Talk of the Towns 8/9/13

Producer/Host: Ron Beard
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Program Topic: Maine as Muse for historians

Key Discussion Points:
a) Each guest provides brief background on themselves and what led to their interest in writing about Maine, using historical lenses…
b)Each guest offers a short reading from their own published work, a page or a passage that you are proud of, that invites readers to share your passion for Maine and history
c)What, for you, is so compelling about Maine’s story? How is Maine your muse as a historian?
d)What is your research like… how do you go about it?
e)A recent historical biographer spoke of sources of primary historical data, among them, the public record (official documents), newspaper accounts, and personal archives (letters, diaries, journals) … how have you used these kinds of sources… what surprises have you uncovered?
f)What successful techniques have you found to engage readers in the lives and events of the past? Where are the lines between history and historical fiction… are the lives of real people as compelling as fictional characters?
g)If listeners are interested in Maine history, who else should they be reading… who are your “go to” historians where Maine is concerned?
h)All history is not “formal”… we see interest on the part of local historical groups and others to collect “oral histories” … what do you see in this trend?
i)What other trends do you see ahead (digital archives, family history/geneology…?)

A) Tim Garrity, Executive Director, Mount Desert Island Historical Society
B) Nancy Alexander, Isleboro, UM doctoral thesis “’Keeping House’”: the Hidden Economy of Maine Coastal Women 1850-1900”.