Since 1931, the Mount Desert Island Historical Society has collected materials related to the histories of Mount Desert Island.

Collections Overview

Our collections document all aspects of the social, economic, political, and cultural history of Mount Desert Island and the surrounding region. Highlights of the collection include:

  • Champlain Society Logs, Journals and Photographs
  • The Eugene Merchant Collections (objects related to daily life)
  • The Robert Patterson Collection (architectural drawings and papers)
  • The Fred L. Savage Collection (architectural drawings and papers)
  • The LaRue Spiker Collection (papers, photographs, and negatives)
  • The Alfred Vigue Collection (Civilian Conservation Corps. Negatives)

The current collections includes:

  • Material (approximately 6,000 letters, papers, manuscripts, newspaper articles, pamphlets, maps and nautical charts, architectural drawings, oral histories, and ephemeral material)
  • Photographs (approximately 7,000 prints, slides, negatives, cabinet cards, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, and albums)
  • Books (902)
  • Objects (over 1,400 chairs, tables, textiles, cradles, musical instruments, nautical objects, signs, paintings, tools, and other human-made objects).

Have questions about our collections or want to come view certain collections? Please contact us.


Mount Desert Island Historical Society records are in PastPerfect – collections management software approved by the American Association of State and Local History (AASLH) – and fully keyword searchable by researchers. The database holds records of our museum objects, photographs, books, and archival materials.

Click here to search our catalog (you can search online by keyword, content type, and more)

Historical Resources

The Historical Resources (see the menu on this page) will direct you to additional material on the histories of Mount Desert Island held by the Mount Desert Island Historical Society. and other institutions and organizations, many available digitally.

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