Digital Library of Local Artisans

Mission Statement

The Killingworth Digital Library of Local Artisans enhances learning opportunities for the Killingworth community and all others seeking to learn more about the unique artisan-produced items housed within the library building. This is accomplished by providing free, convenient, and searchable access to the information about these objects through a variety of online and onsite media and technologies.

Phase 1 Summary

Our complete Digital Library of Local Artisans is found on our new site hosted by The Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA) – there you will find many more images and videos of the unique objects within the library building! While plans call for us to eventually expand the scope of our digital library, Phase 1 focuses solely on the following artisans who each have works on display within the library:

Sandra E. SmithSandra has been a Killingworth resident since 1969, and is well known locally as a “plein air” painter. Prior to becoming a “painter of nature” Sandra competed on a national level with her completely hand-stitched “art”quilts, all of them her original designs. In January 2020, Sandra donated the following quilts to the Killingworth Library:

  • OK . . . Who’s Been In My Garden? – Featuring a flower basket centered in a green field surrounded by whimsical images of visitors to her garden, not all of who were welcome!
  • 12 Days of Christmas – Another original design whose images accompany the famous carol; but are 2 geese missing?
  • Grapevines – Created to commemorate her 25th wedding anniversary this intricately designed quilt was the 1994 Connecticut State Winner of the Land’s End national quilting contest. Additional information can be found on the Library of Congress website
  • Puritan Apples – This small quilt also highlights Sandra’s intricate stitchwork and utilizes classic “colonial” colors.

The multi-talented Sandra is also the creator of a small collection of historical dolls representing well-known Killingworth women which are also on permanent display in a case within the library’s main room. You can visit them virtually on our CTDA page!

 

Weymouth Eustis – Began carving life size wooden figures in the late 1990’s as a retirement hobby after teaching math for 37 years in Madison, CT. Beginning with a simple, severe carving of St. Francis of Assisi, the Eustis sculptures gradually became more complex, and now include William Shakespeare, Claude Monet with palette and easel, and Don Quixote astride his horse, complete with jousting lance. The carvings were displayed for many years in the family garden and were featured in multiple newspaper articles through the years. His carving of Connecticut’s famous wandering “Leatherman” is now owned by the Chester Historical Society, while the East Haddam Historical society acquired his latest (and final) work of Venture Smith in September 2019.  The final Shakespeare sculpture was presented as a gift to the Killingworth Library in 2016 (the first version is now owned by a private collector). Weymouth Eustis currently resides in Chester, CT.  Videos showing the process of creating Shakespeare and an interview with Mr. Eustis can be found on our CTDA site.

 

 

Clark Coe – Clark Coe was born in Madison, CT in 1847 and became a farmer and woodworker while residing in Killingworth, CT. To amuse his grandchildren he constructed a tableau featuring life-sized figures whose movements were powered by a nearby stream using a dam and sluice way. The “Killingworth Images” consisted of approximately 12 life size figures, with multiple smaller ones on a miniature Ferris wheel. The movement of the water caused the figures to move constantly. He fashioned each figure from scraps of baskets, barrels, and planks, or from tree limbs and trunks. He then added paint, makeshift hair, and old clothes. Located on Green Hill Road across from the Cow Hill Road intersection, the images attracted a regional audience until around 1926 when they fell into disrepair, some seven years after Coe died in 1919.  Today Clark Coe is widely recognized as an important American folk artist, with his “Man On a Hog”  located in the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The “Fiddler” who was part of the band, is owned by the American Museum of Folk Art in New York City (Lentz,  2004). The “Bandmaster”, pictured here, was among the water-driven figures and is owned by the Killingworth Historical Society. He can be found on display in the main room of the Killingworth Library. 

Additional information about Clark Coe and the Killingworth Images is contained within a 2004 book written by Thomas L. Lentz and published by the Killingworth Historical Society: A Photographic Historic of Killingworth. A copy can be found in the local history section of the library.

 

References:

Lentz, T. L. (2004). A Photographic Historic of Killingworth. Killingworth Historical Society, Killingworth, CT.

 

Digital Library Collection Policies

The Killingworth Library selects, creates, and manages the digital collection for the benefit of the Killingworth community as well as scholars, researchers, and others nationwide. This collection development policy is intended to establish the rationale by which the library develops its digital collection, which will be applied without censorship in the best interests of all library users. 

            The Library’s digital collection is centered around unique items created by local artisans that are housed within the library, and for which information is not otherwise readily accessible, i.e., for which digitization improves access to information about the item. Digitized information may include images, links, or brief videos not to exceed 5 minutes.  For the purposes of the collection “local” is defined as within the confines of Middlesex County, CT.

            Individuals wishing to donate or otherwise provide items to be housed within the library and for inclusion within the digital collection may contact the library director at mail@killingworthlibrary.org with a description of the item and its value to the community. Items unique to Killingworth will be given a priority due to limited space available.  Items unable to be included within the library due to space constraints may be referred to the Killingworth Historical Society for consideration.

            In addition to assessing proposed digitization projects from a collection perspective, the item(s) will be reviewed to determine how difficult it will be to digitize them with respect to: preservation, metadata, technology, and rights/privacy. If it is not feasible to digitize a collection due to technical concerns or risk of potential damage to the objects, the proposal will be turned down or deferred.

Collection and Site Maintenance

            As technology continues to evolve, the Library will monitor and evaluate new formats and determine whether they should be incorporated. Killingworth Library staff assumes the responsibility for maintaining all information and links on the Killingworth Library site. The partnership with The Connecticut Digital Archive (CTDA) ensures that the images and videos will be backed up and preserved.

 

 

Library Hours:

Curbside Service available
Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri: Noon - 6 P.M.
Wednesday: 10 A.M. - 4 P.M.
Saturday: 10 A.M. - 1 P.M.
Sunday: Closed
Call the library to reserve time for browsing and PC utilization
860-663-2000

 

Contact Us

Killingworth Library Association
301 Route 81 (shipping)
P.O. Box 725 (mail)
Killingworth, CT 06419
(860) 663-2000
mail@killingworthlibrary.org

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