Mainebiz, WABI report Old Town firm donates early aerial photos to Fogler

Mainebiz and WABI (Channel 5) reported Old Town-based James W. Sewall Co. has donated more than 3,000 rolls of film containing about 1 million aerial images to the Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine. The collection contains original aerial photography of Maine and New England captured by Sewall over a span of 65 years. “These photos will provide a lot of interdisciplinary research opportunities for faculty, staff, students and patrons across the region,” Brad Beauregard, public relations manager at Fogler Library, told WABI. The photos in this archive could be useful for studying land use and management, forest resources, climate change and other topics, Beauregard said. The archive “presents an incredibly exciting opportunity for faculty, staff and students to work with a truly unique resource,” said Daniel Hayes, assistant professor in the School of Forest Resources at UMaine. “Maine’s forest has been in constant flux over the course of history, including the changing composition of tree species, insect outbreaks, land use change, shifting management practices, and climate change. The [archive] represents an unprecedented record of the continuing evolution of Maine’s forest landscape. According to Anne Knowles, a professor of history at UMaine, the photos provide data about the growth and decline of Maine’s pulp and paper industry, urban development, transportation, forestry practices, tourism, the impact of the ash borer and other environmental issues. The archive will be managed by Special Collections at Fogler, and will be available to the public by late 2020, the reports state. The Portland Press Herald, Bangor Daily News and The Sacramento Bee carried the Associated Press story and the Penobscot Times ran the University of Maine release.