JHL Conservation Bulletin | December 2016

A quarterly installment highlighting Library Conservation in the Brown University community, conservation news around the internet, and ways for you to connect with conservation.

Book and paper conservation [at Brown]

Forging the future of special collections. It’s a thriller, a romance, a dystopian journey, or anything else you want it to be. Read my review for the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation here.

In house treatment at the Hay


Materials from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection are going on loan to the Art Institute of Chicago next year, and will be a part of the inaugural exhibit for their new Deering Family Galleries of Medieval and Renaissance Art, Arms and Armor in March 2017.  One of the items going on loan contains a rendition of a cat and a pigeon being propelled by rockets. Or, let’s try…being propelled by rockets! Items going out on loan require a lot of preparation from both the lending and borrowing institutions. Conservation contributions include a condition report, physical repair and stabilization, as well as requirements and fabrication of mounts for display, for each item. It is always a pleasure to work with institutions that are so committed to collections care and conservation; Brown is fortunate to be a part of this notable exhibition.

Find conservation online and in person

With the evolution of manuscript traditions comes the perpetuation of information. The idea for those rocket propelled animals pictured above may have first appeared in an early 15th century manuscript, before printing gained momentum in the west. Although the technology was available in the late 16th century when Brown’s manuscript was created, there is no evidence this information appears in print until the mid-17th century. The point is that the image and its related text does eventually appear in print, and fast forward to now, in this medium.

In her Forging the Future… contribution, E. Haven Hawley suggests, to paraphrase, that an object’s meaning materializes from its endurance. Hawley’s examination into the meaning of objects was the highlight of the book for me, as it helped me clearly identify the issue I think many libraries, especially special collections libraries continually face. How can special collections relate to historically ignored, as well as new, and evolving communities when the legacy of curating authorities only reinforces concepts of the past?


Bridging technologies of the book. More to come in March. Happy holidays!

-Rachel Lapkin, Library Materials Conservator

Dissertation Writing Retreat January 9-13 from the Writing Center, Graduate School and University Library (Deadline 12/28)


Advanced PhD students are invited to apply now to participate in a Dissertation Writing Retreat in January 2017. The writing-intensive retreat, to be held January 9-13, will provide 16 participants with space, time and encouragement to make progress on their dissertations. Stacy Kastner, Associate Director of the Writing Center, will lead the retreat, which pools the resources and support of the Graduate School, Sheridan Center and Libraries.

The deadline for submitting the electronic form is Wednesday, December 28, 2016. See details, including eligibility, here.

During the retreat, students will meet in the morning to set writing goals over coffee and tea, spend two hours writing, and then break for an informal lunch talk peppered with energizing advice and anecdotes about how to successfully navigate the dissertation writing process. In the afternoon, they will spend another three hours writing, with one-on-one support available from Writing Associates and Research Librarians. The group will close the day at 4 p.m., regrouping to check-in about writing goals and to celebrate progress made.

This offering is a response to the Graduate Student Council’s request for increased writing support for graduate students.

HathiTrust Release of Research Center Extracted Features Dataset

HathiTrust today announces the release of a significantly expanded open dataset, HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC) Extracted Features (EF) Dataset, Version 1.0. This dataset provides researchers with open access to data extracted from the full text of the HathiTrust Digital Library (HTDL) at an unprecedented scale. Brown University Library is a member of the HathiTrust.

The Extracted Features Dataset opens the complete HathiTrust collection for investigations into historical and cultural trends, the rise and fall of topics within the corpus, and the evolution of words and writing structures in publications dating from the 16th to the late 20th century. The EF Dataset provides quantitative information about word and line counts, parts of speech, and other details within each page of every volume in the HTDL. In addition to these larger-scale investigations, the EF Dataset also allows researchers to closely analyze the contents of a given volume or subset of volumes.

The data is extracted from 13.7 million volumes found in the HTDL, representing over 5 billion pages consisting of over 2 trillion tokens (words). A preliminary release of the EF Dataset, drawn from a much smaller subset comprising only HathiTrust’s public domain collection, has already enabled novel research from scholars in economics, history, linguistics, literary studies, and sociology, among other fields.

Read the full announcement here.

Please direct questions to HTRC Project Coordinator Ryan Dubincek (rdubinc2@illinois.edu).

NEW: Archives of Human Sexuality and Identity, Part 1: LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940



Part I: LGBTQ History and Culture since 1940 brings together approximately 1.5 million pages of primary source content on social, political, health, and legal issues impacting LGBTQ communities around the world, including the gay rights movement, activism, the HIV/Aids crisis, and more. Documents are sourced from top libraries and archives like Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, GLBT Historical Society, New York Public Library, Lesbian Herstory Educational Foundation, Inc., and others.

NAXOS Music Library Currently Unavailable

NAXOS Music Library has been down since Thursday, December 1. The problem has been reported to NAXOS support. Despite what the error message says, our license has not expired. In November 2016, we renewed until December 2017.

A notice will be posted here as soon as the resource is back up and running. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Thank you.

EVENT | Pizza Nights



84a24e_0631a147db134c92bd8a6701acc3ec2c-jpg_srz_925_616_85_22_0-50_1-20_0Who wants some pizza?

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

Tuesday, December 13  |  9 p.m.  | Rockefeller Library Lobby
Wednesday, December 14  |  9 p.m.  |  Friedman Study Center (SciLi)

Pizza nights are sponsored by the Library, Campus Life, and an ever true Brown Family.

Good luck with exams!


EVENT | Annual S. T. Joshi Fellow Presentation : Matthew Beach and “Lovecraft’s Consolation”


On Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. at the John Hay Library, S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellow Matthew Beach will give a presentation entitled, “Lovecraft’s Consolation.” Beach is the second recipient of the Joshi Fellowship, which supports research relating to H.P. Lovecraft, his associates, and literary heirs. Working with the H. P. Lovecraft papers at the John Hay Library, Beach investigated Lovecraft’s theories on weird fiction and time in support of his dissertation research. Over the course of the two-month fellowship, Mr. Beach also became interested in a series of letters that he identified as “consolation letters.” Conversation and refreshments to follow.


Matthew Beach

Matthew Beach is a doctoral candidate in the English Department at Brown University. His research focuses on time, affect, and the body in American literature, particularly in popular genres such as pulp and sentimental fiction.

The S. T. Joshi Endowed Research Fellowship for 2017 is now open. Additional information is available online: http://library.brown.edu/joshi/

Date: Thursday, December 8, 2016
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Event | Michael Elliott, “Open Access and the Future of the Monograph in the Humanities”

Michael Elliot

Michael Elliot

On Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, Michael Elliott will give a talk entitled, “Open Access and the Future of the Monograph in the Humanities.” A reception will follow the talk. This event is free and open to the public.

The landscape of monograph publication in the humanities is changing, with university and academic presses offering new possibilities for publishing digital, open access monographs. This talk will describe these changes, the kind of faculty support that they will require, as well as the implications for how universities fund research in the humanities. With Brown University, Emory University is participating in an initiative sponsored jointly by the ARL, AAU, and AAUP to support and facilitate this new model of long-form publication in the humanities, and this talk will also discuss how Emory has been facilitating this initiative among the faculty.

Michael A. Elliott is Professor of English and Interim Dean of Emory College of Arts and Sciences at Emory University.  A specialist in American literature and culture, he is the author of two books and the co-editor of two others, and he is a member of the editorial board of The Norton Anthology of American Literature.  He is also the principal investigator on a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Landscape on “The Changing Landscape of Publication in the Humanities.”

This talk is a part of the Library’s ongoing series, The Future of Scholarly Publishing, which presents perspectives from scholars, publishers, and experts in the field of digital scholarship.

Date: Thursday, December 1, 2016
Time: 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence