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The Portland Room of the Portland Public Library

The Portland Room on the 2nd level of the Portland Public Library’s main branch at 5 Monument Square in Portland, Maine, holds the Library’s Special Collections and Archives. The room is a wonderful resource for those interested in the development of agriculture and early records of farm life in Maine.  While the collection is not dedicated to agriculture, it is filled with materials that relate to farming and gardening, including Annual Reports of the Secretary of Maine Board of Agriculture from the 19th century, Reports by the Commissioner of Agriculture of the State of Maine from the 20th century, and agricultural dictionaries from the early 1800s. The Portland Room also offers the Maine News Index and Jordan Index of Maine newspaper abstracts dating back to the 1780s.

The Portland Public Library provides the public free and open access to its physical and electronic collections., as well as its services. Portland Room staff are available for research assistance at (207) 871-1700 x747 or

Abraham A. Schechter, Special Collections Librarian & Archivist Portland Public Library, maintains the Portland Room ensuring the collection will be available for future generations. 

The following two images are from Schechter’s current project processing Portland Press Herald negatives, which will become the Portland Press Herald Still-Film Negative Collection. A milkman at the corner of Newbury Street and Hampshire Street in 1948, and Munjoy Hill 1893, look closely and you’ll see there are cows are on the lower right corner.

The Portland Room’s collection even has a copy of Oakhurst Dairy: The Natural Goodness of Maine by Alice Hellstrom Anderson! 

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