TEMPLE – The Temple Historical Society has recently received $514 to preserve and provide better access to its historical collections. The grant was provided by the Maine Historical Records Advisory Board with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

As many have noted, the “creative economy” is an important factor in the state’s economic growth. With studies showing that cultural resources are important in decisions to locate businesses or to choose a community in which to retire, the grants sustain the basic infrastructure of this sector of the economy.

“They support community efforts to protect the stories of our birth, property rights, government and how we lived our lives,” said Jim Henderson, Maine State Archives director.

He said, “People need to document their birth or naturalization to obtain a passport or to get medical care; others research their property boundaries; some seek long-lost relatives or to understand the history of the old saw mill down the road. Without these precious records, most questions like this would remain unanswered.”

A recent report to the Maine Legislature demonstrated that many of Maine’s historical collections are in danger of being lost to mold, fire, theft or misuse. Maine has an estimated 200 million historical records, many in facilities with little or no security, fire protection or environmental controls. Recent surveys have shown that Maine people in local government, historical societies and libraries are seeking help to preserve the heritage.

The Historical Collections Grant Program has been a joint project of the Maine State Museum and the Maine State Archives, a bureau within the Department of the Secretary of the State. Recent state budget cuts have ended grants for museum objects and reduced amounts available for historical records.

For information about the Historical Collections Grant Program, call Janet Roberts at 297-5791.

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