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May 16, 2011


The University of Maine at Fort Kent’s Acadian Archives Acadiennes, has been given a virtual treasure-trove of historic volumes and titles, many of which pertain to Acadia and the St. John Valley, from a collection previously housed at the St. Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish. 

The donation includes 322 volumes and 86 titles. One of the donations, a leather-bound, six-volume set, Histoire et Description Generale De La Nouvelle France Avec Le Journal Historique, dates back to 1744. 
The set, with hand-sewn bindings, and containing numerous maps, was compiled by priests of Compagnie de Jesus (the Jesuits) based in the Basque, Brittany, and Normandy sections of France. 
The set details the travels, mapping, and proselytizing of native peoples, conducted by the Jesuits prior to the American Revolution. The volumes detail the lands that lie between Hudson Bay in what today is Canada, and the Gulf of Mexico, prior to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
Margin references contained in the volumes date back to 1477, and include references to the discovery of Labrador (1497), dating back to 1504.
“In the mid-1980s, Saint Joseph’s College of Maine was given a collection of monographs and serials from the Roman Catholic Diocese’s Chancery Office in Portland, Maine,” wrote Shelly Davis, director of Library Services at St. Joseph’s in a letter to Lise Pelletier, director of the Acadian Archives Acadiennes at UMFK, donating the volumes and titles to UMFK.
“…College staff who were here at the time of the donation and were involved in the transaction recall that the items were given to the College with no restrictions or conditions on their treatment or retention. 
“As the Acadian Archives at UMFK is the premier destination in Maine for research on topics pertaining to Acadia and the St. John Valley, it seemed appropriate to pursue transferring ownership of these items. I am so pleased to be able to provide these materials a suitable home where they will be preserved and used,” Ms. Davis added.
Some of the additional titles that may be found in the donation from St. Joseph’s College include:
·         Relation de ce qui s’est passé de plus remarquable dans la mission des Abnakis à l’Acadie, l’année, 1701/ Bogot, Vincent
·         The Frontier Missionary: a Memoir of the Life of the Rev. Jacob Baily, 1853/Bartlett, William
·         Lettres de Mère Marie du Sacré Coeur, fondatrice des Ursulines de Waterville, Maine, 1917/ Mère Marie du Sacré Coeur
·         Histoire des Abnakies depuis 1605 jusqu’à nos jours, 1866/Maurault, J.A.
·         The Masardis Saga: the 19th Century Life in Aroostook County, 1984/Maureau, Paul
·         The Irishman: a Factor in the Development of Houlton, 1909/Thibadeau, W.J.
To view the collection on-line, please go to the Acadian Archives website at: Click on “See the list donated to the Acadian Archives by St. Joseph’s College of Maine.”

The Acadian Archives/Archives Acadiennes at the University of Maine at Fort Kent documents, preserves, celebrates, and disseminates information about the culture, way of life, and history of the Franco-American and Acadian people of the Upper St. John River Valley. A repository for manuscript materials and audio-visual documentation relevant to regional folklore, folk life, and history, the Archives serves the University community as well as individuals and organizations regionally, statewide, nationally, and internationally.