Southborough Library
Southborough Library

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Professional Artwork

The plaque accompanying this piece of art reads: “Edmund Darch Lewis b. 1835 d. 1910. The Valley of the Saco 1866. Oil on canvas. Donated by Robert M Burnett." Both an artist and avid collector himself, Edmund Lewis was known for his landscape paintings of the Northeast, particularly in Pennsylvania. For more information about Lewis, check out databases like Gale Biography.

Lewis Saco painting

This ocean painting is signed by Wilhelm Muller-Brieghel, a Danish painter born in 1860 who went on to live and hone his craft in Germany. He was known for his depiction of marine and coastal scenes.

Muller Ocean Painting

The library has a copy of the piece Young Hare (German: Feldhase) on the wall next to the elevator. It is a painting in the bodycolor gouache style from 1502 by the German artist Albrecht Dürer. Born in 1471, Durer was known as one of the best painters of the German Renaissance, though he was also known for his woodcuts and engravings. He painted a professional self-portrait when he was only 13 years old! 

Young hare painitng

The collection includes an illustration of the heraldry for Southborough, England. (Read how it came to be.) What do you think Southborough, MA’s heraldry would look like?

Colonel Francis B. Fay donated $5,000 dollars to open the library in 1852. Fay gave the stipulation that the library’s main focus should be the local youth, who could enter for free. He directed that collections should consist of objective, informational materials to provide "youth with the means to qualify themselves to be intelligent, useful and moral citizens." Read more about Colonol Fay and Southborough's history here.

Painting of Colonel Francis B. Fay

Historical Items

Items From Our Past

The collection includes a Hammond typewriter. Developed around 1884, it is a great example of one of the earlier typewriter designs. The library’s historical collection also includes a flier with instructions and care for a Royal Model 10 typewritera more modern design than the Hammond.

Hammond typewriter

The sword in the display case is inscribed with “Bailey: Feeit N York.” Therefore, the sword was probably made by John Bailey, the metalworker who also made George Washington’s sword! After Bailey moved from England, he ran a sword shop in New York from 1755 until 1778. The sword in our collection has his signature design on the pommel featuring a lion’s head. Check out the national archives to read some letters between Washington and Bailey.

Bailey's sword

The library has a Herschede grandfather clock. Check out this old catalog of Herschede clocks! Do you agree that ours is No. 406?

The note on this photo of St. Mark's School founder Joseph Burnett (adressed to Mrs. Robert M. Burnett) mentions the regards of Frederic Vinton, an artist who specialized in portraits. He was also known for his impressionist landscapes. More examples of his work are available to view on the website of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Photograph of Joseph Burnett

Mrs. Robert Burnett also contributed to the Southborough recipe book that we have here in the archive section of the library! Below is an example of one of the three recipes she submitted, “A Cuban Dessert”. She notes that the dish, featuring guava and coconut, is “[v]ery rich but delicious!” (47)

Mrs. Burnett's recipe

Did you know there are shells called “Rose Petal,” “Shark’s Eye,” and “Bleeding Tooth”? Well, those and 64 more are available to view on the wall at the top of the staircase! Some resources to learn more about ocean life available at the library are listed here:

Photograph of shell display

Photograph of shell names

There are 6 Rand McNally maps on the walls surrounding the circulation desk. William Rand opened his map printing shop all the way back in 1856 and began printing maps in 1872. For more resources and maps, check out the Boston Public Library’s libguide and Levanthal collection and books in our collection like A History of the World in Twelve Maps by Jerry Brotton.

Boston McNally map