Summer 2022 Library Hours and Operations


Happy summer, from your Brown University Library!

Health and Safety

Operations are founded on the most up-to-date, reliable safety protocols to ensure a healthy environment for our patrons and staff. Please follow all Healthy Brown steps to keep yourself and our community well. If you aren’t feeling well, please make use of the Library’s robust slate of digital resources

Who can access Library buildings?

Current Brown students, faculty, and staff and current Rhode Island School of Design students can access all Library locations. Reservations are required for the Special Collections Reading Room at the John Hay Library, which is open to the public on weekdays (email [email protected]).

Alumni and Other Visitors



Visitors who anticipate using the Rockefeller, Sciences, or Orwig Libraries on an ongoing basis must obtain a Brown University Library card. Cards will be issued upon receipt and approval of a completed Brown University Library Visitors request form. The Library must approve requests for visitors, excluding those with IDs sponsored by a department or program at Brown, Brown alumni, and visitors attending a Library public event. More information.

Visitors must abide by the policies on the Healthy Brown website and should review the Visitor and Guest Vaccination Requirement.

Library Support


Patrons can schedule in-person (and online) consultation appointments with a Library expert by contacting the relevant subject specialist directly. Not sure who to contact? Email [email protected] for general inquiries and [email protected] for Special Collections inquiries.


Please continue to request materials online through BruKnow. Requested materials will be held at the service desks. Patrons will be notified when the item is available and where it should be picked up. The Library is providing document delivery through the ILLiad system.  

You can also ask questions via chat, book online consultations, and make use of the many resources available on our website.

Locations and Hours

During regular hours, current Brown and RISD ID holders can swipe through the inside gate at the Rockefeller Library and the Sciences Library. Extended building hours are available to current Brown ID holders only by swipe access at the front door.



Sunday: 12pm–7pm
Monday–Thursday: 8am–9pm
Friday: 8am–5pm
Saturday: 10am–5pm



Sunday: 12am–7pm
Monday–Thursday: 9am–9pm
Friday: 9am–5pm
Saturday: 10am–5pm

circulation HOURS:

Sunday: 10am–5pm
Monday–Friday: 9am–5pm
Saturday: 9:30am–5pm



Monday–Friday: 9am–5pm
Saturday and Sunday: closed


Monday–Friday: 10am–5pm
Saturday and Sunday: closed
Closed daily 12pm–1pm.

For research in the Special Collections Reading Room, please email [email protected] to request a seat reservation. We are currently limiting use of the Special Collections Reading Room to a maximum of nine researchers at a time. You must also request materials through Aeon one week (5 full business days) in advance of your reservation.


Monday–Friday: 9am–5pm
Saturday and Sunday: closed

Reserving Study Rooms

Current Brown students, staff, and faculty, and RISD students can reserve group study rooms at the Rock and SciLi through

Graduate and Medical Student Carrels

Study carrels are available to graduate and medical students. Interested persons should inquire at the Rockefeller Library service desk.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Rooms

Graduate TAs may also access a limited number of small study/collaboration rooms to conduct online sections. Registration is required through 25Live

Library Tutorials

Guides and videos with information about how to use the Library, conduct various aspects of research, and more are available online.


Your Brown University Library is committed to providing all patrons with the best possible academic library experience. Throughout your engagement with Library collections, physical spaces, patron services, instruction, and web-based tools and content, you should be welcomed, valued, and respected, and be provided with equal opportunities to pursue scholarship in a spirit of free and open inquiry.

We encourage your feedback about any aspect of Library services, resources, and facilities. Feedback can be made through this anonymous form, which has an option for inputting your contact information, or you can email [email protected]

This Is Your Library

You belong here.

Donate Paperbacks to Providence Books Through Bars at the Rock

photo of book truck
Add your paperback donation to the book truck at the Rock!

Through the month of August, join the Brown University Library in collecting paperback books for Providence Books Through Bars (Instagram tag @provbtb).

Providence Books Through Bars — a local, volunteer-led organization — fulfills book requests from incarcerated individuals throughout the country. See the list of the most requested books below.

Please bring paperback donations to the lobby of the Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, by August 30, 2022.

Thank you for donating to this local community organization!

Requested book genres (most needed in bold)

  • How-to-draw, adult coloring, origami, calligraphy
  • Fantasy and science fiction 
  • Graphic novels, manga, comics
  • How to start a business (recent books, please)
  • Games (chess, crosswords, Sudoku & puzzles)
  • Self-help & inspirational 
  • Westerns 
  • Reference: dictionaries, almanacs, sign language, thesaurus, Spanish-English and other language dictionaries
  • Basic books on grammar & writing 
  • Conspiracies, aliens and paranormal
  • Crafts
  • How-to for the trades (carpentry, etc.)
  • Native American (history, culture and novels)
  • Mexican/Mayan (history, culture and novels)
  • Journals and sketchbooks – no spiral bound; hard cover is ok
  • Living off the grid and survival
  • Wicca, supernatural, dreams
  • Science (especially biology, astronomy, anatomy)
  • National Geographic magazines
  • Exercise/fitness
  • Paranormal fiction (vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters)
  • Meditation & yoga
  • Classics 
  • Poetry anthologies 
  • Black/African history and culture
  • Mythology (especially Norse, Viking and Egyptian)
  • Gardening & horticulture (including eco living, living off the land)
  • Mysteries, thrillers, best-sellers, horror & suspense novels
  • Travel/places/cultures (paperback with pictures)
  • How-to play an instrument, particularly guitar
  • Legal self-help of relevance to incarcerated people

The MIT Press and Brown University Library release A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures by Shahzad Bashir

Enter A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures by Shahzad Bashir

Discover more about the publication including an interview with Shahzad Bashir

Announcement of the publication from the MIT Press news site:

image of landing page with artifact and map

An interactive, open-access born-digital publication, this groundbreaking book’s interface encourages engagement with rich visual material and multimedia evidence

The MIT Press and Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative announce the publication of A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures by Shahzad Bashir. An interactive, open-access born-digital work, this groundbreaking book decenters Islam from a geographical identification with the Middle East, an articulation through men’s authority alone, and the assumption that premodern expressions are more authentically Islamic than modern ones. Aimed at a wide international audience, the book consists of engaging stories and audiovisual materials that will enable readers at all levels to appreciate Islam as an aspect of global history for centuries. The book URL is

book cover

In A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures, Bashir discusses Islam as phenomenon and as discourse—observed in the built environment, material objects, paintings, linguistic traces, narratives, and social situations. He draws on literary genres, including epics, devotional poetry and prayers, and modern novels; art and architecture in varied forms; material culture, from luxury objects to cheap trinkets; and such forms of media as photographs, graffiti, and films. 

“Ideas pertaining to Islam and other matters of social significance are enmeshed in structures of power. Understandings of history, including our own, are changeable; they appear and dissolve in tandem with particular human circumstances,” explains Bashir, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities and Professor of History and Religious Studies at Brown University. “This book urges us to see pasts and futures as fields of unlimited possibility that come alive through a combination of close observation and ethical positioning.” 

Through multimedia enhancements and an interactive navigation system, A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures allows for an exploration of and engagement with rich visual material and multimedia evidence not possible in a printed volume. The book encourages readers to enter Islam through a diverse set of doorways, each leading to different time periods across different parts of the world. 

“The MIT Press has a long and rich history of publishing books that give unique form to unique arguments,” says Amy Brand, Director and Publisher of the MIT Press. “We are thrilled to partner with Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative on this book, which creates exciting new opportunities to share knowledge.” 

“With A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures, Professor Bashir not only advances new ways of conceptualizing time as a human construct, but also puts theory into action within a dynamic digital structure that breaks free of the linearity that has always seemed an inescapable given in history writing,” says Joseph Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University. “To realize this reimagining of historical analysis in four dimensions, Professor Bashir has also enlarged how we can think about the possibilities and practices of digital scholarly publication.”

The publication of A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures brings together the MIT Press’s global publishing experience and the Brown University Library’s digital publication expertise. This cross-institutional collaboration extends to the recently announced On Seeing series, an experiment in multimodal publishing that will explore how we see, comprehend, and participate in visual culture. The series will center the lived experience and knowledge of diverse authors.

The publication of A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures is supported by the Mellon Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MIT Press, and the Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative.

About the MIT Press

Established in 1962, the MIT Press is one of the largest and most distinguished university presses in the world and a leading publisher of books and journals at the intersection of science, technology, art, social science, and design. MIT Press books and journals are known for their intellectual daring, scholarly standards, interdisciplinary focus, and distinctive design. 

About the Brown University Library

The Brown University Library is central to Brown’s academic mission to support teaching and learning at the highest level, and in a spirit of free and open inquiry. The Library is home to the Center for Digital Scholarship, a hub for the creation of new scholarly forms and other innovations in scholarly communication, including the Mellon- and NEH-supported Digital Publications Initiative. An area of distinction for the Library and Brown, the Digital Publications Initiative is helping to set the standards for the future of scholarship in the digital age. 

Library and Cogut Institute to Offer Certificate in Digital Humanities

instruction taking place in digital studio

In May, Brown’s Graduate School approved a joint proposal from the Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) and the Cogut Institute for the Humanities to establish a doctoral advanced specialization certificate in Digital Humanities. Doctoral certificate programs allow PhD students to gain expertise in interdisciplinary areas that complement and expand upon their disciplinary training, both advancing students’ careers and promoting intellectual community across departments. Many graduate students have availed themselves of the training and learning opportunities provided by CDS, which serves as Brown University’s hub for faculty and students to develop and realize their ground-breaking scholarly ideas using the capabilities of the digital realm.

Establishing a certificate responds to the increasing interest of PhD students for more formal curricular recognition of their work to acquire methodological skills and theoretical knowledge in digital scholarship. It is also consistent with the Library’s goal to strengthen its role as a site for collaborative communities of scholars at Brown and build even closer linkages with campus teaching and research programs. Steven Lubar, CDS Faculty Director and Professor of American Studies and History; Ashley Champagne, Head of Digital Scholarship Project Planning; Tara Nummedal, Professor of History and Italian Studies; and Damien Maheit, Associate Director of the Cogut Institute developed the proposal in consultation with faculty and graduate students engaged in digital scholarship. Plans call for the certificate program to launch in the fall 2022 term. 

“Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analog World,” Brown Library’s Digital Publications Initiative’s Second Born-Digital Scholarly Monograph, Published by Stanford University Press

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] Brown University’s Center for Digital Scholarship, based at the University Library, announces the publication of the second born-digital scholarly monograph under the Digital Publications Initiative, a collaboration between the Library and the Dean of the Faculty. Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analog World, by Professor of Italian Studies Massimo Riva, explores popular forms of entertainment used in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to transport viewers to a new world, foreshadowing present-day virtual, augmented, and extended reality experiences (VR, AR, XR).

Published by Stanford University Press, Shadow Plays examines themes of virtual travel, social surveillance, and utopian imagination through six case histories and eight interactive simulations. “The digital format was ideal for my project, which traces a genealogy of virtual reality through analog technologies such as the cosmorama, the magic lantern, the moving panorama, and the stereoscope, all of which foreshadow our contemporary digital technologies,” said Professor Riva. “I look forward to using my digital monograph in the classroom this fall for a course on immersive experiences.” Shadow Plays is an open access publication; it is freely available to anyone, anywhere. According to Friederike Sundaram, Senior Editor for Digital Projects, “The Brown University Library’s dedication to moving interactive scholarship forward has made this collaboration enormously fruitful, and I cannot wait for the project to find its way onto the screens and minds of its readers. I have no doubt it will teach and inspire many.”

Screenshot from Shadow Plays

Brown is in the vanguard of supporting and promoting innovative faculty scholarship that opens up dynamic new possibilities beyond the boundaries of the traditional printed monograph. “With projects including Decameron Web in the 1990s and The Garibaldi Panorama & the Risorgimento in the 2000s, Professor Riva has been expanding the horizons of digital humanities scholarship throughout his career,” said Joukowsky Family University Librarian Joseph S. Meisel. “Shadow Plays brings his innovative contributions to a new level, demonstrating yet again the possibilities for developing and presenting research in the digital realm and extending its reach well beyond the academy. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how a topic such as the early modern history of virtual reality could be successfully explored in any other form.” The development of Shadow Plays was supported by the Mellon Foundation through the Digital Publications Initiative and the Office of the Vice President for Research at Brown University.

With oversight from Digital Scholarship Editor Allison Levy and drawing upon the expertise of the Center for Digital Scholarship, nine additional born-digital publications covering a range of humanistic fields are currently in various stages of development. One is forthcoming with MIT Press in August. An area of distinction for the Library and Brown, the Digital Publications Initiative, launched with the generous support of the Mellon Foundation, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, activates and guides intellectual exploration and creativity with faculty and other partners across campus. The Initiative also collaborates with publishers to help shape new systems of evaluation, peer review, and scholarly validation for born-digital scholarship. Brown University Library and MIT Press recently launched On Seeing, a book series committed to centering underrepresented perspectives in visual culture.  

Questions about the Library’s Digital Publications Initiative can be addressed to Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor ([email protected]).

Brown Library, Together with Emory University, Releases Report on Digital Scholarly Publishing 

Report presents key findings of a summit on digital monographs; calls for an increase in access, equity, and inclusion in the digital development and dissemination of humanities scholarship.

Baby baskets made by Molly Timothy (Granny Molly) in the early 1950s.
Source: Courtesy of Davis McKenzie Published by UBC Press in As I Remember It: ISBN 9780774861250 (HTML)

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] In spring 2021, Brown University Library and Emory University’s Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry co-hosted a summit on multimodal digital monographs – born-digital publications that offer unique capabilities beyond conventional formats, from multimedia enhancements and interactive navigation to community engagement and global reach. The objective was to survey faculty-led experimentation with new scholarly forms taking place across a number of libraries and humanities centers. Case studies of eight recently published or in-development works exemplified the spectrum and hybridity of innovation in this area and provided a lens through which to consider some of the most pressing questions around reimagined forms of humanities scholarship.  

The resulting report, Multimodal Digital Publications: Content, Collaboration, Community, presents the summit findings — on matters of cross-institutional collaboration, community engagement, professional development, open access, peer review, metadata and discoverability, preservation, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion — and points to promising ways forward as the process of establishing best practices for the development, validation, and dissemination of multimodal digital monographs continues to unfold.

Joseph Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian at Brown University, lauded the summit as “an important landmark in scholarly communications, bringing into a common conversation several parallel initiatives that are advancing the possibilities for humanistic research through innovative practices and system-changing interventions, and producing outstanding work.” 

Although the summit, which included faculty authors, academic staff experts, and university press representatives, focused on a selection of projects supported by the Mellon Foundation’s Digital Monographs Initiative, the presentations and generative discussions that followed raised important concerns and opportunities that extend well beyond the initial aims of the featured projects. Of primary concern is promoting greater inclusion and equitable access of diverse voices as well as an expanded understanding of what constitutes authorship and readership of humanities scholarship in the 21st century. 

The in-depth, evidence-based report “serves as a starting point for next steps,” according to Allison Levy, Brown Library’s Digital Scholarship Editor and co-editor of the report with Senior Associate Director for Publishing at Emory Sarah McKee, “to acknowledge the work that is already under way, to learn what we can from it, and to seek viable, sustainable means of furthering our shared mission to increase the visibility and reach of humanities scholarship to audiences both within and beyond the academy.”

The report will be of interest to the scholarly publishing community, including library publishers and other scholarly communications professionals; designers and user experience specialists; technologists and software developers; digital archivists and preservation specialists; institutional administrators; and funding agencies and foundations. It will also be of interest to scholars wishing to explore innovative multimodal publication, particularly in collaboration with community partners.

Levy and McKee officially released Multimodal Digital Publications: Content, Collaboration, Community at the annual meeting of the Association of University Presses, on June 20, 2022 in Washington, D.C.

The Brown University Library is central to Brown’s academic mission to support teaching and learning at the highest level, and in a spirit of free and open inquiry. The Library is home to the Center for Digital Scholarship, a hub for the creation of new scholarly forms and other innovations in scholarly communication, including the Mellon- and NEH-supported Digital Publications Initiative, a collaboration with the Dean of the Faculty. An area of distinction for the Library and Brown, the Initiative activates and guides intellectual exploration and creativity with faculty and other partners across campus. It also collaborates with publishers to help shape new systems of evaluation, peer review, and scholarly validation for born-digital scholarship. 

The Digital Publishing in the Humanities initiative at Emory University, based at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry within the Emory College of Arts and Sciences, relies on robust collaborations with the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship, Emory Libraries, and the Office of the Provost’s Center for Faculty Development and Excellence, as well as with academic presses. The program has two key objectives: to encourage conversations about open access and digital publication across Emory’s humanities community, and to support the development and publication of open access digital monographs with university presses. 

Winners of the Library Innovation Prizes for Research Rigor, Transparency, and Reproducibility and Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize

For the second year the Brown University Library and the Carney Institute for Brain Science have partnered to recognize Brown students’ innovations in enhancing research rigor, transparency, and reproducibility. Andrew Creamer, Scientific Data Management Specialist and librarian for Computer Science and Cognitive, Linguistic & Psychological Sciences (CLPS), and Dr. Jason Ritt, Scientific Director of Quantitative Neuroscience, Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Institute for Brain Science, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, collaborated to develop prizes to honor innovations in reproducibility as documented by students in their theses and/or publications with Brown faculty.

Janet Chang

CLPS undergraduate student Janet Chang was awarded the Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize. Janet also received one of the three Library Innovation Prizes for improving the transparency and rigor of online-based research methods used in social and behavioral research. Janet’s thesis “An Online Behavioral Research Paradigm Using Amazon Mechanical Turk, JSPsych & PsiTurk: A Pilot Study Assessing Hierarchical Abstract Sequential Processing” was supervised by Dr. Theresa Desrochers, Rosenberg Family Assistant Professor of Brain Science, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior. Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize judges Professors Matt Nassar and David Sheinberg commented: “The project developed an online version of a sequential processing task that had previously been administered in a laboratory setting, and collected online data that reproduced some of the primary results from the original study. The submission responded directly to the award criteria in several ways, first by developing a tool that would enable easy replication of a published study, second by evaluating the degree to which the findings from the original study were reproduced, and third by sharing the entire codebase used to administer the task and collect data, validating that experimental procedures could be reproduced exactly by another researcher in another location.” Janet’s honors thesis is available via the Brown Digital Repository.

Alexander Koh-Bell

The second Library Innovation Prize was awarded to Mechanical Engineering undergraduate student Alexander Koh-Bell for the honors thesis project “The Aerodynamic Effect of an Active Gurney Flap: Giving a Wind Turbine Blade its Wings” supervised by Dr. Kenny Breuer, Professor of Engineering. Alex developed and publicly shared experimental protocols, data and code, enhancing the transparency and replicability of methods of data collection and analysis, and allowing future researchers to reproduce and adapt their work and potential to continue discoveries into the future. Alex’s honors thesis is available via the Brown Digital Repository. 

Benjamin Boatwright

The third Library Innovation Prize was awarded to DEEPS graduate student Benjamin Boatwright for the dissertation “CTX Stereo Digital Elevation Models of Noachian Proglacial Paleolakes and Pit-Floored Craters”, supervised by Dr. James Head, Louis and Elizabeth Scherck Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Geological Sciences, Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Planetary Sciences. Ben also developed a public facing repository and website to publicly share experimental protocols, data and code. Upon receiving the news Ben commented “I am legitimately invested in making sure all of my research data is accessible – it’s a real problem particularly in my field where so much of the work is computational but the datasets aren’t always easy to find!” Ben’s dissertation is available via the Brown Digital Repository.

Library Innovation Prize panel of volunteer judges:

  • Emily Ferrier, Librarian for STEM, Social Sciences & Entrepreneurship
  • Dr. Oludurotimi Adetunji, Associate Dean of the College for Undergraduate Research and Inclusive Science

Carney Institute Brain Science Reproducible Paper Prize volunteer judges:

  • Dr. David Sheinberg, Professor of Neuroscience
  • Dr. Matt Nassar, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Congratulations to these students for their innovations and for the positive impact they have made on enhancing their academic fields’ rigor, transparency, and reproducibility!

Isabella Uliasz New Senior Library Technologist – Media Support Specialist – Library Facilities

Isabella Uliasz

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Isabella Uliasz, who joins us in the newly created role of Senior Library Technologist – Media Support Specialist. Isabella is a member of the Library facilities team, reporting to Joseph Campbell, Senior Director of Library Facilities. Isabella’s first day was May 23.

The Media Support Specialist is responsible for the proper upkeep, operation, and function of audio-visual and other media equipment to support Library instruction, meetings, study spaces, and events.

Prior to Brown, Isabella worked at the University of Connecticut – Storrs, where she served as a Teaching & Production Assistant in Expanded Media.

Isabella holds a Master of Fine Arts in Electronic Integrated Art from Alfred University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Connecticut – Storrs.

Leslie Varrecchia New Senior Library Specialist – Cataloging in Scholarly Resources

The Library is pleased to announce the hire of Leslie Varrecchia as Senior Library Specialist – Cataloging in Scholarly Resources. Leslie is responsible for general cataloging of library materials in all formats. Her first day at Brown was June 1, 2022.

Leslie comes to Brown from the Newport Public Library where she worked as a cataloger performing cataloging and database management. She also helped maintain the library’s website using WordPress. Prior to that, she was a research associate at the US Naval War College. 

Leslie received her Master in Library and Information Studies from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree in history from Providence College, and a bachelor’s in history from the University of Miami.

GIS Librarian Authors Article on US Census for American Library Association

As part of the Library Technology Reports series, ALA TechSource (an imprint of the American Library Association) has published “US Census Data: Concepts and Applications for Supporting Research,” written by Frank Donnelly, Brown University GIS and Data Librarian (vol. 58, no. 4, May/June 2022). Library Technology Reports help librarians make informed decisions about technology products and projects.

From the publisher: 

US Census Data: Concepts and Applications for Supporting Research” provides readers with a crash course on the census: learn about the concepts on which the census is organized, the key datasets, accessing data online and through scripts via APIs, and considerations for using GIS, historical data, and microdata. Librarians will gain knowledge they can use for assisting members of their communities with census data and will see how the census can be used for library planning and research.

Donnelly’s summary article of the report, “Crunching the Numbers: What to do with the release of the 2020 Census data,” published June 1, 2022, is available in American Libraries.