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Windows On Maine

I was poking around the MARVEL database recently – and I found something new!

Windows On Maine
This looks like a very interesting database to work with.  It is a collaboration of Maine Public Broadcasting, the University of Maine, the Maine State Museum, and others.  I like the sounds of that!
The home page has a click-able window What is Windows on Maine? Click to view.  I try this – it’s a very short video showing the variety of information available in this database.  There are streaming videos, maps, sound files, resources for teachers, and related databases to name a few.  More interesting with each click I take!
At the top of the screen there are two search buttons – Subject/Topic that has a drop down window with about thirty choices.  The other search button QuickSearch is the one I try first.  I type in “Gardiner”.  Three resources found – one Moving Image and two Artifacts. 
Hmmm . . . 
The Moving Image is titled The Frontier Wars.  It is an MPBN resource, and about twenty-seven minutes long.  There is a short description, as well as a list of subjects to search.  These subjects appear to come from the Subject/Topic drop down window.  The last place on the citation is Find Similar Resources.  Clicking here brings up fifty resources.  I’m not quite sure what this database uses for criteria to find similar resources.  There are many Moving Images, but also Artifacts, Text, Service, Map, and Still Image, but I don’t seem to see a clear relationship between my search, and the “similar resources”.  Next I click on the title itself The Frontier Wars.  I see that this is a downloadable media file.  The video has beautiful images, but for whatever reason, no sound – at least not on the computer I’m working on.  I’ll have to check this out on a different computer.
The two Artifacts  are Quill Box and Box, birchbark.  Each of these are Maine State Museum resources.  These each have the same type of information as the Moving Image.
Okay, time to click on one of the resources.  I choose to click on Quill Box.  This doesn’t really give me much more information. I am told where it “lives” – the Maine State Museum, that it is part of their collection, and they have the rights to it.  Again, I see Find Similar Resources, though I don’t click at this point.  I’m given the option to Download, which I do.  This is a very nice picture (.jpg) of the box.  It looks like it could be a great addition to a school report.
Back to the home page I go.  Next I check out the Advanced Search button on the left side of the page.  This time I type “Augusta” in the search box.  I opt to leave the Keyword box as Any, though the options include Title, Subject, Description and Transcript.  In the Year From and To boxes I put 1890 and 1900.  Leaving the other options as they are, I click the Find Itbutton.
Four resources appear, one Still Image and three Moving Images.  I don’t take the time to check each of these out, as my Gardiner search earlier showed similar results.
Back on the Advanced Search page, there is a spot to Find the history of town names in Maine.  This time I choose “Randolph” from the drop down menu.  The information given tells me that Randolph was incorporated from a portion of West Pittston in 1887 and has been Randolph since then.
The last thing I see on the Advanced Search page is Search with Maps.  There are two maps at the bottom of the page – State of Maine and Gulf of Maine. Clicking on either map makes it larger, then clicking on the map itself, a region or county pops into the search box.  Clicking the Find Itbutton brings me to similar results, as previous searches.
Back on the home page the last feature I check is FAQ for Teachers.  This page answers questions about web browsers, downloading videos and other resources, as well as lesson plans.
I still see lots of potential for this database but am not completely sure how I’ll use it.  There are pieces that will be helpful for reference questions about Maine, but it probably won’t be the first resource I use.

Ann Russell, Technology Librarian