We are in the process of digitizing our archives collection. Follow this link to see our Digital Archives collection.

Main Street in Northeast Harbor, ca. 1917.

The archives collection includes:

  • Architectural drawings (Fred Savage, Charles K. Savage, Robert W. Patterson, Putnam, Griswold, Wylde & Ames, Little & Browne, Joseph H. Curtis, George Savage, George P. Carver, H. Richards, J. E. Clark, Maurice H. Burr, A. W. Longfellow, Alonzo J. Harriman, Roc Caivano)
  • Deposit collections
    • The Records of the Town of Mount Desert: There is a large collection of town records in the archive room. We do not own the records, but they are open to research via the Archivist or Library Director.
    • The Garden Club of Mount Desert: The records for the Garden Club of Mount Desert are housed in the archive room. They are open to research via the Garden Club archivist.
    • The Great Harbor Maritime Museum: There is one deposit item, a business ledger placed here by the Great Harbor Maritime Museum to be used in tandem with one owned by the library.
  • Genealogical Records (see Suminsby Genealogical Records)
  • Maps and Nautical Charts (see HelenClay Chace Collection and Samuel Eliot Morison Collection)
  • Newspapers and clippings
  • Personal papers and manuscripts
  • Photographs
  • Publications
  • Special collection books
  • Town records (The library is the official repository for the municipal records for the town of Mount Desert. To view a list of currently held municipal records, click NEH Town Records at NEHL)

Archives Policy

View our policy: NEHL Archives Policy 2017



Reference services are available by appointment only. Call 207 276 3333, email, or click the button below to schedule an appointment.

Reproduction of Archival Material

Photocopies and scans of materials legal-size and smaller can be made for research, study, and scholarship purposes. Photocopies will be made at current cost and scans are free. For digital copies of materials too large for our in-house technology, the Archivist can provide recommendations after consultation with the Director. Cost of travel for the Archivist or Library Director will be added to the reproduction cost.

The library only holds the ownership rights to materials, not necessarily the copyright. To determine the copyright status see It is the user’s responsibility to obtain the copyright holder’s permission before using the material for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research.

Finding Aids

Geology of Mount Desert Island: Collection of articles and pamphlets about geology on Mount Desert Island complied by Vernon Gray in 1976.

Gerrish Collection (Fred Savage Architectural Drawings) Finding Aid: This collection of Fred L. Savage (1861-1924) architectural drawings includes both realized and unrealized projects. It contains primary source material for Savage’s work representing some of the most pre-eminent architecture on Mount Desert Island. Some of these buildings have burned down or been renovated and remodeled. These plans are a vital piece in understanding what Northeast Harbor looked like when it was first settled. There are plans from other architects in this collection what came from Savage’s office. Many of the materials are undated. This collection includes tracing papers, blueprints, linens and paper plans, as well as some building specifications.

GXS Collection Finding Aid: This collection is an assortment of ephemera relating to coastal Maine, Maine history, and inns, motels, hotels and homes on Mount Desert Island and Hancock County. The collection is divided into 7 series: Books and Souvenir Booklets, Maps and Blueprints, Acadia National Park, Hotels/Inns/Schools/Homes/Buildings, Ephemera, Photos and Postcards.

HelenClay Chace Collection: The HelenClay Chace Collection is a group of nautical charts kept by Minturn (Mike) V. Chase from three different sailing trips organized by David Rockefeller, Jr., as well as charts from the Maine coast and Canada. In addition to the charts, there is a narrative written by Minturn (Mike) V. Chace chronicling one of the Rockefeller sailing trips through the Gulf of Alaska in 1991. Mike Chace, a Harvard classmate of David Rockefeller, Jr., participated in three trips: Gulf of Alaska in 1991, Hebrides, Scotland in 2001, and Sardinia, Italy in 2006. Mr. Rockefeller would charter several boats for about 6 weeks at a time. He’d lease the boats on a weekly basis to friends, like Mr. Chace. Those friends would skipper the boats and invite along additional friends as crew. This collection was graciously donated by HelenClay Chace in August of 2013. The materials belonged to her late husband, Mintun (Mike) V. Chace.

Roc Caivano Collection Finding Aid: This collection consists of a selection of Roc Caivano’s architectural work from 1976-2011. The collection is predominantly projects done on Mount Desert Island and Maine, but includes some projects from Arkansas, New Hampshire, and Pennsylvania.The collection includes tracing papers, blueprints, diazo prints, paper vellum, mylar and paper plans, as well as some building specifications and photographs.

Samuel Eliot Morison Collection: Collection includes manuscripts, typescripts, newspaper clippings, photocopies, letters, and pamphlets written by or about Samuel Eliot Morison.

Suminsby Genealogical Records: Collection of genealogical records accumulated by Robert E. Suminsby and housed in two four­-drawer file cabinets.

Willie Granston Collection Finding Aid: Collection of architectural drawings and plans from local Northeast Harbor collector, Willie Granston.

Woman’s Literary Club Collection: Belle Smallidge Knowles and Stella P. Hill, two college-educated women living in Northeast Harbor in the early 20th century, thought the community could benefit from a woman’s club. The Woman’s Literary Club of Northeast Harbor held its first meeting in 1908 and quickly gained membership. Club members actively wrote papers (many award-winning) ranging from poetry to local family histories and biographies of famous artists. Members also participated in community improvement projects, and attended state and national women’s club meetings. The club disbanded in 2000 due to dwindling membership. This collection includes manuscripts, typescripts, letters, annual meeting notes, scrapbooks, news clippings, photographs, meeting programs, photographs, and some objects.

Maine Memory Network Project

Mount Desert Island: shaped by nature is a website about the history Mount Desert Island created by community members.

The history of Mount Desert Island, as seen through the lens of the Maine Memory Network, has been a work in progress since 2006, when a first group of high school students, historical organizations, and individuals undertook a pilot project to create an online version of Mount Desert Island’s history. You can visit the pilot project here.

In 2012 and 2013, this project was revived by new participants, who created historical interpretations of topics based on material that is now presented on Maine Memory Network.

Thanks to the following organizations: Northeast Harbor Library, College of the Atlantic, Mount Desert Island Historical Society, Abbe Museum; Maine Historical Society, Mount Desert Island High School, Acadia National Park, Great Harbor Maritime Museum, Maine Sea Grant, and many others.

Additional Resources

Maine Historical Society, Portland

Maine State Archives, Augusta

Mount Desert Island Historical Society, Mount Desert

Newspaper Archive, Friends of Island History Newspaper Archive