The online database is a “virtual museum” of records and images of items in the collections of Penobscot Marine Museum. Object records contain information organized in several fields (e.g., catalog number, collection, description), all of which are searchable. Not all fields are populated for all records. The record display includes a link by which you may provide feedback about any image, to help us fill in blank fields or correct errors in existing data.
At this time, the records are confined to certain collections within our photography archives. Eventually, the database will span the museum’s complete collections and will include images of historic documents, paintings, navigational and other nautical equipment, objects of foreign trade, small craft, domestic furnishings, industrial artifacts and much more.
More collections will be added as time and funding allow. Please contact Photography Archivist Kevin Johnson (email@example.com) if you wish to support our efforts through a donation.
Review Search Tips before beginning your database search.
Collections Currently Online
Atlantic Fisherman — over a thousand images from the archives of the New England-based trade publication, depicting the fishing industry after the decline of the sail
Everett “Red” Boutilier — more than 20,000 images by a renowned freelance photographer, active from the 1950s to the 2000s, with a strong emphasis on boats, ships and waterfront activities in Midcoast Maine
Joanna Colcord — hundreds images by the daughter of a famous Searsport ship captain, documenting her early travels with her father
Charles Coombs — hundreds of images depicting Belfast and the life of the Coombs family, taken by Charles Coombs, a ship captain’s son who later served as mayor of Belfast, Maine, and worked as an undertaker
Eastern Illustrating and Publishing — images of small town and rural New England from a “real photo” postcard company based in Belfast, Maine. Over 40,000 records, with 28,000 images.
Jake Lawless — images collected by the Sheriff of Belfast, Maine in the the late 19th and early 20th centuries, includes children’s gatherings and other social events and glass lantern slides depicting Belfast, wilderness areas, and cartoons.
David J. Lindsay — 235 glass plate and film negatives shot by professional photographer David J. Lindsay, active in Damariscotta during the first half of the 20th century. Includes school and church groups, wedding parties, social organization events, boats, and shipyards, mostly in Lincoln County, Maine; also Massachusetts and Vermont.
MacEwen Collection — 184 glass plate and film negatives, primarily the work of amateur photographer Preston Williams of Bangor. Early 20th-century Bangor scenes of daily work, waterfronts, architecture, and the aftermath of a disastrous 1911 fire that destroyed 267 buildings.
Elmer Montgomery — hundreds of images depicting midcoast Maine waterfronts and ships during the 1930s and 1940s, with particular emphasis on Rockland. Montgomery lived in nearby Owls Head.
Ruth Montgomery — hundreds of images taken by the daughter of another ship captain as a record of her seafaring years and her life after her father’s retirement from shipping
For more details on these collections, visit the Photography Collections page, or go directly to the database.