The William Otis Sawtelle Collections and Research Center

The William Otis Sawtelle Collections and Research Center is full of information that details the history of the Mount Desert Islands, the Cranberry Islands and other Acadia regions. There is a vast collection of photographs of the local trade records, towns, vessels and genealogical records. There is also a large collection of old maps, books, artworks, pamphlets and newspapers that date back to as early as 1596. Anyone who wishes to learn about the rich history and culture of the land of Maine will love visiting the center and viewing the collections.

The center is located on Route 33, next to the park’s headquarters. It is open for the public only through appointment, from Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4pm. Contact the center through their helpline to book a visit.

The volunteers and the staff at the National Park Services have been hard at work since the past four years and have completed a project of accumulating and cataloging more than 120,000 historic items for the center. An ambitious project, it was funded by the Federal Lands Recreational Enhancement Act.

The project processed the following collections:

  • The original documents of the genealogical and maritime history of the Cranberry Isles (1596-1939).
  • Papers documenting the history of the US Life Saving Station, Islesford Inc. and the Islesford Wharf Company.
  • Documents of the Carroll Family of South West Harbor (1840-1966).
  • Documents of the very person who founded this center, William Otis Sawtelle. His personal papers, research notes on the local genealogy of New France and Maine including all scientific research.

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