BRUNSWICK, Maine - (NEWS CENTER) It's not an academic requirement, but it's something countless schoolchildren have done: taken a field trip to the Maine State Museum in Augusta.

Right next door to the museum is another institution: the Maine State Archives. It gets far fewer visitors and far less attention, so we decided to pay a visit.

The archives are home to some 100 million documents that catalog the history of Maine. Files go back to the 1600s. Yes, some of it is dry - probate records, trademark applications, that sort of thing - but you will occasionally uncover something truly astounding.

If you decide to visit the archives, keep in mind that it's not a museum. There are no galleries where you can stroll around and look at the documents.