A slide talk featuring old photographs of Brooks and nearby communities will illustrate the area’s past, spur memories and generate historical input from the audience. Kevin Johnson, photo archivist at Penobscot Marine Museum of Searsport, will present Greetings From Brooks: Selections from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. Collection Friday, May 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Harvest Home Grange Hall on Moosehead Trail Highway/Route 7.

The Eastern Illustrating Collection, consisting of tens of thousands of old photos of Maine and other New England states, is the centerpiece of Penobscot Marine Museum’s extensive photography archives. Eastern Illustrating was a Belfast-based postcard publisher that documented thousands small-town scenes during the first half of the 20th century. Most of the images are on glass plate negatives; many are 75 to 100 years old.

Presentations like this one generate valuable oral history from audience members, said Johnson, and information gathered in such talks is often added to the museum’s archives, enhancing a town’s permanent historical record.

“The photos get people talking about their memories, which we encourage, and this makes a town’s past really come alive,” he said.

Greetings From Brooks is sponsored by the Brooks Historical Society. A donation will be requested at the door. For more information, contact Betty Littlefield, 722-3633. Photos of Brooks and other communities are available in Penobscot Marine Museum’s free online database at penobscotmarinemuseum.org.

Penobscot Marine Museum is home to outstanding collections of marine art and artifacts, small craft, ship models and historic photography. The museum will open for 2012 on Friday, May 25. For more information, visit the website or call 548-2529.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.