The History Trust provides FREE access to 87 years of local news recorded in three newspapers—Bar Harbor Times (1902-1968), Bar Harbor Mount Desert Herald (1881-1889), and Bar Harbor Record (1887-1962). These three papers offer a view of our region’s past that compliments other records in Trust members’ digital collections.

Newspapers were principal sources of information in the past. Today, some of the benefits of using newspaper articles as primary historical sources include:

  • learning how people viewed an event when it happened;
  • seeing multiple points of view about a topic provided by different contemporary writers;
  • tracing the historical development of a topic over time;
  • examining how people lived, what they purchased, etc. for a specific time which is helpful for writers, playwrights, historians, etc.; and
  • examining issues in context.

This latter point distinguishes the History Trust newspaper archive from items in our digital archive. In the newspaper archive, you can view articles on the page in juxtaposition with other articles that may inform your research in ways not available when looking at a single item. For instance, suppose you’re looking at the obituary for an ancestor and notice that there are several entries nearby for the same date and cause of death. Are the deaths related; was there a conflagration or an epidemic? Hmmm.

Another advantage is you can browse the entire newspaper for context and reading continuity, which is in some ways similar to holding a newsprint edition. (Of course, you can also arrange access to the physical copies, which are held by History Trust member Jesup Memorial Library.)

Using the History Trust Newspaper Archive

Each title offered by The History Trust is fully searchable individually or all three papers may be explored at once. Historical content is available via an interface that allows you to view, search, zoom, print, and save digital page images. Search terms are helpfully highlighted in the search results.

One straightforward approach is as follows.

  1. Open newspaper archive via The History Trust.

    Visit and scroll to “Go To Newspaper Archive”.
    You must use this route for FREE access.

  2. Browse Newspapers By Location.

    Select By Location, Browse Now in the lower-left portion of the newspaper archive landing page.

  3. Choose Bar Harbor Newspapers.

    Select: United States of America > Maine > Bar Harbor > All Newspapers.

  4. Search

    a. Enter your search terms.
    b. Select Search.

There are other ways to search and maniuplate the content offered by The History Trust, a few of which require a free account with the platform. Happy hunting!

I found the research guide “Using Newspapers for Research” by the University of Cincinnati Libraries useful in framing this post (

Mount Desert Island has been Bruce’s home base since 1984, first working with Maine Coast Heritage Trust, then the National Park Service, and now as a consultant to nonprofits.