Passport to Summer Learning

Passport to Summer Learning is a partnership between the Brown University Library, Providence Public Library, and the Community Libraries of Providence.

Bruno at Brown University gates

Thank you for a wonderful summer of programming!

These public programs are available at any time — please confirm building hours on the Brown University website

On Firm Foundations: The Archaeology of College Hill at The Sack House, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

Plant Environmental Center Greenhouse: Visit the Greenhouse open Monday through Friday from 8:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. or watch one of the STEM videos created on the SciToon Channel Institute at Brown for Environment and Society

Public Art: Self-Guided Campus Tour

Family Picnic: Visit one of our beautiful green spaces at Brown University


August 1, 2023  •  8:15 – 10:00 PM  •  PLEASE NOTE THE DATE CHANGE FROM 7/31 TO 8/1. Ladd Observatory | Location: 210 Doyle Ave., Providence. Parking in the lot and on-street.

June 26, 2023  •  5:30–7:30 PM  •  Teddy Bear Clinic with Brown Medical School  •  John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect St., Providence, RI 02912

July 19, 2023  •  10:00–11:00 AM  •  Storytime — we’re so sorry to announce that K9 Elvy has a conflict this morning and she’s unable to join us. We will still hold story time and we hope to see you! | Location: Outside Manning Hall / Haffenreffer Museum on the Quiet Green. Use 21 Prospect St., Providence for GPS)

July 22, 2023  •  10:00–11:00 AM  •  Storytime with Bruno and Brown Athletics | Location: Ittleson Quad, 235 Hope St., Providence. Parking is on-street. Handicapped parking available in the athletic complex lots.

August 15, 2023  • PLEASE NOTE THE DATE AND TIME CHANGE FROM 8/12 to 8/15. 2:00 – 3:00 PM • Rhode Island Climate Action with the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society (IBES) and the Plant Environmental Center Greenhouse | Location: 85 Waterman St., Providence. Parking is metered on-street.

About Brown University

Brown was founded in 1764 — the third college in New England and the seventh in Colonial America. Originally located in Warren, Rhode Island, and called the College of Rhode Island, Brown moved to its current spot on College Hill overlooking Providence in 1770 and was renamed in 1804 in recognition of a $5,000 gift from Nicholas Brown, a prominent Providence businessman and alumnus, Class of 1786.

Visiting the Brown University Campus


Public Transit

Brown University is accessible from anywhere in Rhode Island via Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) bus. To visit the main campus green area, please use 75 Waterman Street Providence, RI 02906 as the address. Bus schedules can be found on the RIPTA website. The fare for both the bus and the trolley is $2. You may transfer at discounted rates; see the RIPTA website for detailed fare information.


The City of Providence has metered parking available surrounding the campus. Please pay close attention to parking signs. We encourage you to take advantage of RIPTA where possible.

Brown and Providence

Learn more about Brown’s commitment to Providence schools.

Information about Brown for Community Members

Brown admission

Many Rhode Island students attend Brown each year, including graduates of the Providence Public School District (PPSD) and other public schools. Financial aid is available for all families who qualify; many families who make below $60,000/ year will have no contribution expected from parents. More information on the Admission website.

Brown Pre-College

Brown Pre-College is a summer program for high school students. Special scholarships are available for PPSD students. Programs can be on campus in Providence during the summer, or in other locations nationally or internationally.

Brown Summer High School

Brown Summer High School (BSHS) is a summer enrichment program for Providence, Central Falls and other high school students on Brown’s campus. BSHS provides motivated local students with a chance to pursue study in areas that interest them most. 


GirlsGetMath is a five-day non-residential summer mathematics program that is open to high schoolers, regardless of gender, who live in or near greater Rhode Island and who will be entering 10th or 11th grade. GirlsGetMath occurs in an encouraging environment that builds young students’ confidence in math and science, expands participants’ understanding and knowledge of mathematics through computations and experimentations, and provides expert mathematical training and mentoring. Full scholarships are available, including lunch.


Jobs@Brown is the online listing of jobs available at Brown. Jobs are listed with salary grades. Brown is one of the largest employers in RI and has generous staff benefits, including financial assistance for college tuition for employees’ children.

Featured Events

Brown has a rich calendar of arts, culture, and educational events, many of which are free and open to the public. You can subscribe to the Featured Events newsletter.

Brown Athletics

Brown’s 30+ athletic teams compete throughout the academic year, offering something for any fan. Check the full schedule.

Brown Arts Institute

The Brown Arts Institute cultivates creative expression at Brown and hosts diverse performances, exhibits and other arts events throughout the academic year, many of which are open to the public and free or low cost. You can sign up for their newsletter.

Brown University Library

The Brown University Library system consists of six campus locations as well as the nearby Library Collections Annex, an off-campus high-density storage facility. With a scholarly collection of approximately 7 million volumes, the University Library is one of the largest academic libraries in New England. Its holdings include nearly 3 million ebooks, more than 250,000 ejournals, and over 500 research databases; special collections include some 400,000 monographs, 1.5 million archival files and records, 500,000 pieces of sheet music, and 60,000 each of broadsides, photographs, and prints.

Pizza Nights – Spring 2023

cartoon drawing of heart shaped pizza

A pizza our hearts go out to you during finals! Is that too cheesy?

Students: Enjoy some free pizza to fortify your studies.

  • Wednesday, May 10 at the Rock (lobby) @ 9 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 11 at the SciLi (Friedman Study Center) @ 9 p.m.

Pizza nights are brought to you by the Library and Campus Life.

Best of luck with finals!

This is your Library. You belong here.

Exhibit l Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict

Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict text with images of a judges gavel and uterus in the background.

John Hay Library Exhibit Reflects on Two Centuries of Debate over Abortion

Created in response to the Dobbs decision, Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict draws on Brown’s special collections to present open-ended observations on the commonality, history, and debate surrounding abortion in the United States and Rhode Island.

Whether in a court of law, at a protest, or over the kitchen table, abortion rivals any other subject for its capacity to elicit intense emotions and fervent arguments on both sides of the issue. Contemporary society’s shorthand terms for each side — “pro-life” and “pro-choice” — are themselves loaded with the political and moral beliefs that have fueled two centuries of debate over a procedure that dates back millennia.

Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict

In the John Hay Library’s exhibit, Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict, a curatorial team consisting of Brown faculty, graduate students, and medical practitioners of different genders, backgrounds, religions, and ages, as well as different ideological beliefs on abortion, offer original scholarly commentary on artifacts drawn from the Hay Library’s outstanding trove of special collections. With particularly strong holdings in the history of medicine, feminism, political extremism, and collections specific to Rhode Island, the Hay Library is well suited to produce an exhibit on the topic of abortion. According to Amanda E. Strauss, Associate University Librarian and Director of the John Hay Library:

Our strong history of medicine collections and our collecting focus on the interplay between ideology and social and political power provide unique insight into this universal topic. Exhibitions like this are one of the ways in which the Hay Library’s extraordinary collections can be drawn upon to contextualize and deepen understanding of history and current events as well as to put forth new knowledge that we hope will lead to further scholarship.

On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court ruled in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn nearly five decades of the constitutional right to obtain an abortion, previously protected by law through the 1973 court decision Roe v. Wade. A vast number of people have been deeply impacted by the decision and its subsequent, ongoing outcomes. Many Brown students and faculty members immersed themselves in thought, conversation, and research about reproductive rights and the widespread role abortion has played in the human experience, including academic exploration of the topic in the Hay Library’s special collections. In response to this interest, the curatorial staff altered its exhibition schedule to make room for an installation in the main gallery that would provide space for scholarly considerations of abortion’s history, controversy, and, in particular, its role in the lives of countless ordinary people, especially women.

Exhibit Artifacts

Exhibit viewers will see artifacts like a set of wrought iron forceps made in Rhode Island in the early 1800s when cesarean section was generally too risky to consider; photographs of pro-life and pro-choice protestors at public rallies; documents from organizations like “Guidelines for Picketing” by Citizens Concerned For Human Life and a Planned Parenthood flier entitled, “A Closer Look at the Violent Opposition”; poetry, editorial letters, and newspaper articles; the 1868 influential publication, Criminal Abortion; Its Nature, Its Evidence, and Its Law by Dr. Horatio R. Storer; and the 1970s booklet Women vs. Rhode Island: Repeal Abortion Laws from the Rhode Island Coalition to Repeal Abortion Laws, a Brown University feminist group.

All of the objects on display are part of the historical record from two centuries of the lived experiences of both prominent and ordinary people in the U.S. and Rhode Island, who were associated with abortion in myriad ways, and who held differing beliefs. While the curatorial team’s focus has been to objectively present the issue of abortion legalization, they acknowledge that with a subject that impacts the lives of so many, complete objectivity is a difficult task. By foregrounding the long and often unacknowledged history of abortion that led up to the Dobbs ruling and the diverse, powerful emotions that fueled this history, the team’s intention with Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict is to provoke thought, discussion, and inquiry rather than present definitive truths. 

Content Warning and Support

Please note: This exhibit includes information and images related to birthing and abortion.

For Brown University Students who need support, please contact Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) at 401-863-3476; help is available 24/7 and 365 days/year. 

Exhibit Dates

Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict will run in the John Hay Library’s main exhibition gallery from May 11 to August 16, 2023. 

Accessing the Exhibit

Building hours and more information about Brown University Special Collections can be found on the John Hay Library’s website.

Related Events

Exhibit Opening Reception
Date and Time: Thursday, May 11, 2023 from 4 – 5:30 p.m.
Location: John Hay Library

Commencement Forum: “Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict” Exhibition Panel Discussion
Date & Time: Saturday, May 27, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.
Location: John Hay Library, Willis Reading Room

We’re in this Together: Notes on Solidarity and Collaboration

This moderated conversation brings together faculty and scholars situated in Africana, Latinx, and Asian American Studies to discuss solidarity as a practice in support of diversity and inclusion in higher education.

Tuesday, April 11 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library

Registration required – register here

Zoom link:

Meredith Gadsby (Associate Professor of Africana Studies and Comparative American Studies, Oberlin College), Gina Perez (Professor and Chair of Comparative American Studies, Oberlin College), Julio Reyes ‘12 (Director, U-FLI Center), and Shelley Lee (Professor of American Studies, Brown) draw on their years of intellectual and programmatic collaboration to reflect upon the challenges and possibilities of solidarity and allyship in teaching and writing, campus leadership and engagement, and community building and bridging. This conversation, moderated by Warren Harding (Diversity in Digital Publishing Postdoctoral Research Associate, Brown University), aims to provide useful insights and models for faculty and staff of color at Brown (and beyond) working in distinct but related fields who wish to work toward more inclusive communities and productive allyship.

Welcome will be delivered by Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian, followed by introductory remarks by Kenvi Phillips, Director of Library Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Sponsored by Brown University Library’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion programming; Brown Undocumented, First-Generation College, and Low-Income Student Center (U-FLI Center); Division of Campus Life; Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA); and Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender (SDC).

Food & Feedback Forums

Tell us what you think!

students working at a library table

The Brown University Library is hosting two Food & Feedback Forum sessions. Enjoy pizza and snacks and give us your feedback on the Library’s physical spaces.

  • Monday, March 6 at 7 to 8 p.m. in the Rockefeller Library, Digital Scholarship Lab (Room 137)
  • Wednesday, March 8 at 2 to 3 p.m. in the Sciences Library, Friedman Center (Level A)

During recent Library surveys, students commented on a variety of aspects concerning the Library’s spaces. We’d love to hear more — come and share your views in depth. Tell us what works, what doesn’t work, and what could be improved about library spaces.

This is your Library. We’d love to hear from you!

Children’s Book Drive at the Rock

The Brown University Library is collecting new or gently used children’s books (baby through teen) to donate to Pawtucket, RI-based nonprofit organization Books Are Wings

Books Are Wings seeks to provide every child with regular access to books by collecting and distributing books to communities in RI where children often do not have their own books at home. According to Books Are Wings, “Research suggests that growing up in a home with at least 20 books is equivalent to three additional years of schooling for children.”

Please place donations in the bin in the Rock lobby by Friday, December 16. 

Thank you!

Screening and Discussion of Documentary “Beyond the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar”

Join the Brown University Library for a screening of the documentary film, Beyond the Mask: Paul Laurence Dunbar, followed by Q&A with filmmaker Frederick Lewis AM ‘83 on Tuesday September 13, 2022 at 4 p.m. in the Lownes Room at the John Hay Library. (Note: This room is at the top of a lengthy stairwell. Please notify us through the RSVP form if you require elevator access or other accommodations.)

Reception with light refreshments at 3:30 p.m. Q&A from 6:15 – 6:45 p.m.

RSVP Required (click to RSVP)

Free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and the John Hay Library in collaboration with the Rhode Island Black Film Festival.

Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask

photo of Dunbar
Paul Laurence Dunbar

Paul Laurence Dunbar: Beyond the Mask is a feature length documentary about the life and legacy of Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872 – 1906), the first African American poet and writer to gain international fame. Born to enslaved people in Dayton, OH, Dunbar is best remembered for his poem, “We Wear the Mask,” and for the line, “I know why the caged bird sings!” from his poem, “Sympathy,” which became the title of Maya Angelou’s famous autobiography. 

More than ten years in the making, Beyond the Mask received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities with additional support from Ohio Humanities.

Frederick Lewis

Writer and director Frederick Lewis AM ‘83 is a professor in the School of Media Arts & Studies at Ohio University. His independent documentaries have been seen on PBS stations throughout the U.S. and have been screened at more than 100 cultural and educational venues, including the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, and the Explorers Club in New York City.

Frederick Lewis AM ’83

Professor Lewis is a recipient of the Presidential Teacher Award, Ohio University’s highest honor for transformative teaching, curriculum innovation and mentoring. He has been a Fulbright Specialist in Hungary and has also taught or lectured in England, Germany, France, Ukraine, Malaysia and Vietnam. He received a master’s degree in Literary Arts from Brown University.

Dunbar and John Hay

In addition to being a statesman, John Hay (1838 – 1905), namesake of the John Hay Library,  was himself a writer of dialect poetry as a young man and supported the artistic efforts of Dunbar and Samuel Coleridge-Taylor.

Rhode Island Black Film Festival

Established in 2017, the Rhode Island Black Film Festival is an independent film festival that focuses primarily on black film—works by Black members of the film industry.  The Film Festival provides a platform for social justice issues and the cultural achievements of African-Americans and persons of African descent.  It is held to recognize achievements of film actors of African descent and to honor films that stand out in their portrayal of Black experience. Beyond the Mask:Paul Laurence Dunbar was among 2017 Film Festival selections of the Rhode Island Black FIlm Festival. For additional information about the Film Festival email [email protected] or call 401-996-1166. 


To request accommodations for a disability-related need, please reach out to [email protected] as far in advance of the event as possible. Thank you.

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