Exhibit | US Comedians on Stamps and the Process of Creating a Stamp Design


This stamp exhibit at the Anne S. K. Brown Military in the John Hay Library features a set of U.S. stamps that were produced in 1991 called U.S. Comedians on Stamps. The idea for these stamps started in 1981 when Howard Paine, the coordinator for the Stamp Committee, proposed doing some adventurous things, like seeing some of the great caricaturists design stamps. In particular, he suggested having Al Hirschfeld create caricatures of celebrities.

Paine’s idea became a reality on August 29, 1991, when Postmaster General Anthony M. Frank dedicated a booklet of stamps featuring Hirschfeld caricatures of famous 20th century American comedians. This stamp issue was the first of 25 issues depicting caricatures of show business personalities created by Hirschfeld specifically as stamp art. Four of the Hirschfeld stamps, shown above, are on display in the exhibit.

(Fun fact: In 1945 Hirschfeld’s daughter Nina was born, and from that year on he always hid the name Nina in his drawings.)

The exhibit also depicts the process of creating a U.S. stamp by showing Hirschfeld’s drawing, the overlay with the name and postage rate of the stamp that was superimposed over the drawing, and the final stamp itself.

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.

Click here for more information about Special Collections at Brown, including the stamp collections.

Dates: September 10 – October 31, 2015
Time: Open to the public 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Location: Anne S. K. Brown Military Gallery, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | “Exploring Two Decades in the Evaluation of Digital Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion” with Cheryl Ball

CherylBallThe Library and the Cogut Center for the Humanities are pleased to welcome Cheryl Ball, Associate Professor of Digital Publishing Studies at West Virginia University, who will present a talk entitled, “Exploring Two Decades in the Evaluation of Digital Scholarship for Tenure and Promotion,” at 11 a.m. on Friday, September 18, 2015 in the Digital Scholarship Lab on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library. The talk will be followed by a question and answer period along with a light lunch served in the DSL.

As Associate Professor of Digital Publishing Studies, Prof. Ball teaches classes in editing, multimedia authoring, and digital publishing. She has published articles and webtexts on multimodal composition and digital publishing in Classroom Discourse, Computers and Composition, C&C Online, Fibreculture, Convergence, Hybrid Pedagogy, Kairos, Programmatic Perspectives, Technical Communication Quarterly, and Writing & Pedagogy. She has also published several books, including The New Work of Composing (co-edited with Debra Journet and Ryan Trauman); RAW: Reading and Writing New Media (co-edited with Jim Kalmbach); and Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects (co-authored with Kristin Arola & Jenny Sheppard). In addition, she is editor of Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. Most recently, Prof. Ball was instrumental in securing a $1 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build Vega, an open-access, multimedia, academic publishing platform.

Professor Ball’s talk is co-sponsored by the Cogut Center for the Humanities and the Brown University Library’s lecture series, New Directions in Scholarly Publishing and the Challenges of Evaluation.

Date: Friday, September 18, 2015
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Recap: International Workshop-Forum on China’s Publishing Soft Power

Workshop and Forum | China’s Publishing Soft Power

Photo by Ben Tyler

On Friday, August 14, 2015, the Brown University Library hosted a workshop and forum about China’s Publishing Soft Power. Below is a list of the presentations.

Opening Speech: Introduction to the Conference and Attendees (Li Wang)

Session I. Trends in Global Information and Communication (Moderator: William S. Monroe)

  1. Keynote Speech: Global Brown: Comprehensive Internationalization (Sonia Feigenbaum)
  2. Keynote Speech: Libraries, Publishing and Intellectual Property in the Digital Age (Ned Quist)
  3. Understanding Moore’s Law in Digital Publishing (Xiao Chuan Lian)
  4. From Hollywood to Huallywood—through Visual Literacy (Yan Ma)
  5. Arab Spring and Publishing Landscape of the Middle East (Ian Straughn)
  6. Brill Publishers and the Publishing Process with Brill (Qin Higley)

Session II. Landscape of Booming Publishing Enterprises in China (Moderator: Hong Ji)

  1. Keynote Speech: Growth of China’ Publishing Industry (Zhang Zhiqiang)
  2. Chinese Scholarly Publishing:  (Huang Fang)
  3. Growth of Chinese Digital Publishing (Susan Xue)
  4. Pishu: Non-official Report Series for Social Science Studies (Xie Shouguang, Liren Zheng, and Liang Fan)
  5. Chinese Bookfairs: Domestic and International (Wang Pengfei)
  6. Publishing Industry in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Maco (Zhuge Weidong)

Session III. Challenges and Strategies for Accessing to Chinese Scholarly Resources (Moderator: Zhuge Weidong)

  1. Best Practices for Selecting and Acquiring Growing Chinese Print Resources (Ming Sun Poon)
  2. Issues on Evaluation on Chinese E-resources (Chengzhi Wang)
  3. Organization and Access to Chinese Materials for the Confucius Institutes in the U.S. (Yan Ma)
  4. Reexamine the Role of Special Collection Librarians (Yan He)
  5. Professional Exchanges and Collaborations between Chinese and American libraries and librarians (Shuyong Jiang)

Concluding Remarks and Announcements (Li Wang)

List of Attendees

The Library Welcomes Brian Croxall

Brian CroxallThe Brown University Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Croxall to the post of Digital Humanities Librarian.

Brian comes to Brown from Emory University where he was a Digital Humanities Strategist and Lecturer of English. He completed his PhD in English literature in 2008 at Emory and taught subsequently at Emory and Clemson University.

His research focuses on digital humanities, media studies, and American literature. Brian has published in American ImagoWriting & Pedagogy, and Neo-Victorian Studies, among others. He is co-editing a book on steampunk; is a cluster editor at #alt-academy; serves on the Executive Councils of the Modern Language Association and the Association for Computers and the Humanities; and is a writer for the group blog ProfHacker.

FLIP | Textbook Lending Library

Sorensen Family Reading Room

Sorensen Family Reading Room Bookshelves

The First Generation Low Income Partnership, or FLIP, is a completely student-run initiative aimed at making textbooks available to first generation Brown students and other Brown students challenged by the high cost of textbooks.

Shelves in the Sorensen Family Reading Room on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library will contain a collection of donated textbooks available for borrowing. The books will not be represented in Josiah, the Library’s online book catalog. The word FLIP will be labeled on all of the books.

The group First-Gens at Brown began the initiative and will maintain the collection, including collecting, recording, distributing, and re-shelving the books. Similar systems have been implemented at other schools like Columbia University.

The Library is pleased to host this effort and hopes that it is successful and provides welcome assistance to every student who would like to make use of it.

The Library Welcomes Christiane Landry

Christiane LandryThe Brown University Library is pleased to welcome Christiane Landry to Digital Production Services.

Christiane comes to Brown from Providence College where, most recently, she was the Commons Digital Publishing Support Specialist. In that position she worked with students, staff, and faculty where she assisted them with their multimedia/digital initiatives.

In addition, she worked with Providence College’s institutional repository, developing workflows and documentation.

The Library Welcomes Jordan Jancosek

Jancosek_JordanThe Brown University Library is pleased to welcome Jordan Jancosek as the new Hall-Hoag Project Archivist.

Jordan recently completed her MLS in Archives Management and her MA in History (both at Simmons College). Jordan’s undergraduate degree in history is from Oberlin College.

She has professional experience in archives at Oberlin College, Antioch College, Bunker Hill Community College, Tufts University, and Simmons College.

In her spare time, Jordan enjoys running, playing board games, and cheering on her Chicago sports teams.

Construction at the Rock | Normal Operations

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

New accessible ramp on the left; temporary ramp on the right

New accessible ramp on the left; temporary accessible ramp (now gone) on the right

A new accessible ramp has been installed in the front and is open for use. There is a channel of steps providing access to the front doors as well. Despite the construction fences, the cranes, and the general congestion around our block of Prospect Street, the Rock is open for business as usual.

Front stairs being resealed and replaced

Workers remove the old front steps and prepare the surface for sealing and new steps

New steps being installed

New front steps being installed

Work is being done on the exterior facade to reseal the concrete joints of the building (all floors, all around the building) as well as repair and replace exterior doors on Levels A and B.

Workers on crane lifts repairing concrete joints

Workers on crane lifts resealing concrete joints

Further, inside the building we will begin construction this fall on the new Digital Studio on the first floor of the Rock (in the former Periodicals Reading Room) as well as construct new office spaces on Level A.

View from the central hallway on the first floor to the now closed Periodicals Reading Room, which is becoming the new Digital Studio

View from the central hallway on the first floor to the now closed Periodicals Reading Room, which is becoming the new Digital Studio

Patrons can access the Hecker Room and the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab by going through the Sorensen Family Reading Room and taking a right into the Finn Reading Room. For more information on the closing of the Periodicals Reading Room and the new locations for the current periodicals and the Diversions popular reading collection, click here.

Periodicals Reading Room just before construction began

Periodicals Reading Room just before construction began; this space will become a Digital Studio

We have worked with Facilities Management and the contractors to minimize the impact of these projects on library users to the extent that it is possible (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 by users, and some of the work can sometimes be noisy or disruptive. We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause, but ask you to please bear with us in the short run as we work to improve the condition of the building and the facilities and operations within the Rock.

Front entrance and porch

The open front entrance and porch

We greatly appreciate your patience, flexibility, and cooperation as we work through the fall semester. Please let us know if you have any questions about the construction projects, now or as the semester unfolds.

Readex Delivers New Interface for Databases


On August 19, 2015, Readex launched new interfaces for America’s Historical Imprints, America’s Historical Newspapers, and the World Newspaper Archive, providing students and scholars with a better research experience than ever before. For more information, including a full listing of enhanced collections, click here.

Each collection now delivers:

A fresh new look
Newly enhanced interfaces offer compelling graphics and cleaner, more streamlined designs.

More intuitive navigation
A prominent search box and larger tabs encourage searching and discovery. Features unique to Readex—like the metadata-based browse options—have been retained for the users and librarians who appreciate the filtering they enable.

Better image viewing
Working with historical documents is now easier for both novice and seasoned users. Improved magnification means less time spent adjusting and reloading images, resulting in faster, more efficient research.
These enhancements are based on clear patterns of user need, demonstrated through analysis of usage behavior and in-depth feedback from librarians, professors, advanced researchers, college students and others.

We invite you to explore these enhanced interfaces at your convenience. No training is required; these changes are intuitive to users at all levels.

Questions? Please contact our Customer Service team by email at custservice@readex.com, or by phone at 1.800.243.7694.

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Periodicals Reading Room to Close 8/17 | Collections Moving

Periodicals Reading Room

Periodicals Reading Room

The Periodicals Reading Room in the Rockefeller Library, located on the first floor, will be closed for construction beginning Monday, August 17, 2015. The space will be renovated as part of the Library’s Mellon-funded digital scholarship initiative. The collections housed there have been relocated.

Current print periodicals can now be found on the second floor of the Rockefeller Library in stack ranges 50-51 at the south end of the building.

The “Diversions” popular reading collection has been moved to the Sorensen Family Reading Room on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library.


Sorensen Family Reading Room