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Grant number: PG-251706-17

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Bridgton Historical Society (Bridgton, ME 04009-0044)
Edward Allen (Project Director: April 2016 to present)

Collections Preservation Assessment

A preservation assessment of the collections at the Gibbs Avenue Museum and Archives, part of the Bridgton Historical Society. The purpose of the society is to trace the evolution of Bridgton, Maine, from its 1768 incorporation as a farming community, through expansion as a railroad- and canal-supported industrial town, to its present tourist-focused character. Its collections constitute 180 linear feet of archival materials, which include 45 cubic feet of oversized material and over 10,000 photographic images. Highlights include late 18th-century range maps, military regimental records, and patterns used by the Bridgton Machine Company, which invented the Perry Turbine. The proposed preservation assessment would update a 1998 Conservation Assessment Program report and focus on optimizing storage capacity and prioritizing conservation treatment needs.

The project will bring conservator Ronald Harvey to the Bridgton Historical Society to assess the preservation needs of the collections at the Gibbs Avenue Museum and Archives, and produce a report that will outline steps to take to insure the future well-being of the collection.  The collection includes photographs, personal, business, and town records and other documents, as well as transportation vehicles, household artifacts, agricultural and manufacturing tools and equipment, fine arts, textiles, military artifacts, and other items used or produced in Bridgton or by Bridgton residents. It tells the story of the town's social, religious, political, industrial and commercial growth from its agrarian roots in the 1760s, through its heyday as a busy commercial and industrial center, to its growing popularity as a tourist destination, the rise and decline of the narrow gauge railroad, and the economic and demographic transformations of the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Project fields:
Cultural History; Economic History; History, General

Preservation Assistance Grants

Preservation and Access

Total amounts:
$4,000 (approved)
$4,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2017 – 6/30/2018