Monthly Archives: August 2019

A New Library Road Trip!

A New Library Road Trip!


Welcome back to a new Library Road Trip. We decided to visit that exotic country to the north with good health care called Canada. Coming off our 2018-2019 Fulbright Library Road Trip to Greece, Italy and Israel we now want to explore the libraries of a foreign country in the Western Hemisphere. We will start on August 17 by driving up to Vancouver, BC and then make the long trek east across the Canadian Rockies and prairies to Montreal. We will examine libraries in such beautifully named places such as Swift Current, Moose Jaw, Thunder Bay and Blind River. We look forward to seeing how Canadians do libraries in their vast, multi-cultural, multi-lingual country. We will then stay in our little cabin in the woods in Vermont for a month and hopefully make a drive up to Quebec City to photograph their amazing libraries as well. Finally, we will drive back through the South and arrive in California at the beginning of November.

Since my last blog in March Ellen and I have been taking care of all the things that didn’t get done during our six-month Fulbright Fellowship. I also have been trying to edit the 21,000+ images made during the Fulbright. In conjunction with Marquand Editions we produced 15 limited-edition, hand-made books from my earlier American Public Library project called Public Library: An American Commons. It contains 50 original prints with letter-press text and post-binding so the prints can also be taken out and displayed. The album is inspired by the earlier work of Lee Friedlander and the great 19th Century American Western survey project albums. It is a new version of the project drawn from that vast well of images that I made of American public libraries over 18 years. It is nice to finally see this idea in a finished form. Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to purchase the album.

Limited-edition book by Robert Dawson

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L|M book


Ellen, Walker and I schlepped the album down to southern California where I gave a lecture for the Book Club of California and showed the album and prints to the Huntington Museum, the Getty Museum and the Center for Photographic Art in San Diego. After that, our son Walker gave us a tour of Tijuana where he had spent a lot of time working on his graduate thesis film Credible Fear. This included going to where the Border Wall goes into the sea.

By the way, Walker graduated from the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley in May on a very wet day. We are very proud of him!

The present and future of journalism, UC Berkeley

As the bullets continue to fly across our nation it seems like a good time to go somewhere else. Like our European Library Road Trip, we will periodically send you notes and photographs from the field. The best part of our 2018-2019 Fulbright trip were your comments and suggestions. Keep them coming! Stay tuned and stay safe…


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