LEWISTON – Those interested in learning about local Franco-American history may want to consider a course USM Lewiston-Auburn is offering this spring. “Franco-American Archival and Community Work” (HUM 360) consists of directed study and work in the Franco-American Collection at USM/L-A.

The largest repository of Franco-American materials in Maine, the collection is home to a wide variety of letters, diaries, oral histories, scrapbooks, maps, audio-recordings, photographs, dissertations and theses, books and academic papers from the Androscoggin Valley, other parts of Maine, the Northeast and from around North America.

The course concentrates on local history and the development of original research to add to the collection’s archives, through readings, oral/video interviews, collection of photographs and memorabilia documenting Franco-Americans’ contributions to Maine history.

The instructor will be Donat Boisvert, coordinator of the Franco-American Collection.

The course is part of the French North American studies concentration offered through the baccalaureate program in arts and humanities at USM/L-A.

The concentration, designed to develop an appreciation for the diversity of French society on the continent, builds on three central courses: French North America, a survey of the diversity of French society from Maine to Haiti and Capes to the Yukon; French settlement in the Northeast, which examines the dynamics of French settlement in this part of the country; and cultural fieldwork, which examines the methods that can be used to view, analyze and present culture and society.

Individual research is emphasized in the courses, such as investigating Lewiston-Auburn’s heritage and the forgotten French communities in other parts of the state.

The three-credit course will meet from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Mondays, beginning Jan. 22. Registration is open through the first week of classes. Anyone interested should call the university at 753-6500 for registration information.

Boisvert may be reached at [email protected] or at 753-6545. For more information about the Franco-American collection, visit the Web site at usm.maine.edu/lac/franco.

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