Lovecraft and the Republic of Horror


In July of 1935, Robert Bloch wrote to his epistolary mentor H. P. Lovecraft, care of Robert Barlow, whom Lovecraft was visiting in Florida. Bloch, then eighteen, wrote with excitement of an expanding network of writers and publishers he had met, either directly through Lovecraft or indirectly by his association with the influential author. The letter recounts a meeting of the Milwaukee Fictioneers, a group he had previously described as covering broad territory: “weird stuff … science fiction, western, detective, gangster, love, newspaper, sports, economics, novel, feature-syndicate, and radio fields ….” He continues with praise for Peter Lorre’s performance in “Mad Love,” entreating Lovecraft to “see it!”

Bloch, who would go on to pen Psycho, was perhaps the youngest of Lovecraft’s circle. Their correspondence began with a fan letter sent in 1933 and continued until Lovecraft’s death in 1937. Bloch was one of many in an expansive network of correspondents fueled by Lovecraft’s loquacity on paper. His correspondents included Barlow, August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, and Donald Wandrei. Through letters and circulated manuscripts, this network of writers formalized the imagined community developing around the pulp magazines like Weird Tales, Amazing Stories, and Fantasy Fan in which they published and read.

H.P. Lovecraft was at the center of this developing community. Shortly after his death in 1937, Barlow, acting as Lovecraft’s literary executor, delivered the first donation of manuscripts and correspondence to the Brown University Library. Today, the H. P. Lovecraft Collection includes extensive holdings of manuscripts, letters, editions of Lovecraft’s works in 20 languages, periodicals, biographical and critical works, and numerous collections of manuscript and printed materials of Lovecraft friends and associates. To support research in this significant collection, the Brown University Library recently announced the S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship for research relating to H. P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs.

Lecture | Groovy Choreographies: Gimmicks, Glitches, and Aesthetic Alibis with William Cheng

Join the Brown University Library and the Department of Music for an exciting lecture in Music’s Fall Colloquium Series. On November 19 at 6 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab (DSL) at the Rockefeller Library, Will Cheng will give a talk entitled, “Groovy Choreographies: Gimmicks, Glitches, and Aesthetic Alibis,” in which he will deliver a playful inquiry into the aesthetic conceits of mechanical failure, ludic difficulty, and visual glitch in the virtuosic choreographies of digital gameplay (with case study Rayman Legends).

Free and open to the public, this event is part of the Department of Music’s Fall Colloquium series.

William Cheng is interested in sound, media, technology, identity, and politics. He is Assistant Professor of Music at Dartmouth College and Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows (on leave 2014-15). His first book is titled Sound Play: Video Games and the Musical Imagination (Oxford University Press, 2014), published with the support of the AMS 75 PAYS Endowment; his articles have appeared in the journals 19th-Century Music, Cambridge Opera Journal, Ethnomusicology, and the Journal of the American Musicological Society, and in the volumes The Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media and The Oxford Handbook of Virtuality. He is the recipient of the AMS Philip Brett Award, AMS Howard Mayer Brown Fellowship, and SAM Mark Tucker Award. His current projects include a monograph, Misrule in Meritopia: Music, Power, Privilege (supported by Harvard’s William F. Milton Fund); an edited collection of essays, Queering the Field: Sounding Out Ethnomusicology (with Gregory Barz); an article on sound’s paranoid and reparative affects; and a book of short stories, The Things We Say: Seven Tragicomedies. He serves on the Advisory Board of Ethnomusicology Review and the Review Board of Sensate: A Journal for Experiments in Critical Media Practice. In recent years, he has enjoyed giving classical piano recitals featuring improvisations on themes from the audience.

Date: November 19, 2014
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: The Patrick Man Digital Scholarship Lab, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Educating the Open Generation | Panel on Open Data and Data Sharing at the DSL


“Knowledge is open if anyone is free to access, use, modify, and share it — subject, at most, to measures that preserve provenance and openness.” –The Open Knowledge Foundation

In recognition of International Open Access Week, the Brown University Library invites you to a discussion on Wednesday, October 22 at 4 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab with Jo Guldi and Lizzie Wolkovich about the progress of the movement towards open access to research data and how public access to data and data sharing among scholars, or the lack thereof, is currently affecting the quality and scope of research in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Also, check out the Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon happening Thursday, October 23 from 3:30 – 8 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab. Click here for more information.



Jo Guldi is the Hans Rothfels Assistant Professor of History at Brown University. Dr. Guldi specializes in the history of capitalism and land use, and she also designs computational tools for visualizing large numbers of texts. She posits that access to increasing amounts of data will allow historians to again extend their temporal perspectives. In her new book, History Manifesto (Cambridge University Press, 2014), Dr. Guldi and co-author, David Armitage, identify a recent shift back to longer-term narratives, following many decades of increasing specialization, which they argue is vital for the future of historical scholarship and how it is communicated.

wolkovichElizabeth M. Wolkovich is Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard University. Dr. Wolkovich studies how ecological communities assemble and disassemble with global change using statistical and modeling techniques combined with field experiments, gradient studies, and synthesis of short and long-term data. She is the lead author of the article “Advances in Global Change Research Require Open Science by Individual Researchers,” which appeared in Global Change Biology in 2012, and she was recently featured in the Science Careers article “Chasing Down the Data You Need,” in which she shared her efforts, and frustrations, trying to get fellow scientists to share climate and ecological data that could add insights into her and fellow researchers’ interdisciplinary scholarship on global change.

Date: Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Time: 4 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library


National Friends of the Library Week | October 19 – 25


Friends of the Brown University Library Meeting, c. 1940

Friends of the Brown University Library Meeting, c. 1940

On Wednesday, March 23, 1938 at 8 p.m., the Friends of the Brown University Library held their first meeting at the home of Mr. Henry D. Sharpe on Prospect Street in Providence. Twenty-eight members were present as Chairman Carlton Morse gave an outline of the Friends of the Library movement at other institutions, beginning with the Bodleian Library at Oxford in 1925. It was the stated hope for our Friends that the group members “will get abundant pleasure from affiliation, that each man will find what he most enjoys, and that a wise and useful influence will thus strengthen the Library.”

In honor of National Friends of the Library Week, October 19 – 25, 2014, we are sharing a timeline of noted accomplishments. Seventy-six years after the group’s founding, the relationship between the Friends and the Library remains one of fruitful collaboration, as illustrated by the history, and it has indeed provided abundant pleasure through affiliation and strengthened the Library.

September 1984
A major expansion of Friends of the Library membership begins. A Friends coordinator is appointed for the first time and physical space for the Friends is established in the John Hay Library. A seed gift from the Joukowsky family is given to reorganize and revitalize the Friends.

October 1985
The Friends celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the John Hay Library.

November 1987
The Friends begin creating and selling holiday cards.

The Library celebrates acquisition of its two millionth book.

April 1988
The first William B. Williams Awards, established by the Library and the Friends board of directors, are given to seven individuals who had displayed “broadly based, multi-faceted support to the University Library over a long period of time.”

May 1991
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns delivers the annual William B. Williams Lecture. The title of his talk, “Mystic Chords of Memory,” is from Lincoln’s first inaugural address.

November 1992
The Carberry Cookbook debuts on Carberry Day, November 13, 1992.

December 1993
Friends member Daniel Siegel ’57 donates the original handwritten manuscript of George Orwell’s 1984.

November 1994
The Friends sell “Hunks of the Hay” when the John Hay Library steps are replaced.

February 2004
On February 13, 2004 at Ladd Observatory, Josiah Carberry is honored with his own star and guests celebrate Carberry Day while awaiting arrival of the elusive professor.

April 2005
Sophie Blistein ‘41 steps down as Membership Chair after growing the Friends membership from a few hundred to over 1,000 members.

Rhode Island Coalition of Library Advocates presents the William E. Reeves Friends Recognition Award to Brown’s Friends of the Library. This is the first time an academic library friends group is given this award.

Summer 2010
FOL Board Member Thomas Bryson ‘72 and his wife, Antonia Bryson ‘74, donate their remarkable collection of books, photographs, programs, and ephemera relating to the history of dance to Brown University Library.

March 2013
Friends of the Library celebrate its 75th anniversary.

November 2014
The Library and the Friends host the inaugural presentations of the Harris Collection Literary Award to author George R. R. Martin and publisher Tom Doherty.

Open Access Week Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon at the Brown Library


As part of its investigation into the issue of open access during Open Access Week, the Brown University Library is hosting a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library on Thursday, October 23 from 3:30 – 8 p.m.

All are welcome. All you need is a laptop and a power adapter. Not familiar with wiki editing? That’s OK. Just bring your willingness to learn.

Click here for more information and a signup.

Hashtags: #OpenAccess and #OAW2014

Date: Thursday, October 23
Time: 3:30 – 8 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street

S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship for Research Relating to H. P. Lovecraft


The John Hay Library at Brown University, home to the largest collection of H. P. Lovecraft materials in the world, is pleased to offer an annual fellowship for research relating to H. P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs, beginning in 2015. The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship, established by The Aeroflex Foundation and Hippocampus Press, is intended to promote scholarly research using the world renowned resources on H. P. Lovecraft at the John Hay Library.

The Fellowship provides a stipend of $2,500 for six weeks of research at the Library. The Fellowship is open to individuals engaged in pre- and post-doctoral, or independent research.

Applications are due by January 31, 2015 with notifications made April 30, 2015.

For more information including application requirements, terms of appointments, and selection criteria, please visit the Library’s S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship webpage.

Exhibit | John Cullen Murphy: An Artist in the Pacific War, 1943-1945


Returning soldier 1945, Tokyo, John Cullen Murphy, original conté crayon and wash bust portrait sketch

John Cullen Murphy was born in Chicago in 1919 and later moved to New Rochelle, New York with his family. In New Rochelle, his next-door-neighbor was Norman Rockwell, and the young Murphy sometimes sat as a model for the artist. Murphy was, in fact, the model for David Copperfield in Rockwell’s Land of Enchantment mural. Inspired by this auspicious initiation into the arts, Murphy then studied at the Art Students League.

When war broke out in Europe, he joined the New York 7th Regiment. Following training at Camp Stewart, Georgia, he sailed from Oakland, California in 1943 bound for Australia, where General Douglas MacArthur had established his headquarters following his retreat from the Philippines. Murphy served as aide-de-camp to one of MacArthur’s generals, who had escaped from Corregidor, and who was now in command of all American anti-aircraft forces. As a consequence, Murphy spent considerable time around MacArthur’s staff, going with MacArthur’s forces to New Guinea and later the Philippines before moving on to Japan following the surrender in 1945. In Tokyo, he sketched MacArthur and his family along with images of returning Japanese soldiers.

Many of Murphy’s sketches, drawings, and watercolors along with several sketchbooks depict scenes from these campaigns and the men and women who served in them. These were donated to the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection in 1994. In 2012, Murphy’s widow donated his wartime letters. A selection of his letters and artwork will be on display in the Bopp Seminar Room at the John Hay Library through the end of the semester.

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

Dates: October 20 – December 22, 2014
Location: Bopp Seminar Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

On C-SPAN 3: Images of the Great War: The European Offensives 1914-1916 Exhibit at the President Woodrow Wilson House

On the Road to Sedan, Frank Elim, November 1915, watercolor on paper

On the Road to Sedan, Frank Elim, November 1915, watercolor on paper

Tune in to C-SPAN 3 this Sunday, October 12, 2014 at 6 p.m. to view a 30 minute program about the Images of the Great War exhibit at the President Woodrow Wilson House.

Click here for more information about American History TV on C-SPAN 3, including this program.

Images of the Great War: The European Offensives 1914-1916, a selection of World War I paper-based art from the Brown University Library’s renowned Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, will be on exhibit at the President Woodrow Wilson House, located at 2340 S. Street, NW, Washington, DC, from April 3 to August 10. The Library is honored to be co-sponsoring the exhibit with the museum, an ideal setting. Members of the public are invited to the opening, complimentary reception on Thursday, April 3 from 6 – 8 p.m.

In 2012, Andrew Woelflein ’86, Presiding Trustee of the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection Committee of Management, had the idea to showcase the collection on the centennial anniversary of the war at the President Woodrow Wilson House. President Wilson was in office when war broke out in Europe. He entered the U.S. into the conflict when he signed the Declaration of War in 1917. After issuing his Fourteen Points for Peace in 1918, he developed the concept of an international body that became the League of Nations in 1919 and helped negotiate the end of the war eighteen months after the U.S. joined the effort. When he retired from the presidency in 1921, he resided in this house, now the President Woodrow Wilson House, until his death in 1924. The only presidential museum in Washington, DC, it has been well preserved by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to appear much as it did in the 1920s.

The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection Committee of Management, the Brown Club of Washington, DC, and the Library will host a reception for members of the Brown community at the President Woodrow Wilson House featuring a lecture by Richard Striner, Professor of History at Washington College, based on his new book Woodrow Wilson and World War I: A Burden Too Great to Bear on Friday, May 9 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Professor Striner will be signing his book after the lecture. The book will be available for purchase on site.

The exhibit’s thirty-five prints, drawings, and watercolors present today’s viewer with personal impressions of the Great War. Scenes of high drama and action set alongside images of pathos and deep sadness capture the contradictions inherent in war: suffering and joy, violence and tenderness, inhumanity and humanity. Curated by Peter Harrington, curator of the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, and Stephanie Daugherty, curator at the President Woodrow Wilson House, the exhibit includes works by French, British, Italian, German, Dutch, Austrian, Turkish, and Swiss artists. It offers multiple perspectives of the war that brought such horror to the world—trench warfare, chemical warfare, and massive casualties, and such beauty—the famous poetry of the war, the monuments, and the visual art that is so well represented by this collection.

Multiple viewpoints are emphasized not only through the varied nationalities of the artists but also through the role of the artist and the original, intended audience. Curator Peter Harrington points out, “The significance of the prints and drawings on exhibit is that they offer an interesting contrast between those produced for the home front, often for commercial purposes, and the images created by the soldiers themselves.” Viewers of the exhibit will have the opportunity to see examples of both.

A display case containing 120 miniature lead soldiers from the Military Collection will be on exhibit as well. All the pieces in the exhibit will feature a poppy symbol, inspired by Major John McCrae’s famous poem “In Flanders Fields,” which has come to symbolize the loss of a generation on the battlefields of WWI: “In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses, row on row….” Harrington explains that use of the poppy further coalesces the pieces in the exhibit and underscores the emotional and historical value of each as remembrances of a war that had such a profound effect on the 20th century.

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

Members of the Brown community interested in more information about the event on May 9 should contact Andrew Woelflein at or Peter Harrington at


Family Weekend Forum | The Evolving Roles of Libraries in Teaching, Learning, and Research

Come and join us for a discussion about the ways in which the roles and relationships of academic libraries are changing to meet the University’s academic mission in the 21st century. “The Evolving Roles of Libraries in Teaching, Learning, and Research” will focus on a highly productive and successful relationship between the Brown University Library and the teaching and research of Computer Science Professor, Andries van Dam. University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi and Professor van Dam will provide compelling examples that demonstrate the evolving nature of teaching, learning, and research at Brown.

Click here to watch the video of the forum on YouTube.

andries_van_damProfessor van Dam is the Thomas J. Watson, Jr. University Professor of Technology and Education and Professor of Computer Science. He has been on Brown’s faculty since 1965 and was one of the Computer Science Department’s co-founders and its first Chairman, from 1979 to 1985. He was a Principal Investigator and was the Director from 1996-1998 in the NSF Science and Technology Center for Graphics and Visualization, a research consortium including Brown, Caltech, Cornell, North Carolina (Chapel Hill), and the University of Utah. He served as Brown’s first Vice President for Research from 2002-2006. His research has concerned computer graphics, hypermedia systems, post-WIMP user interfaces, including pen-centric computing, and educational software. He has been working for over four decades on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in teaching and research.

HarriettePhotoHarriette Hemmasi is the Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University, where she has oversight for the library system and provides leadership in the delivery and integration of information resources and new technologies into the campus’s teaching, learning, and research environment. Since coming to Brown in the fall of 2005, Hemmasi’s primary objectives have been to translate the University’s goals and directions into actions for the Library; to build bridges between digital library initiatives and the broader set of campus technologies; and to establish the Library and its staff as active partners in the University’s academic mission.

Date: Saturday, October 25
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: Smith-Buonanno 106