Sailor's Library

E-Reader Library Series #8
found wooden tray, leather, cloth, paper, birch bark, adhesive
Created by Todd Pattison  2013

Private collection

In previous centuries traveling libraries were housed in trunks or cases that could be transported that provided access to books for pleasure or knowledge. Today, many people have their own version of a traveling library housed on an electronic device. While there are numerous examples of traveling libraries in public and private collections that allow us to see what books an individual or group thought important enough to transport, will an e-reader and it’s contents survive more than a few years? Will we be able to determine usage of these texts even if the device and titles contained survive? This piece was inspired by an intact 19th century Sailor’s Library that was housed in it’s original locked case. The books in the library showed evidence of use, had bookplates denoting it as part of the collection and the case contained the original rules for accessing the library materials. The 13 miniature books house in this wooden case have titles that might have been of interest to men trapped on a ship at sea for weeks or months at a time. Each book has a miniature bookplate reflecting its inclusion in this particular library and they are housed in a labeled case.