November News
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Member Monday To Peru in 2023 and 1863. Noon, November 13th on Zoom. Free for Members. After returning to Maine from Peru, this summer’s Geiger Museum Exploration Intern Judson Thomas looked for connections within PMM’s collection. In this Member Monday, Education Director Jeana Ganskop will share the process she and Judson went through to find a logbook with Peru connections and some of the interesting portions of the one Judson worked on.

Not a member?

Sailors’ Knot Wreath Workshop. Thursday, December 7th, 6pm-8pm on Zoom or Saturday, December 9th, 10am-1pm in Person. $50/participant. Starting with a single piece of cotton rope, create your own sailors’ knot wreath! The first half of the workshop will be instruction and practice tying a flat Turk’s head knot. Then participants will make their wreaths.

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New Collections Management Software Update

After a lot of research, countless conversations and zoom meetings, and many generous gifts from people who know the care, effort, and creativity we put into our collections, we’re thrilled to announce the start of a crucial software switch. Within a year, we will migrate all of our images and data to a new platform, Odyssey, developed by History IT of South Portland, Maine. For people browsing PMM’s collections on our online database, this will mean better image viewing, better information, online exhibits, the ability to save favorites, timeline exploration, the option to purchase prints online, and much more. This is an exciting time, with a lot of work ahead to clean up, reorganize, and start the shift.

Our huge thanks to all who contributed to this project! We anticipate that it will be a sea change for our digital collections. During the next year, keep your eyes open for announcements about milestones and a release date for the new database site.

Nellie Cutter Starrett

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

Thanks to the donations over the years from the descendants of Nellie Cutter Starrett and her husband, Captain Henry Atherton Starrett, we have been able to piece together the life of this couple at sea and in the business of the merchant marine. The latest donation, from the Estate of Elizabeth Stone Mills, consists of Nellie’s diaries, botanical albums, autograph book, letters, photo album and individual photographs of Nellie and Henry. Longtime Museum members and visitors may remember seeing some of the items on loan from the family. The botanical albums of pressed and mounted sea plant and moss specimens were included in the 1995 Lace and Leaves exhibit and again in the 2006 Women at Sea exhibit, along with her journal.

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Photo Archives News

Two Long Time Volunteers Hang Up Their Cleats!

By Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist

Ellen Zachary between Kevin Johnson and Matt Wheeler

PMM says goodbye to Ellen Zachary and Deanna Bonner-Ganter. Both have been longtime volunteers in the photograph archives and are now leaving the Pine Tree state to be closer to their families.

Ellen has been spending Wednesdays here since 2011 digitizing photos and cataloging them in our database. She first came onboard after being inspired by a talk on the collections. You don't need to be a mathematician to figure out that three hours a week for more than ten years adds up to a huge contribution to our work! She will be heading back to the mid-Atlantic to be closer to her kids and brother.

Deanna Bonner-Ganter

Deanna, a former curator for the Maine State Museum, first connected with PMM while working on her biography of Maine photographer Kosti Ruohomaa in 2015. A friendship formed and when the Ruohomaa Collection was donated to PMM in 2017, she began to volunteer to help us organize and process it. She is headed west to be near her daughter, though we are working on a way to allow her to keep providing her Kosti expertise.

We thank Ellen and Deanna for their service and friendship!

Maynard Bray Collection November 2023

What’s the Deal with Ketches and Yawls?

By Matt Wheeler, Digital Collections Curator

While schooners are still easy to spot in the 21st century (here in midcoast Maine, that’s due in large part to the Windjammer passenger trade), ketches and yawls are more uncommon rigs these days. For the puzzled layperson, each of these features a smaller mizzen mast stepped behind the mainmast. On a ketch, the mizzen stands forward of the rudder post (the vertical shaft connecting the rudder to the steering); on a yawl, it’s aft, or closer to the stern.

While these traditional sail plans have proponents and advantages, advances in sailboat design have rendered them anachronistic.

We’ll dig into a little discussion on the topic in this month’s Onsite with Maynard blog, and of course see some iconic examples in Maynard’s photography, mostly from the 1980s, when yawls and ketches still enjoyed some popularity.

Adopt-a-Slide: The Eliot Elisofon Collection Campaign

By Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist

Thanks to a couple of generous donations we were able to move the needle on our campaign to fund the processing of the collection of photos by world renown Life Magazine photographer, Eliot Elisofon. We are now over $3,000 toward our goal of $14,000 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 Elisofon's photos which you can enjoy 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 put them online. A credit line in each database record will acknowledge who adopted it. Can you help?


The Perspectives of Peru

By Judson Thomas, 2023 Geiger Museum Exploration Intern

This summer my family and I took a trip to Peru to visit my cousin and aunt who live in Lima, the capital. While in Peru, we went to many Incan ruins including Machu Picchu, the Jungle, the Andes, and the port city of Lima and Callao. Callao has a long history of being a major port city and restocking point for ships who were heading to and from Asia, especially during the 1800s. However, Callao was also a destination for some ships who would travel to collect guano at the Chincha Islands, a group of three islands off the coast of Callao notable for its vast amounts of guano. 

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