Maine Historical Society

489 Congress Street, Portland , ME 04101 - United States



A growing museum, incomparable library and statewide educational resource, Maine Historical Society is located in the heart of Portland’s downtown cultural district. Founded in 1822, the Maine Historical Society is the third oldest state historical society in the United States. The Maine Historical Society strives to serve the entire state through its education and outreach programs and through the digital museum, the Maine Memory Network.

The Maine Historical Society Museum features changing exhibitions and programs spanning more than five centuries of Maine life. Original and provocative exhibitions feature art, artifacts and documents that vividly bring Maine history to life. Politics, culture, sports, religion, art and business all find expression through the Society’s extraordinary collections.


The Maine Historical Society Museum Galleries will be open at no charge for Museum Day, Saturday, September 21, 2019. The Museum Galleries feature changing exhibitions spanning more than 12 centuries of Maine life. Drawing from the extensive collections of the Maine Historical Society, original exhibits feature art, artifacts, stories, and documents that vividly bring Maine history to life.

MHS' exhibit "Holding Up the Sky: Wabanaki People, Culture, History & Art" explores Wabanaki philosophies of leadership and obligation relating to humans and non-humans over 13,000 years in what is now known as Maine. Wabanaki voices contextualize present-day relevance of 400 years of shared histories between Wabanaki people and immigrants to their region through 17th century colonial treaties, photographs, and contemporary artworks—everything from ash baskets to haute couture fashion. MHS' pop-up exhibition, "Recreating Hygee" highlights specific examples of how Danish, Norwegian and Swedish families created comfortable homes and content lives, or "hygge" in Maine. Scandinavian-American communities flourished in Maine during the 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of increased immigration to the United States from Europe.

Please note that the Museum Day ticket will be accepted for general admission to the MHS Museum Galleries only; the offer does not include services provided by the MHS Research Library, nor does it include the Wadsworth-Longfellow House which is a special exhibit that requires a separate and timed entry ticket purchase.

All exhibitions are located at 489 Congress Street in Portland.


Participation in Museum Day is open to any tax-exempt or governmental museum or cultural venue on a voluntary basis. Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for and does not endorse the content of the participating museums and cultural venues, and does not subsidize museums that participate.