The McArthur Library has been a quiet, careful steward of Biddeford’s history for 100+ years . We do this by providing exceptional collection access to all, as well as research expertise at no cost. Our highly trained staff librarians are here to help you, and we take great pride in our work serving the people of Biddeford.
Read Our History: https://www.mcarthurlibrary.org/about.html
About Maine Vital Records:
McArthur Public Library has transcribed books of records (no originals!) available for research during our regular operating hours. You can view the list of these books below. If you are trying to locate OFFICIAL RECORDS or OFFICIAL COPIES, your contact will be determined by the year of the record you seek.
PRIOR TO 1892: BIDDEFORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY. BHS is the de facto repository for our town records. They are a volunteer run organization, and you will need to make an appointment. You can also mail your query to them at: PO Box 200, Biddeford, ME 04005.
1892-PRESENT: MAINE OFFICE OF VITAL RECORDS. DHHS-Data, Records and Vital Statistics-Vital Records Unit
1892-PRESENT: CITY CLERK’S OFFICE. City of Biddeford – Birth, Marriage, Death records information
**IMPORTANT!! MAINE’S PRIVACY LAWS EFFECT YOUR ACCESS TO THESE KINDS OF RECORDS. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS, PLEASE VISIT: <http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/public-health-systems/data-research/vital-records/vrfaq.html>**
About Biddeford History Books:
Available for sale upstairs at the Information Desk are “A Brief History of Biddeford”, “Images of America: Biddeford” and “A History and Stories of Biddeford”.
Local booksellers offering a variety of local history titles, including those above, include Elements and the museum store at Saco Museum. Maine Historical Society also has an excellent selection (and an online store), and your purchases support their work preserving Maine history. Finally, you can buy directly from the publisher at Arcadia Publishing/The History Press …or your other vendor of choice.
About the Resources Inside Our Library:
La Justice : 1896-1950
- Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Courier : 1989-Present
- Biddeford-Saco’s local daily/weekly (various names) 1877-present
- York County Atlas : 1872
- Various maps of Biddeford and surrounding communities, 1795 – present.
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps-Biddeford (Paper) : 1885, 1891, 1896, 1901, 1906, 1912, 1922
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps-Biddeford (Electronic, Library only) : 1885-1947
- Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps-OOB (Paper) : 1913
VITAL STATISTICS – BOOKS & LISTS NOT OFFICIAL CERTIFICATES! [LOOKING FOR OFFICIAL VITAL RECORDS?]
- Biddeford Vital Statistics Prior to 1856
- Biddeford Births : 1800-1891
- Baptisms at Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish, Saco : 1928-1985
- Births of St. Joseph’s Parish, Biddeford : 1870-1887
- Biddeford Marriages : 1854-1891
- Marriages at St. Andre’s Church, Biddeford : 1899-1995
- Marriages at St. Joseph’s Church, Biddeford : 1870-1995
- Marriages at St. Mary’s Church, Biddeford : 1850-1989
- Marriages at St. Margaret’s Church, Old Orchard Beach : 1921-1985
- Biddeford Returns of Death : 1814-1898
- Obituary Indexes (Journal, Courier & La Justice newspapers) : 1884-Present
- York County Cemetery Inscriptions : 17th century-Present
- St. Joseph’s (Biddeford) Cemetery Records : 1870-1990
- Biddeford Cemetery Records (Woodlawn, Greenwood, private & family lots) : 1700-1998
PUBLICATIONS & INDEXES
- Biddeford-Saco City Directories : 1849-1987
- Biddeford area phonebooks : 1942-Present
- York Deeds [York County, Maine] : 1640-1737
- U.S. Census [microfilm] : 1800-1930 [Available via Ancestry.com – FREE INSIDE ALL MAINE LIBRARIES!]
- Biddeford public and private school yearbooks & literary magazines : 1899 – Present
About Caring For Collections:
We strive to accommodate full access to our materials at any time that we are open. However, we do have a number of unique and rare materials which require extra care by us as well as you. These materials include our image collections and out-of-print local items, and are stored in closed [not open to the public] stacks. We will be happy to retrieve these items for you, but will fill out a Call Slip when we do so…your cooperation in helping us care for and maintain our irreplaceable materials is greatly appreciated!
*If you are handling very old or special materials we will provide you with a pair of gloves to wear while handling the objects.*
HONOR ROLL of the ARCHIVES:
To Dane Yorke, who started it all. THANK YOU!
To all the long-term volunteers, especially in the years when there was no archivist on staff, we extend our sincerest gratitude for your hard work and dedication to these precious collections. THANK YOU!
Polly & Miles Weaver
Richard N. Carr
Members of the Biddeford Historical Socetiey
Denise Doherty’s BHS Students 2009-2010
To all the short-term volunteers, the many students who have spent a semester with us learning about hands-on history, and everyone who has donated to us in some way, we thank you as well.