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Blake Library Special Collections, UMFK

Blake Library Special Collections Facts

Special Collections Mission:

Blake Library Special Collections collects and provides access to historically significant materials pertaining to the university and its history, Aroostook County, the Dickey-Lincoln School project, and Maine history as it pertains to Aroostook County and its communities.

Interested in donating to Blake Library Special Collections? Special Collections Deed of Gift

As a repository for both published materials and manuscript collections relating directly to the department's mission statement, Special Collections serves the University of Maine at Fort Kent community of faculty, administration, students and alumni, the University of Maine System, and the greater community, including scholars and researchers.

Aroostook County collection
This collection contains materials related to the history of the land and communities of Aroostook County, including those of the Saint John Valley. The library actively collects the works of local authors/illustrators from Aroostook County, with a focus on the St. John Valley. In an attempt to avoid duplication of materials between the Special Collections and the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes, this collection will collect only published works about the Saint John Valley, including town reports and other local materials. Manuscript collections concerning the Saint John Valley should be offered to the Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes.

Maine History collection
The Maine History collection contains materials concerning the history of the state, which may include information on the Aroostook County and Saint John Valley regions. Also included in this collection are Maine state documents determined to be of enduring and intrinsic value.

University collection
Special Collections collects materials of historical significance to the history of the University of Maine at Fort Kent in all of its incarnations: the Madawaska Training School, Fort Kent Normal School Fort Kent State College of the University of Maine and the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The collection includes but is not limited to: yearbooks, student handbooks, course catalogs, and other University publications, alumni materials, photographs, audio and video recordings by/about UMFK, and manuscript collections pertaining to the UMFK community. Unfortunately, the library does not have the capacity to provide a records management program and therefore currently cannot retain all UMFK materials. Items such as business records generally will not be accepted or retained.

Blake Library History:
The University of Maine at Fort Kent began as a regional teachers college in 1878. A library was created soon afterward in 1885 to support the students. The library was housed in a classroom for many years until a growth spurt in the late 1950s. The gymnasium, built in 1929, was converted to the library in 1965-66.

In 1988 an addition was built on to the back of the library, and in 2002 construction began on the new Acadian Archives/archives acadiennes building. Due to the new archives building the Blake Library entrance was moved to the 1988 addition facing Cyr Hall.