Penobscot Marine Museum is home to a large photography archive of more than 300,000 images. The archive consists of many collections, the largest of which is the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company collection that comprises more than 50,000 negatives.

Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company was a real photo postcard company that operated out of Belfast in the first half of the 20th century. The collection consists of photographs from nearly every town in New England and upstate New York.

Approximately 75 percent of the Eastern and Illustrating and Publishing Company collection has been digitized and made available to the public on the museum’s website. In order to process the remainder of the collection, the Penobscot Marine Museum is offering towns for adoption, $10 per negative. By adopting a town, one is sponsoring the digitization process for the negatives of that town — a unique and thoughtful gift that supports the work done by Penobscot Marine Museum’s photo archives. There are approximately 1,500 Maine negatives left to be adopted, as well as several hundred negatives from the other New England states.

Adopting a town from Penobscot Marine Museum is a donation and is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. For more information or to adopt a town, visit or contact Photo Archivist Kevin Johnson at or 548-2529, ext. 210.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or