The Maine Historical Society, in partnership with arts-related organizations throughout the State, will develop the Maine Memory Network (MMN), a statewide digital museum and educational service. The MMN has been designed to make rare and often inaccessible materials the rich treasury of Maine's historical documents, images, maps, photographs and stories available to the public. The Society will create a partnership network through outreach and education to 200 small museums and historical societies across the States. In addition, the Society plans to expand the Maine Memory database to 50,000 records, by uploading important collections, and by expanding MHS catalogued contributions. An extensive effort will be undertaken to encourage use of the MMN by schools. The system allows teachers and others to create their own albums, in which groups of images can be saved, arranged, annotated with text, sound and video and used to create multimedia presentations, such as slide shows or documentaries. To encourage participation in the MMN by small museums and historical societies, all images will be watermarked to help prevent copyright violations. An e-commerce feature will allow participants to sell images and products through the network.
The Maine Memory Network presents a way to remove the geographic isolation of the State's cultural institutions and draw its history together in one widely accessible place. With MMN, anyone can access important cultural documents and the maximum number of citizens can be involved in the process of appreciating and interpreting the state's history. The statewide interactive participation at the institution level has been made possible by careful, thoughtful efforts to develop a system that allows organizations to input high resolution documents from their own locations and streamlines the cataloguing of data. The MMN's success at achieving statewide support will be a model that can be replicated in states across the nation. As a result, treasures currently housed in remote, rural locations can be viewed and considered along with those in our nation's cultural centers.
The Maine Memory Network has been established through the cooperative efforts of the Maine Cultural Affairs Council, including the Maine Arts Commission, Maine Historical Society, Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Maine Humanities Council, Maine State Archives, Maine State Library, and Maine State Museum, as well as representatives from thirteen other key organizations and businesses.