Throughout the country in the 1930s and 1940s, camp libraries (with the Civilian Conservation Corp-CCC), book mobiles and bookwagons (one combined word was used) were formed. As this photo shows, taken in front of the capital building in Montpelier, these are some of the car/vans used in Vermont. From left to right: transportation used for for the Rutland Region, Vermont-Presented by the Vermont Federation of Women’s Clubs, St. Albans Region and the St. Johnsbury Region. They traveled town to town offering books to the general public. The Works Progress Administration submitted a proposal to the WPA for a Federal Emergency Project to provide employment to approximately 50,000 persons in the extension and improvement of library services throughout the nation. Although it was not implemented, it did start the work for future projects with the WPA. Prior to this time, horse-drawn wagons or carts were used in rural areas. In many foreign countries, animals are used to transport books to rural areas, including elephants in Thailand, mules and llamas in South America and camels in Africa. Even though there is no date on the back of this photo, a clue is shown at the top of the dome. The sculpture, originally called “Agriculture”, then later “Ceres”, was removed in 1938 and replaced with another “Ceres”. Of course last year another “Ceres”, the goddess of agriculture, was placed atop the dome due to the decay of the previous one.
If you have old photos you would like to share with the museum, contact 527-7933 or at stamuseum.org.