Kennebunk Free Library, on Oct. 28, announced the availability of newly digitized historic newspapers from its Special Collections.

Kennebunk Free Library recently announced that it has competed the digital conversion of three late 19th century and early 20th century newspapers: The newspapers are the Kennebunk Enterprise (1904-1920), Seaside Echo (1901-1907) and the Wave (1887-1890). Kennebunk Free Library image

With the assistance of partner institutions, Osher Map Library and the Maine State Library, and with funding provided by the Maine Humanities Council Bicentennial Grant Committee, the library completed a long sought after digitization project to preserve the content in issues of three local historic newspapers which have been maintained in storage for nearly three decades.

The newspapers are: Kennebunk Enterprise (1904-1920), Seaside Echo (1901-1907) and the Wave (1887-1890).

While the library holds microfilm of several other newspapers, these three publications have never been preserved on any other format. Not only has digitization allowed the library to make the newspapers freely available to anyone via the internet, it has also saved the content within the issues from permanent loss due to rapidly deteriorating conditions of the newsprint itself.

The Enterprise in particular was badly in need of preservation due to brittle paper flaking away with such little disturbance as walking by the volumes. As a bonus to readers and researchers, the digitized issues are also keyword searchable.

The publications offer a trove of information about the community and are a resource for preserving and remembering the area’s history. Readers will find local news stories, advertisements for local businesses and services, social event columns, editorials, obituaries, regional and national news, and more, all illustrating what life in the Kennebunks and York County was like more than a century ago.

Patrons are invited to explore the newspapers by visiting, along with the digitized volumes of the Andrew Walker Diaries.

For more information, call 207-985-2173 or email

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