Events | Pembroke Center Explores Feminism in Academia


The Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women has a series of exciting events coming up this spring, which the Library, especially the University Archives, has been supporting. All these events are free and open to the public and are part of the Pembroke Center’s offerings for Brown’s 250th anniversary.

Exhibit Opening: The Lamphere Case: The Sex Discrimination Case that Changed Brown
Opening Reception:
Thursday, March 5, 2015, 3:30 PM  – 5:00 PM
Pembroke Hall, 172 Meeting Street

The exhibit explores in detail the Lamphere case and its consequences for Brown. Based on extensive archival research and oral histories with key participants, the exhibit paints a vivid picture of how and why Brown changed during a key moment in its history and of the feminist activism that drove that change.

The exhibit will be on view in Pembroke Hall from March 5 through May 24.  Building hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.

Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Women Presidents and the Changing University
Thursday, March 5, 2015, 5:30 PM
Salomon Center for Teaching, De Ciccio Family Auditorium
Brown University, Main Green

A discussion of feminism and the challenges women leaders still face in the world of higher education featuring:

Christina Paxson, President of Brown University
Drew Gilpin Faust, President of Harvard University
Nan Keohane, former President of Wellesley College and Duke University
Shirley Tilghman, former President of Princeton University

Symposium: Feminist Change and the University
Friday, March 6, 2015, 9:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Pembroke Hall 305, 172 Meeting Street


Linking past and present feminist concerns, the symposium will open with a conversation between Louise Lamphere and Amy Goldstein ’79, a reporter for The Washington Post, about the Lamphere case and its aftermath.

A panel of Brown faculty will discuss the way feminist scholarship continues to change what students study, how knowledge is made in the contemporary university, and the challenges and possibilities facing current and future generations of women at Brown.

A keynote lecture by Wendy Brown (University of California, Berkeley) will explore the naming debate in reproductive freedom. A keynote lecture by Evelynn Hammonds (Harvard University) will examine feminism and the STEM fields.

RSVP required for lunch.

New ScienceDirect Archival Journals Added to the Library Collections

The Library has recently purchased 3 ScienceDirect (Elsevier) ejournal archive collections: Psychology (81 titles), Earth & Planetary Sciences (106 titles), and Biochemistry, Genetics & Molecular Biology (145 titles). These collections contain the full archive of journals in these disciplines published by Elsevier. Representing about 50% new content and 50% replacement for content the Brown Library already owns in print only, many highly cited journals are included in these collections, which will now be available 24×7 from on and off-campus.

Library closings

Library Closing Because of Snow

Due to predicted weather conditions, all University Libraries will close tonight (January 26) at 8:00 pm.

All University Libraries will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, January 27.

Unless there is further notice, University Libraries will re-open on Wednesday, January 28.

Thank you for your cooperation and please take necessary precautions to remain safe during the upcoming storm.

Laundry – way more fascinating than you thought

Sawyer's Crystal Blue Little Bo Peep puzzle

Puzzle created by Sawyer’s Crystal Blue Company to advertise their bluing product, circa 1900. When added to wash water, the blue dye makes white clothes look whiter. The swastika symbol in this context means lucky or auspicious object.

Laundry.  At its most basic, washing clothes involves water and a scrubbing action, with soap as an added bonus.  Yet, our ancestors would not recognize the process of doing laundry in 21st century America.  We have incredibly sophisticated computerized machines and a dizzying array of laundry detergents and other products to get our clothes clean.  The evolution of washing technology from washboards to top-loaders, and the social implications of that process, is richly documented in the Joe and Lil Shapiro collection of laundry ephemera (MS.2014.002) now available for use at the John Hay Library.

The Joe and Lil Shapiro collection of laundry ephemera consists of ephemera that depict the history, artifacts and materials used to do laundry from 1800 to 2010.  Most of the items in this collection were produced by companies to advertise laundry products such as bluing, clotheslines and clothespins, dyes, soaps, starch, washboards and washing machines. The advertisements depict not only the variety and evolution of laundry tools and techniques but also attitudes towards women, women’s work, and people of African-American and Chinese descent.  The collection as a whole raises the topic of laundry from something to be avoided to something that tells a fascinating story about American history, technology, chemistry, social expectations, race relations, the status of women, and the power of advertising.  Who knew the laundry hamper could be so informative?

This collection was compiled by Joseph S. Shapiro, Brown class of 1957, and his wife, Lilian Shapiro. Joseph Shapiro was the owner of the Lundermac Company, Inc., which managed and supplied self-service laundries in apartments, condos and dormitories across New England. Lundermac was founded in 1940 in Roxbury, Massachusetts, by Lilian Shapiro’s father, Gerard Wolfe. Joseph Shapiro learned the business from Wolfe, beginning as a salesperson in 1961, and rose to become President of the company in 1988.  Joe and Lil collected anything and everything related to the process of doing laundry including washing machines, washboards, wash paddles, soap boxes, etc.  Only the paper-based ephemeral materials were donated to Brown University.

To learn more about this collection and how it can inform your research projects, contact Holly Snyder, Curator of American Historical Collections, or visit the John Hay Library.

Spotlight On: PrivCo

Current; PrivCo focuses solely on private company financial data, including M&A activity, investor information, and private equity and venture capital data, all very interconnected. Includes coverage of over 50,000 private companies, 18,000 investors, and nearly 100,000 private market deals. Entrepreneurship programs find the ability to search by niche industry for private companies and to locate which investors have invested in specific industries helpful as well.

The PrivCo 100: America’s Largest Private Companies

The PrivCo Europe 25: Europe’s 25 Largest Companies

PrivCo’s Top 20 Largest Venture Capital Rounds of 2014

PrivCo’s Top 10 Largest Venture Capital Exits of 2014

PrivCo’s Top 10 Largest Private Equity Acquisitions of 2014

Exhibit | The Battle of New Orleans – The “Other” Battle of 1815


Battle of New Orleans and death of Major General Packenham on the 8th of January 1815, West and Joseph Yeager, Hand colored engraving by Yeager after West

January 8, 2015 is the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans. Fought between an American force of around 5,000 men under Andrew Jackson and 7,500 British troops commanded by Sir Edward Pakenham, the outcome forced the British to leave Louisiana, thus ending the War of 1812. Five months later, the British and their Prussian allies defeated Napoleon at Waterloo.

As with any battle, much information has been lost and eyewitness accounts provide only a snapshot of the fighting. Consequently, myths and legends emerge and these often influence the iconography of the battle. In the ten images featured in this exhibit, the American artists propagandize the battle by depicting the Americans as mighty victors over a weaker British force. The hero of the day, Jackson, is given prominence throughout; however, the death of his counterpart, Pakenham, has not been overlooked, as is the case in the engraving featured here. Of particular note is the fact that few if any of the artists were present at the battle. Though not based on first person observation, these images exerted great influence over perception of the events in 1815.

Dates: January 20 – March 31, 2015
Time: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday
Location: Bopp Seminar Room, Second Floor, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Mellon-Funded Digital Scholarship Initiative


Brown will launch a new digital scholarship initiative this spring with a $1.3 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The initiative, to be administered jointly by the University Library and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, will support the development, publication, and preservation of digital publications, with an emphasis on long-form digital publications by Brown faculty in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. For more information, see:

Two temporary, grant-funded positions will be added to the Library: a Digital Scholarly Editor to partner with faculty on developing projects selected under this initiative and also to Mellserve as a liaison to publishers, and also an Information Designer to assist faculty in the layout of their scholarly content and the integration of dynamic multimedia and data applications as part of the online publications.

Other campus initiatives that are part of the grant include (1) creating guidelines for the evaluation of digital scholarship and incorporating these guidelines into departmental standards and criteria documents for faculty performance, tenure, and promotion; (2) establishing systems for internal and external review of digital scholarly works to compensate for the lack of regular reviewing of digital scholarship in the main disciplinary journals; (3) providing opportunities for the next generation of scholars, at both the graduate and undergraduate level, to gain significant experiences and skills in the conception and realization of digital scholarship in the humanities.

Waterloo 1815: A Bicentennial Exhibition

Battle of Waterloo Exhibit

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, fought on Sunday, June 18th, 1815 in a village in present-day Belgium. A pivotal moment in history, this battle marked the end of both the Napoleonic Empire and France’s domination of Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Waterloo was the closing event of more than a quarter century of global conflict from the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars, ushering in nearly fifty years of peacetime in Europe. The decisive battle has maintained a prominent place in public consciousness long after the final moments of combat.

This exhibition, drawn from The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection, visualizes the history of this momentous event. It covers the major actors, precursory battles, public reactions, tourism and commemorations, as well as the details of the battle itself and its grim aftermath. The items on display range from texts and images that are contemporary with the battle to those created as retrospectives.

Location: Hay Exhibition Gallery
Dates: February 16th, 2015 – May 25th, 2015

Nature.Com Complete

Starting in 2015 the Library is pleased to be able to offer to the University community access to Nature Publishing Group’s (NPG) Complete. This service provides unlimited, seamless, and immediate access to content on the platform (except Nature Disease Primers and Nature Plants). This includes archived content back to the 1st issues for all NPG journals on the platform. There is no limit on downloaded articles; they can be printed or stored electronically.

The NPG portfolio incorporates a wide variety of titles across the clinical, physical and life sciences. Many of the Nature research journals are ranked number 1 in their field, and all are guided by an expert team of editors.

Get started today by going to

Exhibit | The Great Britain Smiler Sheets

SmilersStampsSixteen sheets of the Smiler stamps are on exhibit in the Anne S.K. Brown Military Gallery of the John Hay Library from January 7 – March 4, 2015. The Smilers are part of the Brown University Library’s extensive stamp collections.

The “Smilers” are a series of stamps first issued by Great Britain for the 2000 International Stamp Exhibition, London. During the Exhibition, attendees could go to special photo booths and have their picture taken and placed on the stamps. The service was popular at the Exhibition, but its novelty eventually wore off with the public, possibly due to the higher price for the customized stamps. These early, customizable Smiler sheets are now fairly scarce.

As an alternative to the customized Smiler sheets, the Royal Mail also produced pre-designed Smilers, such as the sheet featured here and those in the Exhibit at the John Hay Library.

The Smilers stamps were created to inspire people to return to traditional correspondence through the post, as opposed to using electronic forms of communication. Will they inspire you?

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: January 7 – March 4, 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