Professional Development Workshops

Maine Archives and Museums hosts professional development workshops throughout the state. See the calendar below for a listing of upcoming events and check back for updates.  We're always working on more!

Also check out the additional networking opportunities at MAM's Mixers: informal gatherings of colleagues working in collecting organizations and cultural institutions throughout Maine.  

Also check out our annual conference, held each fall somewhere in Maine.

Members: Log in first to access members-only discounts on registration.

Upcoming workshops

    • 11 Jul 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    • Colby College Miller Library, Waterville
    • 18

    Metadata Basics

    Metadata is defined as a set of data that describes and gives information about other data. This Metadata Basics workshop will give attendees a solid understanding of the importance of metadata, how it is generated and how it is used. Specific examples will illustrate key points and a list of resources will be provided. 

    The workshop will be taught in two sessions in order to accommodate a broad audience. Participants are welcome to attend one or both sessions.

    Colby Special Collections will provide light morning refreshments. Lunch will be on your own.


    10:00AM – 12:00PM: Morning session - introduction to metadata concepts and best practices, why controlled vocabulary is important

    12:00PM - 1:30PM: Lunch on your own or in the dining hall on campus (your choice from the menu available that day)

    1:30PM - 3:30PM: Afternoon session - standards and tools relevant to metadata work, case studies of how peer repositories approach metadata creation, importance of data back up

    3:30PM - 4:00PM: Optional page turning of John James Audubon's The Birds of America in Special Collections

    This event will be followed immediately by a social mixer downtown, 4:30-5:30PM.  You don't need to attend this workshop to attend the mixer.

    Your Presenter

    This workshop is presented by Katie Donahue, Technical Services and Metadata Librarian, Colby Libraries. Prior to serving in this role, she enjoyed working as the Assistant Director of the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent and as a manuscripts cataloger at the Georgia Historical Society in Savannah. Katie is a Bowdoin graduate and completed her MLS in archival management at Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Outside of work, Katie loves all things relating to pop culture and '90s music, much to the dismay of her husband and cat.

    The Venue

    The Robinson Memorial Room is located in Special Collections at Miller Library on the Colby College Campus in Waterville.  View the campus map.

    Parking available in the Roberts Parking Lot, which is a short walk to the Miller Library.

    This venue is wheelchair accessible.

    Online registration will be open through Monday, July 8.  To register after this date, contact Pat Burdick at 207-859-5151 or

    The size of the workshop space limits registration to 25 participants - register early to reserve your space!

    MAM members enjoy discounted registration (please log in first). The rate for MAM members is $25 and the rate for nonmembers is $40.  If you're not a member, join today!

    • 25 Jul 2019
    • 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
    • Center for Moosehead History, Greenville
    • 54

    Wabanaki Culture and Collections:

    Interpreting Native Histories and Artifacts from a Decolonized Perspective

    Learn first-hand how to interpret and present Maine's indigenous stories and artifacts from a Wabanaki perspective.

    Leaders from the Abbe Museum and the Penobscot Nation Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation will present best practices in the interpretation of story content and the care of collections from a decolonized point of view.

    Jodi DeBruyne, the Abbe Museum’s Director of Collections & Research, will focus on the interpretation of Native American content and care of collections.

    Starr Kelly, the Abbe Museum’s Curator of Education, presents “Can We Decolonize Educational Spaces?  A Critical Look at Colonization in the Classroom and Museums.” She will actively engage participants in learning about settler colonialism and the ways it shows up in classroom and museum spaces. She will lead several activities on identifying how settler colonialism and empire building is glorified, then present strategies she has developed to question the legitimacy of colonization, and the beginning of a framework for decolonizing education.

    James Eric Francis, Sr., Penobscot Nation Historian and Director of the Cultural & Historic Preservation Dept., presents “A Penobscot Sense of Place.” Sense of Place provides perspective about the Penobscot’s relationship to the Maine landscape, including Penobscot Chief Joseph Attean and guide Joseph Polis’s relationship to naturalist writer Henry David Thoreau.

    "Wabanaki" refers collectively to five Indian tribes in Maine: Abenaki, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Maliseet, and Micmac. All but the Abenaki are recognized by the US Government as sovereign nations and are banded together under the Wabanaki confederacy.


    10:00AM – 10:15AM: Introduction by Suzanne M. AuClair, Director, Moosehead Historical Society & Museums 

    10:15AM – 11:15AMJodi DeBruyne, Director of Collections and Research, Abbe Museum

    11:15AM – 12:15PMStarr Kelly, Curator of Education, Abbe Museum

    12:15PM – 1:15PM: Catered lunch provided (many choices available, including vegetarian and gluten-free options)

    1:15PM – 2:15PM: James E. Francis, Sr., Director, Cultural and Historic Preservation Department, Penobscot Nation

    2:15PM – 2:30PM: Break

    2:30PM – 3:00PM: Concluding remarks

    Your Presenters

    Jodi DeBruyne, Director Collections and Research, Abbe Museum
    Jodi holds a BA in art history from Old Dominion University and an MA in museum studies from Johns Hopkins University. Prior to coming to the Abbe, she was Curator of Collections and Exhibits at the Juneau-Douglas Citv Museum in Alaska. There, she was responsible for the care and management of the Museum’s art, photographs, artifacts & archives. She also managed an intensive exhibit schedule that included a multi-year realignment & update to the permanent galleries so they became more inclusive and representative of the Juneau community.

    Starr Kelley, Curator of Education, Abbe Museum
    Her responsibilities focus on education through dialogue in a decolonizing context. Starr leads the museum’s education and public programs work, including program development and delivery, teacher training, and educational resource development. She is a member of the Algonquin First Nation of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec. Starr has worked as a middle and high school social studies teacher, and is a social justice oriented educator, developing what she refers to as a "curriculum for dignity." Her lessons and pedagogical approach put theory into practice by honoring those she teaches about, while simultaneously creating an environment that is responsive to the needs of her learners and dignifies her students' lived experiences. Starr is committed to language and cultural revitalization efforts in Indigenous communities. She is a board member of the Maine Archives and Museums and is committed to deepening the conversation around museum education.

    James Eric Francis, Sr., Tribal Historian and Director of the Penobscot Nation Department of Cultural and Historic Preservation 
    ames is an accomplished researcher, photographer, filmmaker, and graphics artist with an interest in the relationship between Maine Native Americans and the landscape. Prior to working at the Penobscot Nation, he worked for the Wabanaki Studies Commission, helping implement the new Maine Native American Studies law into schools and has managed a team of teachers and cultural experts in developing curriculum. He is pursuing an Intermedia Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Maine

    The Venue

    This event will be held at office of the Center for Moosehead History, 6 Lakeview St, East Cove, downtown Greenville.

    Parking: There are parking spaces directly in front of The Center for Moosehead History, with additional public parking across the street, on Pritham Ave.  All parking is free.

    Accessibility: The 2nd floor hall of The Center for Moosehead History, where the conference will be held, is not wheelchair accessible. 

    Bathrooms: The bathroom is a non-gendered single room located on the ground floor, just inside the entrance to the Center.


    Online registration will be open through Friday, July 19. To register after this date, call Suzanne AuClair at 207-695-2909. The fee for MAM members is $30.  Non-members pay $40.

    Due to space limitations, this workshop is limited to 70 participants. Register early to reserve your space!

    Members of MAM enjoy discounted registration (MAM members must log in first). If you're not a MAM member, join today!

    • 16 Sep 2019
    • 9:30 AM - 3:00 PM
    • L.C. Bates Museum Visitor Center, Fairfield, ME
    • 20

    Conserving Your Museum's Natural History and Organic Collections

    Celebrating 20 Years of Conservation Work at L.C. Bates Museum

    This 5.5-hour workshop will examine the issues of caring for varied types of organic collections commonly found in museum collections. As part of the program, conservator Ron Harvey of Tuckerbrook Conservation will lead a tour and discussion of conserved L.C.Bates Museum objects he has preserved over the last 20 years of work in the museum.  During the last segment of the workshop, participants can share pictures of objects in their collections for the conservator to review.

    Morning refreshments and drinks will be available, but please bring a bagged lunch to enjoy at half time. 


    • 9:00 to 9:30 Registration and coffee
    • 9:30 to 10:00 Introduction to workshop and topic
    • 10:00 to 11:00 Collections Care Needs 
    • 11:00 to 11:10 Refreshment break
    • 11:10 to 12:00 Demonstrations of Collections Care activities (Including one hands-on take home collection container activity)
    • 12:00 to 12:45 Lunch and informal discussion with peers and the conservator (Door prize drawing)
    • 12:45 to 2:00 Participants collection issues will be discussed
    • 2:00 to 3:00  Tour and discussion of the museum's conservation projects with the conservator

    Your Presenter

    This workshop is presented by Ron Harvey, Conservator/Principal at Tuckerbrook Conservation.  Tuckerbrook Conservation offers conservation consulting, treatment, teaching, management, storage, long-term preservation, handling, lecturing, preservation workshops, conservation assessments and assessment of collections, including archaeological, ethnographic, fine art objects, outdoor sculpture, and zinc sculpture.

    The Venue

    The L.C. Bates Museum at Good Will-Hinckley, located on U.S. Route 201 in Hinckley Village in Fairfield, is a natural history museum that includes amazing natural history exhibits, fun local history, Native American collections, rocks and minerals, fossils, outside nature trails, picnic tables, and an arboretum behind the museum.

    The workshop will be held at the visitors centerthe building with the blue roof just north of the museumThe tour at the end will be in the gallery.  Both spaces are accessible for wheelchair users.  Many single-room restrooms are available for folks of any gender.

    Online registration will be open through September 12.  To register after this date, contact Deborah Staber at or 238-4250.

    The size of the workshop space limits registration to 20 participants - register early to reserve your space! If the workshop fills up before you register, you can register to be on the wait list.

    Registration is only $10 for MAM members (log in first to activate the member rate), or $25 for nonmembers.  If you're not a member, join today!

Past events

05 Jun 2019 Workshop: Basic Digitization
25 Apr 2019 Workshop: Crafting History for Schools
19 Apr 2019 Workshop: Oral History Essentials
06 Feb 2019 Workshop: The Art of the Ask
13 Nov 2018 Workshop: Archival Basics
07 Nov 2018 Workshop: Book and Pamphlet Enclosures
22 Oct 2018 Workshop: Security and Customer Service for Museums and Libraries
10 Oct 2018 Workshop: Natural History Collections: Addressing Issues from Mounted Specimens to Sea Shells
10 Jul 2018 Workshop: Metadata Basics
28 Jun 2018 Workshop: Safely Handling, Packing, and Moving Collections
06 Jun 2018 Workshop: Basic Digitization
22 May 2018 Workshop: Oral History Essentials
16 May 2018 Workshop: Conservation Leather Repair: Re-Backing Leather Spines with Japanese Tissue Paper
05 Oct 2017 Workshop: How to Say No: Creating a Collections Policy
08 Sep 2017 Workshop: Harness the Power: Great Tours + Maine’s Tourism Industry = Museum Success
24 Jul 2017 Workshop: Looking Beyond the Closet: Storage Options and Implementation on a Budget
08 Jun 2017 Workshop: Basic Archiving
25 May 2017 Workshop: Basic Collections Care
18 May 2017 Workshop: Basic Digitization
18 Apr 2017 Workshop: Oral History Essentials
27 Jun 2016 Workshop: Collections Care
18 Jun 2016 Workshop: Grant Writing Basics: Crafting your Story for Fundraising Success
08 Jun 2016 Workshop: The Nuts and Bolts of Exhibit Development
17 May 2016 Workshop: Accidental Stories Pertaining to Collections and How to Use them to Reach New Audiences
09 May 2016 Workshop: Storing Your Collections
29 Jun 2015 Historic Housekeeping
24 Jun 2015 Historic Frame Conservation Triage
05 Jun 2015 Let's Preserve Organic Collections
20 May 2015 Identification and Care of Photographic Collections
13 May 2015 Disaster Planning Step By Step (Auburn)
09 May 2015 Preparing Collection Materials for Exhibition
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