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

Looking back at the First Space Flight

The anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first flight into orbital space provides an interesting occasion to explore the Library’s Congressional Digital Collection. Back in 1961, some members of Congress speculated that the achievement was a Soviet hoax “shrouded in mystery” and cited newspaper editorials demanding more evidence.

These statements in the Congressional Record and other congressional documents serve as useful resources in researching the history and development of the space program as well as the cultural response to the space age. The LexisNexis/ProQuest Congressional Digital Collection includes the full-text of congressional documents, reports, and hearings (from 1789 to the present).

Library Provides Full Access to New York Times

The New York Times has instituted restrictions on content effective March 28, 2011. Although some content will remain free, there will be limited access to articles and features for those who do not subscribe to either the print or online version of the paper.

The Library has arranged to provide Brown readers with access to the full text and images of the New York Times via Newsbank. Newsbank offers same-day, full-image, full-text access that includes the Book Review, Magazine, and other supplements. The links are now live via the Josiah catalog. Please see: http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b4146952 (first link) or the the New York Times record in the Library’s e-journal A-Z list at:
http://rl3tp7zf5x.search.serialssolutions.com/ (search New York Times)

A number of other online versions of the Times are also available from the Josiah link above. Users who encounter access trouble should contact us at: libweb@brown.edu or eresources@brown.edu

Freedom of Information Day March 16

Photograph of James Madison portraitCelebrate James Madison’s birthday — Freedom of Information Day — by exploring the Library’s new digital collection of historical U.S. government documents.

The LexisNexis Congressional Digital Collection now includes the full-text to congressional reports and documents back to 1789, congressional hearings back to 1824, and full coverage of the Congressional Record and its predecessor publications.

Audubon's Rock Ptarmigan on Display at John Hay Library

A volume of John James Audubon’s master work, The Birds of America, is on display on the main floor of the John Hay Library. Each plate will be on display for only one month. This month’s bird is the “Rock Ptarmigan”.

This elephant folio edition of The Birds of America, bound in six volumes, was presented by Albert E. Lownes to the Library on the occasion of his 50th class reunion in 1970.

For more information please contact hay@brown.edu.

Audubon’s “Band-tailed Pigeon” on display at John Hay Library

A volume of John James Audubon’s master work, The Birds of America, is on display on the main floor of the John Hay Library. Each plate will be on display for only one month. This month’s bird is the “Band-tailed Pigeon”.

This elephant folio edition of The Birds of America, bound in six volumes, was presented by Albert E. Lownes to the Library on the occasion of his 50th class reunion in 1970.

For more information please contact hay@brown.edu.

Pembroke Record

Pembroke RecordThe Center for Digital Scholarship has just completed work on the digital archive for the Pembroke Record. From 1923 to 1970, the Pembroke Record documented and commented upon life at Pembroke College in Brown University. Although the Pembroke Record ceased publishing decades ago, it has remained a valuable archival resource and an irreplaceable part of the history of women at Brown University.
With generous funding from the Pembroke Center, the Center for Digital Scholarship was able to digitize the entire paper archive and prepare a fully text-searchable version.

Visit the Pembroke Record Digital Archive

Online resources available on Haiti at Brown

Reference works
A Country Study: Haiti
Facts on File
The Hutchinson unabridged encyclopedia including atlas
Haiti in the Balance
Republic of Haiti

Health Survey
Haiti (USAID)
The History of Haiti
The Making of Haiti: the Saint Domingue revolution from below
Taking Haiti: military occupation and the culture of U.S. imperialism, 1915-1940
Vodou in Haitian Life and Culture : Invisible Powers
For a detailed history of the Haitian Revolution, consult Kona Shen’s ’10 web site The Haitian Revolution, 1492-1805. Kona Shen’s research project won one of the two 2009 Undergraduate Awards for Excellence in Library Research.
For additional resources, consult the:

The Geffrard Map of the Island of Hayti drawn for James Redpath’s Guide to Hayti. Boston, Haytian bureau of emigration, 1861

Port au Prince In : Hazard, Samuel. Santo Domingo Past and Present, with a Glance at Hayti. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1873.