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Sewall Company Aerial Photographs Collection

Identifier: SpC MS 1900

Scope and Contents

The Sewall Company Aerial Photographs collection, 1940 to circa 2014, consists of nearly 1 million aerial images donated by the James W. Sewall Co. in Old Town, Maine. The collection contains original aerial photography of Maine and New England, as well as a series of aerial photographs of Vietnam in 1966, captured by Sewall over the span of 65 years. In addition, nearly 100 boxes of maps and documentation are included.


  • Creation: 1940s-circa 2014


Conditions Governing Access

The archive is expected to be available to the public in late 2020. A small representation that has been digitized is available in the Selected Digital Content Series [and/or] directly through Digital Commons (

Conditions Governing Use

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher. No known restrictions on publication. For information about the process and fees for obtaining higher resolution scans or another file format, contact Special Collections.

Historical Note

Founded in 1880, Sewall began offering aerial photography services in the 1940s. The photo archive the company produced captures aerial views of nearly every part of Maine, as well as various locations in New England, Alaska, Canada, and the southern and central U.S. Many regions were photographed multiple times over the course of decades.


100 linear feet (circa 100 boxes)

1,000,000 photographs (circa 1,000,000 aerial images)

Language of Materials



A note on the titles:

The original filenames of the received digitized images are often included in the title, and generally have the form:


Filenames may contain some or all of these parts. The first number is the flight path number. Film rolls normally have images from more than one sequentially numbered flight paths. The second number represents the sequence of images taken along a given flight path. The text may indicate a town or region, the company ordering the photographs, or other designators. The "filt" suffix is present in many filenames, and indicates that the image was filtered during the digitization process.

Sewall Company Aerial Photographs Collection
Digital Objects Available
June 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States