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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Library Acquires Broadside from Surrealist Riot

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Sergei Diaghilev, director of the Ballets Russes, emigrated to France in 1911. Always in search of innovations, he created a surrealist version of Romeo and Juliet in 1926, for which he commissioned Max Ernst and Joan Miró to create the sets.  The poets Louis Aragon and André Breton, who regarded themselves as the leaders of the surrealists, felt that deriving financial rewards from a surrealist creation was against the principles of the movement, and accused Ernst and Miró of selling out to the “international aristocracy.”  At the première of the ballet at the Opéra in Paris, Aragon and Breton, seated in the balcony, started a riot by noisily showering the audience with this double-sided leaflet printed in flaming red.

In fall 2011, Thomas and Antonia Bryson (class of ’72 and ’74) donated one of these rare and historically significant leaflets to the Brown University Library, where it joins over two thousand books, programs, playbills, photos and documents in the Bryson Dance Collection. Detailed information about each item in the collection can be found in Josiah under the author Bryson Dance Collection (Brown University).


Original leaflet

English translation by Stéphanie Ravillon’s translation course, FREN1510.1:

“PROTEST

It is unacceptable that thought be subservient to
money. And yet, not a year goes by without the
submission of a man considered to be indomitable to
the forces that he once opposed. Regardless of the
individuals who succumb in this manner to existing
social conditions, the idea that they claimed to support
before this abdication endures beyond them.
It is in this sense that the participation of the painters
Max Ernst and Joan Miró in the upcoming
production of the Ballets Russes would not implicate
the surrealist idea along with their degradation. It is an
essentially subversive idea, incompatible with
such enterprises, whose aim has always been to
domesticate, for the profit of the international
aristocracy, the reveries and the revolts born of
physical and intellectual famine.

It may have seemed to Ernst and Miró that their
collaboration with Diaghilev, legitimized by
Picasso’s example, would not have such grave
consequences. Yet we are placed under the
obligation–we whose primary concern has always
been to keep progressive thought out of reach of slave
traders of all sorts–we are placed under the obligation
to denounce, without consideration of the individuals
involved, an attitude that gives arms to the worst
partisans of moral ambiguity.

It is known that we make very little of our artistic
affinities with one person or another. Do us the honor
of believing that in 1926 we are more incapable than
ever of sacrificing to these affinities our sense of
revolutionary reality.

Louis ARAGON – André BRETON”

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The John Hay Library is open to the public and objects from Brown University’s Special Collections can be viewed by appointment.

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. Gifts to the Brown University Library are welcome. For more information on Giving Opportunities visit http://library.brown.edu/alumni/gifts/.

Contact: Jennifer Braga |  401-863-6913


Posted in Hay

David Adler ’14 Receives 6th Annual UGRA Award

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University Library is pleased to announce that David Adler ’14 is the recipient of the sixth 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. On Monday, April 30th at 9am, the Library will present Adler with his award in the Absolute Quiet Room on Level A of the Rockefeller Library. A reception will follow.

David Adler’s paper “A Sergeant of Industry” led from a close study of the Hall-Hoag Collection of dissenting and extremist propaganda, to direct correspondence with Brian Bex of the American Communications Network, and involved the acquisition of new materials from Bex which Adler will donate to the Library.

In his paper, Adler argues that a top-down reading of the conservative movement is incomplete, as it often neglects grassroots organizers, like Brian Bex, who Adler calls “sergeants of industry.” As Adler explains, “The story of Brian Bex suggests that we might view the conservative revolution as the result of the cooperative efforts of the entire chain of command in the free enterprise army.”

Adler is a sophomore from Los Angeles, CA, and a double concentrator in History & Economics. He works as a section editor for the College Hill Independent and as a Writing Fellow. During summer 2011, Adler worked with History Professor Naoko Shibusawa on an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award project, and he plans to study abroad at St. Stephen’s College in Delhi in the fall. He still owes the Brown Library $3.00 for extended use of a computer charger.

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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Dr. Guila Clara Kessous “Theater and Human Rights”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 3, 2012

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – At 5:30pm on Monday, May 7, 2012, Dr. Guila Clara Kessous will give a lecture entitled “Theater and Human Rights” in the second floor Lownes Room of the John Hay Library followed by a reception. This lecture is sponsored by Friends of the Library and is part of the Mel and Cindy Yoken Cultural Series. It is free and open to the public.

Dr. Kessous will consider representations of humanitarian cause on stage and examine the responsibilities and challenges artists and audiences face in exploring material of this nature. The presentation will focus on scenes from plays directed by Dr. Kessous in English and in French.

Guila Clara Kessous leads the Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center’s Initiative in Theater and Human Rights. She is the recipient of the State Diploma of Performing Arts among other awards, Kessous acted, directed and produced in major theatres in the US and Europe. She received a PhD in ethics and aesthetics under the mentorship of E. Wiesel, an MBA in cultural business, and a cross-disciplinary MA in comparative dramaturgy, cinema, and pedagogy. She has taught at Harvard, Boston University, the Sorbonne, and the Wiesel Institute. Her sponsors include UNESCO (director, “Hilda”), the UN (director, “Tribute to Human Rights”), and the CNRS among others. She has collaborated with artists including John Malkovich, James Taylor, Marissa Berenson, Daniel Mesguich, and Theodore Bikel. In 2010, she partnered with the United Nations on the theme “Theater and Human Rights” and was awarded the “Chevalier Arts et Lettres” from the French Minister of Culture. In 2011, UNESCO named her an “Artist for Peace” giving her the opportunity to collaborate directly with francophone countries spanning three different continents on the Mediterranean project.

Friends of the Library is an association interested in fostering the growth and usefulness of the Brown University Library and in encouraging gifts of books, desirable collections, other scholarly materials and funds.

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
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

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Paul DeMarinis “A Noisy Archaeology”

"Firebirds" (2004) credit: Roman März

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – On Tuesday, April 17, 2012, Brown University will host the fifth and final speaker of the Digital Arts & Humanities 2011-2012 Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage and the Brown University Library. Paul DeMarinis will give a talk entitled “A Noisy Archaeology” at 5:30pm in the Lownes Room, John Hay Library, followed by a reception in the lobby. This event is free and open to the public.

The Digital Arts and Humanities Lecture Series kicked off on October 3, 2011 with “Remembering Networks: Agrippa, RoSE and Network Archaeology” by renowned digital scholar, Alan Liu. Since October, Brown has hosted Richard White, Jeffrey Schnapp, and Tara McPherson.

As series organizers Steven Lubar and Harriette Hemmasi explained at the outset of the series, they hope “to engage Brown faculty and students in the digital arts and humanities by revealing the power of new digital approaches to transform traditional scholarship.”

Portrait of Paul DeMarinis credit: Rebecca Cummins

Paul DeMarinis is a Professor of Studio Art at Stanford University. He specializes in electronic media art production, and is a pioneer in the use computers for performance art. He has performed internationally, at The Kitchen, Festival d’Automne a Paris, Het Apollohuis in Holland and at Ars Electronica in Linz. His interactive audio artworks have been exhibited at the I.C.C. in Tokyo, Bravin Post Lee Gallery in New York, The Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and the 2006 Shanghai Biennale. He has received major awards and fellowships in both Visual Arts and Music from The National Endowment for the Arts, N.Y.F.A., N.Y.S.C.A., the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation and was awarded the Golden Nica for Interactive Art at Ars Electronica in 2006.

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

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Brown University Announces New Director of Special Collections

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] – Brown University has announced Thomas A. Horrocks as the new Director of Special Collections and the John Hay Library, effective July 9, 2012.

Horrocks has been employed at Harvard University for the past fourteen years, eight as Director of the Center for the History of Medicine at the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine and six as Associate Director for Collections at Houghton Library.  During his tenure at Countway, he reorganized and expanded the special collections staff, managed the renovation of the special collections department, established an exhibition program, revived and revamped the Warren Anatomical Museum, designed the library’s first fellowship program, raised funds for various cataloging and processing projects, and created the Center for the History of Medicine.

At Houghton Library, where Horrocks is responsible for collection development, collection promotion, and collection preservation, he has been involved with several notable acquisitions, created the library’s first preservation program, revitalized the contemporary poetry department, produced the library’s first collection development guidelines, enhanced and streamlined the exhibition and fellowship programs, and, working with Harvard faculty and local cultural organizations, organized major national and international conferences on Abraham Lincoln and Samuel Johnson.

Before coming to Harvard, Horrocks was employed at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia for thirteen years, where he served as Director of Historical Programs and Director of the Library.  Holding a library degree from Drexel University and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Pennsylvania, Horrocks has published many articles and has written, edited, and co-edited five books, including Popular Print and Popular Medicine: Health Advice in Early American Almanacs (2008), The Living Lincoln (2011), and Johnson After Three Centuries: New Light on Texts and Contexts (2011).  He is currently writing a biography of James Buchanan and a book on Abraham Lincoln’s 1860 campaign biographies.

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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A Short Interview with Walter Feldman

Please join the Brown University Library at 5:30pm, on Wednesday, March 21, 2012, as we celebrate the new limited edition publication BREATHTAKEN, a long poem by CD Wright with visual accompaniments by Walter Feldman.

Short interview: A conversation between Rosemary Cullen, Curator, American Literary & Popular Culture and Walter Feldman, celebrated artist and teacher (mp3 audio; February 15, 2012)

Images of collages and prints by Walter Feldman (below):