“Dealing with Data” – New Library Publication Now Availaible

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University]  
Brown University Library is pleased to announce the release of its newest publication, Dealing with Data.

Dealing with Data features contributions by Library staff and Brown faculty including Harriette Hemmasi, Catherine Busselen, Ann Caldwell, Jean Bauer, Julia Flanders, Amanda Rinehart, John Cayley, Sue Alcock, and Jan S. Hesthaven. The authors discuss a range of issues related to data description, management, and preservation, data visualization and the importance of data in research and teaching.

Free, print copies of the publication are available at the John D. Rockefeller Library, Sciences Library, Orwig Music Library, and John Hay Library. A PDF of Dealing with Data is available here.

Dealing with Data is sponsored by Brown University Library and Friends of the Library, with funding provided by the Richard and Edna Salomon Publications Fund. Most recently, the Salomon Fund also supported the print and digital publication of a revised Special Collections of the Brown University Library: A History and Guide, and a brochure about Brown’s Chinese collections, which is currently being translated into Chinese.

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. http://library.brown.edu/

Contact: Jennifer Braga |  401-863-6913


Brown Provides New Content for World Digital Library

Screenshot of an Image from the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection in the World Digital Library

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — This month the World Digital Library (WDL), an open access website sponsored by UNESCO and the Library of Congress featuring unique cultural materials and national treasures from libraries and archives around the world, has integrated 40 additional images from the Brown University Library.  Expanding the WDL’s coverage of Africa, Asia, and South America, an assortment of gouache paintings, watercolors, chromolithographs, pencil drawings, and other works from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection are accompanied by object information and narrative descriptions touching on a variety of themes. And, to strengthen the WDL’s content about Iran, additional Persian materials will be added later this year.

Since 2009, staff from Brown University Library and dozens of other institutions have been working with the WDL to promote cross-cultural awareness by providing access to iconographic stories and achievements from around the globe. Available free of charge on the internet and presented in a multilingual format, the WDL provides a rich and diverse database that can be browsed by place, time, topic, type of item, and contributing institution. Navigation tools and content descriptions are provided in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

The WDL is one of many outreach initiatives undertaken by the Brown University Library to make its collections more accessible and better known around the world.  The Brown University Library also hosts an extensive set of digitized materials on its website.

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


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Brown University Library Discovers Buried Treasure

March 27, 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – The Preservation Department of Brown University Library has discovered an exceptionally rare engraved print by Paul Revere.

As long as two hundred years ago, Solomon Drowne, Brown University Class of 1773 and a professor in the early Brown University Medical School, tucked a little something into one of his books, The Modern Practice of Physic, by Robert Thomas, published in 1811. The John Hay Library received the book in 1940, with the rest of Drowne’s Library.  During a recent inspection of the Drowne books, Marie Malchodi, of the Library’s Preservation Department, discovered this little something: an engraved depiction of Christ and John the Baptist, both of them chest deep in the Jordan River, titled “Buried with Him by Baptism” and signed “P. Revere sculp.”

The print is characterized by Clarence S. Brigham in Paul Revere’s Engravings, the standard reference, as “one of the scarcest of the plates signed by Revere.” The Brown University Library’s copy is the fifth known to exist. Other copies are housed at the American Antiquarian Society, the Worcester Art Museum, and a private museum collection in Massachusetts; another, which Brigham mistakenly thought had been acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), was offered at auction by Sotheby’s in 2007.

As Richard Noble, Rare Materials Cataloger explains “The print is of considerable interest simply because Revere made it, but it is also an intriguing and very serious theopolitical cartoon, depicting the baptism in a manner that was the subject of lively debate in eighteenth-century New England religious circles. Brigham was unable to identify a model for it in any English book or periodical, or connect it with any of the tracts on baptism published on this side of the Atlantic from 1760 to 1780. It appears to be an American original, by an American original, the son of French Huguenot refugees who eventually became, by all accounts, a Unitarian. The print thus marks a stage in the evolution of that aspect of Revere’s 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: Ann Dodge|  Ann_Dodge@Brown.edu | (401) 863-1502


Check out the Friedman DVD Collection!

Check out the latest flicks from the Friedman DVD Collection at Sci Li! We now have over 800 movies. Browse the collection online before heading over to the service desk. Browsing allows you to see what IMDb has to say about the film, and confirm whether the DVD is currently available for check-out.

Brown students can borrow two Friedman DVDs at a time and keep them for up to three days. We also encourage suggestions for recent feature-length movies to add to the collection!

Brown University Library Receives Mellon Foundation’s 2011 Hidden Collections Award

The Hall-Hoag Collection consists of hundreds of thousands of items documenting dissenting and extremist movements (left- and right-wing) in the United States, primarily between 1950 and 2000, on controversial subjects confronted by American society.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] - The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) announced that Brown University Library is a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 2011 Hidden Collections award for “The Gordon Hall and Grace Hoag Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda, Part II.” This three year project, headed by Jennifer Betts, University Archivist and Andrew Ashton, Director of Digital Technologies, will complete the processing of materials Gordon Hall began compiling when he returned from World War II and encountered U.S. domestic hate groups at both ends of the political spectrum.

Along with a group of volunteers, including Grace Hoag, Hall infiltrated and investigated radical and dissenting groups, collecting their printed propaganda as part of his efforts to preserve these irreplaceable materials for posterity. This project will organize and make available over 700,000 items that reflect a continuum of views on the Cold War, civil and women’s rights, and the relationship of religion and state.

Created in 2008 and supported by ongoing funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives awards program supports the identification and cataloging of special collections and archives of high scholarly value that are difficult or impossible to locate. Award recipients create web-accessible records according to standards that enable the federation of their local cataloging entries into larger groups of related records, enabling the broadest possible exposure to the scholarly community.

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


Brown University Library Joins the Digital Library of the Caribbean

Samuel Hazard. Port-au-Prince. New York: Harper, 1873. In: Santo Domingo, past and present, with a glance at Hayti. Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, John Hay Library.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – In support of President Ruth Simmons’ 2010 Haitian Studies Initiative and the work of Brown’s Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Africana Studies Department, Brown University Library has recently become a contributing member of the Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC). dLOC provides access to digitized versions of Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials currently held in archives, libraries and private collections.

“Through its contribution to the expansion of dLOC, the Brown Library is taking an important step in building resources on the Caribbean diaspora and furthering the advancement of Caribbean Studies and the Haitian Studies Initiative on campus,”  stated Scholarly Resources Librarian, Dominique Coulombe.

The Digital Library of the Caribbean is a cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean. dLOC’s diverse partners serve an international community of scholars, students, and citizens by working together to preserve and to provide enhanced electronic access to cultural, historical, legal, governmental, and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections in a common web space with a multilingual interface.

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


Brown University Library Acquires Exceptionally Rare Book On Chinese Medicine

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] - The Brown University Library has acquired an exceptionally rare book, the first Western book on Chinese medicine, Les Secrets de la Medecine des Chinois (Grenoble, 1671). The volume is composed of anonymous translations of early Chinese texts attributed to Jesuit authors, including the first accounts in the West of the Chinese theory of pulses, and the theory and practice of acupuncture.  The person who compiled the text is unknown, but locates himself in Canton in 1668, having been forced from Peking (current day Beijing) along with other Christians.

Brown University is now one of only seven institutions worldwide, and the first institution in the Northeastern US, to hold a copy of this text.  Les Secrets de la Medecine des Chinois will be stored along with Brown’s other treasures in the John Hay Library. Information about the book, as well as other objects of interest to those teaching, learning, and researching about China, will be made available this spring in a brochure celebrating the Library’s collection on the occasion of the Year of China.

The Year of China explores the rich culture, economy, and politics of Greater China, investigating its past, examining its present, and contemplating its future. Throughout the 2011-2012 academic year, Brown will host public lectures, cultural events, academic conferences, and exhibits in an integrated exploration of China. For more information about the program and upcoming events, please visit: www.brown.edu/yearofchina

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

Digital Humanities Project Wins IMLS National Leadership Grant

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – TEI Archiving, Publishing, and Access Service (TAPAS), a digital humanities collaboration between the libraries of Brown University and Wheaton College, has been awarded a $250,000 National Leadership Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), to begin on December 1, 2011 and run for three years. The goal of TAPAS is to create a shared repository and a suite of publishing and preservation services for humanities scholars who are creating digital research materials using the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines.

TEI encoding offers both scholars and readers significantly richer options for annotating, searching, linking, and using digital texts. However, creating, preserving, and providing access to a TEI-encoded text can be very costly, and requires technologies and expertise that are not widely available, especially at smaller institutions. TAPAS is a community-driven, contributory project, committed to open access and open-source tools and approaches for publishing and archiving. It will enable scholars to share data and interface tools with one another and with the public. The resulting archive will permit broad access and support third-party interface development.

As Andrew Ashton, Director of Digital Technologies, Brown University Library stated “TAPAS addresses the immediate needs of humanities scholars by storing and publishing their work, but it also provides a new venue for scholars working with TEI to share, discuss, and collaborate around that work.” TAPAS will add a new dimension to Brown’s text encoding initiatives, pairing Brown’s technical expertise in digital repositories with emerging developments in web publishing and data representation.  By exploring the intersection of digital collections with web frameworks such as Drupal, the TAPAS group expects to develop a substantial body of highly transferable tools and knowledge. In July, the TAPAS project received an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant to fund initial user interface design. This new IMLS grant will enable large-scale infrastructure development to make TAPAS a reality. For more information on TAPAS visit tapasproject.org

The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute’s mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas. The Institute works at the national level and in coordination with state and local organizations to sustain heritage, culture, and knowledge; enhance learning and innovation; and support professional development. To learn more about the Institute, please visit imls.gov


Contact: Julia Flanders | Julia_Flanders@brown.edu | 401 863-2135

Welcome to the Brown University Library!

Brown University Library spacesWith the start of every academic year comes that familiar mixture of anticipation and anxiety.

For those of you just joining our learning community here at Brown, we’d like you to know that the Library has a variety of spaces, services, resources and support to help alleviate some of that stress and encourage your intellectual pursuits.

For those of you who have found your way back to campus, we’d like to remind you of the many ways the Library can help.

Our study spaces are flexible: find a quiet or social space, one for individual or group study.

Borrow a laptop and charger, headphones, or a DVD from our popular video collection.

Print and scan. Find a book, e-book, or journal articles in our own collections, or borrow from libraries worldwide through our loan programs.

Access our website and its tools from your mobile phone or from your laptop.

Connect with us online or in person for research help.

Visit us at library.brown.edu!

2011 Undergraduate Research Award Recipients


PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Brown University Library is pleased to announce that Evelyn Ansel ’11.5 and Elise Nuding ’11 are the recipients of the fifth annual Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Library Research, generously funded by Douglas W. Squires, ’73. This award, established in partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, recognizes undergraduate projects that make extensive and creative use of the Brown University Library’s collections, including print and primary resources, databases, and special collections. A six member review committee composed of Brown University faculty members, librarians, and a representative from the Office of the Dean of the College, selected this year’s winners and presented each with an award of $750 at a reception held in the John Hay Library on April 29, 2011.

Elise Nuding’s paper “Observations on ‘the volcanick work’: A cultural biography of Sir William Hamilton’s Campi Phlegreai” is a comparative and biographical study of the Brown University Library’s copy of Campi Phlegreai (1776), conducted for Professor Karen Holmberg’s course, Archaeology Under the Volcano. The Campi Phlegraei, part of the Albert E. Lownes Collection, is a rare book of observations and fifty-four hand colored plates. It documents the eighteenth century eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Using Photoshop to view digital versions of this title held in other collections, Nuding identified idiosyncrasies of each copy and developed a sense of the Brown copy’s particular “colour identity.” As reviewers stated, Nuding’s “excavation of a book…[is] a compelling research model”; she created a “seamless integration of the primary source with inter-disciplinary secondary sources.”

Evelyn Ansel’s project, “Qur’anic Manuscripts of the Early Islamic World,” was conducted as an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA) with Professor Ian Straughn. With Straughn’s guidance, Ansel explored the provenance, care, paleography, and illumination in Qur’anic folios from the Library’s special collections. She participated in the creation of a searchable digital database of prints, featuring contextual essays Ansel co-authored and documentary videos she produced. She also co-curated the exhibition Sacred Script: Qur’anic Manuscripts from the 8th to 16th Centuries in the Minassian Collection, on view through July 2011 in the John Hay Library’s second floor Bopp Seminar Room gallery.  Sacred Script charts the development of calligraphic styles, considers the folios’ contemporary reception as art, and explores their materiality as manufactured objects. As a reviewer stated: “from making her own notebooks, to encoding her experience of learning Arabic and studying its significance as an art form, Evie demonstrates the connection between artistic experience and learning.”

2012 UGRA award information will be announced this December.

The Brown University Library (http://library.brown.edu) supports the University’s educational and research mission and is Brown’s principal gateway to current information and the scholarly record.

Contact: Jennifer Braga |  401-863-6913