AUBURN — Normand Angers doesn’t seem surprised that the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society has to find a new home after 10 years. 

He’s matter-of-fact about it.

“We just need a place to go, and as soon as possible,” Angers, president of the library, said. “Come June, we know we can’t stay here. We need a place, and we’re going to need help moving.”

The library is home to a collection of more than 3,500 genealogical books, lists of marriage licenses issued in New England and Canada, census indexes dating back to 1607 and obituaries culled from local newspapers. It’s a self-help library with 175 members from California to Quebec who share an interest in tracing their ancestry.

“We have resources to let them do their own research on their family, all the way back to France,” Angers said.

The library has been located on the first floor of the Great Falls Arts Center’s west wing for the past 10 years, sharing space with dance studios and artists. 

But that wing is expected to close this year, according to plans and negotiations between the city and Community Little Theatre.

The city took over the complex, the former Edward Little High School, in 1961, when it built the replacement school at the current location.

City officials and members of the theater group board have been discussing the fate of the building since November, when the City Council voted to move all tenants out in May and knock the building down in June.

That spurred renewed talks among the theater group and the building’s 12 tenants, which includes the Community Little Theatre. Councilors eventually backed down from their plan to demolish the entire building, agreeing to let the theater group take responsibility for part of it.

Roland Miller, economic development director for the city, said he is continuing to negotiate the transfer with the theater group.

“We are at the stage now where we’re drafting memos of understanding, stating the items that need to be addressed and everyone’s responsibilities,” Miller said. “Once we have that, we can begin working on the lease.”

Miller said he expects to present something for City Council approval by mid-March.

Angers said the genealogical library hasn’t been approached by either the city or the theater group about taking space in the eastern wing. They wouldn’t be inclined to take it, anyway.

“No matter what, if we move over there we’d have to be on the second floor, up a flight of stairs,” Angers said. “Most of our members are aged, and they can’t climb stairs like that.”

That means finding a new home in the Twin Cities.

According to the bequeath of Father Leo Begin, the society must be located in the Lewiston-Auburn area. Begin was the curate at St. Peter and Paul’s parish in Lewiston beginning in 1948 and an avid genealogical researcher. When he died in 1980, his family donated his collection to start a Maine chapter of the American-Canadian Genealogical Society. The chapter went independent in 1981, becoming the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society.

Angers said the library used to be located on outer Lisbon Street, before moving to Auburn in 2001.

“It’s been a good place for us,” he said. “I just wish they would have kept the building up. They wouldn’t be in this place if they just did a little work each year. But I don’t think they’ve done a darn thing to this building since the high school moved out.”

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