Item 110309 - Elizabeth Ring, Portland, ca. 1965

Item 110309 - Elizabeth Ring, Portland, ca. 1965
Contributed by Maine Historical Society
Item 110309
Elizabeth Ring, Portland, ca. 1965
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Teacher, historian, and author, Elizabeth Ring began her long service to MHS starting in 1948. She was the first woman elected to MHS's governing board. For generations, Maine Historical Society was, as Ring described it, "a good old boys club," but she worked to break barriers for women's leadership. Born in Orono, Ring was MHS's Vice President from 1954 to 1970. Prior to her election, the office had been mostly ceremonial, but Ring turned it into an active station to promote Maine history.

Ring's tenure at MHS is concurrent with her work at Portland's Deering High School as a history teacher from 1944 to 1969. She left an impression on generations of students, and took up-and-coming historians such as Earle Shettleworth, Jr., William David Barry, and Nicholas Noyes under her guidance.

Ring served as MHS's Acting Director and librarian from 1963 to 1966, when MHS hired the first full-time director. Ring professionalized MHS with staff hires, and by creating job titles. She was active politically, and led the fight for equal pay for female public school teachers.

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