Technical Issues with the Oxford English Dictionary

The Oxford English Dictionary is experiencing technical issues. The technical support staff at OED indicate that they are working to solve the problem, but there is no expected time given for when the OED will be back up. A post will be put up here when it is back up and working properly again.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

Diversions Reboot – Popular Reading in the Rock


The Brown University Library announces the reboot of our popular reading collection, “Diversions.” Located on the central shelves in the newly renovated Sorensen Family Reading Room in the Rockefeller Library, the collection features recent, New York Times Book Reviewed bestsellers in poetry and long and short fiction from both trade publishers and university presses. While the collection is currently small (but mighty), it will continue grow. Have a browse, choose a book, take a soft seat, and enjoy. This is your summer reading list, all year long.

Exhibit | The War in the Pacific Travels to Slovakia

High school students in Kosice, Slovakia view the exhibit.

High school students in Kosice, Slovakia view the exhibit.

Drawn from the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, an exhibit focused on the War in the Pacific during World War II is traveling through Slovakia, making three stops that include presentations and viewings.

Last year, the U.S. Embassy contacted Peter Harrington, curator of the collection, to ask if he could curate an art exhibition on this topic for the people of Slovakia. Peter was delighted to create the exhibit, but surprised that Slovakia wanted to focus on the War in the Pacific. The Embassy explained that there is a great deal of information available about the war in Europe, but very little about the Pacific. Also, interestingly, one of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima was Slovakian! The Embassy is also interested in showing the American involvement in the liberation of Slovakia, which occurred during the war.

The exhibition includes 40 drawings and watercolors. It has visited the State Scientific Library in Kosice, at which a presentation was made to high school students. Photos from the event can be viewed here.

The exhibit will open in Bratislava at the University Library on June 3 and will conclude its travels at the State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica in September.

The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection is the foremost American collection of material devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering and is one of the world’s largest collections devoted to the study of military and naval uniforms. It contains approximately 20,000 printed books, numerous albums, sketchbooks, scrapbooks and portfolios, and over 15,000 individual prints, drawings, paintings and watercolors as well as a collection of 5,000 miniature lead soldiers. To learn more about the collection, please visit its webpage at

Exhibit | Famous Works of Art on Stamps

Topical stamp collecting (1)

Several renowned works of art will be on display in the Anne S. K. Brown Military Gallery at the John Hay Library—on stamps. From now until July 31, 2015, you can see 18 pages of stamps that showcase the work of five artists: Peter Paul Rubens, Marc Chagall, Melozzo da Forli, Pietro Cavallini, and Charles M. Russell—an artist of the American West.

Using great works of art in stamp design began in the 1930s, increasing in popularity to its height in the 1950s, spurring a movement to collect art stamps within the world of philately. (Collecting stamps within a specific genre is known as topical collecting.)

The Brown University Library is home to several stamp collections, including the Knight Collection, the Peltz and Morriss Collections of Special Delivery stamps, the George S. Champlin Memorial Stamp Collection of international issues, and the Robert T. Galkin Collection of First Day Covers.

Click here for more information about Special Collections at Brown, including the stamp collections.

Dates: May 28 – July 31, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Location: Anne S.K. Brown Military Gallery, Third Floor, Room 303, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Spotlight on Rock’s Backpages Database: B.B. King

BBKingImage courtesy of

B.B. King (2002)
Interview by Barney Hoskyns, Rock’s Backpages Audio, October 2002
The Chairman of the Board of Blues Singers looks back at his early days in Memphis, and on the observational nature of his songs, and their universal subject matter.
File format: mp3; file size: 10mb, interview length: 10′ 55″ sound quality: ****

Tempo: B.B. King
Interview by Jim Delehant, Hit Parader, November 1967
B.B. King has been getting some attention lately; still not enough for a great master, but it’s attention anyway. Charles Keil did a chapter on …

Tempo: B.B. King (part 2)
Interview by Jim Delehant, Hit Parader, December 1967
ANYTHING YOU want to sell nowadays, all you’ve got to do is advertise. I think people are just beginning to advertise blues. Aretha Franklin, for …

B.B. King, Fleetwood Mac, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, Duster Bennett: Royal Albert Hall, London
Live Review by Max Jones, Melody Maker, May 1969

Newport Jazz Festival 1969: New Records & Not All That Jazz
Live Review by Ian Dove, Billboard, July 1969
NEWPORT, R.I. — On paper at least the experiment of adding rock music to the Newport Jazz Festival 1969 came from the purest of motives. …

Payin’ Some Dues — Blues at Ann Arbor
Live Review by Miller Francis jr., Great Speckled Bird, The, August 1969
“I’d like for them to hear the real things. I don’t think yet that most of the white people like my music because it’s blues. I …

B.B. King: Background To A Living Legend
Interview by John Abbey, Blues & Soul, June 1971
B.B. KING is the undisputed King of the Blues – fact! Every press release in existence on B.B. will tell you that he is a …


B.B. King   at The Grammy Nominations Concert Live!! Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, CA. 12-03-08 Image courtesy of

Updates from Around the Library | May 2015

Image from Anne SK Brown Collection

As finals wind down, here is the latest from the Library:

Exhibit | 19th Century Architectural Models


This exhibit features some of the best architectural models submitted as final projects for Professor Dietrich Neumann’s Nineteenth-Century Architecture class. This course surveyed stylistic developments, new building types, and changing social conditions of architectural production for the period covering 1800 to 1900. Students were asked either to write a final paper or construct an architecturally accurate model of a building or related work that had originally been created during the 19th century.

Dates: May 15 – September 16, 2015
Location: Finn Reading Room Cases, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Commencement Forum | Waterloo 1815: The Image and the Battle


Daniel Maclise: Wellington and Blucher meeting after the Battle of Waterloo

On Saturday, May 23 at 12:30 p.m. in this, the bicentennial year of Waterloo, curator Peter Harrington will explore the numerous artistic representations of this iconic battle in his talk, “Waterloo 1815: The Image and the Battle.” The talk will take place in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library. It is free and open to the public.

From leading Royal Academicians including the great “Mr. Turner” to amateur artists and veterans, the battle was mythologized to create an idealized image of the ultimate victory over Napoleon. This illustrated talk will include popular prints from the Military Collection and paintings from the European collections. Following the talk, participants will be able to visit the Waterloo bicentennial exhibition on the first floor of the John Hay Library.

Share your Commencement & Reunion Weekend with #Brown2015 

Peter Harrington is Curator of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection in the John Hay Library, where he has worked for over 30 years. A native of Manchester, England, he did his undergraduate studies in London before writing his graduate thesis in Scottish prehistoric archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. He came to Brown in 1981 to pursue further graduate work; he also holds a library degree from Simmons College and a museum degree from Brown. His current research focuses on artists and images of war and he teaches a distance learning course on the subject. He is the author of several books including British Artists and War: The face of battle in paintings and prints 1700-1914, Queen Victoria’s Army in Color: The Military Paintings of Orlando Norie; The Castles of Henry VIII, and English Civil War Archaeology. His latest book, William Simpson’s Afghanistan: Travels of a Special Artist and Antiquarian during the Second Afghan War, 1878-1879, will be published in this year.

Date: Saturday, May 23, 2015
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence