Franco-American Collection

Mémère's Notebook: Lost Acadian Music

Event Date and Time: 
Thursday, August 15, 2013, 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
USM LAC Room 285
Contact Name: 
James Myall
Contact Phone: 
Contact Email:

The Franco-American Collection is hosting acclaimed musician Robert Sylvain, of the Acadian group Boreal Tordu, for a musical lecture on Thursday August 15 at 2:00 pm in room 285 at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College.

Sylvain will be speaking about the research project he conducted to explore the songs left to him by his grandmother, Elisa Thibodeau.  For decades after Thibodeau’s death, the notebook remained forgotten, until Sylvain and a cousin, fiddler Steve Muise, started to look for melodies to accompany the lyrics. 

The August 15th program will explore some of these recovered songs from his mémère’s notebook and the process Sylvain went through to resurrect them.  In the course of the project, he worked at the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and interviewed family members.  Many of the songs Sylvain researched were on the verge of extinction.

This is a great example of the way history and culture can come together.  At the Collection we like to make the link between the past and present, and demonstrate that the Franco-American culture in Maine isn’t just a historical phenomenon, but very much alive.  Most of us have songs we only half remember from our childhoods and Robert’s project shows us that it’s possible to keep old music alive and relevant today.

The program is free and open to everyone but donation are welcomed.  No reservations are needed.  Light refreshments will be served.  

Winter/Spring Open Hours


We have new Tuesday evening hours!  Through the end of May, the Collection will be open on Tuesdays until 7:30 pm.  It will usually be closed between 4 and 5 on Tuesdays.

The Collection is generally open Monday-Thursday, from 10am - 4pm, although it will sometimes be closed to accommodate the Coordinator's schedule, especially in the mornings.  Call (753-6545) or e-mail ( before visiting if you wish to confirm that it will be open.

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