a poster from a Children’s Theatre play in 1954, performed at Deering Oaks park.

The pictures immediately above and below were taken in 1948 (on Kodachrome film), at Redbank Village. The Children’s Theatre trailer stage even drew the attention of Life Magazine, and it was towed to Central Park for performances by the kids from Portland to New York audiences!

The above image shows a captivated audience in the 1940s, and the image below shows a Children’s Theatre member named Tony Shalhoub, helping a younger actor in 1975. Children’s Theatre history includes many celebrity actors and supporters- the latter including Bette Davis and Tony Randall.

Two images from the late 1990s – early 2000s: Above: an outdoor performance in Falmouth; Below: “The Emporer’s New Clothes,” performed at Nathan Clifford School.

Through their continuing history, Children’s Theatre has benefited from its energetic mentors. Below is an image from the early 1990s, as two young actors review a script with Lisa DiFranza.


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.

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