Event | Dr. Lindsey Jones: A database project on the education and incarceration of black girls in Jim Crow Virginia

On Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at 4 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, Dr. Lindsey Jones will give a talk about the database she is creating about the education and incarceration of black girls in Virginia during Jim Crow.

This event is free and open to the public. A Q&A and reception will follow the talk.

Dr. Jones is collecting information about the girls who were committed to the Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls, the state of Virginia’s reformatory for black girls, operational between 1915 and the 1950s, after the courts across the state labeled them “delinquent.” The reformatory was designed by a statewide network of black women activists to protect and educate troubled black girls rather than punishing them for adolescent misbehaviors.

Lindsey Jones

Dr. Lindsey Jones, Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Education at Brown, is working on a book project that explores the education and incarceration of black girls in Jim Crow Virginia, focusing specifically upon the Virginia Industrial School for Colored Girls. As part of this project, Dr. Jones is designing a relational database to collect information about the individual girls who were committed to this reformatory.

This event is part of the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship dSalon series.

Date: Wednesday, May 1, 2019
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect St, Providence

Workshop | Sustaining DH

Sustaining DH

On April 4 – 5, 2019, the Library hosted a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) workshop entitled, Sustaining DH: An NEH Institute for Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities. Brown is one of five sites in the US to host the two-day workshop.

Taught by University of Pittsburgh Professor Alison Langmead (Clinical Associate Professor and Director, Visual Media Workshop; Associate Professor, School of Information Sciences) and Chelsea Gunn (PhD candidate, Information Culture and Data Stewardship; research assistant Sustaining DH), the workshop is designed to help archivists, librarians, and digital humanities practitioners create sustainability plans and address preservation concerns at any point in the life of a digital humanities project.

Over the course of the two-day workshop, 35 attendees representing eight project teams from New England, New York, Canada, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania, critically examined their respective projects, creating detailed plans for sustainability and preservation.

Modernist Journals Project

Among the projects was the Modernist Journals Project, which was initiated at Brown by Professor Bob Scholes in 1994 and is jointly hosted by Brown and the University of Tulsa. It is currently supported by the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage with help from the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS).

Sustainability

In addition to creating sustainable plans for their own projects, the attendees are also encouraged to become trainers in these sustainability practices moving forward, and they can avail themselves of support as trainers through the Sustaining DH initiative. Members of the Brown community can make use of the resources and expertise available in the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship, which performs and promotes the use of digital technology for scholarship at Brown. The staff within CDS advise, design, and carry out projects and workshops for every discipline on campus.

A Student’s Journey through Special Collections and the Creation of “Fields of Hay”

A student-driven project led by undergraduate Shira Buchsbaum ’19, the recently launched website Fields of Hay offers students a guide for making use of the John Hay Library and Brown’s special collections resources.

Written by Shira Buchsbaum ’19

Mary Elizabeth Sharpe and My First Foray into Special Collections

My journey to the John Hay Library was meandering and inconsistent. My first semester at Brown, my writing professor, Kate Schapira, assigned a piece that required drawing from any archive in Brown’s libraries. I picked the Mary Elizabeth Sharpe collection, which ended up being 20 boxes of letters, blueprints, photographs, contracts, and designs from Sharpe’s life.

Mary Elizabeth Sharpe was married to Henry Dexter Sharpe, the Chancellor of Brown from 1932-1952, and she was a go-getter. Sharpe designed much of the landscaping on campus, including for the then-new Sharpe Refectory and, later, the Sciences Library. She was a critical player in establishing India Point Park and fighting oil money in Providence.

I learned all of this about Sharpe in a few afternoons at the Hay, sitting with her papers and imagining the fierceness of this lady who took meticulous notes about trellises and leaf piles on our campus greens. I kept Mary Elizabeth Sharpe in the back of my head throughout my first two years at Brown, marking the John Hay Library as the place where I learned about our highly manicured campus and the woman behind it.

“Howard terrace, Pembroke College, Providence, R.I.” (1960). Landscaping directed by Mary Elizabeth Sharpe. Images of Brown. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.

A Reintroduction: Shakespeare’s First Folio and Working at the Hay

My junior fall, I stumbled back into the building during a reception and met William Shakespeare’s first Folio on the second floor of the John Hay Library. Brought to tears as I turned the pages of this nearly 400-year-old volume, I asked the lady behind the table, “Do students, like, work here?” The serendipity of that moment landed me in the midst of archives and collections once again, this time as a collections assistant.

John Hay Library’s copy of Shakespeare’s first Folio. Photo by Shira Buchsbaum.

Fields of Hay: An Undergraduate Research Guide to the John Hay Library

In our first conversation, Heather Cole, my new boss, and I discussed creating a guide for undergraduates to access the John Hay Library with more ease. I spent the next 18 months chatting with curators, requesting materials, conducting research, and honing how to convey the richness and variety of the materials here and their availability for student scholarship.

On March 7, 2019, World Book Day, we launched Fields of Hay, the undergraduate research guide to the John Hay Library. On Fields of Hay, students can learn about materials housed at the Hay, read about standing collections, find information on how to request materials, see featured projects by other students, and register student academic or activity groups for programs at the Hay. Fields of Hay aims to demystify the Hay by demonstrating its accessibility and breadth of materials to all students. It also seeks to promote student scholarship by showing that working with primary resources need not be an elite, selective process: it is as simple as finding one compelling item and spending time with it. The website aims to transform haphazard, wayward discoveries of the Hay into a far-reaching, common experience for Brown students. Fields of Hay is home base.

The Impact of Special Collections and an Invitation

I wish I hadn’t treated my interaction with Mary Elizabeth Sharpe as a one-off experience designed for a single class with no lasting implications on my life at Brown. Had I been able to return to the Hay through mechanisms designed for me – through a website that clarified how I could ingratiate myself with these materials – I would have returned sooner. As soon as students arrive at Brown, Fields of Hay can guide them to original, exciting research, or simply enjoying items connected to their interests – no strings or requirements or assignments necessary. Come on in and get started.

Shira Buchsbaum ’19 studied Anthropology and English Non-Fiction Writing and was the primary creator of Fields of Hay, under the advisor-ship of Heather Cole. She wrote her senior thesis about curatorial decision-making for the Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays as reflective of changing conceptions of American literature. Any inquiries about Fields of Hay and materials or programming at the Hay can be sent to shira_buchsbaum@brown.edu.

Exhibit | Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection Loan to The Watercolour World

French Garde Impériale and Garde Nationale during the Hundred Days, 1815. Denis Dighton 1792-1827

UK-based nonprofit organization The Watercolour World has added 93 items from the Brown University Library’s Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection to its online exhibition website, a free database of documentary watercolors painted before 1900.

Visit The Watercolour World and see the works from the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection.

The Watercolour World aims to “not simply preserve the watercolour record but revive it, sparking new conversations and revelations. By making history visible to more people, we can deepen our understanding of the world.”

The Library is pleased to have provided access to our digital archive of material in the Military Collection, which numbers more than 25,000 items. Through partnerships such as this, we are able to share the unique treasures in our collections with scholars and patrons around the world.

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

Exhibit | Works from “A Global History of Art & Architecture”

A course with Professors Sheila Bonde and Lindsay Caplan

Examine models and artwork created by students in Sheila Bonde’s and Lindsay Caplan’s lecture course, “A Global History of Art and Architecture”, which presents art, architecture, and material culture from cave paintings to installation art.  The works exemplify forms studied in the class.

Dates: December 20, 2018 – May 31, 2019
TimeJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Hours
Location: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Announcement | New Project Selected for Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative

Shahzad Bashir, Director of Middle East Studies, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, and Professor of Religious Studies

The Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the University Library, together with the Digital Publications Advisory Board, are pleased to announce the selection of the next long-form scholarly work to be developed under Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative.

Islamic Pasts and Futures: Horizons of Time, by Shahzad Bashir, Director of Middle East Studies, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, and Professor of Religious Studies, probes the functioning of time as an aspect of human experience. It focuses on Islam, understanding it as an element of human imagination made real in an illimitable array of physical objects and linguistic traces. Attending to this evidence instantiates Islam’s entwining in stories of human lives over more than fourteen centuries. Relying on theoretical discussions from fields such as philosophy of history and anthropology, historiography, and cultural, visual, and literary studies, Professor Bashir asks that we look beyond the commonplace view of Islamic history that is predicated on seeing time as a one-way stream. Rather, ‘Islamic time’ is a vast matrix of ‘present’ moments that fold pasts and futures into themselves. Artifacts of human endeavor, such as texts, paintings, buildings, and so on, are symptoms of these presents that contain diverse understandings of selves and the world. For materials pertaining to Islam—produced by Muslims and non-Muslims alike—analytical horizons connected to time generate new frames for comprehending Islamic phenomena.

The Digital Publications Initiative, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is establishing an infrastructure to support the development and publication of scholarly works that incorporate the capabilities of digital tools and technology to advance theory, method, and argument. Editorial and digital development of these works is supported through the University Library for eventual review and release by academic presses that are increasingly publishing digital monographs. Anchored in the University Library and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, this initiative extends the University’s mission of supporting and promoting faculty scholarship, while also helping to advance digital scholarship in the humanities.

In addition to Islamic Pasts and Futures: Horizons of Time, by Shahzad Bashir, current digital scholarly publications supported under this initiative include Italian Shadows: A Genealogy of Virtual Reality, by Massimo Riva, Professor of Italian Studies; Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618) with Scholarly Commentary, by Tara Nummedal, Professor of History, and Donna Bilak of Columbia University; and The Sensory Monastery: Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, by Sheila Bonde, Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Professor of Archaeology, and Clark Maines, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Wesleyan University.

To learn more about Brown’s digital scholarly publication program, please visit the Digital Publications Initiative website, or contact Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor (allison_levy@brown.edu).

dSalon | A Digital Interface for 17th Century Texts in the Aymara Language of Peru

Join the Center for Digital Scholarship on Wednesday, January 23, 2018 at 2 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a dSalon discussion on “A digital interface for 17th century texts in the Aymara language of Peru.” Nicholas Emlen, Digital Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library, and Patrick Hall, PhD Candidate in the Department of Linguistics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will give a short introduction to their collaborative project and then will lead a discussion of some of the technical and conceptual issues involved in this project.

This event is part of the Center for Digital Scholarship’s dSalon series of presentations and discussions around digital scholarship. Free and open to the public.

A Digital Interface for 17th Century Texts in the Aymara Language of Peru

The project creates a digital interface that allows users to explore transcribed, translated, and linguistically analyzed versions of two seventeenth century Peruvian texts in the Aymara language. The first text is a nearly 600-page narrative written by a native Aymara speaker. The second is a dictionary—which is still the most comprehensive source on the Aymara language even today—that was compiled from that narrative text. The two texts are digitized and available online, but they are idiosyncratic and difficult to interpret, and in practice remain quite inaccessible to both scholars and Aymara speakers today.

The interface aims to open up accessibility to the texts and to provide a host of new analytical tools. One innovative aspect of the interface is that it provides integrated access to both texts at the same time. The narrative text and the dictionary fit together naturally, since the latter was compiled from the former. Thus, through the digital interface, users can search for a particular word or grammatical feature and call up examples from both the dictionary and the narrative text written by the 17th century Aymara speaker. This integration of analytical information from the dictionary with a sample of how the language was used by native speakers from the 17th century creates a powerful tool that can be used by historians, anthropologists, linguists, and native speakers alike.

Nicholas Emlen

Nicholas Emlen

Nicholas Q. Emlen is a Digital Fellow at the John Carter Brown Library and a Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology at Brown. He is a linguistic anthropologist who has conducted extensive ethnographic research on multilingualism, migration, and coffee production on the Andean-Amazonian agricultural frontier of Southern Peru. He also works on the reconstruction of Quechua-Aymara language contact in the ancient Central Andes, and on multilingualism among Quechua, Aymara, Puquina, and Spanish in the colonial Andes, using texts from the John Carter Brown Library’s collection.

Patrick Hall

Patrick Hall

Patrick Hall is a PhD candidate in linguistics at UC Santa Barbara. His work is focused on new approaches to designing and implementing software for language documentation using the standard, ubiquitous technologies of HTML, CSS, and Javascript. His data models and applications are based directly on documentary practice, resulting in tools which are robust, but nonetheless simple enough to be archived alongside the data they are used to produce.

Date: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Time: 2 – 3:15 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Event | RavenSpace: A Collaborative Model for Digital Publishing in Indigenous Studies with Darcy Cullen and Beth Fuget

Join the Brown University Library on Friday, November 30, 2018 from 12 – 1:15 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a talk entitled, “RavenSpace: A Collaborative Model for Digital Publishing in Indigenous Studies.” Darcy Cullen, Assistant Director of RavenSpace: Digital Publishing in Indigenous Studies at UBC Press, The University of British Columbia, and Beth Fuget, Grants and Digital Projects, University of Washington Press (Chair), will talk about this collaborative project, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

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

RavenSpace: A Collaborative Model for Digital Publishing in Indigenous Studies

As scholarship evolves to take advantage of digital forms and contexts and scholars seek new ways to reach the various audiences they want to engage, the scholarly communications infrastructure is responding and adapting publication practices to meet changing needs. RavenSpace is a new publishing platform for media-rich, networked, interactive books in Indigenous studies that provides a digital space where communities and scholars can work together to share and create knowledge. Based on Scalar and other open-source technologies, and funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the platform meets the standards of peer-reviewed academic publishing and respects Indigenous protocols for accessing and using cultural heritage and traditional knowledge. It supports collaborative authorship and offers different paths through the work for different audiences. Darcy Cullen and Beth Fuget will discuss the development and goals of this new model of publishing.

Darcy Cullen

Darcy Cullen is Assistant Director, Acquisitions, at the University of British Columbia Press and the Principal Investigator for RavenSpace. She has written about the collaborative nature of publishing in Editors, Scholars, and the Social Text, and is an ardent supporter of new modes of book publishing that take account of digital, networked, and collaborative scholarship.

Beth Fuget

Beth Fuget manages grants and digital projects for the University of Washington Press, where she is currently launching their first open access books. She has also worked as an acquisitions editor at the press and before that, as a writer, editor, translator, and teacher.

Date: November 30, 2018
Time: 12 – 1:15 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Panel | Providing Global and Open Access to Research Publications and Primary Research Materials

On Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, come and celebrate International Open Access Week by attending a panel discussion and learning about two scholars who are providing global and open access online to research publications, primary data, and educational resources. The Open Access Movement encompasses making available online to the public research publications, resources, data, and tools that are free of many legal, financial (paywalls), and technical barriers and can be fully used, shared, and adapted. Light refreshments will be served.

Panelists:

  • James Green, Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Professor of Modern Latin American History and Director of the Brazil Initiative
  • Carlos Pittella, visiting scholar in Portuguese and Brazilian Studies

Panel Description:

Professor James Green

Professor Green will discuss Opening the Archives, a joint effort he is leading with the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, the Universidade Estadual de Maringá (Paraná, Brazil), and the Brazilian National Archives to digitize and index the U.S. government documents on Brazil between 1960-80 in the Library’s Digital Repository (BDR) and to make them available to the public on an open-access website.

 

 

Dr. Carlos Pitella

Dr. Pittella will discuss his project involving partnering with the Library’s Digital Repository (BDR) to disseminate and preserve access online to four open access, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies journals, including Pessoa Plural, an international journal dedicated to advancing criticism and scholarship on the poet Fernando Pessoa that is co-published by Brown, the University of Warwick, and the Universidad de los Andes.

Drs. Green and Pittella will provide models of ways that Brown students and faculty can partner with the Library on open access endeavors and raise awareness about the importance of open access to research publications and data on a global scale. Join us for this enlightening discussion!

Date: October 31, 2017
Time: 12 – 1 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street