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Isle Au Haut Oral History Project Collection

Identifier: MF113

Content Description

Series of interviews with longtime residents of Isle Au Haut concerning the history of the island community.


  • Creation: 1997-2001


Conditions Governing Access

For digitized items free from access restrictions, we are working to upload this material (pdfs, mp3s, jpgs) for public access, but it is an ongoing project. If you don’t find what you are looking for here, contact Special Collections (

Conditions Governing Use

Rights assessment remains the responsibility of the researcher. Known restrictions on na4287 and na4288.


1 box

Language of Materials



Folder MF113 Administrative Material: primarily financial information as well as a grant application. Arranged in reversed chronological order.

Folder MF113 Correspondence: Primarily to or from Ann Munch or Barbara Brown at Isle au Haut Historical Society. Arranged in reversed chronological order.

Folder MF113 Fieldwork/Supplemental Material: includes typed and handwritten fieldnotes, background material, additional material collected, as well as suggestions for the organization of an oral history from an interview.

Folder MF113 Newsletter Clipping about IHHS: Maine Archives and Museums Newsletter vol. 4 no. 1 February 2001 “Isle au Haut Historical Society.”

Folder na2598 Virginia MacDonald, interviewed by Ann Munch, 1997-1998, Isle Au Haut, Maine. Oral history memoirs derived from Isle Au Haut Historical Collections Oral History No. 1, an interview with MacDonald recorded and edited by Munch, 1997-1998. MacDonald, a librarian on Isle Au Haut for 31 years (1954-1985), talks about family history; quarrying; childhood memories; marriage and husband, Skeet; lobstering; church life; the MacDonald house; library history and operations; lobster wars; medical care on the island; schooling; making a living in Stonington (Deer Isle) and Isle Au Haut; summer people; social life; Acadia National Park; boat and ferry service to the island. This represents the first of a proposed series of interviews with longtime residents of Isle Au Haut concerning the history of the island community. Also included: copy of Jan/Feb 1993 The Witness article “Smooth Sailing, Captain!” by Robert DeWitt. Text: 71 pp. copied edited transcript, 6 pp. copied illustrations, 2 pp. article, 4 pp. of questions (not digitized). Recording: mfc_na2598_c1804_01 - mfc_na2598_c1809_02 370 minutes.

Folder na2599 Robert Turner, interviewed by Ann Munch, 1997-1998, Isle Au Haut, Maine. Oral history memoirs derived from Isle Au Haut Historical Collections Oral History No. 2, an interview with Turner recorded and edited by Munch, 1997-1998. Topics include history of the Turner family and their arrival on Isle Au Haut; schooling; army service; marriage; work experience; lobstering; fishing; Turner’s opinions about decline of fishing and life on Isle Au Haut; history of place known as “the Point”; duties of the Point manager; Acadia National Park boundary; community and church life on Isle Au Haut; history of church; Robinson Point Lighthouse. This represents the second of a proposed series of interviews with longtime residents of Isle Au Haut concerning the history of the island community. Text: 95 pp. edited transcript, memoirs, illustrations, genealogy report (all copies & not digitized). Recording: mfc_na2599_c1810_01 - mfc_na2599_c1813_02 244 minutes.

Folder na3441 Barter Family, interviewed by Ann Munch, 1999-2000. Part of the Isle au Haut Historical Collections, Oral History #4, The Barter Family. The text includes information about (folder 1) Peletiah, Maurice and Helen, (folder 2) Dorothy, William “Billy” (August 16 and 17, 1999), (folder 3) Wayne, and Payson Barter (August 13, 2000). Dorothy is the mother of Billy and Wayne and Maurice is the boys’ uncle. Text: 3 folders including tables of contents, transcripts, and research notes. Recording: C2505 1, 2, &3 (Billy), C2507 (Payson) (not digitized).

Folder na3442 Lizzie Rich, interviewed by Sarah E. Cogan, November 25-26, 1977. Paper (with a selected transcription in the appendix), titled “Miss Lizzie Rich” and submitted January 5, 1978, was based on an unrecorded interview between then Yale student Cogan and longtime Isle Au Haut postmistress Miss Lizzie Rich. Rich talks about family; school; after school entertainment; work; church; health and medicine; island life; Christmas; historical events. Also included is a brief interview of Cogan by Barbara Brown at Brown’s home August 19, 1999 about the Rich interview; 2 color photographs of Rich; 1 pp. (p. 29) “John’s Column” in Maine Times, Friday October 8, 1976 (John Cole, former editor); 6 pp. section of Here on the Island: an Account of a Way of Life Several Miles Off the Maine Coast by Charles Pratt included with permission of Michael Pratt. Text: 13 pp. paper, 27 pp. select transcription, 1 pp. article, 6 pp. book excerpt.

Folder na3443 By Margarent “Peg” “Peggy” Little Dice and John Dice, written memoir by the Dices based on two interviews (no recordings) done in 2001 by Anne Munch and Barbara Brown and writings they did in 2005 and 2006. The Dices write about her grandparents buying the land at Moore’s Harbor; “Bolder Cottage”; her parents; her introduction to the island; after World War II; development of the Moore’s Harbor community; the island store over 80 years; bringing telephones to Isle au Haut. Also included: letter from Barbara Brown to Pamela Dean of NAFOH. Text: 16 pp. (not digitized).

Folder na3445 Barbara Brown, interviewed by Ann Much, March 1, 2001. From the Isle au Haut (IaH) Historical Society: “Isle au Haut Historical Collections, Transcript of Oral History #8, 2001, “Mary Ellen’s”, Barbara Brown’s House on Isle au Haut.” The 60 pp.(not including the photograph pages) book includes transcription, maps, copies of photographs, and a table of contents. Brown talks about her background, renting the house “Mary Ellen’s” on IaH, the Turner family, the McKeens, buying the house and making alterations, renting the house out, tenants, giving the house to her son Cameron, grandchildren, Alice McKeen’s quilt, The Ladies Hiking Socity of IaH, property details, stories about the property (storms, shed, deer, pig), visits of Maine Audubon, chandelier, Captain Jack Crowell and the American flag, winter visit, hiking, vehicles on IaH, origins and purposes of various IaH Historical Collections, annual report to the Board of Selectmen, playing piano, IaH in literature. Text: 60 pp. plus illustrations and copies of photographs. Recording: C2508 1, 2, & 3 (not digitized).

Folder na4287 Phyl Alley, interviewed by Ann M. K. Munch, October 26 and 27, 1998, at Alley’s home in Jonesport, Maine. Alley, b. 1913, talks about his family; early life; the weir; herring; fishermen on Isle au Haut; changes to the Isle au Haut; fishing; retirement; ship models he makes; lobster cooking business; life now and then; life as a kid then and now; civic affairs; block boats he made as a kid; how interest supports talent; Acadia National Park and its impact on Isle au Haut. Last five pages are an appendix to the interview “Additional material from film made by Peggy Dice about weir fishing.” Text: 104 pp. draft of interview summary/select transcript (not digitized).

Folder na4287 Staide Davis, interviewed by Barbara Brown, November 5, 1999 at his office in Burlington, VT. Also included is a copy of Island Advantages July 17, 1947, Vol. 12 No. 28 “Holmes Golden Wedding Anniversary” and Greater Burlington Business Digest October 1998 “Staige Set for Growth” by Virginia Lindauer Simmon. Davis talks about his family; his mother’s relatives who first came to the island in the late 1800s; Beaman/Linton Cottage; great aunt Mary and Ned Holmes, who purchased Barter Creek, Burt Island, and Pell Island, had guests Knoxes, Stiflers, and Nelsons; and the history of Baltimoreans on Isle au Haut. Text: 42 pp. transcript, 6 pp. photocopied articles (not digitized).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

NA2596 and NA2599 were sent to NAHOF in 1999 by Ann Munch (dec’d 2002) who conducted them in conjunction with the Isle au Haut Historical Society (IHHS). It is unknown when the other two were sent to NAFOH, but they were accession in 2008. NAFOH is one of three deposit locations for the material.

Existence and Location of Originals

NA3441 and NA3445 are located at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress: AFC 2012/047

Materials Specific Details

Audio files are the primary source material. Transcriptions are the transcriber's best effort to convert audio to text, but should be considered secondary to the audio.

Condition Description

Paper text and digitized audio is good, but not able to access condition of micro-cassettes.

Collection note

Ann Munch conducted the interviews in conjunction with the Isle au Haut Historical Society.

Processing Information

Missing: Audio for Wayne and Dot Barter, Lizzie Rich, Phyl Alley, and Staide Davis. Release forms for Phyl Alley and Staide Davis.

Duplicate material and material not related to the oral history project were discarded.

Guide to Isle Au Haut Oral History Project Collection
In Progress
Katrina Wynn
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History Repository

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