PERU — The Friends of Peru Elementary School will host a “scanning party” for River Valley historical societies at 9 a.m. Wednesday, May 21, at the old school, Chairman Nick Waugh said.

The purpose is to electronically scan old photographs, letters and artifacts for addition to the database of the Maine Memory Network. The project is to “help communities and schools learn about, celebrate and share their local history,” according to the network’s website.

As of Wednesday, societies in Dixfield, Peru and Mexico had signed up to participate, Waugh said. He had yet to hear from those in Rumford and Byron.

Waugh said students from Dan Hodge’s local history class at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford will team up with the societies and “one very enthusiastic middle school student” from T.W. Kelly Dirigo Middle School in Dixfield.

Society members and students will scan or photograph whatever the societies bring, he said. There are no limitations on what types of photographs can be scanned.

“In that sense, I think that they will have themes of their own that they want to pursue,” Waugh said, “but for this occasion, we have no over-arching theme that the societies are going to follow.”

The first “scanning party” was held in December 2012 with historical societies from Byron, Buckfield, Rumford, Mexico, Peru and Dixfield teaming up with a social studies class from Dirigo High School in Dixfield and students from Holy Savior School in Rumford.

People may view the photos, letters and other artifacts online at

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