Exhibit | Spectacular Listening: U.S. Air Guitar

This exhibit by ethnomusicology Ph.D. candidate Byrd McDaniel displays some of the memorabilia central to air guitar playing in the United States and the U.S. Air Guitar Championships in particular.  Advertised as the “greatest thing you’ve never seen,” the contemporary U.S. Air Guitar Championships stem from a long line of related practices throughout the twentieth century—such as pantomime, musical comedy, and dance—that crystallized in the late 1970s and early 1980s around air band and air guitar competitions. Byrd argues that we should think of air guitar as a type of listening—a practice in animating, translating, and transmitting rock recordings.

Air guitar competitions not only reproduce and revisit some of the classic moments in rock guitar history, but they also revise these moments, sometimes sustaining and sometimes challenging the often racist, sexist, and ableist narratives that litter the genre’s history. It can also undermine these problematic discourses as well, subordinating guitar greats and lofty values (like authenticity or virtuosity) to the tastes and talents of the amateur air guitarist.

Ultimately, air guitar playing reminds us how gesture and listening sustain important aspects of our cultural identities. It calls on us to rethink the origins of our current interactive and haptic technologies, which stem just as much from technological innovations as they do from a desire to take music recordings into our own hands.

Dates: February 12 – April 12, 2019
TimeLibrary Hours
Location: Orwig Music Library, 1 Young Orchard Avenue, Providence

Event | Playing the Past – Archaeology and Video Games Play Well Together

On Sunday and Monday, January 27 and 28, 2019, Eva Mol and Carl Walsh, Postdoctoral Research Associates in Archaeology and the Ancient World at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, hosted a conference and workshop at the Rockefeller Library entitled, “Playing the Past – Archaeology and Video Games Play Well Together.

Conference

On Sunday, speakers discussed the state of the field in gaming and archaeology with a specific focus on how interactive, virtual media function as a differential space for theory-crafting, historytelling, and public outreach. Seven presenters spoke about topics ranging from a case study of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, which is set in ancient Egypt, to the pedagogical uses of games set in ancient time periods, to the participatory creation of historical video games and environments by both experts and the public.

The presentations took place in the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, which is equipped with a large-scale, high-resolution video wall comprised of twelve 55-inch high-resolution LED screens, allowing for crisp and responsive visual presentation of video games and other media.

Workshop

On Monday, Angus Mol and Aris Politopoulos of Leiden University and the VALUE Foundation taught workshop participants, including archaeologists, designers, critics and consumers, how to use Twine, an intuitive and powerful tool for digital storytelling and game design. The group made use of what was learned by building video games in the Library’s Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio. The Studio’s flexible space allowed the attendees to break into smaller groups and collaborate while using the room’s screen and whiteboards.

Date: Sunday and Monday, January 27 and 28, 2019
Time: All day
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab & Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street

Event | #LibraryLove on Valentine’s Day

Cookies and Stickies

This Valentine’s Day — Thursday, February 14 — let us know what you love about the Brown University Library, enjoy some cookies, and write a love letter.

There will be cookies in four library locations along with sticky notes and pens. We invite you to write what you love about the Library on a sticky note and put it up on the wall.

Share the Love on Social

We’ll take some photos of the sticky notes and post them to Instagram and Twitter.

  • @BrownUniversityLibrary on Insta
  • @BrownLibrary on Twitter

We’d love to see your photos, too! Be sure to use #LibraryLove and #BrownLibrary so we can like, comment, and share.

Not on campus? Create a virtual love letter to the Library.

Send a Letter

Complimentary greeting cards from the Friends of the Library collections will be available at each location. Please help yourself to a card (or several), write a note, seal and address the envelope (you will need to know the address), and place it in the box labeled “CARDS.” The Library will mail the cards for you!

Date: Thursday, February 14, 2018
Time: All day
Locations:

  • Rockefeller Library, Sorensen Family Reading Room
  • John Hay Library, First Floor Lounge
  • Sciences Library, Lobby
  • Orwig Music Library, Circulation Area

Announcement | Library Donates to Community Nonprofits

Some of the Library staff donations for Crossroads Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank

Each year during the holidays, Nancy Flynn, Senior Library Specialist, Facilities and Business, has chaired the Library’s charitable holiday drive.

In December of 2018, over the course of two weeks, Nancy inspired Library staff to donate gifts, money, and food to Crossroads Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

Donations

The mission of Crossroads Rhode Island is to help homeless or at-risk individuals and families secure stable homes. In addition to an overflowing mail bin full of new toys for children, Crossroads Rhode Island received $800 in monetary donations from the Library.

Library staff gave the Rhode Island Community Food Bank over 100 pounds of non-perishable food items and a monetary donation of $1,070. With a mission to improve the quality of life for all Rhode Islanders by advancing solutions to the problem of hunger, this local food bank provides access to healthy food to diverse communities throughout the state.

Nancy Flynn

Nancy retired in January 2019, after many years of dedicated service to the Library. A beloved and respected member of the staff, Nancy’s infectious humor, tireless work ethic, and enormous heart is sorely missed at the Rockefeller Library and beyond. One of those Rhode Islanders who knows everyone and every place, Nancy remains connected to us (thankfully) and can probably be found “getting her steps in” on Blackstone Boulevard or in the coolest new pub to open in Providence (and the surrounding area).

We thank Nancy for spearheading our community giving efforts and look forward to trying to live up to the very high bar of community philanthropy that she has set over the course of her career in the Library.

Exhibit | Folklore Music Map of the United States

Folklore Music Map of the United States from the Primer of American Music
Dorothea Dix Lawrence (1899–1979)
New York, New York: Hagstrom Company,  Inc., 1946
Brown University Library, Special Collections

This colorful Folklore Music Map of the United States contains period illustrations, musical classifications and a bibliography.  With its visual overlay of music and geography, the map provides useful information about the varied and unique sounds produced nationally and studied by folklorists of the 1940s. Created by opera singer turned folklorist Dorothea Dix Lawrence from her Primer of American Music radio program, the map is an example of her efforts to broadly collect and disseminate music in America.  All of the music samples on the map were later published in a book entitled Folklore-Songs of the United States (1959).

Exhibit Dates: January 30 -Febuary 28, 2019
Exhibit TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Exhibit Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Announcement | Emily Ferrier, Social Sciences and Entrepreneurship Librarian

The Brown University Library welcomes Emily Ferrier as the Social Sciences and Entrepreneurship Librarian.

As the primary liaison to the Nelson Center for Entrepreneurship and the department of Economics, Emily will assist researchers, students, and other University stakeholders as they develop entrepreneurial projects, conduct market research, explore business models, and engage in community partnerships to strengthen the local, national, and international scholarly community. As a member of the Academic Engagement unit, Emily will work with other subject librarians, as well as the Center for Digital Scholarship, the digital repository team, and others in the Library and across campus to provide the resources and services to support this work.

Emily will provide synchronous and asynchronous instruction on topics related to business and entrepreneurship, such as market research, business analysis, intellectual property, patents, and finance, and scholarly resources to support research and teaching in entrepreneurship and economics.

Emily joins Brown from Olin College of Engineering where she has has served as the Senior Librarian since 2016. Most recently she has also served as the Acting Library Director. At Olin, Emily has supported open scholarship and Olin’s open access policy to provide preservation and access to scholarship including student and faculty research, data, and software.

Emily has demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion through cross-institutional activities focused on ways to design support systems to address systemic issues that result in first year students, students with disabilities, and marginalized community members feeling excluded from campus and classrooms. Along with a cross-disciplinary team consisting of faculty, student affairs and the library, Emily and her co-authors’ related peer-reviewed paper, “Proactive Inclusion of Neurodiverse Learning Styles in Project-Based Learning: A Call for Action,” was presented at the American Society for Engineering Education conference in June 2018.

Prior to joining Olin College of Engineering in 2016, Emily worked in the libraries of intellectual property law firms where she specialized in IP research, with expertise in legal, intellectual property, and business intelligence research. Emily earned her MLIS from San Jose State and a BA in History from Northeastern University.

In addition to her professional accomplishments, Emily is a media producer of titles such as COLD HUDSON: A Slow Film. Slowness is a theme that has worked its way into cooking, photography, and now to the old house she is renovating.

Event | House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo with Allison Levy

Join the Brown University Library on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a presentation on the book House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo (Bloomsbury, 2019) by author Allison Levy (Digital Scholarship Editor, Brown University Library and Visiting Scholar in Italian Studies) in conversation with Sheila Bonde (Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Brown University).

House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo

House of Secrets tells the remarkable story of Palazzo Rucellai from behind its celebrated façade. The house, beginning with its piecemeal assemblage by one of the richest men in Florence in the fifteenth century, has witnessed endless drama, from the butchering of its interior to a courtyard suicide to champagne-fueled orgies on the eve of World War I to a recent murder on its third floor. When the author, an art historian, serendipitously discovers a room for let in the house, she lands in the vortex of history and is tested at every turn—inside the house and out. Her residency in Palazzo Rucellai is informed as much by the sense of desire giving way to disappointment as by a sense of denial that soon enough must succumb to truth. House of Secrets is about the sharing of space, the tracing of footsteps, the overlapping of lives. It is about the willingness to lose oneself behind the façade, to live between past and present, to slip between the cracks of history and the crevices of our own imagination.

Allison Levy

Allison Levy

Allison Levy is Digital Scholarship Editor at Brown University Library. An art historian educated at Bryn Mawr College, she has taught in the US, Italy, and the UK. Allison has published widely on the visual culture of early modern Italy and serves as General Editor of the book series Visual and Material Culture, 1300–1700, published by Amsterdam University Press.

Discover more about House of Secrets and discuss on social with #houseofsecrets.

Sheila Bonde

Sheila Bonde is an archaeologist and architectural historian specializing in the study of medieval sites and their representation. Currently Professor of the History of Art and Architecture and Professor of Archaeology, she has excavated in England, France and Israel. She currently directs the MonArch excavation and research project in northern France at the Augustinian abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons, the Carthusian house at Bourgfontaine, the Cistercian monastery at Notre-Dame d’Ourscamp, and the motherhouse at Tiron.

Date: April 2, 2019
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Announcement | Dr. Zhuqing Li Appointed Faculty Curator, East Asian Collection

Dr. Zhuqing Li

The Brown University Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Zhuqing Li, Visiting Associate Professor of East Asian Studies at Brown, as Faculty Curator, East Asian Collection. Professor Li has taught in the Department of East Asian Studies since 2014. Her role as Faculty Curator began on January 1, 2019.

In this new role, Professor Li will work with the curatorial staff of Brown’s East Asian Collection and other Library experts to explore ways to strengthen the use of these materials for teaching and research on campus, and to increase their visibility to the broader scholarly community through a variety of means including description, exhibits, digital projects, workshops, programs, and publication. Professor Li will also continue to teach in the Department of East Asian Studies.

Zhuqing Li

A linguist specializing in Chinese historical linguistics and dialectology, Professor Li received her Ph.D. in East Asian Language and Literature from the University of Washington and taught at Boston College for 13 years before coming to Brown. Her research has focused on the study of the Chinese language, the historical experiences of Chinese returnees, and the linguistic aspects of Chinese-English translation.

Professor Li’s research began with the study of the phonology and grammar of Fuzhou dialect, which has the most complicated sound-change system in the Chinese language family and is a window into how Chinese sounded in ancient times. Her work on Chinese returnees looks at the social phenomena of Chinese-born citizens who study abroad and return home, reintegrating into Chinese society. She is currently exploring the prosodic and scientific properties of the Chinese language.

Professor Li is the author of four books: Reinventing China: Experience of Contemporary Returnees from the West (Bridge 21, 2016), Minnan-English Dictionary (Dunwoody Press, 2008), The Structure of Fuzhou Dialect (Dunwoody Press, 2002), and Fuzhou-English Dictionary (Dunwoody Press, 1998), as well as numerous academic articles.

Brown’s East Asian Collection

The East Asian Collection, located on the third floor of the Rockefeller Library, holds nearly 200,000 volumes of East Asian language print books in addition to print serials, audio-video materials, and electronic resources. The Collection was developed from an initial gift of approximately 30,000 volumes donated to Brown in 1961 by the noted sinologist Charles Sidney Gardner. Dr. Li Wang, Curator of the East Asian Collection, and Toshiyuki Minami, Senior Library Specialist, offer students and researchers support in their use of the Collection and will be collaborating with Professor Li throughout her work with the Library.

Exhibit | Learning through Play: British and French Tabletop Games from the 18th and 19th Centuries

“The cottage of content: or, the right roads and wrong ways” (London, 1848)

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: BRITISH AND FRENCH TABLETOP GAMES FROM THE 18th AND 19th CENTURIES

Georgian & Victorian Games, Gift of Ellen Liman ‘57, and Early French Games, Loan from Doug Liman ‘88
May 21 – October 11, 2019
John Hay Library, Brown University

The exhibition will be on display in the John Hay Library’s main gallery from May 21 through October 11, 2019; the exhibition is free and open to the public during the library’s regular hours: from May 28 through Labor Day, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; before May 28 and after Labor Day, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Ellen Liman and Doug Liman are available for an interview or a lecture. For more information and images of the collection, please contact Heather Cole, Curator for Literary & Popular Culture Collections, heather_cole@brown.edu, or by phone, (401) 863-1512.

The Brown University Library is pleased to announce an exhibition featuring 18th and 19th century board games collected by the Liman family. Twenty-three Georgian and Victorian board games, along with jigsaw puzzles and other related items were given to the library by Ellen Liman ’57 P’88. A collection of 19th and 20th century French board games is on loan from the Limans’ son, filmmaker Doug Liman ‘88.

Joseph Meisel, the Joukowsky Family University Librarian, noted his enthusiasm for the Limans’ gift: “This is a wonderful addition to our extensive collection of popular culture materials and significantly extends the range of our holdings in the important area of games and play. As a historian of 19th-century Britain, I am particularly fascinated by how these games serve as documentary sources for deeper understanding of the complex concepts and values that the dominant segments of society sought to impart to their young as future leaders at home and in the world.”

Arthur and Ellen Liman began collecting vintage board games when their son Doug found an old game at a yard sale as a child. This first acquisition sparked an enchantment with games and their depictions of British culture, and the couple spent decades enthusiastically and meticulously building this and other related collections. The late Arthur Liman, a prestigious attorney, was attracted to these games for the historical record: games such as Wallis’s Picturesque Round Game of the Produce and Manufactures of the Counties of England and Wales (ca. 1840) serve as a lesson in how to be an informed citizen of a powerful empire, while others, such as The Railway Travellers (undated) show off new technologies. Other games, such as Every man to his station (1825) provide moral instruction for children. Ellen Liman, a gallerist, author, and painter, valued the games for their artistry, and “appreciated their design, their excellent engraving and later lithography, the delicacy of the hand-coloring, not to mention the charm and ingenuity of every game.” Considering where this collection should ultimately reside, Ellen recalled her formative arts education experiences at Pembroke College, where she majored in art and took courses at RISD, and explains, “Brown was influential to this collection. Since these games are not only educational but rare small works of art, I naturally gravitated to them.” Ellen and Arthur continued to engender an appreciation for antique board games in their son Doug, who has loaned part of his collection of 19th– and early 20th-century French games to this exhibition. Doug, who during his first year at Brown created BTV, Brown’s student-run television station, said: “As a filmmaker of movies and television series, I think of these old French games as early movies or plays, telling stories in a beautiful, artistic, and concise visual format.”

As the turn from the 18th to the 19th century approached in Great Britain, parents and teachers embraced a suggestion from the philosopher John Locke that “learning might be made a play and recreation to children.” A market for board games for instruction and delight flourished, but very few examples survive today. Those that have survived open a window onto the time period in which they were created, reflecting its social and moral priorities as well as a wide range of educational subjects. The games themselves are beautifully detailed: produced by a handful of the best-known publishers of the era, the hand-color engraved games look as vibrant and colorful as they did two centuries ago. Many of the games in the Limans’ collection include not only a game board, but original cases and instruction booklets as well.

The games join the John Hay Library’s rich collections of material on popular culture, and will be available online in May, and in the John Hay Library special collections reading room following the exhibition.

Dates: May 21 – October 11, 2019
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Event | Drama at Athens: Some Evidence from Inscriptions with Stephen Tracy ’63

Join the Brown University Library on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a talk by Stephen Tracy ’63 entitled, “Drama at Athens: Some Evidence from Inscriptions.”

This event is free and open to the public. A light reception will follow the presentation.

Drama at Athens: Some Evidence from Inscriptions

This illustrated talk is designed for the non-specialist. It will begin with some general comments on the importance of inscribed stones as a source of evidence. Several examples will be given of inscriptions that provide information vital for our understanding of Athenian history and politics. The speaker, who is well-known for his work identifying the hands of ancient inscribers, will then show how the study of hands has enabled a better understanding of the fragmentary inscriptions that record performances of drama at Athens. He will argue that they were created not only to preserve an accurate history of the performances, but also to gain cultural capital as the Athenians sought to maintain their autonomy in the face of foreign powers.

Stephen Tracy

Stephen Tracy took his BA (summa cum laude) from Brown in 1963 and his MA and PhD from Harvard in 1965 and 68. He taught at Wellesley and then for many years at Ohio State.  Toward the end of his teaching career he served as Professor and Director of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. After he returned from Athens in 2007, he took up residence in New Jersey where he continues his scholarly work as a long time visitor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has written numerous books and articles on Greek epigraphy for specialists; his most recent book, published in 2016 by Walter de Gruyter in Berlin, is entitled Athenian Lettering of the Fifth Century B.C. He has also published two well-received books for general audiences – The Story of the Odyssey (Princeton 1990) and Pericles: A Sourcebook and Reader (Berkeley 2009).

Date: February 5, 2019
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI