Event | House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo with Allison Levy

Join the Brown University Library on Tuesday, April 2, 2019 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a presentation on the book House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo (Bloomsbury, 2019) by author Allison Levy (Digital Scholarship Editor, Brown University Library and Visiting Scholar in Italian Studies) in conversation with Sheila Bonde (Professor of History of Art and Architecture, Brown University).

House of Secrets: The Many Lives of a Florentine Palazzo

House of Secrets tells the remarkable story of Palazzo Rucellai from behind its celebrated façade. The house, beginning with its piecemeal assemblage by one of the richest men in Florence in the fifteenth century, has witnessed endless drama, from the butchering of its interior to a courtyard suicide to champagne-fueled orgies on the eve of World War I to a recent murder on its third floor. When the author, an art historian, serendipitously discovers a room for let in the house, she lands in the vortex of history and is tested at every turn—inside the house and out. Her residency in Palazzo Rucellai is informed as much by the sense of desire giving way to disappointment as by a sense of denial that soon enough must succumb to truth. House of Secrets is about the sharing of space, the tracing of footsteps, the overlapping of lives. It is about the willingness to lose oneself behind the façade, to live between past and present, to slip between the cracks of history and the crevices of our own imagination.

Allison Levy

Allison Levy

Allison Levy is Digital Scholarship Editor at Brown University Library. An art historian educated at Bryn Mawr College, she has taught in the US, Italy, and the UK. Allison has published widely on the visual culture of early modern Italy and serves as General Editor of the book series Visual and Material Culture, 1300–1700, published by Amsterdam University Press.

Discover more about House of Secrets and discuss on social with #houseofsecrets.

Sheila Bonde

Sheila Bonde is an archaeologist and architectural historian specializing in the study of medieval sites and their representation. Currently Professor of the History of Art and Architecture and Professor of Archaeology, she has excavated in England, France and Israel. She currently directs the MonArch excavation and research project in northern France at the Augustinian abbey of Saint-Jean-des-Vignes in Soissons, the Carthusian house at Bourgfontaine, the Cistercian monastery at Notre-Dame d’Ourscamp, and the motherhouse at Tiron.

Date: April 2, 2019
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Announcement | Dr. Zhuqing Li Appointed Faculty Curator, East Asian Collection

Dr. Zhuqing Li

The Brown University Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Zhuqing Li, Visiting Associate Professor of East Asian Studies at Brown, as Faculty Curator, East Asian Collection. Professor Li has taught in the Department of East Asian Studies since 2014. Her role as Faculty Curator began on January 1, 2019.

In this new role, Professor Li will work with the curatorial staff of Brown’s East Asian Collection and other Library experts to explore ways to strengthen the use of these materials for teaching and research on campus, and to increase their visibility to the broader scholarly community through a variety of means including description, exhibits, digital projects, workshops, programs, and publication. Professor Li will also continue to teach in the Department of East Asian Studies.

Zhuqing Li

A linguist specializing in Chinese historical linguistics and dialectology, Professor Li received her Ph.D. in East Asian Language and Literature from the University of Washington and taught at Boston College for 13 years before coming to Brown. Her research has focused on the study of the Chinese language, the historical experiences of Chinese returnees, and the linguistic aspects of Chinese-English translation.

Professor Li’s research began with the study of the phonology and grammar of Fuzhou dialect, which has the most complicated sound-change system in the Chinese language family and is a window into how Chinese sounded in ancient times. Her work on Chinese returnees looks at the social phenomena of Chinese-born citizens who study abroad and return home, reintegrating into Chinese society. She is currently exploring the prosodic and scientific properties of the Chinese language.

Professor Li is the author of four books: Reinventing China: Experience of Contemporary Returnees from the West (Bridge 21, 2016), Minnan-English Dictionary (Dunwoody Press, 2008), The Structure of Fuzhou Dialect (Dunwoody Press, 2002), and Fuzhou-English Dictionary (Dunwoody Press, 1998), as well as numerous academic articles.

Brown’s East Asian Collection

The East Asian Collection, located on the third floor of the Rockefeller Library, holds nearly 200,000 volumes of East Asian language print books in addition to print serials, audio-video materials, and electronic resources. The Collection was developed from an initial gift of approximately 30,000 volumes donated to Brown in 1961 by the noted sinologist Charles Sidney Gardner. Dr. Li Wang, Curator of the East Asian Collection, and Toshiyuki Minami, Senior Library Specialist, offer students and researchers support in their use of the Collection and will be collaborating with Professor Li throughout her work with the Library.

Exhibit | Learning through Play: British and French Tabletop Games from the 18th and 19th Centuries

“The cottage of content: or, the right roads and wrong ways” (London, 1848)

LEARNING THROUGH PLAY: BRITISH AND FRENCH TABLETOP GAMES FROM THE 18th AND 19th CENTURIES

Georgian & Victorian Games, Gift of Ellen Liman ‘57, and Early French Games, Loan from Doug Liman ‘88
May 21 – October 11, 2019
John Hay Library, Brown University

The exhibition will be on display in the John Hay Library’s main gallery from May 21 through October 11, 2019; the exhibition is free and open to the public during the library’s regular hours: from May 28 through Labor Day, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; before May 28 and after Labor Day, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Ellen Liman and Doug Liman are available for an interview or a lecture. For more information and images of the collection, please contact Heather Cole, Curator for Literary & Popular Culture Collections, heather_cole@brown.edu, or by phone, (401) 863-1512.

The Brown University Library is pleased to announce an exhibition featuring 18th and 19th century board games collected by the Liman family. Twenty-three Georgian and Victorian board games, along with jigsaw puzzles and other related items were given to the library by Ellen Liman ’57 P’88. A collection of 19th and 20th century French board games is on loan from the Limans’ son, filmmaker Doug Liman ‘88.

Joseph Meisel, the Joukowsky Family University Librarian, noted his enthusiasm for the Limans’ gift: “This is a wonderful addition to our extensive collection of popular culture materials and significantly extends the range of our holdings in the important area of games and play. As a historian of 19th-century Britain, I am particularly fascinated by how these games serve as documentary sources for deeper understanding of the complex concepts and values that the dominant segments of society sought to impart to their young as future leaders at home and in the world.”

Arthur and Ellen Liman began collecting vintage board games when their son Doug found an old game at a yard sale as a child. This first acquisition sparked an enchantment with games and their depictions of British culture, and the couple spent decades enthusiastically and meticulously building this and other related collections. The late Arthur Liman, a prestigious attorney, was attracted to these games for the historical record: games such as Wallis’s Picturesque Round Game of the Produce and Manufactures of the Counties of England and Wales (ca. 1840) serve as a lesson in how to be an informed citizen of a powerful empire, while others, such as The Railway Travellers (undated) show off new technologies. Other games, such as Every man to his station (1825) provide moral instruction for children. Ellen Liman, a gallerist, author, and painter, valued the games for their artistry, and “appreciated their design, their excellent engraving and later lithography, the delicacy of the hand-coloring, not to mention the charm and ingenuity of every game.” Considering where this collection should ultimately reside, Ellen recalled her formative arts education experiences at Pembroke College, where she majored in art and took courses at RISD, and explains, “Brown was influential to this collection. Since these games are not only educational but rare small works of art, I naturally gravitated to them.” Ellen and Arthur continued to engender an appreciation for antique board games in their son Doug, who has loaned part of his collection of 19th– and early 20th-century French games to this exhibition. Doug, who during his first year at Brown created BTV, Brown’s student-run television station, said: “As a filmmaker of movies and television series, I think of these old French games as early movies or plays, telling stories in a beautiful, artistic, and concise visual format.”

As the turn from the 18th to the 19th century approached in Great Britain, parents and teachers embraced a suggestion from the philosopher John Locke that “learning might be made a play and recreation to children.” A market for board games for instruction and delight flourished, but very few examples survive today. Those that have survived open a window onto the time period in which they were created, reflecting its social and moral priorities as well as a wide range of educational subjects. The games themselves are beautifully detailed: produced by a handful of the best-known publishers of the era, the hand-color engraved games look as vibrant and colorful as they did two centuries ago. Many of the games in the Limans’ collection include not only a game board, but original cases and instruction booklets as well.

The games join the John Hay Library’s rich collections of material on popular culture, and will be available online in May, and in the John Hay Library special collections reading room following the exhibition.

Dates: May 21 – October 11, 2019
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Event | Drama at Athens: Some Evidence from Inscriptions with Stephen Tracy ’63

Join the Brown University Library on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at 12 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library for a talk by Stephen Tracy ’63 entitled, “Drama at Athens: Some Evidence from Inscriptions.”

This event is free and open to the public. A light reception will follow the presentation.

Drama at Athens: Some Evidence from Inscriptions

This illustrated talk is designed for the non-specialist. It will begin with some general comments on the importance of inscribed stones as a source of evidence. Several examples will be given of inscriptions that provide information vital for our understanding of Athenian history and politics. The speaker, who is well-known for his work identifying the hands of ancient inscribers, will then show how the study of hands has enabled a better understanding of the fragmentary inscriptions that record performances of drama at Athens. He will argue that they were created not only to preserve an accurate history of the performances, but also to gain cultural capital as the Athenians sought to maintain their autonomy in the face of foreign powers.

Stephen Tracy

Stephen Tracy took his BA (summa cum laude) from Brown in 1963 and his MA and PhD from Harvard in 1965 and 68. He taught at Wellesley and then for many years at Ohio State.  Toward the end of his teaching career he served as Professor and Director of the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. After he returned from Athens in 2007, he took up residence in New Jersey where he continues his scholarly work as a long time visitor in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He has written numerous books and articles on Greek epigraphy for specialists; his most recent book, published in 2016 by Walter de Gruyter in Berlin, is entitled Athenian Lettering of the Fifth Century B.C. He has also published two well-received books for general audiences – The Story of the Odyssey (Princeton 1990) and Pericles: A Sourcebook and Reader (Berkeley 2009).

Date: February 5, 2019
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Announcement | Cody Ross Named Senior Library Specialist – Digital Records

Cody Ross

The Brown University Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Cody Ross to the position of Senior Library Specialist – Digital Records, effective January 2, 2019.

Prior to moving into this position in Special Collections, Cody worked in Circulation as Senior Library Specialist – Gateway Services.

Cody will be performing digital preservation tasks with born-digital and digitized materials to increase access to the digital materials in the Library’s collections. These tasks will include describing digital materials and collections, migrating materials to the appropriate file type, creating metadata for digital materials, assisting in the preservation of websites, and helping to identify, investigate, and resolve issues with digital preservation.

Before to coming to Brown in April 2018, Cody held positions in the Bowdoin College Library, the Maine College of Art Library, and the Portland Public Library in Portland, ME.

Exhibit | Music Publishers Association (MPA) Paul Revere Award exhibit

The Orwig Music Library is hosting a traveling exhibit: Winners of the Paul Revere Awards for Graphic Excellence, awarded by the Music Publishers Association of the United States. The MPA gives prizes in several categories of music publishing, including different types of notesetting, design in folios, and cover design.

For more information about the Music Publishers Association and the Revere Award, please visit: https://www.mpa.org/paul-revere-awards/


Dates
: December 1, 2018 – January 25, 2019
TimeLibrary Hours
Location: Orwig Music Library, 1 Young Orchard Avenue, Providence

Exhibit | Works from “A Global History of Art & Architecture”

A course with Professors Sheila Bonde and Lindsay Caplan

Examine models and artwork created by students in Sheila Bonde’s and Lindsay Caplan’s lecture course, “A Global History of Art and Architecture”, which presents art, architecture, and material culture from cave paintings to installation art.  The works exemplify forms studied in the class.

Dates: December 20, 2018 – May 31, 2019
TimeJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Hours
Location: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Exhibit | Entwined: Botany, Art and the Lost Cat Swamp Habitat

The exhibit showcases the rich history of art and science in Providence and provokes you to consider the consequences of environmental change on local biodiversity.  Premiering original watercolors of plants by Edward Peckham together with matching specimens from the Brown University Herbarium, collected by William Bailey and others, explore the lost Cat Swamp habitat of the Wayland and Blackstone neighborhoods on the East Side.

This exhibition is the collaborative work of the Brown University Herbarium, Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS), Rhode Island Wild Plant Society (RIWPS), and John Hay Library.

Opening reception:  Thursday, January 10th, 4-6 PM

Dates: January 10 – April 30, 2019
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Exhibition Gallery, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence

Announcement | New Project Selected for Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative

Shahzad Bashir, Director of Middle East Studies, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, and Professor of Religious Studies

The Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the University Library, together with the Digital Publications Advisory Board, are pleased to announce the selection of the next long-form scholarly work to be developed under Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative.

Islamic Pasts and Futures: Horizons of Time, by Shahzad Bashir, Director of Middle East Studies, Aga Khan Professor of Islamic Humanities, and Professor of Religious Studies, probes the functioning of time as an aspect of human experience. It focuses on Islam, understanding it as an element of human imagination made real in an illimitable array of physical objects and linguistic traces. Attending to this evidence instantiates Islam’s entwining in stories of human lives over more than fourteen centuries. Relying on theoretical discussions from fields such as philosophy of history and anthropology, historiography, and cultural, visual, and literary studies, Professor Bashir asks that we look beyond the commonplace view of Islamic history that is predicated on seeing time as a one-way stream. Rather, ‘Islamic time’ is a vast matrix of ‘present’ moments that fold pasts and futures into themselves. Artifacts of human endeavor, such as texts, paintings, buildings, and so on, are symptoms of these presents that contain diverse understandings of selves and the world. For materials pertaining to Islam—produced by Muslims and non-Muslims alike—analytical horizons connected to time generate new frames for comprehending Islamic phenomena.

The Digital Publications Initiative, generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is establishing an infrastructure to support the development and publication of scholarly works that incorporate the capabilities of digital tools and technology to advance theory, method, and argument. Editorial and digital development of these works is supported through the University Library for eventual review and release by academic presses that are increasingly publishing digital monographs. Anchored in the University Library and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty, this initiative extends the University’s mission of supporting and promoting faculty scholarship, while also helping to advance digital scholarship in the humanities.

In addition to Islamic Pasts and Futures: Horizons of Time, by Shahzad Bashir, current digital scholarly publications supported under this initiative include Italian Shadows: A Genealogy of Virtual Reality, by Massimo Riva, Professor of Italian Studies; Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618) with Scholarly Commentary, by Tara Nummedal, Professor of History, and Donna Bilak of Columbia University; and The Sensory Monastery: Saint-Jean-des-Vignes, by Sheila Bonde, Professor of History of Art and Architecture and Professor of Archaeology, and Clark Maines, Professor Emeritus of Art History at Wesleyan University.

To learn more about Brown’s digital scholarly publication program, please visit the Digital Publications Initiative website, or contact Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor (allison_levy@brown.edu).

Announcement | Jeanette Norris Named Head of Metadata Services

Jeanette Norris has accepted the position of Head of Metadata Services, effective December 1, 2018. Prior to this promotion, Jeanette served as a Metadata Librarian.

Jeanette’s inclusive leadership style will be instrumental in moving the department into new modes of descriptive cataloging and metadata demanded by sophisticated discovery systems and digital platforms. With clarity of expression and a focus on direct action, she is a constructive force in ensuring that the Access Services and Collection Management department is truly the learning community it aspires to be.

As a Metadata Librarian, Jeanette managed a team of experts who are responsible for ingesting and exporting hundreds of thousands of records annually into the Library’s Management System and ensuring that the quality of the records meets the highest standards. Jeanette also led the effort to match use of the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) with Brown University departments and organizations and is currently working with the Brown Digital Repository (BDR) developers to align up-to-date metadata standards with the evolving usage of the BDR.

Chair of the Discovery Advisory Group, Jeanette successfully led the transition from Summon to the EDS discovery system and, together with Digital Technologies, continues to lead the ongoing creative development of the open source Blacklight system. Recently, she partnered with vendors and colleagues to conduct usability studies to make sure that the needs of Brown University researchers and scholars are being progressively met.

Jeanette inspires confidence in her colleagues through her metadata expertise, bridging policy and procedure in the service of creating a robust delivery experience for our patrons that will facilitate and enhance their interaction with Brown’s distinctive collections.