"Where's Rumford?" Exhibit opens at Muskie Archives

The opening ceremony for a photographic exhibit on the town of Rumford will be held at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30, in the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, 70 Campus Ave. The exhibit is open to the public free of charge.

The Where’s Rumford? exhibit consists of over 70 photographs by Mark Silber, of Sumner, and excerpts from interviews with Rumford residents conducted by Linda Farr Macgregor. Started in 1999, the exhibit is a product of the Rumford Bicentennial Oral History Project 2000. The project is cosponsored by the Rumford Public Library and the Rumford Historical Society and supported by grants from the New Century Community Library Fund, the Maine Humanities Council, The Betterment Fund, Mead Paper Division and the Maine Community Foundation.

The exhibit first opened July 2, 2000, as part of the town’s bicentennial ceremonies and was on display in the Rumford municipal building through December. Christopher M. Beam, Bates College archivist, said the Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library is a logical place to host the exhibit.

“Muskie was born and raised in Rumford and the community formed the bedrock of his distinguished career” as a Maine governor, U.S. senator, vice presidential and presidential contender, and U.S. secretary of state. Beam continutes, “The exhibit will give visitors a sense of the vitality and values of the community that shaped his life and led directly to his many contributions to Maine and national politics, community development and the protection of the environment.”

The opening will include several speakers who will discuss various aspects of the exhibit and the history project. Donald E. Nicoll, long-time friend and political associate of Muskie and the current director of the Muskie Oral History Project, will discuss the influence of the community on Muskie’s life.

Dean of the College James W. Carignan will deliver welcoming remarks. Linda Macgregor, Mark Silber and several Rumford residents featured in the exhibit will comment on how the project has influenced their view of their community. Rumford Stories, a publication based on the project, will be available for purchase.

Dedicated in 1985, the Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library documents the Bates alumnus’ career in public service, from his first election to the Maine House of Representatives in 1946 to his 21 years in the U.S. Senate to his appointment as U.S. secretary of state in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter. Each year it sponsors lectures, symposia and conferences on national and state politics, foreign policy and the environment.

The Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, 70 Campus Avenue, is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

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