Download Full Text (2.2 MB)


The Ties That Bind opens a window to meaning in the material culture of Mainers outside the dominant culture. Focusing on family, the three Center scholars whose work is catalogued here provide a lens that allows us to peer through that window into something of the complex nature of difference. The three scholars reveal otherwise anonymous Maine people, whose very anonymity came from the difference that was culturally constructed to segregate them from the dominant culture. Family, which reflects something common to every different culture, works here to highlight unity in human diversity. In that way, family also provides a mirror for every one of us in Maine's increasingly diverse population.

Table of Contents:

Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine (Susie Bock, Director, Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine and Head, USM Special Collections)

Diversity, Scholarship, and Learning (Joseph S. Wood, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs)

The African American Collection
Migration, Mortality, and Maturation:Three African American Families of Bangor and Portland (Maureen Elgersman Lee, Associate Professor of History and Faculty Scholar for USM’s African American Collection)

The Judaica Collection
If Not Jerusalem, Then at Least ‘The Jerusalem of the North:’Continuity and Discontinuity in Three Portland Jewish Families(Abraham J. Peck, Director, Academic Council for Post-Holocaust Christian, Jewish, and Islamic Studies and Scholar-in-residence for USM’s Judaica Collection)

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Collection
Ozzie and Harriet, Same-Sex Marriage, and the Culture Wars:LGBT Families in Maine, 1960 to the Present (Howard M. Solomon, Adjunct Professor of History and Scholar-in-Residence for USM’s LGBT Collection)

Publication Date



Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine at the University of Southern Maine, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered,


Portland, Maine


Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity, University of Southern Maine, African American, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Judaica, William A. and Edith Delaney Johnson, Talbot, Llewena Baker Hill Mathews, Portland NAACP, Shkolnik, Messerschmidt, Venner, Schulman, Halpert, LGBT Mainers, Maine Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance, Domestic partnership, Maggie Fournier, Cheryl Ciechomski


African American Studies | American Studies | Jewish Studies | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

The Ties That Bind: Experiences of Family in Maine, 1900-Present