Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) and Digital Maine

Have you checked out the Digital Public Library of America?

DPLA isn’t a site where you are likely to find specific mention about your ancestor unless he or she was notable – a public official, etc. because most of the collections to be found here are historic in nature, not genealogical.

However, if your goal is to learn the social context of the times in which your family lived or perhaps to locate historic images of buildings or parks or town documents, DPLA is a resource to be checked.

Recently, they added Digital Maine. Given that I have some deep Maine roots, I was excited to visit that particular collection.

I located two gems, pages from the 1881 Atlas of Washington County, Maine, showing the villages of Charlotte and Meddybemps. Where my Stewart and Carlisle ancestors resided is marked on the maps:

My Family

C. Stewart was my 2X great grandfather, Charles, and H. Stewart was his son, Harry. I’m descended from Harry’s baby sister, Annie Maude.

One of the Maine censuses showed Charles to be living in Charlotte, but a later census placed him in Meddybemps. I wonder if the town lines were exactly known or if he really moved because his property is literally sitting on the town lines.

I loved this find!

Oklahoma, Maryland and Illinois also joined DPLA this year and each of those states represent ancestral homes on Dave’s side of the family tree. I think I have quite a bit of browsing to do!

Like Chronicling America, Digital Public Library of America is a constantly growing collection so it is essential to check back frequently to see what’s new.


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