Can't Find an Image?

While the Maine Historical Society cannot digitize its entire collection for Vintage Maine Images, we are happy to mine our collections.

Less than 1% of our collections are online. As the largest private repository of Maine-related items, the Maine Historical Society has in its holdings:

  • More than 150,000 photographs
  • More than 15,000 glass plate negatives
  • More than 150,000 architectural and engineering drawings
  • More than 15,000 museum items (industrial and domestic artifacts, paintings, original works of art, clothing and textiles, Native American artifacts)
  • Manuscripts (journals; letters; personal, family, and corporate records for Maine people and organizations)
  • Maps, broadsides, posters, ephemera, newspapers
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow family related material

Visit the Maine Historical Society's library page for more information about our collections.

Search the collections database, PastPerfect Online, to browse our museum objects, photographs, autograph letters, some architectural drawings, and newspapers. This site is continuously updated.

Need help searching for images? Keyword Search gives access to items, and the keyword search bar appears on every page of our site. Type in a keyword, phrase, or item number (VMI number) and click "search." To restrict your search by date, contributing partner, or town, use our Advanced Search.

Search VMI by Keyword (for example: Ship)

Enter any word or words in the Keyword field and the search engine will return the documents that match your keyword(s). Each document has a cataloging record and a short description of the item. The search engine will search through every field (except for the local code and notes fields) to find matches to the exact keywords you search by. The text of manuscripts is not searched..

Search VMI by Item Number (for example: 15116)

Enter an item number in the Keyword field and the search engine will return the item you are looking for. Each item on Vintage Maine Images has a unique identification number. This feature is great for revisiting a familiar item or locating a item on the suggestion of a colleague or friend. For more search tips, go to the Find Images page and click "Search Tips" underneath the search box.

Did you see an image on Maine Memory Network that is not on Vintage Maine Images?

The Maine Memory Network (MMN) is a statewide digital museum, archive, and educational resource. Images from MMN that are available for sale can be found on this website (VMI). Not all images are available for sale. The most common reasons for this are:

  • Size. The scan is too small to be reproduced at our print sizes.
  • Permission. Some Contributing Partners do not wish for their images to be reproduced. When this is the case, we encourage you to contact the contributor directly for a reproduction or permission to use their image in your project. They may or may not be able to accommodate your request.
  • Copyright. Some images are held within copyright and we do not have the authority to create reproductions or release the images for use.

For help, contact the Image Services Coordinator.

Special Requests

The Image Services Coordinator is available to help you with any special requests. We can help you gain permission from a contributing partner for an image not on VMI, release publication permission for images on VMI, assist in specific image searches, make custom sized scans and prints, and more. Contact the Image Services Coordinator.

Additional Resources

PastPerfect Online - Collections Catalog

The Maine Historical Society museum catalog, PastPerfect Online, is available to the public. Image reproductions are available for most items. Contact the Image Services Coordinator with reproduction requests. Contact MHS collections staff at with any collection inquiries

Minerva - Library Catalog

Maine Historical Society Research Library collection records are entered in Minerva. While the catalog does not display images, it may help you locate collections that are relevant to your image research.

More information about the MHS Library and Research services.