Historic image of WRL patrons

Founded in 1909 in the front hall of the historic Saint George Tucker House with 50 volumes, the library grew and relocated many times. It began serving James City County residents in 1926. The Williamsburg Library moved to its present location in 1973 with about 12,000 volumes and was first expanded there in 1981. The Williamsburg Regional Library was created by contract between the City of Williamsburg and James City County as an independent agency in 1977. The James City County Library was opened in the Norge area in July 1996.

Public Artwork

belt sculpture at Williamsburg library

The sculpture at the corner of Armistead Avenue and Scotland Street (above), is a classic image, snatched out of time, of three books held together and hanging from an old belt – a time when children would have done this to carry books to and from the library. Artist Willy Ferguson crafted the entire piece out of hot rolled steel, with the exception of the stainless-steel belt buckle.

open book sculpture at Williamsburg library

Around the corner is a second book sculpture by Willy Ferguson (above). Offering the viewer another moment in time, this open book offers a glimpse at an unidentified page, as though its invisible reader is settling down to read a favorite passage or start a new chapter. The piece is made from hot-rolled steel. Both sculptures were created in Staunton, Virginia.

Sundial outside the Williamsburg Library


The Williamsburg Library Armillary Sundial

The armillary (which means hoops) sundial at the Williamsburg Library was crafted in 2002 by Willy Ferguson, Ferguson Metal Fabrication in Staunton, Va. It resembles a miniature Earth made from bands of welded carbon steel. This sundial’s gnomon (shadow arm) is the rod that bisects the sphere. The gnomon represents the earth’s axis, and the other bands include representation of the equator and celestial horizon.

The sculptor of the three Williamsburg pieces, Willy Ferguson, was born in 1949, to a Sicilian mother and staunch Scot father. A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, the family moved to the United States when he was four. As a young man, Mr. Ferguson felt a desire to create. He found his outlet in metal sculpture. His work has been included in Time-Life publications and received numerous awards.

How to Tell Time with this Sundial

Time on the sundial is read by looking at where the gnomon shadow is cast. This shadow will be the middle, thicker shadow of the three shadow lines, which can be seen on the largest hoop (referred to as the gnomon shadow hoop). The shadow will only be cast on this hoop.

12 noon is at the intersection of the gnomon shadow hoop and the hoop that crosses it at the bottom of the sundial. On the gnomon shadow hoop, to one side of the intersection is a.m. To the other side of the intersecting hoops is p.m. Although hours are not marked off on this sundial, you can estimate the time of day by thinking of the gnomon shadow hoop as the clock face and the shadow as the hour hand of that clock.

The Hanging Books and sundial sculptures at the Williamsburg Library were funded through private support from Louisa France and commissioned by the Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation. The Open Book sculpture was donated by Willy and Gail Ferguson.

Hidden in the Pages sculpture outside James City County Library


The James City County Library Hidden In The Pages

Dedicated September 23, 2009 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Williamsburg Regional Library, this work was created by York County, Va.-artist Ms. Cyd Chambers Player. The 3,000-pound, 26-foot-long outdoor sculpture is located in front of the James City County Library, 7770 Croaker Road in Norge.

Cyd Player is also the artist who produced the life-sized statues of General George Washington and Admiral Comte De Grasse that have been on the Yorktown waterfront since 2005.

Engineer: Bill Johnson, P.E., Senior Project Manager, TAM Consultants

Book height: 6 feet, 6 inches

Page size: 6 feet x 4 feet

Finish: Galvanized and painted

Components: Disassembles into 15 to 20 parts for transport and installation

Installation: James City County Parks/Grounds Maintenance

Funding: A bequest received from the Estate of Lawrence J. Bour and commissioned by the Williamsburg Regional Library Foundation