The mission of the curatorial program at Acadia National Park is to preserve the natural and cultural history of Acadia NP and Saint Croix Island International Historic Site and to preserve the history of the administration of the park. Towards this purpose, historical artifacts, archival documents, and natural history specimens will be acquired, preserved both physically and intellectually, and interpreted through educational programs and research.
The Acadia National Park Museum Collection can be viewed at:
William Otis Sawtelle Collections and Research Center: Located in Bar Harbor at park headquarters, the center is dedicated to William Otis Sawtelle, founder of the Islesford Historical Museum on Little Cranberry Island. The center houses historic artifacts, archival documents, and natural history specimens currently not on exhibit at the Islesford Historical Museum or the Sieur de Monts Spring Nature Center. The museum items represent the natural and cultural history of Acadia NP and Saint Croix Island IHS; the Carroll Homestead of Southwest Harbor; George B. Dorr, one of the founding fathers of Acadia National Park; the Town of Cranberry Isles; "New France;" and the administrative history of Acadia and Saint Croix.
The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4:00, by appointment, year round. Access to the collection for scientific research, genealogical study, or development of a publication is permitted. Prospective researchers need to contact the park's museum technician for an appointment.
To arrange an appointment to conduct research or if you have research questions contact the park museum technician at:
Acadia National Park
Archival documents in good condition (determined by the museum technician) may be photocopied for a small fee. Photographs (in good condition) may be reproduced for a fee (contact the curator for current prices). Artifacts may be loaned to other historic institutions for exhibitions.
Islesford Historical Museum: Founded by William Otis Sawtelle in 1919 and located on Little Cranberry Island. The permanent museum exhibits explore life in the Town of Cranberry Isles (a set of five islands located in the Gulf of Maine) during the 19th century, when schooners were the mode of transportation and oceans were the highways.
Sieur de Monts Spring Nature Center: Exhibits explore the natural history of Acadia and depicts how the park monitors those resources. The Nature Center is open mid-May to early October. Admission is free.