Solo Exhibition

Doug Dumais
February 27 to May 25, 2024.
Charlottetown Library Learning Centre
Presented by this town is small
Charlottetown, PEI

From 1933 to 1936, Nora Bateson, a librarian hired by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, journeyed across Prince Edward Island to establish the foundations of a regional library system. Before 1933, PEI had only three libraries. Thanks to Bateson’s advocacy and the significant community support she received, by 1936, there were twenty-two.

Nearly 90 years later, artist Doug Dumais repeated Bateson’s travels, photographing all twenty-five PEI libraries. The exhibition Circulations presents seven images from these journeys overlaid with text, stickers, and labels from scans of book jackets borrowed from the library system. The pairings are either thematic (W. G. Sebald’s Austerlitz, 2001), historical (Morell: It’s History, 1980), or political (Nora Bateson’s Rural Canada Needs Libraries, 1944).

These images unveil the uniqueness and adaptability of each library, highlighting their significance within their respective communities. Transformed into visual narratives resembling book covers, Dumais’ photographs compel viewers to look beyond surfaces, suggesting that libraries are not just places but texts that reflect the history and community they serve.

This project was made possible thanks to Innovation PEI’s Arts Grants Funding.

Below is a selection images from my travels to all PEI libraries.

© Doug Dumais 2024
All Rights Reserved