Franco-American Collection


“French Connections: Franconnexions” Conference to be Available Locally

The conference highlighting the historical, cultural, and economic contributions of French Canadians from Québec to New England will be taking place in VT. It will be streamed via Facebook Live; People can stop in to see all or part of the sessions.

Local Artist to be featured at Franco - American Collection March 17

On Friday, March 17, from 1:00–2:00 pm at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, the Franco-American Collection will present a chance to enjoy tea and a discussion with artist Mercedes Gastonguay.

Postponed: Challenges facing New Immigrants to Local Areas Panel

On Tuesday, February 14 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm, at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, the Franco-American Collection will present a discussion on some of the challenges new immigrants to this area have had to overcome. The talk will be in French.

Local Franco-American authors to be featured at Franco-American Collection

On Tuesday, November 15, at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, the Franco-American Collection will present readings of selections from “Heliotrope: French Heritage Women Create.” The talk will be at 6:00pm, with light refreshments and a chance to visit the Collection beforehand. Editor Rhea Cote Robbins and area contributors Susann Pelletier, Nanci Breau, Maureen Perry, Mary Rice-DeFosse, and Florence Rose Martin will be presenting selections from the book. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
James Myall in front of a picture of a nurse and a soldier in an infirmary.

Digitization Day to Take Place on Saturday, Oct. 22

Saturday, October 22, marks the final event in the Franco-American Collection’s program “Franco-Americans During Wartime: A Heritage of Service.” On that day, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., people can bring in wartime-related materials to be digitized. They will leave with their original materials as well as a digital copy, and have the option of depositing a digital copy at the Collection to be preserved and used for research. In addition to the digitization activities, Jeannette Gregoire will be playing piano, and there will be light refreshments and exhibits.

James Myall to Speak at Franco-American Collection on October 4

James Myall's presentation “Sous les Drapeaux: Franco-American Voices from the Front Lines” will look at various unique aspects of the service of Franco-Americans in the armed services, including divided national identities, use of the French language, and questions of patriotism and discrimination before, during and after wartime. The talk will be at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, Room 170, at 7:00pm on Tuesday, October 4, with light refreshments and a chance to tour the Collection before the talk.

Franco-American Collection to Open Season with Reception and Talk

Join the Franco-American Collection (Lewiston-Auburn College) on Tuesday, September 20, at a 5:00 reception and a 6:00 talk “In and Out of War in Franco-American Communities: Soldiers, Veterans, and Their Families.” Susan Pinette and Lisa Michaud (Franco-American Centre, University of Maine at Orono) will speak on how military service is both a disruption to ethnic identity and a means to strengthen it. They will look at Franco-American literature and at real-world examples. At the end of the evening, audience members will be welcome to join in and discuss how their wartime experiences either drew them closer to their home community or separated them from it.


Tuesday night, May 17, the Franco-American Collection, located at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College, held the kickoff for its project “Franco-Americans During Wartime: A Heritage of Service.” The Collection is focusing on the wartime experiences of Franco-Americans, whether in military service or on the homefront. At Tuesday’s talk, Mary Rice-DeFosse, Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Bates College, spoke of the experiences of several participants in WWI.

Franco-American Collection receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant

The National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded a $10,477 Common Heritage Grant to the Franco-American Collection, located at USM's Lewiston-Auburn College. The focus of the grant will be a one-day digitization event targeted at preserving cultural heritage materials related to military experiences - at war and on the home front - of members of Maine's Franco-American population, the state's largest ethnic group. The grant will also support a speaker series addressing the history of Franco-American military service. The theme of military service will help the public explore questions of identity and loyalty, which attended Maine's Franco-American population from its early days.

Roberts named to lead Franco-American Collection at USM's Lewiston-Auburn College

Janet Roberts is the new Coordinator for the Franco-American Collection at USM's Lewiston-Auburn College.