Bernard Fishman, director of the Maine State Museum, will present a talk on the book “A Story of Maine in 112 Objects” Thursday, March 14, at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Room of Rockland Public Library, 80 Union St. This is the day before Maine's 199th birthday: Maine became a state on March 15, 1820.

The Maine State Museum is America’s oldest state museum (founded in 1836) and is known as “Maine’s Smithsonian” because of the breadth and diversity of its collections — nearly a million objects representing almost everything about Maine and its cultural, environmental and natural history. Fishman edited and published the book, focusing on a choice selection of objects in the museum’s collections.

From a 400-million-year-old fossil through the only authentic Viking object found in the United States; to a genuine 200-year-old sawmill moved to the museum and rebuilt piece by piece inside it, Fishman will tell the fascinating stories of how the museum acquired some of its most compelling objects and what they have to tell us about the saga of Maine.

Fishman grew up in New York City, trained as an Egyptologist at the University of Pennsylvania and spent three years in Egypt. His family owned several 5-and-10-cent stores in Maine under the name of the M.H. Fishman Company, and he spent 11 years at summer camps in Maine during his early years. He directed history museums in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Rhode Island before coming to the Maine State Museum in 2012.

This event, sponsored by Friends of the Rockland Library and the library, is free and open to the public. For more information, call 594-0310.

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