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Faculty Records (University of Maine). Professor Holmes (Edward M.) Records

 Record Group
Identifier: UA RG 0011-001

Scope and Contents

This records group mostly consists of annotated manuscripts (including published and unpublished) of short fictional stories written by Maine author and University of Maine english professor Edward "Ted" M. Holmes. A number of the short stories featured are also compiled in the various manuscripts of “Islands In My Life”. There are also notes and letters regarding some of the manuscripts including from publishers. For some of the stories there are clippings of the published version of the story. There is also a copy of "First Hitch-Hike: First Time In Jail” which was an attempt by Holmes at an autobiography, which based on a 1989 note he didn’t complete.

There are also files on the Edward M. Holmes Scholars Fund which was established in honor of Holmes and letters from former students and readers of Holmes praising his teaching and work.


  • 1954-1997
  • Majority of material found within 1952-1989


Conditions Governing Access

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on literary rights available in the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department.

Biographical / Historical

Edward “Ted” M. Holmes was born September 27, 1910, in Montclair, N.J. He moved to Maine with his wife, Jane M. Holmes, in 1939. They lived for several years on Gotts Island, near Bass Harbor. They also lived in other coastal towns, including Winter Harbor, Boothbay Harbor and Bernard. Inland they lived in Princeton, Ellsworth Falls, Ellsworth, New Vineyard, Old Town and Winterport. Throughout the years Ted worked on a floating theatre in New York, in the shipyards in Maine during World War II, organizing lobster fisherman cooperatives in coastal towns and on the islands, digging clams, trucking lobsters and working as first mate on cruise schooners out of Camden. He taught high school in Princeton and Ellsworth. Many students recall him with affection. Ted graduated from Dartmouth College (1933) and received a master’s degrees from the University of Maine (1954), Orono, and Brown University (1956), where he later earned his doctorate as well with his thesis entitled “Faulkner’s Twice-Told Tales: His Reuse of Material” (1962).

Ted began college teaching in 1954 at Farmington State Teacher’s College, now the University of Maine at Farmington. He came to UMO in 1956, where he taught English (1956-1977) and then honors courses well into his 80s, eventually retiring in 1995. In 1977, Ted would be given emeritus status at the University of Maine. In the 1960s and 1970s Ted was active in supporting civil rights, and then protesting the war in Vietnam. He acted as the faculty advisor for the Students for a Democratic Society. Ted is remembered vividly by many students at the UMO for his teaching and for his omnipresent white standard poodle, Jolie. Ted was an excellent teacher. Into his 90s he still received letters and phone calls of appreciation from students who wanted to thank him and share what they were reading. Ted may be best known as a writer of short stories and essays about the Maine coast and its people. He was a careful listener and tried to write the truth, without adornment. He wanted to present life on the Maine coast without romanticism and sentimentality.

Ted was an influence on many younger writers, teaching such writers as Stephen King and Sandy Phippen. His books include “Mostly Maine,” “A Part of the Main” and “Driftwood.” He published one novel, “Two If By Sea.” He also wrote a column for Downeast Magazine for a number of years. He was published in various periodicals, including Yankee and Echoes. One of Ted’s stories, “Drums Again,” was chosen for publication in The Best American Short Stories of 1972. Some of Holmes’ works were published by the University of Maine Press, including “Mostly Maine: Short Stories and Other Writings” (1977).

In 1997, a University of Maine Edward M. Holmes Scholars Fund was established in honor of Holmes. The fund was supported by a gift from authors Stephen King and Tabitha King. Stephen King was one of Professor Holmes’ former students.

Ted loved to fly kites, sail, explore the Maine coast, read and read and read some more, quote poetry and prose, and write. He loved to tell stories about his life, though his writing more often focused on the lives of others.

Much of this biographical profile was provided by Holmes' daughter Virginia Holmes.


2 boxes

Language of Materials



The material is physically arranged by subject. Material was separated and divided into multiple sub-folders where necessary. Material were rehoused into archival quality storage.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to Special Collections by Holmes' daughter Virginia Holmes as accession #2017-0818.


Accruals of records regarding Professor Edward M. Holmes are not anticipated.

Related Materials

There is a Faculty/Staff file on Professor Holmes that includes: photographs, correspondence, clippings, and press releases. There is also a file on Professor Holmes in Emeriti (University Of Maine) Records, UA RG 0004.007.001.

Condition Description

Mildew damage

Processing Information

Processed by Matthew Revitt, September 2017, Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department. Processing involved a collection survey and the creation of this finding aid. Material was rehoused in appropriate archival folders and the boxes and folders numbered and titled using information from ArchivesSpace.

University Of Maine. Professor Holmes (Edward M.) Records
Matthew Revitt
September 9, 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library University Archives Repository

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