December News
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Growing the William Richardson Gilkey Collection

By Cipperly Good, Richard Saltonstall Jr. Curator of Maritime History

As we gather together for the holidays, we remember the stories of ancestors, and in the case of sea captains, their adventures on the high seas. Objects, letters, and other memorabilia are tangible reminders of those stories. Holding on to these keepsakes within the family keeps the memories alive, but it limits the reach of those stories beyond the family group. Luckily for us, slowly over the years the Gilkey family has entrusted us with the care of William Richardson Gilkey’s archives and artifacts. This year we added his inlaid box and letters between family members.

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Photo Archives News

Kosti Ruohomaa Collection: December 2023 Rollout

By Matt Wheeler, Digital Collections Curator

A year before World War II ended, domestic photo correspondent Kosti Ruohomaa was still peaceably roaming the home front countryside, seeking evidence of simplicity and sanity. That year, he made a survey of traditional barns and farming life in rural Pennsylvania for Life magazine. The people who built these structures through the 19th century were spiritually akin to the photographer; many were European immigrant farmers, as his parents were. These sparsely peopled images of well-kept fields and farm buildings evoke the peculiar wartime demographic shift in the US; they also reassure that life continued somewhat timelessly in quiet corners of the world.

Some years later, Ruohomaa visited two large families living in rural Maine and captured many scenes of their lively households, creative pursuits, hard work, and kinship. Notably, he photographed the Brooks family, which included 12 daughters (and another child on the way at the time); they lived together in an old converted schoolhouse in Pittsfield, Maine.

To view the new content, visit the museum’s Kosti Ruohomaa site.

Adopt-a-Slide: The Eliot Elisofon Collection Campaign

By Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist

Our campaign to fund the processing of the collection of photos by world renown Life magazine photographer, Eliot Elisofon received two significant gifts! Halfway Rock Foundation generously donated $5,000 and the Walter & Leona Schmitt Foundation gave $3,000! These gifts really get us close to our goal! We are now over $11,000 toward the $14,000 needed to digitize and catalog the slides and negatives shot by Elisofon between 1940-1970 on or around Vinalhaven. We will continue to add to our slideshow of Eliot's photos and you can enjoy it here. To meet our goal, we are asking for your support. Each $10 donation will "adopt" a negative or slide. As the negatives are adopted we will process them and get them online. A credit line in each database record will acknowledge who adopted it. Can you get us to the finish line?


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