UMF intern helps Maine State Archives prepare for state bicentennial

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UMF history major Madeline Soucie at her internship at the Maine State Archives.
UMF history major Madeline Soucie at her internship at the Maine State Archives.

FARMINGTON, ME  (March 28, 2019)—Madeline Soucie, a University of Maine at Farmington senior, spends much of her time nowadays with Maine’s founding fathers who helped put Maine on the path to statehood nearly 200 years ago.

A senior from Auburn, Soucie is interning at the Maine State Archives. There she is working with historical  letters, journals, documents and surveyor information to create an online index of original source material relating to the 1820 Act of Separation of the District of Maine from Massachusetts.

Maine started as a separate colony in the 1620s, but from the 1650s until 1820 was a part of Massachusetts. In an effort to pay off its post Revolutionary War debt to the new U.S. government, Massachusetts raised money by selling off public land in Maine. Maine became the twenty-third state on March 15, 1820.

Soucie’s online index is one of the Archives’ efforts in preparation for the Maine Bicentennial in 2020. Majoring in history and minoring in political science, Soucie, or Maddie, as she is known by most, is excited to work with the actual pre-1820 documents.

“They speak to me,” said Soucie. “It’s so important to not only know what happened historically, but also why it happened, how people felt about it and what they decided to do about it. Being able to read their first hand experiences is just like being there.”

Madeline Soucie examining original source documents at the Maine State Archives.
Madeline Soucie examining original source documents at the Maine State Archives.

Soucie sees her current internship as an important part of her career development. She found the opportunity with the Maine State Archive through the UMF Partnership for Civic Advancement, a campus resource for experiential learning. She is receiving a stipend through the Partnership funded by a grant from Franklin Savings Bank and is also working with the history department to receive college credit for her work with the Archives.

UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement supports student engagement in community-based activities in western Maine and beyond that are intentionally designed to be mutually beneficial to UMF students, its community partners, and the communities served.

Her internship is also one of seventeen supported by the “Making History Work” grant, a collaborative University of Maine System multi-campus initiative. Launched this year, the grant provides financial support to history students interested in working in the field.

Soucie is interested in a career as an archivist or museum curator and also recently finished interning at the Norlands Living History Museum in Livermore. There she learned about the Washburne family, their prominence with state, national and international politics and the huge role they played in business and industry.

Soucie’s senior thesis will center on Elihu Washburne, longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Minister to France and personal friend to Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S.Grant.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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EDITOR’S NOTE:
Image: RP189-042A
Photo Caption: UMF history major Madeline Soucie at her internship at the Maine State Archives.
Photo Credit: UMF Image

Image: RP189-042B
Photo Caption:Madeline Soucie examining original source documents at the Maine State Archives.
Photo Credit: UMF Image

Contact:
April Mulherin
UMF Associate Director for Media Relations
office: 207-778-7081
cell: 207-491-0064
april.mulherin@maine.edu

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