The collections are listed below. For more information on the African American Collection of Maine, click here.
African American Maine Photograph Album
Wooden photograph album and three packets of loose photographs, of African American women presumably on vacation in Maine. Many locations are identifiable as being along the Mid-coast. The album was purchased from a dealer in Virginia. 1940s and 50s 0.5 ft.
Page from African American Maine Photograph Album.
African American Oral History Collection The Center for the Study of Lives at USM celebrates individual lives and strengthens community bonds by bringing people of all generations and cultures together to share life stories. While serving as a meeting ground for all people interested in learning from each other's stories, the Center records, preserves, and disseminates the life stories of people of all ages and backgrounds. Through its work, the Center provides a rich repository for those interested in understanding communities through autobiography, oral history, and personal reflection. The Collection consists of 3 audiotapes holding oral history interviews conducted by the Center with Leola Marshall and Gerald E. Talbot, plus release forms and indexes for each interview 1996 (recorded) 0.1 ft.
African American stereotype postcard
Painting of 4 little black boys, nude, on a shore beside a body of water with cattails. Outside the image, in the bottom left corner of the card, "69. Alligator Bait." Mailed from Spartanburg, SC to Westbrook, ME, postmarked 1918 Apr 5. 1918 0.1 ft.
Anchor of the Soul Collection
Shoshana Hoose and Karine Odlin created Anchor of the Soul, a video documenting the history of Maine's African American community which was produced by the Abyssinian Church in Portland. The creators donated the materials to the African American Collection of Maine in 1996 and 2001. The Collection contains materials used in the production of the video and accompanying exhibition. ca. 1991-1992 7 ft.
Robert Bailey Poster
Robert Bailey, born in England and now living in Canada, is an Artist Fellow with the American Society of Aviation Artists and a member of the Canadian Aviation Artists Association. Framed print, signed by 13 of the Tuskegee Airmen, of Robert Bailey's painting "Red Tail Pass." One of the signatures is the donor's, James A. Sheppard, a Maine resident and Tuskegee Airman. 2003 3 ft.
Cummings Guest House Register AA MS 5
The Cummings family of Old Orchard Beach, Maine, ran a guest house from 1923 until 1993. Register in which guests signed themselves in or were signed in by staff at the Cummings Guest House, 110 Portland Ave., Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Includes signatures of family members who attended reunions after the Guest House ceased operation. 1923-1998 1 ft.
Eastern Real Estate Company Archives AA MS 4
The Eastern Real Estate Company was an association of African-Americans who bought and sold real estate in the Portland area from 1912-2001. The records in the Archives include articles of association, minutes, financial records, stock records, listings of stockholders, tax records, bank books and legal documents. 1912-2001 1 ft.
Flynn Seal Press
Stephen Flynn discovered these two seal presses on Higgins Beach in Scarborough, Maine, in 1978. They were found in the remains of the Silver Sands Hotel, which had to be destroyed after damage caused by a storm. 2 seal presses from the women's Ku Klux Klan organization of Augusta and Bath, Maine. undated 1 ft.
Lee Forest Figurines
Lee Forest is Director of Environmental Services at the University of Southern Maine. The figurines were donated in 2002. The figurines are household notions in the shapes of Aunt Jemima and an African American male. ca. 1930s-1950s 3 ft.
Home Is Where I Make It - Oral History Collection AA MS 6
This oral history project was directed by Dr. Maureen Elgersman Lee, of USM, and Rachel Talbot Ross. The interviews were conducted by local high school students. The Collection includes transcripts, photographs and audiotapes from the two phases of the project, which documented African American life in the Greater Portland and Lewiston-Auburn areas. 2001-2003 1 ft.
Eugene Jackson Papers
Eugene B. Jackson, born in Portland, Maine, was a Tuskegee Airman. The Papers include Bibles, Books of Common Prayer, devotional books, family photographs, family papers, periodical articles, and Ruby Family notes. 1880-2006, undated 2 ft.
Ku Klux Klan Photograph
This collection consists of a photograph of a Ku Klux Klan march in Lincoln, Maine, supposedly in 1927, and a typescript entitled "An Effort to Reveal History: The African-American Experience in Rural New England: 1780-1850." 0.25 ft.
16x12 framed daguerrotype of the Maxfields, an African American family. Donor purchased at a flea market. 1 ft.
N. T. Swezey's Son & Co. Tin Sign
N. T. (Noah Terry) Swezey (1814-1888) was a flour merchant in New York City. He ran a successful business for over forty years at 176 South St., and was one of the founders of the New York Produce Exchange. This is a metal reproduction of a sign used by the company, advertising Northwest Consolidated Milling Company flour, which used an African American stereotype image. ca. 1980s 1 ft.
George Neavoll Collection
George Neavoll was a long-time Portland resident and friend of Gerald E. Talbot. The Collection contains items representing “three important periods in the liberation struggle” (his words) for African Americans and Africans, consisting of souvenir cup from W.E.B. Dubois's home in Accra, Ghana; photocopies of newspaper articles from the Topeka Capital Journal (KS) series on Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (April 18-25, 1993) and subsequent court action (June 22, 1993); Nelson Mandela poster; 2003 Ebony calendar - Great Black Americans. 2 ft.
Harold E. Richardson Papers AA MS 3
Harold E. Richardson (1922-1993) was born in Portland and attended West School and Portland High School. Richardson’s election to the Portland Water District Board in 1963 made him the first African American elected to public office in Maine. He served on the Board until at least 1987, including a stint as president in the late 60s. He was very active in the Portland community: his contributions include service on the Maine State Law Enforcement Planning and Assistance Agency and membership in the Mt. Lebanon Masonic Lodge and Deering Lions Club, among many others. The Papers contain his scrapbook, documenting his many contributions to the Portland community, including serving on the Portland Water District Board, photographs, and a 1949 certificate of membership in the Mt. Lebanon Masonic Lodge. ca. 1931-1991 2.25 ft.
Gerald E. Talbot Collection AA MS 1
Gerald E. Talbot was the first African American to be elected to the Maine State Legislature. He served in the Maine House of Representatives from 1972 to 1978, and worked with the Maine chapter of the NAACP and the State Board of Education. He also took part in the struggle for civil rights in other parts of the country, as well as in Maine. The Collection includes Talbot’s personal papers, records of his term in the Maine House of Representatives, of his work with the NAACP in Maine and with the State Board of Education. The Collection contains books, serials, posters, artifacts, and photographs documenting African Americans in the United States, with an emphasis on Maine. ca. 1800s-1990s 170 ft.
Visible Black History Archives
Visible Black History is a partnership of H. H. Price and Gerald E. Talbot to make accessible the history of African Americans in Maine through publications and presentations. The Archives contains research materials and published writings on African Americans in Maine and New England. 1996-2006 4 ft.
Frederick D. Williams Papers
Frederick D. Williams, an attorney and long-time Maine resident, was a Tuskegee Airman during WW II, recalled to serve during the Korean War. He was the first African American to join the Maine Bar, in 1969. He served as President of the Cumberland County Bar Association in 1988-89, along with extensive involvement in local and state civic affairs. The Papers contain books, undated clippings and a photograph dealing with Williams’s legal career; 3 vinyl records produced by the U.S. Dept. of Education on the Negro in the U.S.; and a 1971 letter from Maine Governor Kenneth M. Curtis congratulating him on his election to Selectman of Windham. 1 ft.
Gary Woolson Collection
Gary Woolson is a bookseller in Newburgh, Maine, near Bangor. The Collection consists of two issues of The Oracle (1903, 1939), a monthly student publication of Bangor (Maine) High School. 1903, 1939 0.25 ft.