New Stuff, Resources

New edition of the Franco American literary/arts journal “Résonance” now available online

Marie-Joseph Academy students on a postcard titled "Atelier de peinture - Art Room, Biddeford Pool, Maine"
Art students at Marie-Joseph Academy, Biddeford Pool, circa 1950 (Carr.0153)

The wonderful new-ish journal Résonance, a publication made possible by the Franco American Programs of the University of Maine, has published it’s second volume. It is freely available online thanks to the University, and is full of prose, poetry, reviews and more.

View/download Résonance, Vol. 2 (2020)

To learn more about Résonance you can access the full journal website at the following URL –

Ponderings, Resources

Where have all the Francos gone?

I wanted to call attention to the following article, because it so beautifully articulates much of my own experience and I suppose that of many others as well. I excerpt the first paragraph to draw you in, and it will – I promise. Then click on the link to read the rest at the wonderful site where it lives. Be sure to read on at the end, the numerous comments are just as instructive.

Play cast in production of "Tonkourou", Biddeford, 1910.
Play cast in production of “Tonkourou”, Biddeford, 1910.

From the Blog French North America: Québécois(e), Franco-American, Acadian, and more
by David Vermette

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Why Are Franco-Americans So Invisible?

“Why are we so invisible?” I’ve heard this question wherever Franco-Americans gather, be it through my social media contacts, at conferences, or at my occasional speaking engagements. The history of Franco-Americans is all but left out of the historical accounts on both sides of the border. It couldn’t be more missing among the history of U.S. ethnic groups. And it is largely unknown in Québec.”


Events, New Stuff, Resources

Extry! Extry! New Biddeford history book hits the shelves!

A Brief History of Biddeford by Emma R. BouthilletteThe highly anticipated new local history book “A Brief History of Biddeford” by Emma R. Bouthillette has finally been released, to wide acclaim and appreciation. Ms. Bouthillette is a life-long Biddeford resident and graduate of Biddeford High School and the University of New England. She has great journalistic chops and has written for newspapers and magazines around Maine; her experience really shines through in this wonderfully readable book.

Last night McArthur Library celebrated her book release with a packed house of enthusiastic well-wishers and history buffs, so much so that we sold out of our copies! We will DEFINITELY have a large number to circulate…but there are a couple of local places where you can pick up this fabulous volume – especially if you want to give a copy to your favorite Biddeford Dad or Grad!!!

If you’re local ~ PLEEEEEEEEEEEASE BUY LOCAL!!! If you’re not…we are sorry you are away from Maine, we hope you can come see us soon, and in the meantime we give you option 3. 🙂


  1. ELEMENTS!! Go across the street to Biddy’s beloved taproom/café, get something delicious (what else is there at Elements, I mean, really…), snag your copy of the book, relax and enjoy!

  2. Nonesuch Books at Biddeford Crossing!! For those of you on the road, out and about, shopping at the shops…stop in and see the lovely Nonesuch folks and – like me – linger over which little chocolate morsel you are going to indulge in. Because you always have to get a piece of chocolate at Nonesuch. It’s the law.

  3. The Internet! For all of our Away friends, you CAN still revel in the Biddy too…the book is available through all the usual suspects, so we’re just going to give you the publisher (Arcadia Publishing-History Press) and you can go from there.


Blogroll, New Stuff, Resources Workshop – Resources and Handouts

ancestry-logoThanks to the folks who attended our workshop, last week. Despite a change of presenters, it seemed like everyone left happy and with a little more information about the use of this great research tool (and more). As promised, here are the handouts we made available at the workshop, as well as information about digitizing and sharing your own personal materials.

Comments? Questions? Feel free to email us: <>.

Top 10 Search Tips
Tips for success: Military records(1)
Tips for success: Military records(2)
Tips for success: Passenger lists
Tips for success: Religious records
Tips for success: Death records
Tips for success: Census records(1)
Tips for success: Census records(2)
Guide to researching African-American ancestors
Guide to researching American Indian ancestors
Guide to researching Canadian ancestors
Guide to researching German ancestors
Guide to researching Swedish ancestors
Guide to researching Immigrant ancestors

Internet Archive – (Community Texts and beyond!)
History Pin

Neat finds and fun stories, New Stuff, Resources

New additions to Internet Archive!

We’ve added two interesting items to the Internet Archive: our first edition of the pamphlet “Cochranism Delineated”, written by Ephraim Stinchfield in 1819, about the free love movement which swept the area during that time…

“Diary of a Voyage from New Orleans to St. Petersburg, Russia”, which is the transcription of the diary kept by a sea captain’s wife when she sailed with her husband in 1838…

You can access and download these interesting items from our Miscellaneous Collection/Small Manuscripts (MS999) in a variety of formats via Internet Archive. Enjoy!

New Stuff, Resources

Your Family Stories: Learn, Preserve, Share, Repeat.

Picture2[Part II of McArthur Library’s Family History Month 2015 series.]

An important part of preserving your family treasures is to preserve the CONTEXT of those materials. How many of us have stacks of old photographs that were handed down, yet we have no idea who the people are in the pictures?

Unless there is someone or something in the background that may clue you in, not knowing the who/what/why of the things we keep negates the keeping of them in the first place. This should be reason enough for taking the time to label your images/files/other materials that don’t obviously tell you why they matter or who they are about.

New York Public Library’s Carmen Nigro gives us “Twenty Reasons Why You Should Write Your Family History

The resurgence in popularity of scrapbooking has had the great effect in that folks are not only labeling their images, they take the time to write a little blurb about them too, preserving the story that they want to tell about themselves and their loved ones. There are many ways today, via the Web, to connect with people to solve the mysteries of your family history. The use of social media allows us to interact with and share with friends and family anywhere in the world, and is a great way to figure out who that guy is in the picture with Great Aunt Edna from the 1978 family reunion. Numerous genealogy sites allow you to view the work of and connect with people whose family tree intersects with your own.



New Stuff, Resources

Caring For Your Family Treasures

Picture2[Part I of McArthur Library’s Family History Month 2015 series.]

Today, caring for your family treasures means more than just keeping those old photos dust-free and wrapping grand-memere’s wedding veil in tissue paper. Not only do we have our analog family treasures, we have digital family treasures as well.

How about all those CD’s of digital photos in the back of your desk drawer? Or have you ever even made back-ups? Do you even have film negatives of your children, or are all of your photos on your computer, tablet or smartphone?

Also, with changing weather patterns and more extreme (read: unexpectedly bad) weather, are you prepared for an emergency or disaster? We know enough to leave the “stuff” and get ourselves to safety, but after the fact, what do you do to try and save what is left?

Read on for tools and techniques to help you keep your family treasures, of whatever kind, safe for the future.