Portable Lighthouse Library


Historically, a lighthouse keeper’s library was one item shared across many lighthouses, and between many keepers and their families. It was stocked with books relevant and popular during the era, and when provisions were delivered to keepers’ outposts, often the portable library would be exchanged. In response to the theme of Portage for New Canadian Pilgrimages #4, I constructed and stocked a modified portable lighthouse library. The library was carried during daily Portage walks across the island, stopping at each Pictou Island lighthouse station that once existed or currently stands. These island-long walks both traced the placement of lighthouses and imitated the communication of light signals across Pictou Island. The library contents were three handmade artist books and 6, 8-page zines (edition of 25 each) featuring content made in response to archival research about the island’s lighthouses. Zines were given away to public free of cost.