Happy Birthday Frederick Douglass


Photo credit: from the “Lincoln Broadsides” collection

Like many of those born into slavery, Frederick Douglass had no idea of the date of his birth. He knew neither his age nor the day on which to commemorate each new year that was added to it. Escaping slavery in Maryland for freedom in the North, Douglass thus had to select a day on which to celebrate his birthday. He chose St. Valentine’s Day, after recalling that his mother had so often called him her “Little Valentine.”


Photo credit: Taken from a 1845 volume of “Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass”—http://josiah.brown.edu/record=b1928785~S5

Douglass began his life as a free man in Southeastern New England, establishing residence in New Bedford. Once William Lloyd Garrison had recruited him to work for the Abolitionist movement, however, Douglass travelled throughout the region as a speaker and activist, recruiting others to the cause. He spoke often in Rhode Island, particularly in the northern part of the state where Abolitionist sentiment was strongest, and served on the executive board of the Rhode Island Anti-Slavery Society, which had been founded in 1836.

Douglass’s writings and his activities in the Abolition movement are documented across the collections in the John Hay Library, but can be found principally in the McLellan Lincoln Collection, the general  collection of rare books (Hay Star), and the Harris Collection of American Poetry & Plays, which include broadsides, pamphlets and newspapers of the period. The John Hay Library has strong holdings on  African American history, with a particular focus on African American poets of the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as on African American alumni of Brown University, the anti-slavery movement, and the struggle to achieve civil rights.

Libguide of the Week: Anthropology Created by Carina Cournoyer

libguides Anthro

This week, the Library would like to highlight the Anthropology Subject Guide created by Social Sciences Librarian Carina Cournoyer.

One of the great things about the Anthropology Subject Guide is the “New Titles” feed on the main page. The guide also does a great job highlighting various kinds of media related to Anthropology.

The Library is home to a number of Subject Guides geared to help students at all stages of their research process. If Anthropology isn’t your field be sure to visit the other Library Subject Guides.


Submit Your Rock Memories


The Rockefeller Library is turning 50 this year. As part of our anniversary celebration, the Library is gathering and sharing stories from alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the library about their favorite memories or experiences in the Rockefeller Library. Please submit here or use the hashtag #Rock50Memories to share your Rock Memories on twitter or instagram.

For more information, visit the Rock50 website.

Updates From Around the Library (January 2014)


Here are a few recent highlights from some of the Library’s various blogs:

Contact: Mark Baumer |  401-863-3642

CNI Podcast with Harriette Hemmasi: Brown University Libraries Supporting Digital Scholarship

In this interview recorded at the 2013 Fall Membership Meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), University Librarian Harriette Hemmasi discusses the Brown University Library Digital Scholarship Lab and the relationship librarians at Brown are cultivating with research and other forms of digital scholarship.

CNI Podcast: Brown University Libraries Supporting Digital Scholarship

Carberry Day

Josiah Carberry

A young Josiah Carberry.
Photo Credit: Cindy Cornett Seigle

In honor of Carberry Day—on Friday, December 13 at 3 p.m. in the Laura and David Finn Reading Room of the Rockefeller Library—the Library will present a cooking demonstration and Josiah Carberry himself will sign cookbooks.

There have been rumors that Carberry will be preparing every recipe from The Carberry Cookbook. One rumor in particular said, “Carberry most likely will try to combine all the recipes into one large dish that will be served in the University’s largest cracked pot.”

The Library can neither confirm or deny most of these rumors, but there will be food.

If you happen to spot Josiah Carberry between now and tomorrow afternoon, feel free to post an image of him on instagram and tag it #josiahcarberry so it will appear on the Library’s Josiah Carberry Wall.

Details for Cooking Demonstration and Cookbook Signing:
Date: Friday December 13
Time: 3 p.m.
Location: Laura and David Finn Reading Room (Rockefeller Library)

Contact: Mark Baumer |  401-863-3642

Mapping Arts Project Event in the Digital Scholarship Lab

Providence Maps

The Mapping Arts Project is publicly launching Mapping Arts Project-Providence on Thursday, December 12 in the Digital Scholarship Lab.

This project—a collaborative effort by Brown University graduate students and faculty—digitally mapped the lives, influence, and work of black artists in Providence from the 1860s through the 1960s.

This undertaking is part of the larger Mapping Arts Project run by Blackbird Arts and Research, which has so far mapped the lives and work of artists in Miami during the 1920s through the 1950s.

This current project engages the university and larger Providence community via a publicly accessible, digital map with historical information and images about black artistic influence on Providence. Furthermore, it situates Providence as an important site of black Atlantic cultural production. Artists including painter Edward Bannister, singer Sarah Vaughan, and jazz musician James Berry spent time in the city and shaped its cultural landscape.

Date: December 12
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library

Contact: Lara Stein Pardo

An Evening with 2013 Pulitzer Prize Winning Dramatist, Ayad Akhtar ’93

Ayad Akhtar

The Library is honored to present Ayad Akhtar (Brown alum ’93) as the speaker for the 10th Annual Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship in American Theatre.

The lecture will be on Monday, December 9 at 7 p.m. in the Martinos Auditorium of the Granoff Center.

Ayad Akhtar is an author, playwright, and screenwriter. His book American Dervish was voted one of the Best Books of the Year (2012) by numerous publications. His play Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Akhtar is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing. He was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee.

The Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship was established in honor of Professor Don Wilmeth and his monumental contribution to the study of theatre at Brown. The lectureship supports an annual lecture series on American theatre. Past visiting lecturers have included Laurence Maslon (2005), Jim Steinmeyer (2007), Christopher Bigsby (2008), Laura Linney (2008), Lynn Nottage (2010), and Bill Irwin (2011).

The Brown University Library is home to more than 6.8 million print items, plus a multitude of electronic resources and expanding digital archives serving the teaching, research, and learning needs of Brown students and faculty, as well as scholars from around the country and the world. http://library.brown.edu/

Contact: Mark Baumer |  401-863-3642

The Art of Illusion Exhibit: Selections from the H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana


The Art of Illusion Exhibit opens this week in the Rockefeller Library. This exhibit will be on display from December 5, 2013 to March 26, 2014. The Art of Illusion highlights selections from the H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana.

H. Adrian Smith (Brown class of 1930) assembled during his lifetime one of the finest private collections of magic books, manuscripts, and ephemera. It was bequeathed to the University upon his death in 1992.

Members of the general public wishing to to view exhibits at the Rockefeller Library should first check in at the service desk.

Date: December 5, 2013 – March 7, 2014
Location: Lobby cases | Rockefeller Library

Contact: Holly Snyder

Exhibit of Dresden and Nymphenburg Porcelains from the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection

Dresden and Nymphenburg Porcelains

Next week the exhibit of the Dresden and Nymphenburg Porcelains from the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection opens in the Rockefeller Library. This exhibit will be on display from December 9, 2013 to Arpil 25, 2014.

While John Nicholas Brown was working with the allied forces in Germany in 1945 reporting on stolen art works, he visited the factory at Nymphenburg in Bavaria and ordered 21 porcelain figures for his wife, Anne S.  K. Brown. Subsequent additions to this set came from the Dresden porcelain factory. Today these porcelains form a unique segment of the foremost American collection devoted to the history and iconography of soldiers and soldiering.

Members of the general public wishing to to view exhibits at the Rockefeller Library should first check in at the service desk.

Date: December 9, 2013 – March 26, 2014
Location: Finn Room Cases | Rockefeller Library

Contact: peter_harrington@brown.edu