History Room Live

History Room Live is a series of hour-long Zoom sessions where History Room staff discuss local history and genealogy with our patrons. Zoom is a free virtual meeting software that lets us share our screens for web-based instruction. The small group setting makes for great discussion and individualized research assistance.

For upcoming sessions, see our events calendar or find us on Facebook.

Past sessions are available to watch any time right here or on our YouTube channel.

Coming Up August 14: Coffee Hour Register Now

On Friday, August 14, we’re taking a casual approach to History Room Live. Join us on Zoom for coffee or tea (you provide the beverage) to chat about local history, archives, and genealogy. This week we’re talking about the power of Queer/LGBTQ+ archives!

To promote a relaxed and accessible atmosphere, this session won’t be recorded, so be sure to register!

Coming Up August 7: Using Ancestry for Beginners Register Now

Karen shares basic tips for navigating Ancestry.com and Ancestry Library Edition. She will compare and contrast the paid and free services, and discuss methods of using the different search features effectively.

Ancestry Library Edition is always available in the library and is available to Mainers for home use through September 30.

July 31: A Place in the Army of Maine: African American Soldiers from Bath in the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment

Tim Richter and Brenda Cummings of Bath Historical Society present new research in their talk, A Place in the Army of Maine: African American Soldiers from Bath in the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment. Two thousand two hundred men served in the First Maine Heavy Artillery regiment during the course of the Civil War. Twenty-eight of those men were credited to Bath, and three of those twenty-eight were African Americans, making the First Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment perhaps the only Civil War regiment where Black and white men served together.

July 24: Architectural History, Part 1

Join us on Zoom for an introduction to architectural history! Jack Martin will show how local architectural styles relate to trends in art history, and introduce a few vocabulary words that you can use to impress your friends on your socially-distanced walks around town.

July 17 – Coffee Hour

This week we asked: What are you reading?

Coffee Hour is a chance for local history and genealogy enthusiasts to meet casually on Zoom. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded, but we did write down What We’re Reading on the History Room Blog.

July 10, 2020 – Organizing Your Genealogy Research

Genealogy is a lot of fun, but keeping track of all those ancestors is hard work. Karen shares tips and tools for staying organized on paper and on your computer.

Presentation Slides and Handout

June 26, 2020 – House History at Home

Jill shows how the History Room holds the keys to your property’s history. Then, she explains how to start the research process from the comfort of your home, using free and public online databases.

Presentation Slides and Worksheets

June 19, 2020 – Oral History From the USM Franco-American Collection

The History Room welcomes Anna Faherty from USM’s Franco-American Collection. Anna explains how oral history interviews preserve local culture and individual experiences, shares oral history recordings from the Lewiston-based collection, and offers a few tips for conducting your own oral history interviews.

Browse oral histories from the Franco-American Collection here.

Presentation Slides

June 12, 2020 – Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour is a chance for local history and genealogy enthusiasts to meet casually on Zoom. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded.

June 5, 2020 – Genealogy Drop-In

Karen hosts an interactive genealogy drop-in session, where she will talk briefly about getting started in genealogy using your own family photos, papers, and artifacts! Participants are invited to come prepared with research questions and to share a piece of their own family history.

Genealogy Drop-In sessions are not recorded to protect patron privacy.

May 29, 2020 – A Brief Walk Through History

Jack joins Karen and Jill to take us on a walking tour – from home! “Bath, ME: A Brief Walk Through History” is an interactive map featuring photographs and information about many of the historic buildings in Bath. Jack created the StoryMap from a similar tour of Bath written in the 1870s by Levi P. Lemont. All the sites are within walking distance of each other, so you can try it out after the presentation! See the StoryMap.

May 22, 2020 – Telling Your Story

Karen shares tools and tips for writing about your personal life experiences, and Jill presents an update on the How’s Your Week Going? COVID-19 Story Archive.

Presentation Slides (PDF)

May 15, 2020 – Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour is a chance for local history and genealogy enthusiasts to meet casually on Zoom. Coffee Hour sessions are not recorded.

May 8, 2020 – Postcards Past and Present

Jill presents a short history of postcards in honor of National Postcard Week and shares some historic postcards from the History Room collections. Amanda demonstrates DIY postcard making, and participants share postcards from their personal collections.

Presentation Slides (PDF)

April 29, 2020 – Karen’s Tips for Learning Genealogy Online

Karen shares new and established educational opportunities that you can access at home for free, whether you’re a student learning about history, or a genealogist researching your ancestors. Then, she talks about how you can help others by sharing your own knowledge of local history and genealogy on FamilySearch.org.

April 22, 2020 – Exploring Ancestry for Families

History Room staff Karen and Jill discuss temporary free access to Ancestry resources through Digital Maine Library. Karen presents a brief tour of Ancestry Library Edition and show off a few fun-for-all-ages Ancestry collections, including one baseball-themed collection. She also demonstrates how to find free resources at Ancestry.com available for a limited time, such as NARA records and K-12 lesson plans that can be used for homeschooling.

History Room Hours & Staff

Open by appointment
Contact us

Jill Piekut Roy, Archivist & Special Collections Librarian
Peter Goodwin, Assistant
Jack Martin, Assistant
Karen Richard, Assistant

Video Tour of the History Room


Photo Gallery

History Room Photo Gallery