Museum logo

Welcome to the South Portland Online Museum and Research Library!

This website covers only a small portion of the South Portland Historical Society's collections and holdings. This is a new website and the Society is in the process of adding material; new batches of items will be uploaded at least once per month, if not more frequently, as they are digitized and become available. Please check back with us again if you don't find what you are looking for. We welcome your feedback! If you have information to share about an item that you find in this database, please send us an email.

Our thanks to Kaplan University and to the City of South Portland for their financial support which helps to make this website possible!

If you appreciate having access to this online database, please support us with your membership today! A family membership is only $25 and helps us to maintain our museum, archives and offer services like this. To lend your support, you can either click on the PayPal donation button below, or give us a call at (207) 767-7299 and we can process your donation by credit card. Thank you!

Tips for Searching

Keyword Search

The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Willard Beach will return records associated with Willard OR Beach). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. This works especially well for people's names; if a name has been entered in our database with a middle initial (as in Edward C. Reynolds) then searching with AND (type in Edward AND Reynolds in the search box) will return all results, whether or not the middle initial has been used. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Rigby Park" or "Sawyer Street"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive. When cataloging, we have adopted the style of spelling words out and not abbreviating; when in doubt, spell it out! So if you want to search for Clifford Street, for example, use "Clifford Street" as your search, not "Clifford St".

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

Random Images

The Random Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Random Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image.

Catalog Searches (Archives / Photos / Libraries / Objects)

The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.