Family Weekend Open House | Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio and the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab

Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio

Join us for an open house in these two renovated spaces featuring state of the art technology. Staff from the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship will describe the equipment and spaces and demonstrate faculty and student driven digital scholarship projects.

Date: Saturday, October 14, 2017
Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Location: First Floor, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street

Event | Dante in Real Time

On Monday, December 4, 2017 at 12 p.m., the Brown University Library and the Program in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (REMS), as part of the Journeys to the Early Modern World in Brown’s Libraries fall series, will present an hour-long workshop, “Dante in Real Time,” designed to introduce undergraduates to the extraordinary possibilities for undertaking engaged research among our special collections.

Dante’s Divine Comedy recounts the poet’s journey through the afterlife and back. From hybrid beasts and fearsome devils to friends and foes, Dante’s world has inspired generations of readers to envision what lay beyond the known world.

In this hands-on workshop, Christopher Geissler, Director of the John Hay Library, and Zoe Langer, 2017 Hay Interdisciplinary Fellow, will view different responses to Dante’s poem, including sixteenth-century maps of Hell and illustrations by Gustave Doré. The Chambers Dante Collection allows us to experience Dante’s poem as its readers encountered it through the centuries and to see how REMS students, working closely with literature, languages, and book illustration, can discover remarkable questions lurking in very old books.

“Dante in Real Time” will take place at 12 p.m. in the Bopp Seminar Room on the third floor of the John Hay Library. A short reception will follow.

Date: Monday, December 4, 2017
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Bopp Seminar Room, Third Floor, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street

Events | Mellon-Funded Digital Publishing Initiative Workshops

This fall, Brown University Library and the Program in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies (REMS) will host a series of interactive, interdisciplinary workshops on digital humanities scholarship for undergraduates, featuring two pilot projects selected for Brown’s Digital Publishing Initiative, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The REMS Program offers students many opportunities to work with centuries-old books and pictures in some very modern ways, uncovering exciting research questions in the humanities, history, and the social sciences along the way.

Books without Pages: Project Atalanta

The first workshop, “Books without Pages: Project Atalanta,” will take place on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 12 p.m. Project Atalanta brings to life in digital form a multimedia seventeenth-century text, Michael Maier’s alchemical emblem book, Atalanta fugiens. The publication will consist of a dynamic, enhanced digital edition of the early modern book, including recordings of its fifty fugues, as well as a critical anthology of media-rich interpretative essays. Associate Professor of History Tara Nummedal, Digital Scholarship Editor Allison Levy, and Designer for Online Publications Crystal Brusch, along with the graduate and undergraduate students who have been working on the project, will present material from the digital project in conjunction with a hands-on evaluation of the printed early modern book from the John Hay Library.

Journey into the New World and Other Tales of Forgotten (Early) Modern Media

The second workshop, “Journey into the New World and Other Tales of Forgotten (Early) Modern Media,” will take place on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at 12 p.m. Professor of Italian Studies Massimo Riva, Digital Scholarship Editor Allison Levy, and Designer for Online Publications Crystal Brusch will introduce undergraduates to the wonders of time travel by exploring several examples of analog media from the pre-digital age. How can popular forms of entertainment from centuries ago, such as the cosmorama, the magic lantern, or the “moving panorama,” help us better understand our own “brave new world” – our digital visual culture? This workshop will revolve around a set of digital simulations of eighteenth-century optical devices being designed for this project.

Both events will take place in the Digital Scholarship Lab on the first floor of Rockefeller Library. A short reception will follow.

Dates: October 26 and November 1, 2017
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street

Announcement | Curator Li Wang Interviewed by China Library Weekly

During the recent 2017 Beijing International Book Fair–the second largest book fair in the world–Dr. Li Wang, Curator of Brown’s East Asian Collection, was interviewed by China Library Weekly, the only library newspaper published in China. Dr. Wang spoke about Brown University Library as well as his professional activities and perspectives. In the special issue, dated August 25, 2017, a large picture of Brown’s John Hay Library was presented on the newspaper’s front page and a full internal page featured Wang and the interview, entitled: “Librarian Should be an Envoy of Cross-Cultural Exchange.”

Based on his recent study of the mission and vision statements that reflect the new strategies of knowledge services in North American academic research libraries, Wang briefly summarized his ideas on the relationship between libraries and teaching and research at universities. He stressed that, aligning with the educational missions and with the teaching and research goals of their home universities, libraries should further redefine themselves, assume a new role as an academic partner, and engage more actively in knowledge innovation and the research process. That is just what Brown University Library proclaims in its mission statement: “Partnering with students, faculty, staff, and members of the global scholarly community, we foster and guide the creation, acquisition, preservation, and dissemination of knowledge at Brown and beyond in a spirit of free and open inquiry.”

In terms of promoting cross-cultural exchange, Wang also shared his experience in recent years, especially through exhibitions, presentations, travel reports, and other activities in this effort. Wang says, ”The librarian should not only be a manager and educator of scholarly resources. We, as scholars of Chinese studies, should also become an envoy of cross-cultural exchange, creating a genial cultural ambience so as to facilitate cultural exchange and understanding in a global context.”

Click here to read the article in Chinese, or read the translation below (translated by Yanqing Shen ’18).

Continue reading

Event | Mark Baumer (MFA ’11): A Celebration

On Friday, October 13, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., the Brown University Library will host Mark Baumer (MFA ’11): A Celebration in Sayles Hall. After the gathering in Sayles, attendees are invited to join members of Mark’s family, Library staff, and Literary Arts faculty, students, and alumni for a memorial tree planting in front of the Rockefeller Library.

Mark earned his MFA from Brown in 2011, where he made abiding friends while he pursued an unconventional and abundantly personal approach to writing, teaching, and living. Upon graduating from Brown, Mark began work providing communications for the Brown University Library, becoming, among other things, the voice of Josiah Carberry, long-beloved professor whose areas of study include psycho-ceramics. Taking an extended leave from the Library, Mark began a barefoot trek across the United States on October 13, 2016. From along the walk, he regularly posted video blog materials — — chronicling the walk, his encounters, and his perception of the nation through which he was passing. In January 2017, he was struck and killed by a passing vehicle.

Festivities celebrating the many facets of Mark’s connection to the Library and Brown are slated to begin around 10 a.m. in Sayles Hall. Harriette Hemmasi, University Librarian, and Kevin Powell, one of Mark’s former colleagues at the Library, will announce the Mark Baumer Book Fund, established by the Library in 2017 to support the acquisition of experimental literature books and media. Following, Karen McAninch of the United Service & Allied Workers of Rhode Island will announce the Mark Baumer Scholarship for Rhode Island native or Rhode Island-based activism.

From 11 a.m. to noon, Literary Arts faculty and alumni-colleagues of Mark’s will share from his work and talk about how he helped to shape their time at Brown. Joining us will be alumni Darren Angle, Andrew Bourne, and Angela Ferraiolo; and faculty members John Cayley, Colin Channer, Joanna Howard, and Ada Smailbegovic.​

To donate to the Mark Baumer Book Fund:

  • Visit the Brown University Library Giving webpage
  • Type “Mark Baumer” into the “search for something specific” field
  • Check “Other” and type Mark Baumer Book Fund into the box
  • Click “Add Your Gift”
  • Proceed to Gift Amount & Details

You can also write a check to Brown University and name the Mark Baumer Book Fund in the memo field. Please mail the checks to:

Brown University Library
10 Prospect Street, Box A
Providence, RI 02912
Attn: Mark Baumer Book Fund

Date: Friday, October 13, 2017
Time: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Sayles Hall); 12:15 – 12:30 p.m. (In front of Rockefeller Library)
Location: Sayles Hall (81 Waterman Street, on the College Green); Rockefeller Library (10 Prospect Street)

Announcement | Library Hires New E-Resources Manager

The Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Angela Galvan as Library E-Resources Manager.

Prior to joining Brown, Angela served as Digital Resources and Systems Librarian for the State University of New York, Geneseo. Before joining SUNY Geneseo in 2015, Angela was Digital Reformatting Specialist and Head of Interlibrary Services for The Ohio State University Health Sciences Library. She holds an MLIS from Kent State University.
Angela currently edits The MARCEdit Field Guide and has a chapter forthcoming on contemporary mourning and digital estates in The Complete Guide to Personal Digital Archiving for Librarians, Archivists, and Information Professionals from ALA Press. Her service includes appointments to ACRL and the Digital Library Federation Forum Preconference planning committees in various capacities. Angela is scheduled to give a keynote address for VALA: Libraries/Technology and the Future in February, 2018.
Her research interests are broad and include critical algorithm studies, decay in technology/infrastructure, and architecture. Angela is especially fond of great technical services work that supports creativity and inquiry for her patrons.

Announcement | Library Hires New Head of Shared Cataloging and Special Formats Metadata

The Library is pleased to announce that Rebecca Belford as the new Head of Shared Cataloging and Special Formats Metadata.

Prior to joining Brown, Rebecca was the Music Cataloger/Reference Librarian at the University at Buffalo from 2010-2017, with job duties including music formats cataloging, collection development, reference, and instruction. At UB she also taught music librarianship as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Library and Information Studies. Previously, she was Music Librarian at the University of Oregon.

An active member of the Music OCLC Users Group and the Music Library Association, she has presented and published on music in library discovery tools, music cataloging, collection development, and music librarianship education regionally and nationally.

Rebecca holds an M.A. in Musicology, an M.L.S. from the University at Buffalo, and an A.B. in Philosophy from Vassar College.

Updates from Around the Library | September 2017

Welcome back to school, Brunonians!

Check out what is happening around the Library at the beginning of academic year 2017 – 2018.

  • The Image Collections in the Brown Library takes a look at the bear, in honor of Bruno.
  • Have a look at all the Library’s current, upcoming, and past exhibits.
  • You might find a workshop at the Library that covers exactly what you need to know for your research!
  • The Brown Book Truck is tweeting about the people and spaces of the Brown University Library @brownbooktruck
  • The Digital Technologies Projects blog has all kinds of information about current projects and more, like the use of Fedora 3 and Python 3.
  • Do you like books? How about cool old stuff? Head over the the Conservation Bulletin to learn about how the Library takes care of our books and delicate artifacts.
  • If you’re on social media, check for Library news on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Event | Josiah Carberry’s Botanical Adventures with the Brown University Herbarium & Carberry Day Dinner

Professor Carberry studies Trillium grandiflorum, collected in Penn Yan, by H. P. Sartwell, New York

Josiah S. Carberry Day Dinner

Join the Brown University Friends of the Library and Friends of Josiah on October 13, 2017 at 6 p.m. at the Brown Faculty Club for a dinner celebrating the legendary Professor Josiah S. Carberry and his special day: Friday the Thirteenth.

The cost of dinner is $45.00, payable in advance by check to “Brown University.” You can reserve your seat at the table by emailing Connie Worthington at If you reserve a place, and do not cancel by October 6, you will be charged for the meal that was prepared for you.

Cocktails will be available from the cash bar at 6 p.m., and the buffet dinner will begin at 6:30 p.m.

After dinner, Tim Whitfeld, Collections Manager/Assistant Professor (Research), will speak about Brown’s unique Herbarium and the contributions Carberry and others have tried to make to the collection.

Josiah Carberry’s Botanical Adventures with the Brown University Herbarium

The Herbarium is a repository of botanical diversity from across the world. It includes 80,000 dried and pressed specimens from Rhode Island and all 50 US states. In addition, we have collections from at least 30 other countries, including Cuba, Colombia, South Africa, England, Russia, India, Australia, and Papua New Guinea, and ranging from 1823 to 2017. Over the past few years Herbarium staff has been cataloging the collection, an effort which has unearthed some surprises. It seems Professor Carberry, in addition to his specialized research in psychoceramics, was a keen plant collector who participated in several botanical adventures with the Herbarium. Tim will discuss some of these expeditions and highlight Carberry’s successes and failures to document unusual plants.

Date: Friday, October 13, 2017
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Brown Faculty Club, One Magee Street, Providence