Maine, a Guide down East

By Workers of the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of Maine | Go to book overview

PREFACE

AS THE perspective broadens on the picture of the American scene, past and present, being portrayed by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration in the American Guide Series, the State by State development of this vast panorama now brings into focus the Nation's northeast corner. How strong a light Maine's contribution can stand depends to a great extent upon one's point of view.

Whatever the point of view, it should be remembered that the presentation of the many diverse elements embodied in a State the size of Maine in a single volume is necessarily of a general nature, under the rather rigid requirements of a guidebook; therefore certain phases may not seem to be treated in this book as thoroughly as they merit. An attempt has been made, however, to capture the spirit of Maine life and to highlight the Maine scene for the visitor, without being either romantic or encyclopedic.

The Maine staff of the Writers' Project, like those of other States, has had its own particular trials and tribulations in preparing a Guide. In presenting facts about Maine, the staff's supreme effort at accuracy often bogged down before several accepted authorities who were at variance on a given point. Items accepted as fact were occasionally found to be legendary. A single word at any moment might creep up and baffle the most intrepid research worker. Verification and re-verification through the turbulent days of production had members of the personnel in various emotional states, from rank pessimism to apoplectic rage, with the State Director prepared momentarily to emulate Rumpelstiltskin of the folk tale.

Now, as the tumult and the shouting die, the things that stand out are the united elements that brought the book to completion. Among these were steadfast sincerity of purpose and seriousness of effort on the part of staff members, which elements stood by and overcame many seemingly insurmountable difficulties. Perhaps most important of all was the interest and sympathy, within and without the State, of persons who gave invaluable aid to the Project in many ways. Our gratitude and appreciation of their kindness are only exceeded by the regret that space forbids personal acknowledgment in every instance here.

-vii-

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