José Rodrigues Miguéis Papers at the John Hay Library

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José Rodrigues Miguéis

The papers of José Rodrigues Miguéis, the influential Portuguese writer, educator, illustrator, and jurist, are now available for research at the John Hay Library.

Miguéis was born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1901.  He left Portugal in 1935 when his political opinions brought him into conflict with the rising fascist party, Estado Novo.  He moved to the United States and became an American citizen returning to Portugal occasionally.  He was the author of at least 23 works of fiction and numerous essays, newspaper columns, and articles.  The Portuguese government recognized his outstanding service to literature by awarding him the Ordem Militar de Santiago da Espada in 1979.

The Miguéis papers comprise the author’s correspondence, literary manuscripts, interviews, diaries, calendars, notebooks, drawings, photographs, audio recordings and awards. It contains work by others that relate to Miguéis, such as literary reviews and criticism, drawings, and adaptations of his work.  This collection also includes approximately 2,000 books from the personal library of Miguéis which features Portuguese and world literature and related literary criticism.

To enter the world of this important 20th century writer contact Patricia Figueroa, Curator of Iberian and Latin American Collections or visit the John Hay Library.

John Birch Society Records at the John Hay Library

John Birch Society

Robert Welch, founder of the John Birch Society shown in his Belmont (Mass.) headquarters with a painting of U.S. Army Capt. John Morrison Birch for whom the society was named. Birch was a Baptist soldier-missionary who was killed by communists in China in 1945.

A collection of records created by the John Birch Society are now available for research at the John Hay Library.  The records, the bulk of which date from 1965-1989, provide an excellent view into the work of the JBS and its mission “To bring about less government, more responsibility, and — with God’s help — a better world by providing leadership, education, and organized volunteer action in accordance with moral and Constitutional principles.”

The John Birch Society was founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, on December 9, 1958. Robert Welch, Jr. (1899–1985), a retired candy manufacturer, led the organization from its founding until his retirement in 1983. The original twelve founding members included Fred Koch (1900-1967), founder of Koch Industries, and Robert Waring Stoddard (1906-1984), president of Wyman-Gordon, a manufacturer of complex metal components. The Society was named in honor of John Birch, an American Baptist missionary and United States Army intelligence officer who was killed by Chinese communists on August 25, 1945, making him, in the Society’s view, the first casualty of the Cold War.

The Society has local chapters in all fifty states. It uses grassroots lobbying, educational meetings, petition drives and letter-writing campaigns to gain members and influence public policy. The goals of the society include limiting government and blocking an international conspiracy designed to replace Western nations with a one-world socialist government.  Accordingly, the Society has opposed any trade or diplomatic relations with communist countries and American membership in the United Nations. In addition, the Society opposes the federal income tax and the Federal Reserve system, Social Security, the Medicare program, the creation of the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), the transfer of control of the Panama Canal from the United States to the Republic of Panama, the Civil Rights Movement, sex education in public schools, and efforts to add fluoride to water supplies. While it supports the American military, it has opposed American military intervention overseas. The Society has operated Summer Youth Camps across the United States and produces radio programs, newspapers columns, and films.

This collection of JBS records totals 45 linear feet and dates from 1928-1990 (bulk 1965-1989) and includes correspondence, business files, publications and audio-visual material.  Additional information about JBS can be found in a related collection called the John Birch Society pamphlets (Ms.2014.001) which contains copies of their publications and newspaper articles about their activities.

To learn more about the John Birch Society and related collections consult the LibGuide on American Conservatism.

Focus On Special Collections: Botanical Illustration

The John Hay Library will present a short session on Botanical Illustration.
Thursday April 21st at noon in the Lownes Room

The primary goal of botanical illustration is not art, but scientific accuracy. In many cases, the illustration is also a thing of beauty in its own right. A variety of examples of botanical illustration will be displayed and discussed.

Audubon's Lesser Redpoll on Display at John Hay Library

A volume of John James Audubon’s master work, The Birds of America, is on display on the main floor of the John Hay Library. Each plate will be on display for only one month. This month’s bird is the “Lesser Redpoll”.

This elephant folio edition of The Birds of America, bound in six volumes, was presented by Albert E. Lownes to the Library on the occasion of his 50th class reunion in 1970.

For more information please contact hay@brown.edu.

Audubon's Rock Ptarmigan on Display at John Hay Library


A volume of John James Audubon’s master work, The Birds of America, is on display on the main floor of the John Hay Library. Each plate will be on display for only one month. This month’s bird is the “Rock Ptarmigan”.

This elephant folio edition of The Birds of America, bound in six volumes, was presented by Albert E. Lownes to the Library on the occasion of his 50th class reunion in 1970.

For more information please contact hay@brown.edu.

Early American and British Popular Amusements, Exhibit and Lecture

EARLY AMERICAN AND BRITISH POPULAR AMUSEMENTS

An exhibit from the personal collection of Professor Emeritus Don B. Wilmeth, supplemented by items from Brown’s Special Collections

John Hay Library
10 Prospect Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02912

Open to the Public
September 13 – October 28, 2010.
Monday – Friday, 10:00am – 6:00pm

This exhibit focuses on some of the pioneer entertainment forms and entrepreneurs who dominated the amusement business in England and the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries It includes pleasure gardens and annual fairs; equestrian demonstrations and dramas featuring animals; the minstrel show and early vaudeville. There are child prodigies, pantomimes and the early popular museum. Formats include broadsides, playbills and satirical prints, along with photographs, pamphlets, and posters.

The exhibit, which will be in place through September and October of 2010, will be enhanced by the seventh annual Wilmeth Lecture on American theatre and performance. This special event will be held on Oct. 3 (Sunday) at 3 PM in the John Hay Library. The distinguished speaker is Laurence Senelick, Fletcher Professor of Drama and Oratory at Tufts University and an internationally-known authority on popular entertainments. His topic is “Custard’s First Stand: The Origins of American Slapstick Comedy.” A viewing of the exhibit will follow the lecture.

Guest curator: Don B. Wilmeth, Asa Messer Professor Emeritus and Emeritus Professor of Theatre and of English, Brown U. (retired in 2003). Download Professor Wilmeth’s complete catalog of the exhibit.

Pictures from the Hay: Celebrating the John Hay Library at 100

Pictures from the Hay: Celebrating the John Hay Library at 100
August 28 – November 16, 2010

David Winton Bell Gallery
List Art Center 64 College Street
Providence, Rhode Island 02912

Gallery hours
Monday – Friday 11 – 4
Saturday and Sunday 1 – 4

Presented by the Brown University Library and the David Winton Bell Gallery in honor of the John Hay Library Centennial, this exhibit features and celebrates special collections, manuscripts, and archives. The thematical arrangement of the exhibit highlights the richness and great variety of the John Hay Library’s holdings and the complementary nature of its collections. Represented in this exhibit are both the Library’s ever-expanding special collections as a foundation for teaching, learning, and research, and an extraordinary history of the development of printing and the book arts from late medieval times to the present.

Opening reception: Friday, September 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

2nd Annual Hildene-Brown Lincoln Essay Competition for Providence County Eighth Graders

The Brown University Library is pleased to announce the Second Annual Hildene-Brown Lincoln Essay Competition, open to all eighth graders living or attending school in Providence County. The competition is modeled on the successful Vermont state essay program sponsored by Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home, since 2006.

The contest exposes students to Lincoln’s writing and encourages the development of writing and research skills. This year’s competition asks students to write a 500 word essay that addresses the question “If Lincoln was willing to tolerate slavery in the southern states, why was he so vehemently opposed to its extension into the territories?” Background information, some research materials and sample essays from last year’s contest are included in the competition packet, but students are welcome to do additional research and reading. Prizes for the winning essays include a first place award of $1,000, second and third place awards of $750 and $500, respectively, as well as up to ten honorable mentions of $200 each.

Application packets are available for download online at http://dl.lib.brown.edu/lincoln/announcements.html, and in hardcopy from the John Hay Library at 20 Prospect Street on the campus of Brown University.

The deadline for essay submissions to the 2011 Hildene-Brown Competition is 5:00 p.m. on February 12, 2011, President Lincoln’s birthday. Winners will be announced by March 31, 2011. Students, their parents, and teachers will be guests of Hildene and Brown University at a luncheon to be held at the John Hay Library on Saturday, June 11, 2011, where the top three winners will read their essays aloud. This special event will include a tour of the Library’s renowned McLellan Lincoln Collection.

The Hildene-Brown Lincoln Essay Competition is part of an ongoing joint effort by the Brown University Library and Hildene to promote public knowledge of the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. Hildene (http://www.hildene.org), located in Manchester, Vermont, was built by Robert Todd Lincoln in 1905 and was the home of Lincoln descendents until 1975. Today, it is a non-profit museum and education center with a mission to “advance the Lincoln legacy through education, commitment to community and active stewardship of the family’s home and land.”

The Brown University Library (http://library.brown.edu) supports the University’s educational and research mission and is Brown’s principal gateway to current information and the scholarly record. Brown University’s John Hay Library, named for the 1858 Brown alumnus who served as Lincoln’s private secretary, holds an extensive collection of manuscripts and printed materials documenting Lincoln’s life and legacy, a portion of which are now available to the public online: http://dl.lib.brown.edu/lincoln/

Contact Information:
Holly Snyder, North American History Librarian
Brown University Library
401.863.1515
holly_snyder@brown.edu