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Research and Exhibits

The Maine Folklife Center has a four part mission: collection, preservation, study, and dissemination of the folklore and folklife of New England and the Maritime Provinces of Canada, with Maine as the nexus of that region.  Research (collection and study) and the exhibits (one form of dissemination) is therefor at the core of what we do.


Collection takes place in classes and through the work of Center staff and other trained researchers support.  The Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History is in charge of preserving the collection.  Below are some of of the research projects that the Center is working on or has carried out.

From September 2013 through August 2016, a major focus of our research will be on the Penobscot Language Dictionary.  

The Life and Songs of Larry Gorman

Civilian Conservation Corps in Acadia National Park

Foodways: Cooking Bean-hole beans at the Common Ground Fair

Instrument Makers

Maine Boatbuilding Traditions

Veteran’s Oral History

Eastern Fine Paper Co.



Along with publications and community engagements (like the American Folk Festival and the Song and Story Sampler), exhibits are how the Center gives the research we collect back to the community.

Digital Exhibits

Traveling Exhibits


Maine Song and Story Sampler

The Maine Song and Story Sampler is a fun and interactive resource about many of the songs and stories from our collection.  The interactive map includes about fifty areas of Maine, creating a representative sample of geographical and cultural songs and traditions.  In addition, the Maine Folklife Center compiled four regional Song and Story Samplers for the state of Maine.

The Curriculum Connections Series is a closely related project that branches out from The Maine Song and Story Sampler. The program was created by Bangor High School teacher Geoff Wingard based on the Maine Song and Story web site for K-12 teachers. He helped to make the material more accessible to educators as a online resource to teach their students.  It offers guidance and suggestions for teachers in twelve sample lessons that adhere to the Maine Department of Education endorsed Maine Learning Results.

Also, check out our special updates relating to the project!


* You can also browse through our collection using the search feature at the bottom of the right hand menu.