Blind Date with a Book

Blind Date with a BookCelebrate this chilly weekend by going on a blind date with a book. Check out the books wrapped in brown paper on the first floor bookshelves in the Sorenson Reading Room of the Rock. The books are a random selection from the Brown Library’s literature collection. The message on each book hints at its contents. Pick one out, check it out, and enjoy! Anyone can check out these books, but hurry because soon they will be spirited back to their homes in the stacks.

Event | Annual Yoken Lecture: Timothy Mooney’s Molière Than Though


Timothy Mooney as Tartuffe

Actor and author Timothy Mooney will deliver the Annual Mel and Cindy Yoken Cultural Series Lecture on Monday, April 11 at 4 p.m. in the Lownes Room at the John Hay Library. For the lecture, Mooney will reprise his one-man play, Molière Than Thou, in which he explores some of Molière’s most humorous speeches.

Molière Than Thou finds Molière left without a cast when all of his fellow performers happen to consume “the same sort of shellfish” at one of the local public inns. Rather than refund the box office income, Molière offers to perform a “greatest hits” of sorts, and leads the audience, which occasionally participates, through a hilarious succession of favorite speeches that trace his illustrious career. Plays represented include Tartuffe, Don Juan, The Doctor In Spite of Himself, The Precious Young Maidens, The Misanthrope, and The School for Wives. Throughout, “Molière” will explain his working process.

mooneytimh1Timothy Mooney is the author of The Big Book of Molière Monologues and the textbook Acting at the Speed of Life. He has adapted Shakespeare in Breakneck Hamlet and Shakespeare’s Histories: Ten Epic Plays at a Breakneck Pace! Over fifteen years, Tim has performed Molière Than Thou over 500 times. He is the former founder and editor of The Script Review and the former Artistic Director of Chicago’s Stage Two Theatre, where he produced nearly fifty plays in five years, including seventeen iambic pentameter variations of Molière’s plays, which have been produced over 150 times around the world. His Doctor in Spite of Himself took third place in the Scottish Community Drama Association National Festival.

Date: Monday, April 11, 2016
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | A President Lincoln Hackathon with Parlor Monuments to the Illustrious Dead

lincoln hack

In honor of the 155th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration, join us in the Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio for a 3D hackathon at noon on March 4, 2016.

We’ll use a 3D scanner, 3D printer, and other tools to study “Parlor Monuments to the Illustrious Dead,” a 19th century Lego-like children’s game about the Civil War. The game’s instructions are lost: can we recreate them and remix the parts, and how can the digital technologies help us?

We will be joined by Holly Snyder, Curator of American Historical Collections at the John Hay Library.

Date: Friday, March 4, 2016
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

lincoln cubes

Event | Celebrate the New Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio with Open Studios


Join the Brown University Library for “Open Studios” on Friday, March 11, 2016, to celebrate the opening of the new Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, located on the first floor of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library.

Stop by anytime between 2 – 5 p.m. to learn how you can use the new studio. Tour the spaces and equipment. See examples of cutting edge digital scholarship from around the Brown campus and beyond. Meet members of the Center for Digital Scholarship and see brief demonstrations of the workshops they teach throughout the semester.

All are welcome. Cookies, coffee, and tea will be served. See you there!

Date: Friday, March 11, 2016
Time: 2 – 5 p.m.
Location: Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Works from Modern Architecture: A Course with Professor Dietrich Neumann


The works displayed in this exhibit were created by students in Professor Dietrich Neumann’s lecture course, “Modern Architecture,” which surveys the “classic” period of European and American modern architecture from the turn of the century to the 1950s. Students were asked to create a model based on a building or industrial design object of this time period.

Date: January 25 – April 4, 2016
Time: Rockefeller Library Hours
Location: Finn Reading Room Cases, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence


Wilmeth Lecture & Exhibit | “Actors and Other Monsters: Graphic Satire As Blood Sport, 1789–1830” with Joseph Roach

Crowding to the Pit

“Crowding to the Pit,” print by Theodore Lane, 1821 (after Robert Dighton).

On Monday, March 21, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the John Hay Library, Joseph Roach, the Sterling Professor of Theater at Yale University, will deliver the 12th Annual Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship in Theatre and Entertainment entitled, “Actors and Other Monsters: Graphic Satire As Blood Sport, 1789–1830.” The lecture is complemented by an exhibit curated by Professor Wilmeth.

This event is free and open to the public.


Attendees will discover how monstrosity thrives in the golden age of graphic satire, and how few monsters of caricature surpass actors for appearing not only with warts and all, but also as all warts. Politicians do rival them in ridicule, however—as fat as Richard Brinsley Sheridan (himself a politician as well as a playwright), as cadaverous as John Philip Kemble, or as Lilliputian as child star Master Betty—convened alike by John Bull as butts of national laughter in a Parliament of freaks.


Accompanying the lecture is a special exhibit curated by Prof. Wilmeth on “The Golden Age of British Theatre Caricature” with some 12 dozen examples of prints—etchings, engravings and other popular visual forms depicting popular theatre during the late Georgian and early Regency periods in Great Britain. Among the artists represented in the exhibit are Robert Dighton, James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, the Cruikshank family, Samuel de Wilde, and others who entertained the public with their satiric magic on paper, highlighted by several special events during this period (the young acting prodigy Master Betty, the Old Price riots at Covent Garden Theatre, and the actor Edmund Kean’s scandalous escapades, among others). In general, these delightful visual pieces serve as instruments of journalistic ego deflation of these subjects.

Professor Joseph Roach

RoachA theatre historian, stage director, and performance studies scholar, Joseph Roach is the author of The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (1985), Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (1996) and It (2007). He is the editor (with Janelle Reinelt) of Critical Theory and Performance (2ndedition, revised 2007) and Changing the Subject: Marvin Carlson and Theatre Studies, 1959-2009 (2009). His publications have been recognized by the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association, the Barnard Hewitt Award in Theatre History, and the Joe E. Calloway Prize for Drama.  Before coming to Yale, he chaired the Department of Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre at Northwestern University, and the Department of Performance Studies in the Tisch School of Arts at NYU. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Theatre Research and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which funds the World Performance Project at Yale. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Warwick (UK) and the Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellowship from the Huntington Library.

Date: March 21, 2016
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

"Opinions respecting the Young Roscious (Master Better)," engraving by Thomas Rowlandson, London, 1804.

“Opinions respecting the Young Roscious (Master Better),” engraving by Thomas Rowlandson, London, 1804.

Library Workshops in February 2016

Students in the DSL

The Library is offering a number of workshops in February. Here’s a look at the upcoming Library workshops this month:

Also, check out the upcoming workshops in March.

What to Expect in the Digital Studio


Scheduled to open in February, the Rockefeller Library’s Digital Studio will offer flexible work stations, 3D modelling equipment, and an audio/video recording suite. As University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi told The Brown Daily Herald this past September, the new space is intended to be “a production space for individual and collaborative scholarship.”

Following a somewhat different model than other media labs on campus, the Library’s Digital Studio will be a place where faculty and students from all the disciplines are actively encouraged to mingle, share their experiences, and learn through a series of workshops and project showcases.

Faculty and students can expect an exciting calendar of events ranging from hackathons, designed to remix and rethink special collections items, to trainings on a/v equipment and software. They can also expect to receive help on their digital projects from staff experts in everything from data curation and visualization, to developing new kinds of online publications.

During the Digital Studio’s first year of operation, the Library will test new programs and services based on feedback from users. We look forward to welcoming you into the space soon!

Exhibit | Vestiges of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Thomas Clarkson, History of the Rise, Progress & Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (Philadelphia: James P. Parke, 1808), First American Edition, Vol. I, illustration between pp. 300-301

Thomas Clarkson, History of the Rise, Progress & Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (Philadelphia: James P. Parke, 1808), First American Edition, Vol. I, illustration between pp. 300-301

Slavery was a historical reality in the Americas, but many have little sense of the devastating impact of the “peculiar institution” on the lives of those who bore the burden of its chains and the brunt of its brutality. A new exhibit at the John Hay Library seeks to tell this side of the story with the display of a set of 18th century leg shackles accompanied by three narratives of African American men and women enslaved in the United States during the 19th century.

The leg shackles, which are displayed courtesy of the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool (UK), represent the Middle Passage – the sea voyage from Africa to the Americas, during which newly enslaved Africans were kept chained in the ship’s hold. Such shackles were identified by anti-slavery campaigners as emblematic of the violence deemed necessary to maintain captured Africans in a state of slavery and submission.

Jesse Torrey, “…but I did not want to go, and I jumped out of the window” in Torrey, A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United States (Philadelphia: Jesse Torrey, 1817).

Jesse Torrey, “…but I did not want to go, and I jumped out of the window” in Torrey, A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United States (Philadelphia: Jesse Torrey, 1817)

The narratives are drawn from the collections of the John Hay Library and represent the voices of three people who struggled within the strictures of the slave system: the poet George Moses Horton, enslaved in North Carolina until emancipated by Union forces during the Civil War; the church deacon James Mars, born into slavery in Connecticut and kept by white owners there until he turned 25 in 1815; and an un-named African American woman in Washington, D. C., interviewed by Dr. Jesse Torrey Jr. in 1816, who, faced with the prospect of being sold away from her husband and children, leapt from the third floor window of a tavern.

This exhibit is a collaboration between the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown, and the Brown University Library.

Dates: January 7 – March 13, 2016
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Lobby Cases, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence