Windsor Locks history preserved by local writer and town library
By Jennifer Coe - ReminderNews
Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Oct. 16, 2013
For more than 25 years, Jack Redmond documented Windsor Locks history by writing a weekly newspaper column called “Cabbages and Kings by Jack Redmond.” Now, the Windsor Locks Public Library has assembled all of his research and writing and has linked it to the library’s website for everyone to see.
“In [the column] he profiled local families and individuals, more than 1,000 of them over the years,” said librarian Eileen Pearce. “He donated all of his original scrapbooks, including some personal correspondence related to the columns, in 2002. It has been our goal for several years to digitize his work,” she said.
All of Redmond’s scrapbooks are permanently stored in the library and have been repaired. “We have refurbished most of them so they are easier to look at,” said Pearce. Every piece of work has been digitized so that it can be stored online. The sheer size of the documents made it difficult for the library to figure out a way to put them online without using a major use of file space.
“[They] were too large to fit into the space provided by our library’s webhost,” said Pearce, who added that they had been looking for “alternative ways to make the digitized columns available online.”
One of the library’s staff members, Beth Morrill, found the answer in a web design program called DRUPAL. According to Pierce, DRUPAL is “form of web design that allows for very large files to be stored and displayed.”
“Cabbages and Kings,” which originally appeared in the “Windsor Locks Journal,” is presently online in the form of volumes on the new website www.windsorlockshistory.org.
“Since we have an active history club at the library, we decided that the [library] page would be the place where we showcase all of our local history club’s digitized pictures,” Pearce said. In addition, local photographer Jerry Dougherty has been documenting Windsor Locks events and history for years and has amassed thousands and thousands of shots which can be viewed at www.fotki.com.
“We believe that the history site and especially the digitized version of ‘Cabbages and Kings’ will be a valuable tool for researchers, family history information seekers, and anyone interested in Windsor Locks history,” said Pearce.
Jack Redmond, now 90 years old, lives in Massachusetts near his daughter.