The abundant resources and natural beauty of Mount Desert Island, the Cranberry Isles, and Swans Island drew Wabanaki peoples to this coastal region of Maine for millennia. Following the French and Indian War in the 18th century, rich farming, fishing, and trade opportunities attracted European settlers as well. These same islands also attracted the attention of wealthy families and by the late 19th century, many had established summer colonies.

Today, millions of visitors travel to the region every year. The history and culture of the islands has been well documented by more than a dozen historical organizations. This website showcases materials from the organizations' archives and includes tools for the public to explore the islands' history online. We invite you to search, browse, and, if you're a scholar or armchair historian, use our digital backpacks feature to store items of interest.