As the Land Library renovates Buffalo Peaks Ranch, we’ve had to face up to the necessity of placing over 30,000 books in storage. We know it’s only temporary, but still, we’re anxious to start shelving & sharing these wonderful books. (The photo above, courtesy of The Denver Post, represents just one small corner of one of our donated storage sites).
When we have public tours at Buffalo Peaks Ranch, we break out a few choice titles, and set up a “porch library” at the Main House for visitors to enjoy. Whenever we put out the books we think of the titles we have (yes, alas in storage) from the great prairie photographer Solomon D. Butcher. Many of Butcher’s photographs are of prairie families in front of their old sod homes. Often they display prized possessions. As Butcher noted in this classic shot, the young mother photographed below wanted to reassure her family back east that all was good, and yes, they did own an organ:
The David Hilton Family, near Weissert, Nebraska 1887
We feel the same way every time we set out the Buffalo Peaks Ranch Porch Library!
When we set the books up we strive to feature a breadth of titles from many diverse disciplines, all focused on people and the land.
It’s always enormous fun to see people browsing through the books, suddenly reaching out to a book they’ve never seen before!
We also put out a small desk, and make something of a still life, suggesting the quiet creativity the ranch can inspire.
In many ways the Rocky Mountain Land Library is already up and running at Buffalo Peaks Ranch:
We’re looking forward to an ambitious ranch renovation this summer. Our goal is to make three of the core buildings (including the Main House) ready for books, programs, and overnight guests. There are many ways you can help. If you would like lend your support in any way that you can, please let us know!
“Buffalo Peaks Ranch is a beautiful spot of land, the perfect home for a library dedicated to the conservation and appreciation of the land.”
—Los Angeles Times