Frequently Asked Questions

For your convenience, these Frequently Asked Questions are here to help you navigate our website, products, ordering process, and more. If you don't see an answer to your question, contact us.


1-1. What products can I buy on this website?

We offer high-resolution digital files, archival photographic prints, plain paper study prints, and licensing for image use.
More: Our Products

1-2. What size, quality, and format are your digital files?

We scan original material to be approximately 40 megabytes. These files are high-resolution. We do not crop or edit original material. Files are sold in JPG format.
Beneath each image, on the image detail page, the dimensions are listed in red text as the pixels, inches, and resolution.
If you need a digital file larger than what's available on the website, contact the Image Services Coordinator to request a custom scan.
More: Digital Files

1-3. How do I receive the digital file(s) I just purchased? Can you send them on a CD?

During the checkout process, you will be asked how you want your digital image file delivered. Choose Download Only (free) or Download & CD ($10 for CD and shipping).
After you have successfully completed your online purchase, you will see a link to download the image file. The file stays in the Download Area of your account for 30 days. You can download the image as many times as you need. We do not e-mail image files. CDs are shipped within 1-2 weeks, but the digital file is available to you in the Download Area.

1-4. What size and quality prints do you offer?

We create photographic museum-quality reproduction prints at the following sizes for sale on VMI: 5" x 7", 8" x 10", and 11" x 14". For 13" x19" or 17" x 22" prints contact the Image Services Coordinator. These archival prints are produced on an Epson 3800 inkjet printer, and have a luster, or pearl, finish. These prints are mailed in a sturdy, flat envelope with a fragile notice written on it.
We also offer study prints, printed on 8.5" x 11" non-archival plain copy paper with a LaserJet printer. These prints may be folded in half and mailed in an envelope.
More: Prints

1-5. What are your prices?

We offer reproductions and services at affordable rates; revenue supports collections and local history at Maine Historical Society and for our Contributing Partners who receive half of the sale of their items. For your convenience, we have a pricing guide for prints, digital files, and licensing.

1-6. Will the watermark show up on the digital file or print that I purchase?

No, the watermark only appears in the low-resolution web images.

1-7. Can I order a digital file and a print of the same image?

Yes, you can order one digital file and as many prints as you'd like for a single image. On the image detail page, to the right, you will see two purchasing tabs: Prints and Digital Files. Click one tab, choose your product, and click Add to Cart. Then, choose the other tab, choose your product, and click Add to Cart. Review your cart before checking out to confirm your order.
More: Need Help Ordering?

1-8. Is there a limit on the number of times I print the digital file I purchased?

If you purchase a digital file for personal use, you may print the file as many times as you'd like. Your purchase agreement states that you will not use this image, in digital or print form, for any project, publication, or use other than personal use.
If you purchased a digital file for personal use, but now want to use it for a project, contact the Image Services Coordinator to request an image use license.
More: Purchase Agreement

1-9. Can I scan the print I purchased and use it for a project?

No. You may not scan your reproduction print for any purpose. If you would like a digital file, you may purchase one through this website. If your project is for your business, please purchase licensing as well.
More: License an Image

1-10. Can I request a black and white print of a color image?

No. At Maine Historical Society we make reproduction prints that resemble the original, and therefore will not change the coloring of the image. We also do not crop, enhance, remove blemishes, or otherwise alter scans of the original image. We pride ourselves on providing true-to-life copies.
More: Prints


2-1. How many images are on your site?

We currently have more than 11,000 images on VMI, and add to it daily.
More: About Our Images

2-2. Is everything in the Maine Historical Society's collections digitized and online?

No, in fact less than 1% of MHS collections are online. Contact us for help with image research.
More: Can't Find an Image?

2-3. Where do the images on this website come from?

Images on this website are scans or photographs of material from the collections of Maine Historical Society and from more than 200 Contributing Partners from Maine and elsewhere.
More: About our Images

2-4. What's the difference between Maine Memory Network and this site?

Like VMI, Maine Memory Network (MMN) is a project of Maine Historical Society. MMN is Maine's statewide digital museum, archive, and educational resource with more than 30,000 images and hundreds of online exhibits. Our Contributing Partners are an integral part of MMN, as thousands of our images come from their archives. But not everything you see on MMN is available for sale on VMI. The images that are for sale have a link beneath an image on MMN directing you to purchase a copy on this site (VMI).

2-5. I saw an image on Maine Memory Network that is not on Vintage Maine Images?

Images from Maine Memory Network that are available for sale can be found on this website (VMI). Many images are not available for sale or use, however. 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.

Shopping & Orders

3-1. Do you offer any discounts or special deals?

Yes, we are pleased to offer a 10% discount to members of Maine Historical Society. Our Contributing Partners also receive a 20% discount (must call or email us to order).
Check the homepage of this site for any announcement of a sale or deal. We often offer special holiday sales. To be notified by e-mail, sign up for the MHS e-Connection.
More: Discounts
More: Become a member of MHS

3-2. I just joined as a member of MHS, but my discount isn't showing up. What can I do?

If you signed up for membership online, through the mail, or over the phone, please note that it takes up to one week for MHS to process the membership and send you a welcome packet with your membership number. Your membership number is required to receive discounts on this website. If you are placing an order Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm you can call 207-774-1822 ext. 217 and ask if your membership number can be expedited, though this may not always be possible. We may be able to process your order manually (rather than through the website) and apply the membership discount.
More: Become a member of MHS

3-3. How do I purchase digital files? How do I purchase prints?

For your convenience, we set up a web page dedicated to helping customers navigate the checkout process. Go to the "Need Help Ordering?" page.

3-4. How long until I receive my prints or CD in the mail?

Print and CD orders take between 1 and 2 weeks for delivery. Our prints are individually created on-demand to meet the highest standards of exhibition-quality reproduction.
We ship orders Priority through USPS. Order status inquiries should be e-mailed to with your name and order number.
Rush Service is $25 but is not currently an option in the web order check out. Please contact the Image Services Coordinator to inquire about a rush job.
More: About Our Prints
More: Services & Shipping

3-5. What payment methods do you accept?

For web orders, payment must be made by a credit or debit card. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
If you need to pay by check or cash, contact the Image Services Coordinator to place an order over the phone.

3-6. Can I pick up my order at Maine Historical Society?

If you are local to the Southern Maine area and would like to pick up your reproduction order, you may do so by selecting the option for in-person pickup during the checkout process. This includes a $2 handling charge.
More: Visit Maine Historical Society

3-7. Do you ship internationally?

Unfortunately, we do not ship prints and CDs to international destinations outside of the U.S. and Canada. International customers (including in U.S. territories) who wish to purchase images may order digital files to download.

3-8. Can I return a digital file or print?

All Sales are Final. All sales are final. Neither prints nor digital files may be returned for refund or credit.
Defective merchandise is returnable and must be accompanied by a return authorization number. Please save all packaging in which your merchandise arrived in case a claim needs to be filed. If you receive defective merchandise please contact the Image Services Coordinator to receive a return authorization number and instructions for returning merchandise.

3-9. Can I order a print as a gift? Will you ship it to my recipient?

Yes, during the check out process you will be prompted with a box asking if the item is a gift. You must provide the name and shipping address of your recipient. The recipient will not be sent the receipt, but will be notified that you purchased a reproduction for them as a gift.
More: Need Help Ordering?

3-10. Is my online purchase secure?

Yes, This site uses industry-standard SSL (Secure Socket Layer) encryption to protect your information in transit from your machine to our servers. Look for the secure icon on the status bar of your browser during checkout. Credit Card processing and protection are provided by
Payment Processing
More: Security and Privacy Policy

Licensing & Image Use

4-1. Why might I need to license an image?

If you intend to use an image for any non-personal (i.e., prints for display in your home), you are required to license the image. Licensing an image gives you permission from the rights-owner to use the image in a specific project (e.g., for publication, exhibit use, broadcast or film). If you are unsure whether or not you need to license an image, contact the Image Services Coordinator.
More: License an Image

4-2. How do I purchase licensing?

For your convenience, we set up a web page dedicated to helping customers navigate the checkout process. Go to the "Need Help Ordering?" page.

4-3. How much does it cost to license an image?

A Use Fee refers to the cost to license the image and is added to the cost of digital file. Use Fees are based upon distribution, not by publication type.
  • $50 for non-profit use ($25 for digital image + $25 use fee)
  • $50 for Maine distribution ($25 for digital image + $25 use fee)
  • $125 for regional distribution ($25 for digital image + $100 use fee)
  • $175 for national distribution ($25 for digital image + $150 use fee)
  • $275 for international distribution ($25 for digital image + $250 use fee)

4-4. Do you offer licensing discounts for non-profit organizations?

Yes, non-profit organizations are offered a flat rate of $25 for licensing regardless of their distribution.
More: Licensing Images for Commercial and Non-Profit Use

4-5. Do you offer free or reduced rates for educational use?

You may use low-resolution watermarked image for educational uses from our website, free of charge. Right-click on the image and save it to your computer. You may not crop the watermark. Please credit the image to Maine Memory Network or Vintage Maine Images.
If you require a high-resolution image file without a watermark you must purchase it. Projects such as dissertations, educational textbooks, academic journal articles, are all subject to fees.
More: Using Images in Schools
More: Maine Memory Network's Digital Classroom

4-6. Do I have to buy licensing if I want to post an image on my blog or another social media site?

If you see an image you would like to share on Facebook or Twitter, you can use the social media icons located beneath each image. This way of sharing automatically credits our website. If you are interested in posting one of our images in a blog or website, please contact the Image Services Coordinator.

4-7. What are your licensing agreements?

It's important for our customers to understand the parameters of licensing and permission. View and download the Licensing and Use Policy.