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OPEN DAILY 9:30 to 5

Celebrate National Library Week with the Nathan R. Lipfert Research Library 

April 23 – 29 marks National Library Week, an annual celebration highlighting the valuable role libraries, librarians, and library workers play in transforming lives and strengthening our communities. Libraries come in all shapes and sizes: small and large, physical and digital, public and academic

Named for museum Curator Emeritus Nathan R. Lipfert, archivist and maritime historian, the library includes archival and special collections, publications, and is an incredibly rich resource for local and global scholars, students, and the community. The library is located on the second floor of the Maritime History Building at Maine Maritime Museum, and is currently open by appointment. The library’s holdings include 15,000 published volumes, 50,000 periodicals, 138,000 photographs, 2,500 linear feet of manuscripts, as well as ship plans, maps and charts, audio-visual records, oral histories, and microfilm. Kelly Page, Collections and Library Services Manager, a staff member since 2006, recommends that prospective visitors contact the library early-on in their research process to learn more about resources and to coordinate an appointment. We encourage researchers to explore the museum’s expanding digital collections to learn more about the scope of museum artifacts and archival holdings. Visitors conduct research on a range of topics related to local and global impact of Maine’s maritime stories, shipbuilding history (including the historic Percy & Small Shipyard), and local and regional history.

In addition to supporting public scholarship and research, the Nathan R. Lipfert Research Library advances mission-critical initiatives designed to preserve and safeguard collections with best practices. For example, unlike a public library, the Nathan R. Lipfert Research Library does not lend material to the public. Materials must be accessed on-site within the library’s reading room or accessed virtually. Additionally, the library is a “closed-stacks,” meaning that visitors are unable to browse or access materials in storage. Instead, to ensure proper handling and material use, staff and volunteers bring material to the reading room by request and consultation. Visitors must also sign-in on-site and abide by posted rules and regulations. The policies and procedures are measures designed to ensure continued stewardship of the collections for visitors and scholars of today and tomorrow. 

Some operations of the Nathan R. Lipfert Research Library at Maine Maritime Museum differ from a public library, however a primary objective remains the same: provide service to our communities. If you have questions about the Nathan R. Lipfert Research Library, please contact the library at library@maritimeme.org

Maine Maritime Museum