April 13-17, 2010
Denver, Colorado, USA

Sessions: Abstract

Benedict Arnold Slept Here: New Life for Local History Online and In the Community    go to paper

Steve Bromage, Maine Historical Society, USA

This paper explores the Maine Historical Society’s experience creating, nurturing, and sustaining the Maine Memory Network ( , a statewide digital museum. Maine Memory has stimulated extensive historical activity around the state, and encouraged a wide range of local organizations to engage, participate in, and begin to see themselves as stakeholders in the history of their communities.

The technical infrastructure, training, and programmatic opportunities that Maine Memory provides are helping to reinvigorate the practice and value of local history in Maine by making it accessible, representative, participatory, rigorous, and engaging to a broad range of local stakeholders and audiences. This has had major implications for the Maine Historical Society (MHS) – defining new ways for the organization to interact and serve other historical organizations, libraries, schools, and the public – and for the ways that local, state, and national history is being told, shared, and used in Maine. This paper considers key technical and programmatic elements of the project, the dynamics of collaboration at the state and local level, and how these efforts are helping contributors – adults and students alike – connect with their communities and develop 21st century skills. In particular, the paper looks at the importance of establishing collaborative models that recognize and serve the interests of all participants, and the need for digital collaboratives to evolve programmatically as well as technologically.

Session: Collaboration Outcomes - Part 1 [organizations]

Keywords: Maine Memory Network,local history, dynamics of collaboration, digital collaboratives