Exhibit | Japanese Ceremonial and Other Vehicles, 1890

Japan: Unknown, 1890
Brown University Library, Special Collections

Selected 19th Century prints with captions from a collection of 28 double-page wood engravings of two-wheeled ceremonial and other vehicles.

Dates: July 9 – 31, 2018
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Stamps of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)

“The DPRK is an independent socialist state representing the interests of all the Korean people. The Republic is the Juche-oriented socialist state which embodies the idea and leadership of Comrade Kim Il Sung, the founder of the Republic and the father of socialist Korea. His idea and the achievements made under his leadership are the basic guarantee for the Republic’s prosperity.

The socialist system of the Republic is a people-centred social system in which the masses of the working people are the masters of everything and everything in society serves them. In accordance with the nature of its socialist system, the Government of the Republic defends and protects the interests of workers, peasants and intellectuals and all other working people who have become masters of state and society, free from exploitation and oppression.”  –  Official webpage of the DPRK

Learn about the people, artistry, doctrines and culture of the 72 year-old Democratic People’s Republic of Korea through postage stamps made for circulation. Examine selections from the Brown University Library stamp collections up close while expanding your understanding of what CNN recently described as “one of the most secretive societies still under nominally communist rule.”

Stamps on view include:  Order of the National Flag, 1950; Korean Paintings, 1974; Declaration of Human Rights, 1998 and Anti-Imperalism Posters, 2010.

Dates: June 1 – 30, 2018
TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence





Updates from Around the Library | May 2018

As the summer session approaches, the Library is taking a look back at its many activities over the Spring 2018 semester. Here are a few:

Announcement | Winner of the 2018 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

L-R: Heather Cole, Librarian for Literary and Popular Culture Collections; Charlie Steinman ’20, Winner of the 2018 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research; Bill Monroe, Senior Scholarly Resources Librarian

This year’s Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research was awarded to Charlie Steinman ’20 for his paper: “’Martin Luther’s whore more than a pope’: Annotation, Disgust, and Materiality in the Reformation Reception of the Pope Joan Myth.” The paper was written for History 1964A: “Age of Impostors: Fraud, Identity, and the Self in Early Modern Europe,” taught by Professor Tara Nummedal.

The award was presented to Charlie at a celebration in the Digital Scholarship Lab in the Rockefeller Library on May 4, 2018.

Charlie’s paper examined at the myth of Pope Joan as it was received in the Reformation and Counter-Reformation Europe, especially as revealed in printed books of the period. He had discovered that the image of Pope Joan in Brown’s copy of the Nuremburg Chronicle was scratched out, and further searching revealed many copies of this and other printed chronicles have similar effacements, sometimes with marginal notes. He determined that these effacements were the work of Catholic readers, who were responding to Protestant uses of the Pope Joan myth to discredit the papacy and its purported apostolic succession.  The Catholics wished to show that Pope Joan did not exist and sought to remove her from the histories.

Charlie cites one example of defacement in a copy of the Nuremberg Chronicle in the Universitäts und Landesbibliothek Darmstadts in which the reader both smudged out the image of Pope Joan and left an annotation around it. “He/she writes: ‘Martin Luther’s whore more than a pope.’ (Martini Lutheri concubina potiusquam papa).”

One of the prize judges wrote, “This is a highly original, engaging, and readable work that makes impressive use of archival materials both at Brown and beyond. The affective reading of annotations is poised to contribute to future scholarship.” Another judge commented, “Both the description of the author’s process of research and the paper itself read like a mystery novel, and one can “see” his mind working (I wonder if defacement occurs in other copies…?) as he goes from text to text, engaging various languages and libraries in the process.”

Congratulations to Charlie for a job well done! The Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research is sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College and the Brown University Library.

This year’s panel of judges was composed of:

  • Claudia Elliott, Senior Lecturer in International and Public Affairs
  • Johanna Hannink, Associate Professor of Classics
  • Jessica Metzler, Associate Director, Humanities & Social Sciences, Sheridan Center for Teaching
  • Heather Cole, Librarian for Literary and Popular Culture Collections
  • William S. Monroe, Senior Scholarly Resources Librarian

Alumni Reunion Forum | Taking Action in the Public Square

Were you first engaged in organizing for change at Brown?  Are you engaged now? Join fellow Brown alumni to discuss the gratification and challenges of public engagement. Share your story about your participation in efforts to make your community a better place through social change, greater diversity, higher standards, and equitable structures.

Join the Brown University Library and the Brown Alumni Association for an Alumni Reunion Forum entitled, “Taking Action in the Public Square,” on Saturday, May 26, from 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library.


  • Jane Beckett (Class of 1968), Jane Beckett & Associates
  • Bob Cohen (Class of 1968), Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
  • Katie Cohen (Class of 2013), North Shore (Massachusetts) Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Jim Dickson (Class of 1968), American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Ken Galdston (Class of 1968), InterValley Project
  • Rinku Sen (Class of 1988), Race Forward

Date: Saturday, May 26, 2018
Time: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Location: John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

New Eresource – United Nations Digital Library

Access to a new eresource has been added on the Databases A-Z list on the Library Web. The United Nations Digital Library (UNDL) is now a freely accessible online resource.

Current and historical: provides a single access point to UN information. Allows for exploration of documents and publications, voting data, maps, speeches, images and sounds, and more. Additional collections of digital materials will be added as they are created or are made available by UN departments, offices, and agencies. Covers most UN bodies such as the General Assembly, the International Court of Justice, the Human Rights bodies, and many more. [This resource is publicly available.]

Exhibit | From Gospel Hymns to “Mississippi Goddam”: the Evolving Soundtrack of the Civil Rights Era and Beyond

Music was a sonic weapon used by Civil Rights organizations against violence and oppression. Songs were used to inspire, unite and comfort participants at meetings, sit-ins, marches and in jail cells. Trace the journey for equality and the music it inspired, and discover iconic pieces that have become staples of protest movements around the world.

For more documents related to the Civil Rights era (particularly in Mississippi), see the Library’s ‘Freedom Now!’ archive, a cooperative digitizing project undertaken by Brown University and Tougaloo College:

Dates: May 1 – October 1, 2018
TimeLibrary Hours
Location: Orwig Music Library, 1 Young Orchard Avenue, Providence

Exhibit | Painting with Plaster: 3D Printing at the Brown University Library

Since 2016, the library has been printing 3D objects for students, faculty, and staff using a ProJet 660 Pro 3D printer, which creates colored objects out of gypsum powder.

This exhibit showcases some of the varied work created over the last two years using the printer and the artwork of Zak Ziebell ‘19, currently studying painting at RISD and Symbolic Systems at Brown University. He began working for the Rockefeller Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship in 2016, and was the Studio’s artist-in-residence over the summer of 2017.

For more information about the Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio and its 3D printing services, please visit:  library.brown.edu/create/digitalstudio

Dates: May 1 – July 15, 2018
TimeJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Hours
Location: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence