Exhibit | Works from Modern Architecture: A Course with Professor Dietrich Neumann


The works displayed in this exhibit were created by students in Professor Dietrich Neumann’s lecture course, “Modern Architecture,” which surveys the “classic” period of European and American modern architecture from the turn of the century to the 1950s. Students were asked to create a model based on a building or industrial design object of this time period.

Date: January 25 – April 4, 2016
Time: Rockefeller Library Hours
Location: Finn Reading Room Cases, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence


Wilmeth Lecture & Exhibit | “Actors and Other Monsters: Graphic Satire As Blood Sport, 1789–1830” with Joseph Roach

Crowding to the Pit

“Crowding to the Pit,” print by Theodore Lane, 1821 (after Robert Dighton).

On Monday, March 21, 2016 at 7 p.m. at the John Hay Library, Joseph Roach, the Sterling Professor of Theater at Yale University, will deliver the 12th Annual Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship in Theatre and Entertainment entitled, “Actors and Other Monsters: Graphic Satire As Blood Sport, 1789–1830.” The lecture is complemented by an exhibit curated by Professor Wilmeth.

This event is free and open to the public.


Attendees will discover how monstrosity thrives in the golden age of graphic satire, and how few monsters of caricature surpass actors for appearing not only with warts and all, but also as all warts. Politicians do rival them in ridicule, however—as fat as Richard Brinsley Sheridan (himself a politician as well as a playwright), as cadaverous as John Philip Kemble, or as Lilliputian as child star Master Betty—convened alike by John Bull as butts of national laughter in a Parliament of freaks.


Accompanying the lecture is a special exhibit curated by Prof. Wilmeth on “The Golden Age of British Theatre Caricature” with some 12 dozen examples of prints—etchings, engravings and other popular visual forms depicting popular theatre during the late Georgian and early Regency periods in Great Britain. Among the artists represented in the exhibit are Robert Dighton, James Gillray, Thomas Rowlandson, the Cruikshank family, Samuel de Wilde, and others who entertained the public with their satiric magic on paper, highlighted by several special events during this period (the young acting prodigy Master Betty, the Old Price riots at Covent Garden Theatre, and the actor Edmund Kean’s scandalous escapades, among others). In general, these delightful visual pieces serve as instruments of journalistic ego deflation of these subjects.

Professor Joseph Roach

RoachA theatre historian, stage director, and performance studies scholar, Joseph Roach is the author of The Player’s Passion: Studies in the Science of Acting (1985), Cities of the Dead: Circum-Atlantic Performance (1996) and It (2007). He is the editor (with Janelle Reinelt) of Critical Theory and Performance (2ndedition, revised 2007) and Changing the Subject: Marvin Carlson and Theatre Studies, 1959-2009 (2009). His publications have been recognized by the James Russell Lowell Prize from the Modern Language Association, the Barnard Hewitt Award in Theatre History, and the Joe E. Calloway Prize for Drama.  Before coming to Yale, he chaired the Department of Performing Arts at Washington University in St. Louis, the Interdisciplinary PhD in Theatre at Northwestern University, and the Department of Performance Studies in the Tisch School of Arts at NYU. He is the recipient of a Lifetime Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society for Theatre Research and a Distinguished Achievement Award from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which funds the World Performance Project at Yale. In 2009, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Warwick (UK) and the Fletcher Jones Distinguished Fellowship from the Huntington Library.

Date: March 21, 2016
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

"Opinions respecting the Young Roscious (Master Better)," engraving by Thomas Rowlandson, London, 1804.

“Opinions respecting the Young Roscious (Master Better),” engraving by Thomas Rowlandson, London, 1804.

What to Expect in the Digital Studio


Scheduled to open in February, the Rockefeller Library’s Digital Studio will offer flexible work stations, 3D modelling equipment, and an audio/video recording suite. As University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi told The Brown Daily Herald this past September, the new space is intended to be “a production space for individual and collaborative scholarship.”

Following a somewhat different model than other media labs on campus, the Library’s Digital Studio will be a place where faculty and students from all the disciplines are actively encouraged to mingle, share their experiences, and learn through a series of workshops and project showcases.

Faculty and students can expect an exciting calendar of events ranging from hackathons, designed to remix and rethink special collections items, to trainings on a/v equipment and software. They can also expect to receive help on their digital projects from staff experts in everything from data curation and visualization, to developing new kinds of online publications.

During the Digital Studio’s first year of operation, the Library will test new programs and services based on feedback from users. We look forward to welcoming you into the space soon!

Exhibit | Vestiges of the Transatlantic Slave Trade

Thomas Clarkson, History of the Rise, Progress & Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (Philadelphia: James P. Parke, 1808), First American Edition, Vol. I, illustration between pp. 300-301

Thomas Clarkson, History of the Rise, Progress & Accomplishment of the Abolition of the African Slave-Trade, by the British Parliament (Philadelphia: James P. Parke, 1808), First American Edition, Vol. I, illustration between pp. 300-301

Slavery was a historical reality in the Americas, but many have little sense of the devastating impact of the “peculiar institution” on the lives of those who bore the burden of its chains and the brunt of its brutality. A new exhibit at the John Hay Library seeks to tell this side of the story with the display of a set of 18th century leg shackles accompanied by three narratives of African American men and women enslaved in the United States during the 19th century.

The leg shackles, which are displayed courtesy of the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool (UK), represent the Middle Passage – the sea voyage from Africa to the Americas, during which newly enslaved Africans were kept chained in the ship’s hold. Such shackles were identified by anti-slavery campaigners as emblematic of the violence deemed necessary to maintain captured Africans in a state of slavery and submission.

Jesse Torrey, “…but I did not want to go, and I jumped out of the window” in Torrey, A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United States (Philadelphia: Jesse Torrey, 1817).

Jesse Torrey, “…but I did not want to go, and I jumped out of the window” in Torrey, A Portraiture of Domestic Slavery in the United States (Philadelphia: Jesse Torrey, 1817)

The narratives are drawn from the collections of the John Hay Library and represent the voices of three people who struggled within the strictures of the slave system: the poet George Moses Horton, enslaved in North Carolina until emancipated by Union forces during the Civil War; the church deacon James Mars, born into slavery in Connecticut and kept by white owners there until he turned 25 in 1815; and an un-named African American woman in Washington, D. C., interviewed by Dr. Jesse Torrey Jr. in 1816, who, faced with the prospect of being sold away from her husband and children, leapt from the third floor window of a tavern.

This exhibit is a collaboration between the International Slavery Museum in Liverpool, the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice at Brown, and the Brown University Library.

Dates: January 7 – March 13, 2016
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Lobby Cases, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Library Hours and Closures During Winter Break


All campus libraries will close on Wednesday, December 23 at 5 p.m.

The John Hay Library will be open 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.on Monday, December 28, Tuesday, December 29, and Wednesday, December 30.

All other Brown University Libraries will remain closed during the holiday break and will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2016.

(The John Carter Brown Library is separate from the Brown University Library and operates its own schedule.)

Click here to view the hours for all the Brown University Libraries in calendar form.

The Library wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday season.

Event | Pizza Nights


They’re baaaaaack….

Pizza Nights!

Every semester the Library hosts two nights of pizza to fortify your studying. The first (Wednesday) night will be in the Sciences Library. The next night (Thursday) there will be pizza in the Rock. Students that enjoy studying in a library as well as eating pizza are encouraged to attend.

Wednesday, December 9  |  9 p.m.  | Pizza Night at the Friedman Center (SciLi)
Thursday, December 10  |  9 p.m.  |  Pizza Night at the Rockefeller Library Lobby

This semester’s pizza nights are sponsored by the Library, Campus Life, and an ever true Brown Family wishing all students good food and good luck on their exams.


Exhibit | Christmas Seals

Christmas Seals 2015

The Brown University Library is celebrating the holiday season with an exhibit of Christmas Seals, installed in three cases in the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection Gallery at the John Hay Library. The exhibit will be on display through January 6, 2015.

The seals shown above are the Christmas Seals from 2006, 2007, and 2008. They are included in the exhibit.

The first issue of the U.S. Christmas Seal, designed by Emily Bissell (1861-1948), a Red Cross volunteer, was intended to save a small tuberculosis sanatorium on the Brandywine River near Wilmington, DE. Her cousin, Dr. Joseph Wales, was one of the staff physicians at the “Brandywine Shack,” an open-air tuberculosis sanatorium, and he asked for her help. The goal was to raise $300 through the sale of a special Christmas stamp that could be purchased for a penny at the local post office in Wilmington and attached to regular mail. Her inspiration for the fundraiser came from an article by journalist and social worker Jacob Riis, who wrote about the successful sale of Christmas Seals in Denmark in 1904.

Bissell was a member of the Delaware Chapter of the American Red Cross and received permission from the national organization to use the Red Cross emblem in her design, to which she added a wreath of holly and a “Merry Christmas” greeting. To finance the printing of the 1907 Christmas Seal, she borrowed $40 from a friend and arranged for credit from the Theodore Leonhardt and Son printing company of Philadelphia to print 50,000 stamps. The Christmas Seals were placed in small envelopes imprinted:

25 Christmas Stamps one penny apiece issued
by the Delaware Red Cross to stamp out the
White Plague.
Put this stamp with message bright
on every Christmas letter;
help the tuberculosis fight,
and make the New Year better.
These stamps do not carry
any kind of mail
but any kind of mail will
carry them.

On December 7, 1907, the first Christmas Seals were offered for sale at a table in the Wilmington Post Office and Emily Bissell herself purchased the first seal sold. However, overall sales were slow until the editor of the Philadelphia newspaper, the North American, became convinced of the importance of the fundraising campaign. He authorized columnist Leigh Mitchell Hodges to begin a series of daily articles under the heading, “Stamp Out Tuberculosis.” The rest of the 50,000 seals quickly sold and a new printing of 250,000 was ordered. Because it was late in the season, the second printing added the words, “Happy New Year.” By the end of the holidays, all 300,000 seals had been sold, raising $3,000 – ten times Emily Bissell’s original modest goal.

The Christmas Seals are part of the George S. Champlin Memorial Stamp Collection, which is the centerpiece of the John Hay Library’s extensive collections of stamps. Click here for more information about Special Collections at Brown, including the stamp collections.

Dates: November 24, 2015 – January 6, 2016
Location: Anne S. K. Brown Gallery, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Extended Hours through Exams


The Library is extending its hours of operation through exam period to accommodate student study needs.

The Rock: 

  • Opens 8 a.m. on Monday, December 7
  • Open 24 hours a day until closing at 9 p.m. on Monday, December 21

Friedman Study Center in the SciLi: 

  • Opens 8 a.m. on Sunday, December 6
  • Open 24 hours a day until closing at 9 p.m. on Monday, December 21

John Hay Library: 

  • Open until 10 p.m. every night from Sunday, December 6 through Sunday, December 20
  • Includes Saturdays

See complete schedules for each Library building here:


Best of luck with exams!


Construction at the Rock | Normal Operations, New Café Location

The Rock is undergoing several projects to update key spaces and improve the Library’s overall functionality and safety. All core services and operations will proceed as normal during all phases of the work. Library hours will remain the same and can be viewed here.

Current lobby cafe

Current lobby cafe

As most of the exterior work on the building is complete, activity is shifting to the inside of the building. Renovations on the Rock lobby will begin shortly and are expected to be completed by the start of second semester. The renovation will include a new café area and enhanced lounge areas.

Current lobby lounge

Current lobby lounge

By Thanksgiving, furniture from the lobby and café areas will be removed. The lobby café will close at 6 p.m. on Friday, November 20. It will reopen in the lobby in a reduced capacity on Monday, November 30 and will remain open through exams. The new lobby café is projected to open at the beginning of the second semester.

Lobby exhibit cases, under the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Credo

Lobby exhibit cases, located under the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Credo, will be moved to level A during the week of November 16

During the week of November 16, the exhibit cases that have been located under the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Credo in the lobby will be moved to level A under the chandelier. The cases currently contain the exhibit “’Trash of the Veriest Sort’: Challenges to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

The Periodicals Reading Room before undergoing construction to become the Digital Studio

The Periodicals Reading Room before undergoing construction to become the Digital Studio

Work on the Rock’s new Digital Studio (adjacent to the Digital Scholarship Lab) is also beginning, with the expectation that this space will be open near the beginning of the second semester, 2016. As this project moves forward, there will be some construction noise in the area. Please bear this in mind if you have or are thinking of having a class or event in the DSL.


Digital Studio construction area

Facilities Management and the contractors are making every effort to minimize the impact of these projects on library users (e.g., scheduling the noisiest work during early hours before the library opens). Nevertheless, much of this work must be performed during hours when the building is occupied. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and ask that you bear with us during the construction phase as we work to improve the condition of the building and the facilities and operations within the Rock.

Event | Publishers Address the Academic Book of the Future

Book in Case

Brown University is pleased to participate in an international, multi-centered conversation regarding the future of the academic monograph to be held during Academic Book Week, November 9-16, 2015. The panel discussion, entitled “The Academic Book of the Future,” will take place in the Pembroke Hall third floor event space (PH305) on Monday, November 16, 2015 from 4 – 5:30 p.m. followed by a reception. This event is free and open to the public.

The discussion will be moderated by Sheila Bonde, Brown University Professor and Chair of History of Art and Architecture and Professor of Archaeology and the Ancient World.

The publishers and editors participating in the panel discussion are:
  • Amy Brand, Director of the MIT Press
  • Anne Brackenbury, Executive Editor, Higher Education Division, University of Toronto Press
  • Robert Harington, Associate Executive Director for Publishing, American Mathematical Society
  • Sarah Lippincott, Program Director, Educopia Institute

The panelists will discuss how today’s technological, social, and intellectual changes are leading to a more permeable, digital model of publication. This event is part of the University’s 2015-2016 lecture series, “New Directions in Scholarly Publishing and the Challenges of Evaluation,” co-sponsored by the Cogut Center for the Humanities and the Brown University Library.

The idea for the Academic Book Week debate was initiated by Oxford University and the Academic Book of the Future Project. Each panelist will present a 10-15-minute position statement followed by responses and conversation among the panelists. After the panelists’ initial statements and responses, Dr. Bonde will open the discussion to all attendees.

Speaker information:

Amy Brand:

Amy Brand photoAmy Brand was named Director of the MIT Press in July 2015. Previously, she served as Vice President of Academic and Research Relations and Vice President for North America at Digital Science. From 2008 to 2013, Brand worked at Harvard University, first as Program Manager of the Office for Scholarly Communication and then as Assistant Provost for Faculty Appointments and Information. Before moving to Harvard, she held long-term positions as an Executive Editor at the MIT Press and as Director of Business and Product Development at CrossRef. Brand serves on the Duraspace Board of Directors, was a founding member of the ORCID Board, and regularly advises on key community initiatives in digital scholarship. She holds a B.A. in linguistics from Barnard College and a PhD in cognitive science from MIT.

Anne Brackenbury:

BrackenburyAnne Brackenbury is Executive Editor in the Higher Education Division of the University of Toronto Press. Anne has over 20 years of experience in the academic end of the book industry and has played a variety of roles: bookseller, publisher sales representative, copy editor, Acquiring Editor, and Executive Editor. While Anne believes in the enduring power of books, she sees plenty of new opportunities for academics to both complement and extend their reach by engaging in new collaborative models of scholarly communication.

Robert Harington:

RMH-picRobert M. Harington is the Associate Executive Director of Publishing at the American Mathematical Society (AMS). Robert has the responsibility for driving strategic growth and management of the AMS Publishing Program for books, journals, and electronic products. Robert also serves on the MathJax Steering Committee. Robert came to the AMS from the American Institute of Physics (AIP), where he served as Publisher, successfully leading AIP’s move away from its traditional role as a provider of publishing services, moving on to focus on serving the publishing needs of its member societies and AIP’s own journals. He has forged an international career working in both non-profit and commercial settings, with rich experience across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Robert holds a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Oxford, and a first-class honors degree in chemistry from the University of London.

Sarah Lippincott:

lippincott_headshot_2015Sarah Lippincott is the Program Director for the Library Publishing Coalition, a community-led membership association whose mission is to support a broad range of publishing activities in academic and research libraries. She is a librarian with a background in scholarly communications and the humanities. She received her MSLS from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her BA in the College of Letters and French Studies from Wesleyan University. Before joining the LPC, she worked as an independent communications consultant for ARL, SPARC, and the open access journal eLife. Her professional interests include the intersection of scholarly communications and undergraduate teaching and learning; digital scholarship; and how librarians can facilitate new forms of scholarly inquiry.

Sheila Bonde, Moderator:

sbonde_photo__thumbnailSheila Bonde an archaeologist and architectural historian specializing in the study of medieval sites and their representation. She is currently Professor of the History of Art and Architecture, and Professor of Archaeology. Sheila has excavated in England, France and Israel, and 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 and the Cistercian monastery at Notre-Dame d’Ourscamp.

Date: Monday, November 16, 2015
Time: 4 – 5:30 p.m. discussion, 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. reception
Location: Room 305, Pembroke Hall, 172 Meeting Street, Providence