The Brown University Library announces the reboot of our popular reading collection, “Diversions.” Located on the central shelves in the newly renovated Sorensen Family Reading Room in the Rockefeller Library, the collection features recent, New York Times Book Reviewed bestsellers in poetry and long and short fiction from both trade publishers and university presses. While the collection is currently small (but mighty), it will continue grow. Have a browse, choose a book, take a soft seat, and enjoy. This is your summer reading list, all year long.
Drawn from the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, an exhibit focused on the War in the Pacific during World War II is traveling through Slovakia, making three stops that include presentations and viewings.
Last year, the U.S. Embassy contacted Peter Harrington, curator of the collection, to ask if he could curate an art exhibition on this topic for the people of Slovakia. Peter was delighted to create the exhibit, but surprised that Slovakia wanted to focus on the War in the Pacific. The Embassy explained that there is a great deal of information available about the war in Europe, but very little about the Pacific. Also, interestingly, one of the flag raisers on Iwo Jima was Slovakian! The Embassy is also interested in showing the American involvement in the liberation of Slovakia, which occurred during the war.
The exhibition includes 40 drawings and watercolors. It has visited the State Scientific Library in Kosice, at which a presentation was made to high school students. Photos from the event can be viewed here.
The exhibit will open in Bratislava at the University Library on June 3 and will conclude its travels at the State Scientific Library in Banská Bystrica in September.
The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection is the foremost American collection of material devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering and is one of the world’s largest collections devoted to the study of military and naval uniforms. It contains approximately 20,000 printed books, numerous albums, sketchbooks, scrapbooks and portfolios, and over 15,000 individual prints, drawings, paintings and watercolors as well as a collection of 5,000 miniature lead soldiers. To learn more about the collection, please visit its webpage at http://library.brown.edu/collections/askb.
Several renowned works of art will be on display in the Anne S. K. Brown Military Gallery at the John Hay Library—on stamps. From now until July 31, 2015, you can see 18 pages of stamps that showcase the work of five artists: Peter Paul Rubens, Marc Chagall, Melozzo da Forli, Pietro Cavallini, and Charles M. Russell—an artist of the American West.
Using great works of art in stamp design began in the 1930s, increasing in popularity to its height in the 1950s, spurring a movement to collect art stamps within the world of philately. (Collecting stamps within a specific genre is known as topical collecting.)
The Brown University Library is home to several stamp collections, including the Knight Collection, the Peltz and Morriss Collections of Special Delivery stamps, the George S. Champlin Memorial Stamp Collection of international issues, and the Robert T. Galkin Collection of First Day Covers.
Dates: May 28 – July 31, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Location: Anne S.K. Brown Military Gallery, Third Floor, Room 303, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence
This exhibit features some of the best architectural models submitted as final projects for Professor Dietrich Neumann’s Nineteenth-Century Architecture class. This course surveyed stylistic developments, new building types, and changing social conditions of architectural production for the period covering 1800 to 1900. Students were asked either to write a final paper or construct an architecturally accurate model of a building or related work that had originally been created during the 19th century.
Dates: May 15 – September 16, 2015
Location: Finn Reading Room Cases, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence
On Saturday, May 23 at 12:30 p.m. in this, the bicentennial year of Waterloo, curator Peter Harrington will explore the numerous artistic representations of this iconic battle in his talk, “Waterloo 1815: The Image and the Battle.” The talk will take place in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library. It is free and open to the public.
From leading Royal Academicians including the great “Mr. Turner” to amateur artists and veterans, the battle was mythologized to create an idealized image of the ultimate victory over Napoleon. This illustrated talk will include popular prints from the Military Collection and paintings from the European collections. Following the talk, participants will be able to visit the Waterloo bicentennial exhibition on the first floor of the John Hay Library.
Share your Commencement & Reunion Weekend with #Brown2015
Peter Harrington is Curator of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection in the John Hay Library, where he has worked for over 30 years. A native of Manchester, England, he did his undergraduate studies in London before writing his graduate thesis in Scottish prehistoric archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. He came to Brown in 1981 to pursue further graduate work; he also holds a library degree from Simmons College and a museum degree from Brown. His current research focuses on artists and images of war and he teaches a distance learning course on the subject. He is the author of several books including British Artists and War: The face of battle in paintings and prints 1700-1914, Queen Victoria’s Army in Color: The Military Paintings of Orlando Norie; The Castles of Henry VIII, and English Civil War Archaeology. His latest book, William Simpson’s Afghanistan: Travels of a Special Artist and Antiquarian during the Second Afghan War, 1878-1879, will be published in this year.
Date: Saturday, May 23, 2015
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence
What can 130 year old preserved plant specimens tell us about our past and our future? The Brown University Herbarium and the Brown University Library have teamed up to create a visually stunning walk through the historical collections of Brown plant specimens using the 7-by-16 foot digital display wall in the Rockefeller Library’s Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab.
Please join the Library on Saturday, May 23 at 9 a.m. as Erika Edwards, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Tim Whitfeld, Collections Manager for the Brown University Herbarium and Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Patrick Rashleigh, Data Visualization Coordinator in the Library’s Integrated Technology Services present this results of this ongoing digitization effort.
This event is free and open to the public.
Share your Commencement & Reunion Weekend with #Brown2015
Date: Saturday, May 23, 2015
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence
You’ve been waiting all semester for this…
Every year the Library hosts two nights of pizza. The first (Tuesday) night will be in the Sciences Library. The next night (Wednesday) there will be pizza in the Rock. Students that enjoy studying in a library as well as eating pizza are encouraged to attend.
Also, the rock candy is back for pizza nights this semester! It will be available both nights.
Tuesday, May 5 | 9 p.m. | Pizza Night at the Friedman Center (SciLi)
Wednesday, May 6 | 9 p.m. | Pizza Night at the Rockefeller Library Lobby
Pizza nights are sponsored by an ever true Brown family.
The Center for Digital Scholarship at the Brown University Library presents Digital Cultural Heritage and the Healing of a Nation: Digital Sudan and the Rwanda Gacaca Archive Digitization Project. Speaker Marilyn Deegan from King’s College London will present at 12 p.m., Thursday, May 7, 2015 in the Lownes Room at the John Hay Library.
Sudan is one of the most diverse and culturally rich countries in the world. Sudan’s cultural riches rival those of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but war, famine, displacement and the ravages of time, climate and lack of funds means that the cultural heritage of the country is under severe threat. Recent cultural destruction in Mali in Africa and in the Middle East has led a Sudanese cultural NGO, the Sudanese Association for the Archiving of Knowledge (SUDAAK), to embark on a program of digitization to guarantee the long-term preservation, integration, authenticity, and accessibility of important cultural content in respective concerned national institutions: Digital Sudan. The project addresses some of the main issues related to digitization, networks, and services in the cultural domain. It specifically aims at safeguarding and reinforcing Sudanese cultural heritage through new technologies.
The 1994 genocide in Rwanda, during which more than 800,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were murdered by the ruling Tutu majority, was one of the greatest tragedies of the twentieth century, and left the country fractured and ravaged. Ten years after the genocide ended, over 100,000 individuals accused of taking part in the killings were still in prison, given that the country’s legal system had been almost wiped out and no process existed to try them. To deal with this problem, a traditional method of conflict resolution and reconciliation was revived: the Gacaca Courts. Gacaca is “justice without lawyers,” with justice administered at a very local level. Over a period of around 10 years more than 12,000 courts tried over one million cases.
The records of the Gacaca Courts total over 60 million pages and are still in active use as the justice system continues to pursue genocide perpetrators and to deal with many appeals. These documents are held in 18,000 boxes in the police headquarters in Kigali, Rwanda, and are managed by archivists from the Rwandan National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) with the help of a British anti-genocide NGO, Aegis Trust. They are poorly catalogued and are deteriorating rapidly. A team of international partners is working with Aegis and CNLG to digitize these materials so that they can be better used and preserved for posterity.
In her talk, Deegan will speak about these digitization efforts.
Date: Thursday, May 7, 2015
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, Administration Wing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence
The Library is pleased to announce that Andrew Beers ‘15 is the winner of this year’s Library Innovation Prize. Andrew’s presentation entitled “Grand Banks Iceberg Mapper” used data from the U.S. Coast Guard and from a number of early print sources, including maritime newspaper accounts, to plot the location of icebergs in the Western North Atlantic. His mapping allowed a visual picture of the changing locations of iceberg sightings over time, showing a recent trend of icebergs moving north with more being sighted north of Newfoundland than south.
The presentation in the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab included data from the late 1880s to the present and a slider that could show the change in sightings over time in any given year. Beers was careful to observe the limitations of his data, noting that pre-Coast Guard data tended to be made by vessels only in shipping lanes and that some of the mappings of his data suggested some less precise geographic locations from his source data sets. Beers used a combination of D3 for the large screen visualization and a separate PowerPoint presentation on the smaller cart-mounted screen to give some visual historic perspective.
Miranda Olson’s project entitled, “Digital Analysis: Designing Unique Interfaces with Literature,” provided a visual guide to the process of employing Digital Humanities techniques to analyze literary texts. This project, done for Professor James Egan, was built using PowerPoint and Google docs. She used a custom screen layout in the Digital Scholarship Lab to focus attention on the current slide in the middle of the wall while continuing to provide a visual connection to the other slides around it. The second, cart-mounted screen was used to provide access to the underlying text.
Tushar Bhargava and Samuel Crisanto, representing the Brown Digital Literacy Forum (DigLit), presented their project entitled, “Tracking the Trackers,” which employs a freely available plug-in for Firefox called Lightbeam to visualize which sites track a particular user as he or she navigates the web. They were able to make use of D3 and custom Mozilla libraries with Lightbeam to enrich the visualization by changing the default colors and to reset the sizing of the app so that it would work well on the Digital Scholarship Lab wall. it was a truly chilling experience to see how quickly these tracking sites “attach” to a web browser as the result of a particular web search.
On April 29, 2015, a delegation from Beijing Foreign Studies University visited Brown University and the Library. Headed by Professor Peng Long, President of Beijing Foreign Studies University, the delegation included Professors Zhang Jian, Dean of the School of English and International Studies, Li Liwen, Dean of the School of English for Specific Purposes, Wang Lidi, Dean of the Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation, and Niu Huayong, Dean of the School of International Business, as well as Dr. He Jing, Deputy Director of the Office for Confucius Institutes and Mr. Wen Bin, Program Officer of International Affairs Office.
After meeting with President Paxson, Sonia Feigenbaum, Associate Provost for Global Engagement, Karen Sibley, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Dean, School of Professional Studies, and faculty members from the Department of American Studies (which has established a graduate exchange program with BFSU), the guests visited the Library. Christine Sprovieri, Global Relations Officer, Office of Global Engagement, coordinated the delegation’s visit.
Ned Quist, Associate University Librarian for Research and Outreach, Li Wang, Curator of East Asian Collection, Peter Harrington, Curator of Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, Holly Snyder, Curator of American Historical Collections, and Jenny Li, Senior Library Specialist in Circulation & Resource Sharing, led the delegation on a tour the Rockefeller and John Hay Libraries. The BFSU guests had a chance to view buildings, facilities, special rooms, and some rare items in special collections. They were very impressed with what they saw during the short library tour.