Updates From Around the Library (February 2014)


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

Contact: Mark Baumer |  401-863-3642

Libguide of the Week: Archaeology by Dr. Ian Straughn

Libguides Archeology

The Library would like to highlight the Archaeology Subject Guide.

This guide—created by Social Sciences Librarian Dr. Ian Straughn—offers many helpful tools for Archaeology researchers.

One of the great things about the Archaeology Subject Guide is the “Digital Projects & Open Access” page which includes numerous digital projects specifically for Archaeology. On this page, there is also a helpful guide for open access tools. Also, be sure to check out the “Archaeological Data” page.

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

Roderick Coover | Artist in Residence at the DSL | February 17-21

rod Coover

Roderick Coover (Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple  University) will be the Artist in Residence at the Brown University Library DSL from February 17—February 21. He will be working on a site-specific work for the DSL display.

On February 21 at noon in Digital Scholarship Lab, Coover and Scott Rettberg will give a public lecture sharing their work as well as discussing Digital Technology In The Humanities And Arts.

Roderick Coover Bio: A pioneer in interactive and digital cinema, Roderick Coover’s work spans a variety of media: installation, film, webwork, and print, often in collaboration. Recently, he has been collaborating with Scott Rettberg on projects that include Toxi•City, the Catastrophe Series, and Three Rails Live (also with Nick Montfort). His Altered Shorelines and Unknown Territories series are interactive works that explore landscapes in the U.S. and abroad. During his residence at Brown, he will discuss the 2011 book Switching Codes: Thinking Through Digital Technology in the Humanities and the Arts (University of Chicago Press), which he co-edited with Thomas Bartscherer. Professor Coover is Director of the Graduate Program in Film and Media Arts and the co-founder of an interdisciplinary certificate program bridging documentary arts and ethnographic practice, both at Temple University. He is a board member of the International Visual Sociology Association and curator of the 2015 Electronic Literature Organization’s Media Arts Festival in Bergen, Norway. The recipient of Fulbright, LEF, Whiting, and Mellon awards, his works are distributed by Video Data Bank, Documentary Educational Resources, and Eastgate Systems. Some of his works are also available on his website roderickcoover.com.

Scott Rettberg Bio: A native of the Chicago area, Scott Rettberg is professor of digital culture in the department of linguistic, literary, and aesthetic studies at the University of Bergen, Norway. Rettberg is the author or co-author of novel-length works of electronic literature including The Unknown, Kind of Blue, and Implementation. His work has been exhibited online and at art venues, including the Beall Center in Irvine California, the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia, and The Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois. Rettberg is the cofounder and served as the first executive director of the non-profit Electronic Literature Organization, where he directed major projects funded by the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. Rettberg is currently the Project Leader of the HERA-funded collaborative research project ELMCIP: Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice.

Date: February 21, 2014
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Digital Scholarship Lab (First Floor of the Rockefeller Library)


Contact: Mark Baumer |  401-863-3642

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.

Lincoln’s Birthday


Image Credit: The image on the left and in the center is from George L. Spaulding (comp.), “Days We Celebrate” sheet music for Lincoln’s Birthday, published by Theodore Presser Co. in Philadelphia, 1914 (Lincoln Sheet Music); The image on the right is from “Lincoln’s Birthday” postcard, printed in London by Raphael Tuck & Sons, circa 1909 (Lincoln Graphics)

It may be difficult for anyone now under the age of 30 to imagine, but for most of the twentieth century the birthday of Abraham Lincoln was keenly celebrated in the United States, particularly in those states which had participated in the effort to preserve the Union during the Civil War. In fact, the earliest known commemoration of Lincoln’s birthday dates to 1874 in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo pharmacist Julius Francis took up the mantle of advocating a federal holiday in honor of Lincoln on his birthday, and repeatedly petitioned Congress toward that end. By 1909, when the Lincoln Centennial was celebrated, the idea of commemorating Lincoln’s birthday as a holiday had taken a firm hold on the public imagination.

During the years he served as President, Lincoln’s own birthday celebrations were subdued, as the conduct of the war to preserve the Union, the welfare of Union soldiers and other major problems faced by the nation weighed heavily on his conscience. On February 12, 1864—150 years ago today—Lincoln marked his birthday by assuring that James Taylor, a soldier who had been sentenced to death for desertion by Court Martial, would not lose his life.

Abraham Lincoln to John A. Dix

Image Credit: Telegrams from Abraham Lincoln to Gen. Dix in New York (Lincoln Manuscripts)

Abraham Lincoln to Stephen Cabot

Telegrams from Abraham Lincoln to Stephen Cabot at Boston, February 12, 1864 (Lincoln Manuscripts)

Brown University’s John Hay Library is home to the McLellan Lincoln Collection, one of the largest and most distinguished Lincoln collections held by an academic institution. These holdings document all aspects of Lincoln’s life, his term as President of the United States, and his legacy in American politics and popular culture. A significant portion of the collection is freely available to the public online in the Brown University Library’s Lincolniana at Brown website.

Contact: Holly Snyder |  (401) 863-1515

First-Year Students | Meet Your Personal Librarian

meet the Librarians

On February 11, all first-year students are invited to attend a reception in the Library. First-years, if you haven’t already met your personal librarian this is a great opportunity to do so. The reception will be in the Finn Room of the Rockefeller Library from 4-5 p.m.

The Finn Room is on the first floor of the Rockefeller Library. It is located in the room to the right of the computer cluster. Light refreshments will be served.

Reception Details
Library Reception for First-Years
Where: Finn Room (Rockefeller First Floor)
When: February 11  |  4-5 p.m.


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.


Library Innovation Prize 2014

Innovation Prize

The Brown University Library is offering a $1000 prize for the creation of the most effective and innovative working prototype of a mobile app (stand-alone or web-based) designed to enhance access to or use of the Library.

Timetable and Process:

  1. Informational meeting on Tuesday, February 11 at noon in the Rockefeller Library Hecker Center (first floor).
  2. Initial proposals are due on or before February 15: Apply Here.
  3. All proposals will be evaluated by a team of library staff. Successful proposals will be announced by February 21.
  4. Presentation by applicants of final working prototypes will be held on April 15 in the Rockefeller Library Digital Scholarship Lab.
  5. A panel of faculty and library staff judges will determine the winners.

Other Details:

  • Contestants must be currently enrolled Brown undergraduate students.
  • Projects may created by individuals or teams
  • Winning projects remain the intellectual property of the contestant(s), but the winning contestant will grant a non-exclusive perpetual license to Brown University for its internal non-commercial use.

For more info visit the official “Library Innovation Prize” page.

Apply Now: Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

In partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, the Brown University Library is now accepting applications for the annual Undergraduate Research Prize.

The purpose of the award is to recognize excellence in undergraduate research projects that make creative use of the Brown University Library’s collections including print resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media.

The project may take the form of a traditional paper, a database, a website or other digital project.

Apply at: http://library.brown.edu/ugresearchprize/