Lecture | The Brown Charter: Digital Discoveries

imbr00000004842_02md_WEBBrown University’s Charter manuscript exists as two pieces of water-damaged parchment, with few visible letters. To coincide with Brown’s 250th anniversary, Rachel Lapkin, Library Materials Conservator, began working with Digital Production Services photographer Lindsay Elgin to see if modern imaging techniques could reveal more of the original manuscript. Learn about the characteristics of parchment, and of manuscript ink, and how these traits can be exploited by specialized lighting and processing techniques to allow for closer examination into this object’s memory.

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time: 4 pm

Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library


Rachel Lapkin, Library Materials Conservator

Lindsay Elgin, Photographer, Digital Production Services

John Hay Library Open Saturday 9/27 for Fall Celebration


As part of Brown University’s Imagine Brown 250+ Fall Celebration the John Hay Library will be open Saturday, September 27th (10 am – 6 pm).  The Hay Library will be open during its regular hours Sunday, September 28th (noon – 10 pm).

In addition to the ongoing exhibits, Elements of Tradition and Change: Brown University’s First 250 Years and The Great War, 1914–1918, visitors may take part in tours:

2 pm: Curator’s Tour of Elements of Tradition and Change

Engage in a lively exhibition tour with University Archivist Jennifer Betts.  Ms. Betts will discuss the exhibition’s themes as well as the history behind the University Archives collection materials on display. The exhibit highlights the University’s founding, evolving educational curriculum, social transformations, and the expanding campus.

2-2:45 pm and 3-3:45 pm: Tours of the John Hay Library

Join Peter Harrington, Curator, Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, to view various special collections including the display of 5,000 miniature toy soldiers, and the Lincoln and Napoleon Rooms. Following the tour, take the opportunity to view the recently remodeled first floor of the Hay.



Banned Books Week 2014


Between September 21 and September 27, 2014 the Library will be celebrating Banned Books Week.

Every year for Banned Book Week, the American Library Association (ALA) promotes the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one’s opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular. The ALA’s goal with Banned Book Week is to stress the importance of ensuring the availability of all viewpoints to all who wish to read them.

For the entire week, the Library will be contributing to the #BannedBooksWeek hashtag on Twitter. Also, be on the lookout for Banned Books Week materials in various Brown Library locations. If you spot something related to Banned Books Week take a photo and share on Instagram using the hashtag: #BannedBooksWeek.

For more about info about Banned Books Week visit: ala.org/bbooks.

Top ten frequently challenged books of 2013 has been released as part of the State of America’s Library Report. Find out which books made the list.

Music and the Great War Exhibit


Late summer and early fall of 2014 marks the centennial anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. This war had a dramatic effect on the psychological, political, and aesthetic landscape of Europe and North America. Although it is sometimes overshadowed in twentieth-century history by the second World War, the first World War inspired doubt, cynicism, and nostalgia that has resounded to the present day in musical works.

This exhibit takes a look at a few pieces with content that was directly inspired by the events of the war. There is work by Joan Littlewood, Kevin Puts, Alban Berg, John Foulds, and Igor Stravinsky.

Location: Orwig Music Library
Date: September 2014—January 9, 2015

Upcoming First Readings Events


As part of the First Readings program, there will be three events at the end of September/beginning of October. The selection for this year’s First Reading program was the film Oil and Water which told the story of Hugo Lucitante (a member of the Cofan tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon) and David Poritz (Brown ’12) as they both fought to protect the Amazon.

Upcoming First Readings Events

  • Seeing With Two Eyes: Development and Environment in Ecuador | September 29, 2014 at 4 p.m. in Salomon 001 (Main Green)
    David Poritz’12, Hugo Lucitante, Craig Hammer, and Juan Carlos in a discussion with Brown faculty on the intersection of environmental conservation and development.
  • Film Screening: Oil and Water  | October 1, 2014 at 4:15 p.m. in Salomon 101 (Main Green)
  • Ecuador before Ecuador : Indigenous and Early Amazon | October 2, 2014 at 4 p.m. in the MacMillan Reading Room (John Carter Brown Library)
    The filmmakers (Laurel Spellman Smith and Francine Strickwerda) and film protagonists (David Poritz and Hugo Lucitante) will discuss early Amazonian history and resources at Brown for studying the indigenous past.

Exhibit lecture | Behind the Scenes of Elements of Tradition and Change with Rachel Shipps and Abigail Ettelman

Join Rachel Shipps AM’14 and Abigail Ettelman AM’14, both graduates of the Public Humanities program at Brown, for a behind the scenes tour of the exhibit “Elements of Tradition and Change: Brown University’s First 250 Years.” Ms. Shipps and Ms. Ettelman, who curated the exhibit under the direction of University Archivist Jennifer Betts, will highlight some of the the challenges involved when creating an exhibit that encompasses many years and topics. In addition, both will discuss their favorite aspects of Brown University history. This event is free and open to the public.

Date: September 18, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room | John Hay Library

Exhibit Celebrating the Rock’s 50th Anniversary


An exhibit honoring the Rockefeller Library’s 50th Anniversary will be on display this fall in the lobby cases of the Rockefeller Library. This exhibit will showcase various photographs, documents, and other ephemera from the building’s half-century of existence.

For more information about the Rockefeller Library’s 50th Anniversary please visit the “Rock 50” website. If you have a Rock memory you would like to share you can submit it here or on social media using the hashtag #rock50memories.

Members of the general public wishing to to view exhibits at the Rockefeller Library should first check in at the service desk.

Location: Rockefeller Lobby Cases
Date: September 2, 2014–January 9, 2015

Contact: Jennifer Betts

The Great War 1914–1918 | A Centennial Exhibition

20140818greatWar The Great War, 1914–1918 Exhibit will be on display in the Hay Lobby Cases from September 2 – December 19, 2014.

The exhibit showcases items from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection. Items include: journals, books, etchings, posters, music sheets, and illustrations. All pieces are related to World War I.

One interesting feature in the exhibit is a sketchbook by Herman Fechenbach. In 1917, Fechenbach was involved in a grenade attack and eventually lost his left leg.

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. To learn more about the collection, please visit the collection website.

Date: September 2, 2014 – December 19, 2014
Location: Lobby Cases | John Hay Library

Contact: Peter Harrington


Transformations | Fifty Years of the Brown University–Tougaloo College Partnership

20140512tougaloo The Transformations exhibit examines the unique relationship between Brown University and Tougaloo College (Mississippi) over its fifty year history. Photographs and printed materials offer a glimpse of the early years of the partnership as well as the depth of personal change experienced by participants in the exchange.  From Civil Rights to the present, Tougaloo has provided the Brown community with an important perspective on social activism, lingering inequalities, and education.

The Transformations exhibit goes up on May 12, 2014 and will be on display until August 15, 2014.

Members of the general public wishing to to view exhibits at the Rockefeller Library should first check in at the service desk.

Date: May 12, 2014 – August 15, 2014
Location: Lobby cases | Rockefeller Library

Contact: Jennifer Betts