Check Out Books From Harvard, Yale, & Others


Photo by Simon Cunningham (

Current Brown students, faculty, and staff will now have on-site library borrowing privileges at:

  • Columbia
  • Cornell
  • Dartmouth
  • Harvard
  • Princeton
  • Yale
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Chicago
  • M.I.T.
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Duke University.

To borrow from one of the participating libraries, you will have to present your Brown ID. For more information:

Lincoln’s Birthday


Image Credit: The image on the left and in the center is from George L. Spaulding (comp.), “Days We Celebrate” sheet music for Lincoln’s Birthday, published by Theodore Presser Co. in Philadelphia, 1914 (Lincoln Sheet Music); The image on the right is from “Lincoln’s Birthday” postcard, printed in London by Raphael Tuck & Sons, circa 1909 (Lincoln Graphics)

It may be difficult for anyone now under the age of 30 to imagine, but for most of the twentieth century the birthday of Abraham Lincoln was keenly celebrated in the United States, particularly in those states which had participated in the effort to preserve the Union during the Civil War. In fact, the earliest known commemoration of Lincoln’s birthday dates to 1874 in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo pharmacist Julius Francis took up the mantle of advocating a federal holiday in honor of Lincoln on his birthday, and repeatedly petitioned Congress toward that end. By 1909, when the Lincoln Centennial was celebrated, the idea of commemorating Lincoln’s birthday as a holiday had taken a firm hold on the public imagination.

During the years he served as President, Lincoln’s own birthday celebrations were subdued, as the conduct of the war to preserve the Union, the welfare of Union soldiers and other major problems faced by the nation weighed heavily on his conscience. On February 12, 1864—150 years ago today—Lincoln marked his birthday by assuring that James Taylor, a soldier who had been sentenced to death for desertion by Court Martial, would not lose his life.

Abraham Lincoln to John A. Dix

Image Credit: Telegrams from Abraham Lincoln to Gen. Dix in New York (Lincoln Manuscripts)

Abraham Lincoln to Stephen Cabot

Telegrams from Abraham Lincoln to Stephen Cabot at Boston, February 12, 1864 (Lincoln Manuscripts)

Brown University’s John Hay Library is home to the McLellan Lincoln Collection, one of the largest and most distinguished Lincoln collections held by an academic institution. These holdings document all aspects of Lincoln’s life, his term as President of the United States, and his legacy in American politics and popular culture. A significant portion of the collection is freely available to the public online in the Brown University Library’s Lincolniana at Brown website.

Contact: Holly Snyder |  (401) 863-1515

First-Year Students | Meet Your Personal Librarian

meet the Librarians

On February 11, all first-year students are invited to attend a reception in the Library. First-years, if you haven’t already met your personal librarian this is a great opportunity to do so. The reception will be in the Finn Room of the Rockefeller Library from 4-5 p.m.

The Finn Room is on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library. It is located in the room to the right of the computer cluster. Light refreshments will be served.

Reception Details
Library Reception for First-Years
Where: Finn Room (Rockefeller First Floor)
When: February 11  |  4-5 p.m.


Warren Commission Report available online

In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the U.S. Government Printing Office has made the official, digital version of the Warren Commission Report available on the agency’s FederJFK-photoal Digital System (FDsys) web site. The commission was created by President Lyndon Johnson and chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate President Kennedy’s assassination. The 900-page report is available for download (PDF file). It contains numerous photos, maps, and diagrams from the scene in Dallas, Texas. In addition to the final report, the Rockefeller Library holds copies of the 26 volumes of hearings conducted by the Commission and published by GPO in 1964.

The GPO FDsys web site also contains audio files of recordings of conversations that took place on November 22, 1963, after the Kennedy assassination. These include conversations between various individuals in Washington, DC, Air Force One pilots, and officials on board the flight from Dallas to Andrews Air Force Base following the assassination.

In tribute to the memory and legacy of President Kennedy, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum is hosting a series of events and exhibits, as well as providing access to many digital materials via their web site.


Contact: Daniel P. O’Mahony  | Brown University  |  401-863-9445  |  Daniel_O’ or


Center for Digital Scholarship Launches New Website

CDS Relaunch

The Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) recently launched its newly designed website. Please take a moment and check it out.

The Center for Digital Scholarship, a cross-departmental group in the Brown University Library supports digital scholarship for the Brown community and beyond by supporting scholarly and academic activities that are conducted or enhanced through the use of digital technology or that engage with its effects.

The New York Times Online Comes to Brown

New YorkTimes Online

The University Library, with support from the Office of the Provost, is pleased to announce the availability of The New York Times via a site license for the Brown community.  The site license enables Brown community members (current students, faculty and staff) to access the Times‘ current content without an individual subscription or monthly limits.

To help you access The New York Times through the Brown site license, the Library has created a New York Times at Brown Help Page. This page outlines how to activate your account as well as tips and solutions.

Below are some important details about the The New York Times Academic Pass:

  • All users must do a one-time registration to initiate their access.
  • To activate your pass go to
  • Click on “Register” to create a account using your Brown email address. You must use your Brown email address.
  • At the bottom of the Welcome page, click “Continue.”
  • You will have to “Confirm Your E-Mail Address.” Once the email arrives in your inbox, click the link in the email. This will simultaneously verify your eligibility and grant your first Academic Pass.
    Important Note: The initial email from the NY Times may state that your pass is good for 24 hours. Please ignore that message; it should be resolved soon. The pass is good for 1 year.
  • Once the initial registration is completed, and a “pass” selected, you will be able to access from any location.

The University Library is very pleased to offer this resource to the Brown community.

If you prefer to get your news from a physical object, the Library still offers paper copies of The New York Times at the Rockefeller and Science Libraries.


Brown University Library Celebrates Lovecraft with an Exhibit and New Research Fellowship!

H.P. LovecraftPROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] —Brown University Library, home to the largest collection of H. P. Lovecraft materials in the world, is pleased to co-sponsor a two-part exhibit this summer in partnership with the Providence Athenaeum, and to announce a new annual fellowship for research relating to H. P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs.

“The Shadow Over College Street:  H. P. Lovecraft in Providence,” will be on exhibit August 19 through September 22 in the Philbrick Rare Book Room of the Providence Athenaeum, and a smaller satellite exhibit will be on view in the lobby of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library from August 19 through October 24. Mounted in conjunction with NecronomiCon Providence, this collaborative exhibition explores Lovecraft’s youth in Providence and the city’s role in shaping his career as a master craftsman of “weird fiction.” Both parts of the exhibit feature materials from the John Hay Library.

And, starting in summer 2015, the S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship will provide a stipend of $2,500 for six weeks of scholarly work with the world renowned resources on Lovecraft at the Hay. The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship is sponsored by The Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press, and is named for S. T. Joshi, Brown alumnus (’80, MA ’82)  and prominent Lovecraft scholar. More information regarding application procedures will be announced in Fall 2014.

The Library will host a reception to celebrate the launching of the S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship on Thursday, August 22 from 4-5:30pm in the Lobby of the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library. Refreshments will be served. This event is free and open to the public.

Opened in 1911, the John Hay Library is part of the Brown University Library system, and is the largest and most diverse special collections library in Rhode Island, housing approximately 400,000 books, some three million manuscripts, as well as hundreds of thousands of broadsides, maps, prints, photographs, and pieces of sheet music. The Hay is especially strong in American poetry and plays, military history, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, Rhode Island history, the history of science and medicine, the history of magic and the occult, the history of dance, gay and lesbian fiction, the literature of wit and humor, extremist and dissident literature, alcohol and addiction studies, and book arts.  The Brown University Archives, housed in the Hay, contain the records of Brown University since its founding in 1764. As a whole, the Brown University Library is home to more than 6.8 million print items, plus a multitude of electronic resources and expanding digital archives serving the teaching, research, and learning needs of Brown students and faculty, as well as scholars from around the country and the world.

Contact: Daniel O’Mahony


Brown University Library Opens The Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab!

Rendering of New Lab

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — This October, the Brown University Library celebrates the opening of The Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library. The Lab is made possible thanks to the generosity of Mr. Patrick Ma, P’14, who is based in Hong Kong, China, Brown Trustee Cathy Halstead, and an anonymous donor.

Installing a panel of the video wall

The Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab features a large scale visualization video wall comprised of twelve 55 inch high resolution LED screens, creating a 7 x 16 foot display with a combined resolution of over 24 megapixels, offering high quality viewing and analytical space not publicly available elsewhere on campus.  The Lab is also outfitted with a wide range of software for scholars across the disciplines, a surround sound audio system, video-conferencing capabilities, specialized lighting, and several individual touch screen monitors that can be used independently or linked to the video wall for collaborative display and interaction.

Finishing touches to video wall

Patrick Rashleigh, the Library’s newly appointed Data Visualization Coordinator, will oversee the operation of the Lab, provide instruction and outreach to faculty, students, and interdisciplinary campus groups and support individual and course-based visualization projects. Rashleigh previously served as the Faculty Technology Liaison for the Humanities in the Research and Instruction group at Wheaton College; and Senior New Media Coordinator for the Attorney General of Ontario.

View of Digital Scholarship Lab under construction

As Joukowsky Family University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi explained, “The Brown University Library is a physical and virtual space for experimentation, production, and processing of new knowledge. The new Lab will provide necessary tools for faculty and staff to explore and define scholarly forms beyond their current capabilities.”

More information about the Lab’s opening and programming will be available later this month.

The Brown University Library is home to more than 6.8 million print items, plus a multitude of electronic resources and expanding digital archives serving the teaching, research, and learning needs of Brown students and faculty, as well as scholars from around the country and the world.

Contact: Jennifer Braga |  401-863-6913



New Brochure Listing Brown University Library Events and Exhibits

The Brown University Library is pleased to share a new brochure listing fall 2012 events and exhibits which are free and open to the public. A digital version is available here. Hard copies are available at Library locations. More information about these and other programs will continue to be made available in the announcements section of the Library website.

Website for Digital Art & Humanities Lecture Series, Now Live!

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] –The Brown University Library is launching a new website which hosts abstracts and videos from the 2011-2012 Digital Arts and Humanities Lecture Series.  The series was jointly sponsored by Brown University Library and the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage.

Over the course of the fall and spring semesters, five nationally recognized digital scholars came to campus to meet with graduate students, faculty, and digital staff, and to present on their research during an evening lecture. The series kicked off on October 3, 2011 with “Remembering Networks: Agrippa, RoSE and Network Archaeology” by renowned digital scholar, Alan Liu. The October lecture preceded Richard White’s “The Spatial Turn in History,” and “In the stack of the livebrary” by Jeffrey Schnapp. The last two lectures, “Post-archive: Scholarship in the Digital Age” by Tara McPherson, and “A Noisy Archaeology” by Paul DeMarinis, were filmed and are available for viewing.

The John Nicholas Brown Center helps connect academic communities and the broader public through history, art, and culture. We support people and organizations that explore, preserve, and interpret cultural heritage. Our programs explore the ways in which the humanities enrich everyday life.

The Brown University Library is home to more than 6.8 million print items, plus a multitude of electronic resources and expanding digital archives serving the teaching, research, and learning needs of Brown students and faculty, as well as scholars from around the country and the world.

Contact: Jennifer Braga |  401-863-6913