Announcement | Fall 2021 Library Operations

Featured

staff members at the Rock circ desk

Welcome back to 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

When you come to the Library, please:

  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose at all times
  • Maintain social distance

Help keep Brown healthy: Get tested for COVID-19 every week if you are fully vaccinated, twice a week if you are not yet fully vaccinated or have received an exemption. Wear a mask indoors when on campus, regardless of your vaccination status, and outside if you are not vaccinated and social distancing is not possible. Learn more.

Who can access Library buildings?

Current Brown students, faculty, and staff and current Rhode Island School of Design students can access all locations as follows:

  • Rockefeller Library – without a reservation
  • Sciences Library – without a reservation
  • Orwig Music Library – without a reservation (limited hours starting September 7)
  • John Hay Library – reservations required for the Special Collections Reading Room (email hay@brown.edu); reservations not required for individual study space in the Willis Reading Room

Alumni and Other Visitors

Complete information for all visitors

Obtaining a Library Card

Visitors who anticipate using the Rockefeller, Sciences, or Orwig Libraries on an ongoing basis must obtain a Brown University Library card. Cards will not be issued until visitors have completed the Brown University Library Visitors: Fall 2021 request form. The Library must approve requests for all visitors except those with IDs sponsored by a department or program at Brown, or Brown alumni. More information

Health Protocols

In accordance with University policy, all visitors — regardless of vaccination status — must wear masks indoors, unless in a private, non-shared space (e.g., office or dorm room). Visitors must abide by the policies on the Healthy Brown website and should review the Visitor and Guest Vaccination Requirement.

Library Support

In-person

Patrons can schedule in-person and online consultation appointments with a Library expert by contacting the relevant subject specialist directly. Not sure whom to contact? Email rock@brown.edu for general inquiries and hay@brown.edu for  Special  Collections inquiries.

The stacks at the Rock and SciLi are open, and circulation staff are on-site to check out materials.

Online

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

ROCKEFELLER LIBRARY

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

Regular Hours:

September  3 – 7, 2021:

  • Friday, September 3: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 4: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, September 5: 12 noon – 7 p.m.
  • Monday, September 6: Closed for Labor Day holiday
  • Tuesday, September 7: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

September 8 through end of fall term:

  • Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. 
  • Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Extended Building Hours

For current Brown ID holders only, from September 8 through end of fall term:

  • Monday – Thursday: 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.
  • Sunday: 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

SCIENCES LIBRARY

September  3 –  7, 2021:

  • Friday, September 3: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 4 and Sunday, September 5: 12 noon – 5 p.m.
  • Monday, September 6 – Closed for Labor Day holiday 
  • Tuesday, September 7: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Regular Hours

September 8 through end of fall term:

  •  Sunday – Thursday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  •  Friday and Saturday: 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Extended Building Hours

For current Brown ID holders only, from September 8 through end of fall term:

  • Sunday – Thursday: 10 p.m. – 8 a.m.
  • Friday and Saturday: 10 p.m. – 2 a.m.

JOHN HAY LIBRARY

Hours:

September  3 – 7, 2021:

  • Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
    • Study in the Willis Reading Room (first floor)
    • Research in the Gildor Family Special Collections Reading Room (first floor)
  • Saturday and Sunday: Closed
  • Monday, September 6: Closed for Labor Day holiday

September 8 through end of fall term:

  • Study in the Willis Reading Room (first floor): 
    • Monday – Thursday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
    • Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  
    • Sunday, noon – 10 p.m.
  • Research in the Gildor Family Special Collections Reading Room (first floor): 
    • Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • Closed Saturday and Sunday

For research in the Special Collections Reading Room, please email hay@brown.edu to request a seat reservation. We are currently limiting use of the Special Collections Reading Room to a maximum of nine (9) researchers at a time. You must also request materials through Aeon one week (5 full business days) in advance of your reservation. 

ORWIG MUSIC LIBRARY

Following an extensive infrastructure renovation, the Orwig Music Library will be open for limited weekday hours starting September 7. Please contact orwig@brown.edu or call 401-863-3759 for more information.

Reserving Study Rooms

Beginning September 8, current Brown students, staff, and faculty, and RISD students will be able to reserve group study rooms at the Rock and SciLi through libcal.brown.edu

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 always available online.

Feedback

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 WelcomeToYourLibrary@brown.edu.

This Is Your Library

You belong here.

Announcement | BruKnow: Library’s Updated Search and Catalog System

Rockefeller Library Circulation Manager Kimberly Silva

BruKnow — the Library’s updated search and catalog system named by Brown students — went live on August 18, 2021, delivering enhanced searching capabilities.

Learn more about using BruKnow!

We Welcome Your Questions and Feedback

Have questions or comments about BruKnow? Email us at libfaq@brown.libanswers.com or submit anonymous feedback.

Sign Up for User Testing

Interested in helping the Library refine BruKnow? Sign up for user testing! All Library patrons with current access to the catalog are invited to participate.

Why a New System

The software company ExLibris acquired the company that provides the Library’s current system (including Josiah), which dates back to the 1990s. The Library decided to proactively migrate to the integrated library system offered by ExLibris, known as “Alma,” and its search counterpart, “Primo.” BruKnow is the Library’s Primo. ExLibris has been working with Library staff to customize the system for our unique catalog and users.

Enhanced Searching

The updated system will yield more extensive catalog resource results, offer more refined search tools, and provide many user-friendly features like saved searches, notifications for new items relevant to saved searches, smart spelling correction, virtual browsing of physical items, and “best bets.”

BruKnow the Name

Undergraduate students Isabel Kim ’22 and Michal Loren ’23 each individually submitted “BruKnow” as a name suggestion during the students-only naming contest hosted by the Library during Spring and Summer 2021. 93 students submitted 125 name suggestions. A group of ten students composed of members of the Library Advisory Board, the Graduate Library Advisory Council, and identified through the Undergraduate Council of Students narrowed the submissions down to five finalists. 223 students voted for their favorite name among the finalists, and BruKnow was the most popular choice.

The students who suggested the names that made the short list in addition to BruKnow:

  • Amita Sastry ’20, MD’24
  • Harshini Venkatachalam ’23
  • Daniel Wexler ’22

Announcement | Brown Library Receives NEH Grant for Digital Publishing Institute

National training program centered on diversity and inclusion aims to broaden the range of scholars producing born-digital publications and, by extension, the audience for digital humanities scholarship.

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] Brown University Library has received a $169,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to create a training institute on digital publishing. Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Road Maps will support scholars who wish to develop innovative born-digital scholarship intended for publication by a university press but lack the necessary resources and capacity at their home institutions.

Born-digital, multimodal monographs allow authors to articulate and advance scholarly ideas through the innovative use of digital tools and/or data as well as interactive, media-rich enhancements in ways that are not possible in a conventional book. While there is growing support for this path breaking approach to scholarship on the part of academic institutions, disciplinary organizations, grantmaking organizations, and university presses, there is currently no “how to” manual or comprehensive training opportunity for what is a complex, rapidly evolving endeavor.

The National Endowment for the Humanities and Brown University together: Democracy demands wisdom.

Three-Week Institute

Designed to demystify and streamline the path to digital publication, Brown Library’s three-week hybrid institute, to take place in July 2022, will equip a cohort of fifteen humanities scholars with in-depth knowledge of the digital publishing process, familiarity with open-source tools and platforms, advanced project management skills, concrete and individualized plans for project advancement, and top-level publishing industry contacts. The institute will be open to a variety of scholars, including unaffiliated scholars, adjunct professors, and part-time faculty, from different disciplines, career stages, institution types, and geographical locations. 

Accessibility and Inclusion

Moreover, through the purposeful training and mentoring of under-resourced scholars, the institute will help bridge a digital divide that, without intervention, puts digital publishing, as a future of scholarship, at risk of becoming the preserve of the most elite and affluent institutions. By making the born-digital publication process more accessible and inclusive, the institute will foster the elevation of underrepresented voices and subject matter, thereby diversifying the output of teaching and learning resources as well as expanding the readership for digital scholarship. In recognition of its recently extended membership in the HBCU Library Alliance (the first non-HBCU addition to the historically Black colleges and universities alliance), Brown University Library will prioritize some of the cohort slots for faculty from member institutions.

According to Allison Levy, the Library’s Digital Scholarship Editor and project director for the institute, “Perhaps the most intentional element of the institute’s design to have far-reaching implications for humanities research and teaching is Brown’s commitment to support under-resourced scholars. This crucial re-prioritization of how and for whom the practice and production of digital humanities scholarship is taught will have a profound impact on current and future generations of scholars.”

Digital Publications Initiative at Brown

Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Road Maps builds upon the successes of Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative — a collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, generously launched with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in 2015. The Initiative has established a novel, transformative approach to the development of longform, multimodal works that make original and meaningful contributions across the humanities. The Initiative also collaborates with publishers to help shape new systems of evaluation, peer review, and scholarly validation for born-digital scholarship. Brown saw its first project published in 2020 by the University of Virginia Press; two others are forthcoming with Stanford University Press and MIT Press, respectively; and eight projects are in various stages of development.

“We feel incredibly fortunate to have this kind of opportunity to expand the reach and impact of our efforts to advance the possibilities of digital publication for first-rate scholarship,” said Brown’s University Librarian Joseph Meisel. “I am also eager to see all that we will learn from working with the institute’s fifteen scholars, and the ways they will help inform our approach and practices going forward.” 

Questions about the institute or the Library’s Digital Publications Initiative generally can be addressed to Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor (allison_levy@brown.edu).

About the National Endowment for the Humanities

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at: www.neh.gov.

The National Endowment for the Humanities and Brown University together: Democracy demands wisdom.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this press release and in the Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Road Maps Institute do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Announcement | Brown Library publishes “Race &” in America digital book series

Free and open publication documents and expands series exploring origins, history, and legacies of anti-Black racism in the U.S.

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] Over the course of the 2020-21 academic year, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America at Brown, in partnership with the Office of the Provost, undertook a systematic investigation of the foundational and enduring contemporary effects of anti-Black racism in America. Drawing on the expertise of Brown scholars from a range of fields and scholarly perspectives as well as the University’s historic strength and leadership in scholarship on race, the pioneering “Race &” in America panel series generated critical engagements with society’s most fundamental and urgent questions. Investigating the role that racism plays in American public health, democracy, punishment, and more, the informed and illuminating discussions deepened knowledge and awareness in the service of promoting a more just and inclusive community and world. The “Race &” in America digital publication series amplifies the impact and extends the reach of this important and timely panel series.

Developed by the Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative and in close coordination with Tricia Rose, Chancellor’s Professor of Africana Studies, Associate Dean of the Faculty for Special Initiatives, and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the “Race &” in America digital publication series re-presents the compelling original panel discussions with expanded content and resources in an innovative, interactive format, designed to heighten understanding and broaden these critical conversations. “The ‘Race &’ series and its creative digital presentation reflect two core elements of CSREA’s vision: to foster dynamic intellectual community on crucial issues and ensure long-lasting access to ideas,” said Rose. “By offering an array of Brown faculty reflecting on the importance and complexity of the way race defines American society from slavery to genetics to art, and making it available through this interactive, digital platform with enhanced content, we’re able to contribute to ongoing conversations on these critical issues.”

The “Race &” digital publication is a remarkable example of Brown’s dedication to its mission of creating and sharing knowledge in service of society. According to Richard M. Locke, Brown University provost: 

Brown is committed to conducting and disseminating widely consequential research designed to elevate awareness of pressing societal issues and contribute to meaningful change. The “Race &” in America series is emblematic of this commitment. Over the course of a year, we have shared Brown’s faculty expertise in the interwoven areas that define and perpetuate anti-Black racism in the U.S., and through this engaging digital delivery, we’re able to amplify and extend the impact of these important contributions.

As an open access publication, the digital series provides enduring, barrier-free access to information, and has been developed with universal design principles for equitable use by all persons, including those with disabilities. In addition, the series features responsive design — readable on all digital devices, from smartphones to desktops — and robust highlighting, annotation, and sharing tools that encourage deep reader engagement and allow users to interact with one another.

Each of the eight volumes in the digital series includes:

  • A recording of one of the 90-minute panel discussions that took place throughout the 2020-2021 academic year
  • Student Voices podcast episodes in which Brown University students engage the panelists in follow-up discussion 
  • Recommendations for entry-point materials on the subject
  • Multimedia resource collections of readings, online exhibitions, podcasts, and other materials referenced during the panel discussions
  • Suggestions for further exploration

“The ‘Race &’ in America series is an important step forward for Brown’s leadership in both scholarship on race and digital scholarly publications,” said University Librarian Joseph Meisel. “It ensures that the penetrating perspectives and fresh critical analyses advanced through this remarkable academic initiative are not simply preserved as a video link on some website, but rather rendered more fully in a format that sustains and broadens the impact of this essential work for education, further research, and public understanding.”    

The digital series consists of eight volumes:

Brown’s Digital Publications Initiative — a collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, generously launched with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation — creates exciting new conditions for the production and sharing of knowledge. Widely recognized as accessible, intentional, and inclusive, Brown’s path-breaking Initiative is helping to set the standards for the future of scholarship in the digital age.

Questions about the “Race &” in America digital publication series or the Library’s Digital Publications Initiative generally can be addressed to Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor (allison_levy@brown.edu).

Announcement | Stolen Relations: Recovering Stories of Indigenous Enslavement in the Americas

“Return of Indians,” Mosquito Shore registry of enslaved Indians, 1777. CO 123/31/125. The National Archives, UK.

The Library has been contributing to a community-centered database project led by Professor Linford Fisher that seeks to document the many instances of Indigenous enslavement in the Americas between 1492 through 1900. Formerly entitled, Database of Indigenous Slavery Archive (DISA), the project is now named, Stolen Relations: Recovering Stories of Indigenous Enslavement in the Americas.

Since the summer of 2019, with guidance from Professor Rae Gould and Lydia Curliss, Physical Sciences Librarian and member of the Nipmuc Nation, the team has been working with Native partners from twelve different tribal nations in the southern New England area. Together, the collaborators decided to change the project name to one that reflects the efforts and goals to decolonize the project and become more community and Indigenous centered.

Rather than simply make accessible the records of Indigenous people who were enslaved, the project is designed to offer a decolonizing framework that explores the 21st century impact of enslavement that has ruptured the relations of Indigenous people, families, and nations. In short, stolen relations. The project recovers the stories of Indigenous enslavement in order to bring to light the stories and to contextualize them within the larger context of settler colonialism.

Because the team is largely collecting archival documents about indigenous enslavement that are written by the colonizer, it is essential to indigenize the presentation of the database so that there is a decolonizing context around the language from archival documents. For example, rather than simply list “tribe” affiliations, as is sometimes listed on the original document, the database will provide information on how archival documents often include terms that diminish the nationhood and sovereignty of Indigenous peoples (such as the word “tribe”). And in many cases, the tribal/national affiliation of enslaved Natives was completely erased. The project intends to reassert the nation-to-nation relationship that tribes have, and center that context alongside the data.

In this early phase of the project, the database is not yet public — though the project website is public. The team is working with tribal partners and a group of researchers to identify, enter, and interpret relevant historical and oral historical materials, and is currently looking to partner with individuals and institutions who are willing to send materials they have or join the research team to input materials directly. Please visit the project’s Contribute page or contact Linford D. Fisher to learn more.

Stolen Relations has been generously funded and supported by the following entities:

Library staff members working on the Stolen Relations project:

  • Ashley Champagne, Digital Humanities Librarian, Center for Digital Scholarship, Brown University (Project Manager)
  • Lydia Curliss, Physical Sciences Librarian, Academic Engagement, Brown University Library (Nipmuc)
  • Birkin Diana, Digital Technologies Developer, Brown University Library
  • Patrick Rashleigh, Data Visualization Coordinator, Center for Digital Scholarship, Brown University
  • Ben Tyler, Publications and Design Specialist

Announcement | Faculty Studies

The application for faculty study rooms at the Rockefeller Library will open on Friday, April 16, 2021. Applications will be accepted through Monday, May 17, 2021.

Apply here

The following categories of need will receive priority:

  • Current Faculty engaged in research requiring intensive use of library resources, programs, and services that is best served on-site within the Library. For Academic Years 2021-22 and 2022-23, priority will be given to tenure-track faculty whose research has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Current Faculty engaged in research requiring intensive use of library resources, programs, and services that is best served on-site within the Library. For Academic Years 2021-22 and 2022-23, priority will be given to tenure-track faculty whose research has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Current Faculty engaged in research requiring intensive use of library resources, programs, and services that is best served on-site within the Library. For Academic Years 2021-22 and 2022-23, priority will be given to tenure-track faculty whose research has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Current Faculty engaged in research requiring intensive use of library resources, programs, and services that is best served on-site within the Library. For Academic Years 2021-22 and 2022-23, priority will be given to tenure-track faculty whose research has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of 25 studies will be available, with occupancy starting on September 1 (campus health and safety conditions permitting). Studies may be requested for any combination of Fall, Spring, and Summer (June/July) terms, for a maximum of 11 months. All study rooms must be vacated by the beginning of August, which is reserved for cleaning and maintenance.  

We anticipate informing applicants at the beginning of June.

Announcement | New Health and Biomedical Library Services Unit at Brown

The Library will establish a new department — Health and Biomedical Library Services — to provide more direct and focused support for Brown’s programs in medicine, public health, and biomedical sciences.

The growth of these programs in size, scientific reputation, and societal impact is transformative for Brown and requires enhanced library support for research, teaching, and learning. Establishing Health and Biomedical Library Services (HBLS) as a distinct department will increase the Library’s contributions to advancing the mission of the Division of Biology and Medicine and the School of Public Health — as well as their statewide partners in research, education, practice, and community engagement. 

Further enhancing the Library’s identity as the go-to place for expert partners in education and research services, this new unit will bring enhanced focus to the specific academic and scholarly goals of the Division of Biology and Medicine (including The Warren Alpert Medical School and the Program in Biology) and the School of Public Health. HBLS will build upon existing services such as literature review support, data management, and publishing, impact, and compliance to enhance our support for the research lifecycle. In cooperation with leadership at The Warren Alpert Medical School and our clinical partners, HBLS will develop targeted outreach and education to clinical faculty and residency programs.

Planning for the new department involved close consultation with Allan Tunkel, Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, and Kimberly Galligan, Executive Dean for Administration for the Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown. Increased communication between the Library and the Division of Biology and Medicine and the School of Public Health will amplify the Library’s ability to nimbly adapt and respond to the rapid changes in Rhode Island’s healthcare landscape.

Erika Sevetson, who has been serving as Director of Academic Engagement for Health, Biomedical, and Physical Sciences and Medical Librarian for The Warren Alpert Medical School, will now serve as the Director of the new HBLS department. In her new role, Erika will serve on key Division of Biology and Medicine committees and leadership teams, including the Extended Leadership Group that supports Jack A. Elias, MD, Senior Vice President for Health Affairs and Dean of Medicine and Biological Sciences. She will also collaborate with the Office of Biomedical Advancement to identify opportunities for fundraising in support of information resource needs for health and biomedical sciences. The HBLS team includes Andrew Creamer (who will also continue to support programs outside HBLS), Chelsea Misquith, and Kelsey Sawyer.

Announcement | John Hay Library unveils transformative vision for special collections at Brown

Six dynamic and interconnected areas of focus build on current collection strengths and forge a path for building distinctive collections that support expansive and imaginative inquiry with a commitment to community engagement, environmental sustainability, and social justice.

Providence, R.I. [Brown University] After a year-long process of critical self-study and reflection led by Amanda Strauss, Associate University Librarian for Special Collections, the John Hay Library is launching a new collection policy, designed to guide highly strategic collecting at the Hay. The policy development process involved staff members at the Hay as well as consultations with a wide array of stakeholders at Brown and in key external communities.

When Ms. Strauss joined the Library in 2019, she was charged with creating a focused plan for the Hay, in alignment with Library and University goals and priorities, that would inspire faculty and students and transform the Hay into a center of academic excellence and a prominent destination for scholarly research. A serious commitment to representing diverse perspectives, experiences, and methods would be a fundamental part of that plan — necessary work for a world-class institution that facilitates free and open inquiry. According to Joseph S. Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian, “Under Ms. Strauss’s leadership, the John Hay Library is reaching new heights in advancing education, research, and public knowledge while also becoming a far more inclusive institution that speaks to a much broader range of human experience. This kind of scholarly vision and intellectual organization is what distinguishes outstanding special collections research libraries at world-class universities like Brown.”   

The policy consists of six areas of focus for collecting as well as three research themes in the sciences that are purposefully interconnected to create a holistic basis for research, education, and public engagement that encourages the kind of expansive and imaginative inquiry for which Brown University is renowned. They also establish a profound and more cohesive intellectual context for a remarkable set of existing collections, allow for strategic and sustainable collecting, and create a path for reparative and community-based collecting.

  • Global Lavender Voices celebrates the lived experiences, contributions, accomplishments, and culture of LGBTQIA+ communities, both in the United States and internationally.
  • Ideology & Power provides coherence and promotes public access to more than 200 years of original material that documents the evolution of political, social, and religious ideologies and that sheds light on the complex ways in which ideology influences social and political power structures.
  • Military & Society traces the social, political, economic, and cultural influence of world militaries during war and peace. 
  • Performance & Entertainment documents the history and creative process of performing arts and provides a window into public life and popular entertainment in the Americas through plays, dance, film, music, photography, and pornography. 
  • Popular Literature aims to reflect the imaginative worlds of North American authors and readers from the 18th through the 21st centuries. The Hay holds preeminent research collections in weird fiction, science fiction, and fantasy.
  • The University & Beyond augments the robust and growing collections of Brown’s institutional records and student life by tracing the unique and enduring global imprint of the University’s programs, faculty, and alumni.

Overlapping with these six areas of collecting focus are three prioritized research themes in the sciences: Climate Change, Collections as Data, and Health and History. The new policy recognizes the importance of using primary sources in scientific research and has already been strengthening its collections in STEM-related areas. According to Dr. Megan Ranney, who interpreted an item related to gun violence for the Hay’s exhibition Collecting with Distinction: Faculty Insights into Recent Acquisitions, “As both a scientist and scholar, I know how important it is to capture memorabilia of public health and medical debates in real time. I’m thankful for the foresight of Ms. Strauss and the John Hay Library in capturing so many documents, images, and other original materials. Future generations of students and researchers will be able to use our collections to understand our mindset behind many of our biggest societal struggles, such as gun violence. We are lucky to have this vision.” 

The Hay is already well known for supporting both humanistic and scientific inquiry through its renowned collections in the history of medicine and alcoholism and addiction, and in the history of mathematics and the “exact sciences” starting in 1180 B.C. Climate change is a theme that is present across a range of Hay materials that will be given new visibility and intentional development going forward. 

“A Representation of the Great Storm at Providence, Sept. 23rd 1815,” 1816.

Ms. Strauss emphasizes the importance of including special collections in teaching and research at Brown: “The Hay is a vital resource for the transformative, creative, intellectually independent work that is a hallmark of Brown. Our collections, though rare and unique, are meant to be actively used, and their use has never been more important than in this critical point in our nation’s history. The resources we steward are essential for scholarship that builds new knowledge in service of a more just and equitable society.”

The collection policy also provides a geographic framework for present and future collecting. Currently, Western Europe, North America, and Latin America are robustly represented. The collections also contain important material from East Asia, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Postcolonial Anglophone and Lusophone Africa. Going forward, collecting will focus on transnational movements and material created within the Global South or its diaspora. Growth of collections in these areas will occur in close partnership with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice, the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, the Department of Africana Studies, and the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 

Professor Tony Bogues, Asa Messer Professor of Humanities and Critical Theory and Professor of Africana Studies, has been collaborating with the Hay in support of his work as the Director of the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice. He explains the critical role the Hay has been playing in the CSSJ’s The Global Curatorial Project to collect oral histories and memories of formerly enslaved peoples: “We are at a critical juncture in the archival and collections world as the issue of repair — and therefore restitution of objects — spark debate about how to collect with equity and respect for the histories and voices of populations who were, and in some instances remain, dominated by forms of historical injustice. The Hay is a remarkable partner in this work. Its expert staff has been partnering with us and our colleagues in places like Senegal in debates and discussions about collections and how to think anew about stewardship as a plural effort in archives.”

Through its renewed focus on the Global South, the Hay could unintentionally replicate structures of colonialism and racism. To ensure ethical, intentional, and equitable collecting, five guiding principles for collecting were defined within the policy. These principles emphasize community engagement and shared authority and stewardship of material; as such, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion is articulated first among the guiding principles. Recognizing systemic, structural, and institutional racism, the Hay is applying an anti-racist framework to its collecting, and building a system of continual evaluation of new and existing collections, modes of collecting, and the impact of collections on our community. This framework is consistent with the Library’s commitment to becoming actively anti-racist.

The Hay endeavors, through its collections and services, to ensure that the diverse array of students, scholars, and visitors who visit its physical and virtual spaces feel welcome. This importance is underscored by the fact that the Hay is open to the public (under normal operating conditions) and is situated amidst the vibrant and diverse Providence community.

In conjunction with Brown’s Sustainability Initiative, the Hay is committed to Sustainable Collecting and Stewardship. The Hay will assess the current and future environmental and fiscal impacts of acquiring, preserving, and providing research access to rare, unique, and fragile material in all physical formats. 

Through Community-Engaged Collecting, the Hay will build and sustain mutually beneficial relationships with diverse communities locally at Brown, within Rhode Island and New England, and nationally and globally. As part of the relationship, community members may advise and guide collecting policies, practices, and access principles to determine whether their historical material remains within their community or under what terms collaborative stewardship of donated materials would operate. 

The Hay is attuned to and respectful of its Local Contexts, seeking to be an active member of the Rhode Island research community and to build collections, especially those related to Rhode Island and regional history, that complement — but do not compete — with peer repositories. 

The Hay recognizes the value of Institutional Collaboration with academic centers and departments within the University and strategic partnerships with external repositories and organizations. These partnerships provide intellectual guidance for collection development as well as theoretical, cultural, and other valuable insights that will improve the reputation and relevance of the Library and its collections.

Barazoku, Japan’s first commercially circulated gay magazine.

Following a collecting pause during the development of the policy, the Hay is now actively, strategically collecting. The recent acquisition of José Rivera’s papers extends its holdings of contemporary, major LatinX playwrights. The collection of Japanese LGBTQIA+ magazines, such as Barazoku (薔薇族) and Fūzoku kitan (風俗奇譚), is one of the largest of its kind in the US, including many rare issues not found in other stateside repositories. The Jewelnel Davis Collection of mystery novels by Black women writers strengthens and enriches the popular literature at the Hay. 

Weird Tales magazine cover. Jan. 1942.

The scholarly work being done at the Hay broadens understanding of the materials we hold in critical ways. For example, The Racial Imaginaries of H. P. Lovecraft, an online exhibit created by the 2020 Brown University Library Exhibitions Proctor, Alberto Alcaraz Escarcega, Political Science Ph.D., examines the interconnectedness of Lovecraft’s work and his problematic beliefs about race. Lovecraft, whose papers are held by the Hay and fully digitized, is considered to be the founder of weird fiction. He remains an influential literary figure whose body of work continues to be revisited, referenced, and revered; understanding the full context of his writing is necessary in a contemporary landscape.

The Hay’s new collection policy provides the underpinning that will elevate the Hay as a destination research library whose collections, fellowships, exhibitions, and programming will attract a global cohort of researchers, and ensure that the Hay realizes its full potential as a vital campus resource for active, interdisciplinary research and exploration. This framework does not set limits on collecting so much as it empowers the Hay to maximize the scholarly and reputational value of its acquisitions and to fulfill its mission to support free and open inquiry, experimentation, and creativity in a welcoming environment with equitable access to collections, exhibitions, and programming to a global community of students, scholars, and the public.

Media and other inquiries, please contact Jennifer_Braga@brown.edu.

Announcement | Free Web Hosting Service for Digital Scholarship

Digital Scholarship at Brown

The Library is offering a new web hosting service to support digital scholarship: Digital Scholarship at Brown. This service is available to Brown students, faculty, and staff who want to experiment with digital scholarly platforms, develop a research project, and/or share your work. Digital Scholarship at Brown complements Brown’s existing web offerings such as Brown Blogs, Canvas, and Google Sites.

How to Use Digital Scholarship at Brown

This service allows you to manage your digital research and digital presence — including digital projects for theses and dissertations, storytelling, group collaboration, and public scholarship. Through Digital Scholarship at Brown, you can manage a Brown subdomain of your own onto which you can easily install applications like WordPress, Omeka, or mySQL along with specialized plugins, as well as access the command line directly (with some restrictions) so you can run software and develop stand-alone web sites. 

When you leave Brown, you may continue to own and manage your site by transferring your Digital Scholarship at Brown domain to a personal Reclaim Hosting domain, or to another hosting service. 

How to Apply

If you are interested in the Digital Scholarship at Brown service, please look over the guidelines for use. Does your project that fits the guidelines? Fill out the application and click Create to get started!

Questions? Email cds_info@brown.edu.

This is your domain. This is your Library.

Spring 2021 Library Spaces and Operations

Library staff working in the Rockefeller Library while observing health guidelines.

Welcome back!

Welcome back to your Brown University Library! We hope you enjoyed a safe, restful, and rejuvenating Winter Break.

From January 4 – 26, 2021, distant circulation will be available at the Rockefeller Library. Following the Quiet Period, seats for individual study will be available by reservation starting on January 27 at the Rock, SciLi, and John Hay Library. Reservations can be made up to one week in advance, beginning January 20.

During the Spring 2021 term, the Library will work to meet critical student and faculty needs in the same manner in which we operated during the Fall 2020 term. We are:

  • Opening space for individual student work on a reservation basis
  • Providing enhanced digital access to materials for courses and scholarship
  • Circulating physical materials on a pickup basis
  • Supporting education and research through remote consultation with the Library’s experts

These services are described in more detail below.  We will continue to adapt as circumstances change, and provide updates to the campus community accordingly.

Safety Is Everyone’s Priority

Operations are founded on the most up-to-date, reliable safety protocols to ensure a healthy environment for our patrons and staff. It is up to all of us to keep each other healthy and safe.

When you come to the Library, please:

  • Wear a mask over your mouth and nose at all times
  • Maintain social distance
  • Sit in your reserved seat only
  • Sanitize your study space when you arrive and before you leave 

Please follow all other Healthy Brown steps to keep yourself and our community well. If you aren’t feeling well, please make use of our robust slate of digital resources.

We extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to everyone for following these steps!

What You Need to Know

This list highlights important information, with links to additional details.

WHAT SPACES WILL BE OPEN?

  • Select study spaces in the Rockefeller Library, Sciences Library, and John Hay Library are open on a reserved seating basis.
  • Orwig Music Library will be closed to users until further notice. Orwig materials will continue to be available by request.
  • The cafés in the Rock and SciLi are closed for health and safety reasons. You may bring a personal water bottle. We ask that no food is brought into the libraries unless medically necessary.

WHEN WILL THE LIBRARY BE OPEN?

  • Library spaces open to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students on Wednesday, January 27
  • Hours vary by location. See Library Study Spaces below for details.

How do I reserve a seat?

  • To enter a library, students are asked to first make a reservation for a seat using LibCal.
  • Reservations can be made for two hour time slots with a half hour in between for self “Clean in / Clean out” with provided sanitizing wipes. Four hour reservations can be made in the Absolute Quiet Room and Foyer on Level A of the Rock.
  • Four-hour time slots can be reserved for designated areas at the Rock. 
  • Watch the LibCal video tutorial below.
  • Reservations can be made up to one week in advance.
  • Graduate and medical students may reserve carrels on a monthly basis. Alternating sides of each carrel will be used on different days of the week. To apply, fill out the Library Carrel Request for Graduate Students form.
  • To maximize the availability of limited library seating for students, we ask that faculty and staff continue making use of online services and pickup circulation and leave seats and carrels available for the students.

HOW WILL I GET LIBRARY MATERIALS?

  • Requests for materials will continue to be made through Josiah, the online catalog, for general collections, and through Aeon for special collections materials.
  • All requested materials will be retrieved by staff for contactless pickup
  • For everyone’s safety, we ask that patrons do not enter the stacks. 
  • If materials are available digitally, they will be delivered to you via email.

Contactless Pickup

Based on current research, the Library will no longer be quarantining materials (with the exception of returned materials).

Materials requested for pickup will be placed in bags on carts for contactless pickup in bins arranged by last name in the Rockefeller Library lobby. You will be notified by email when the materials are available, usually within 24 hours. You may retrieve this material any time the Rock is open – no reservation required.

Please do not clean or disinfect library materials. It could damage the item(s) and is not necessary given the precautions Library staff are taking.

HOW DO I GET HELP?

  • Library staff are standing by online to help students and faculty. Please use the Ask a Librarian service for questions and to get research support. You can also email rock@brown.edu (general) and hay@brown.edu (special collections) with questions.
  • Staff onsite will be primarily engaged in helping to keep our study spaces safe and healthy. They will not be providing in-person Library services.

HOW CAN I LET YOU KNOW WHAT I THINK?

Library Study Spaces

ROCKEFELLER LIBRARY

Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday 12:30 – 10 p.m.
  • Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12:30 – 5 p.m.

Spaces with reserved seating available in 2 hour blocks:

  • Sorensen Family Reading Room (Level 1: Rooms 130, 130 A and B, 132)
  • Finn Reading Room (Level 1: Room 134)
  • Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio (Level 1: Room 155)
  • Window Seating (Level 1: Room 141A)
  • Landing Lounge (Level A: Room AS3)
  • Absolute Quiet Room Anteroom, between the AQR and restrooms (Level A: Room A17)
  • Table Seating adjacent to the Oversize Art Collection (Level A: Room A41)
  • Wernig Graduate Study Center (Level 2: Rooms 218 and 220) — Graduate and Medical students only
  • Corner Window Study Area (Level 2: Room 224)

Spaces with reserved seating available in 4 hour blocks:

  • Absolute Quiet Room
  • Lower Foyer (Level A: Rooms A07, A08)

Carrels:

Levels 3 and 4

SCIENCES LIBRARY

Hours:

  • Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
  • Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.

Spaces with reserved seating available:

  • Friedman Study Center (Level A: Rooms A01, A01A and B, A04, A05, A08, A09, A18, A21, A24)
  • Mezzanine Level (Room 201)

Please note that upper Library floors will be closed to users until further notice.

JOHN HAY LIBRARY

The John Hay Library opens to undergraduate, graduate, and medical students January 27.  Visits by appointment through LibCal only.

  • Study in the Willis Reading Room (first floor) for a 2 hour block: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.  
  • Research in the Gildor Family Special Collections Reading Room (first floor) for a 1 to 3 hour block: Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
  • Closed Saturday and Sunday

For study in the Special Collections Reading Room, please make a LibCal reservation and Aeon request. Reserve materials through Aeon one week (5 full business days) in advance of your appointment. Brown faculty may conduct research in the Special Collections Reading Room.

ORWIG MUSIC LIBRARY

Orwig Music Library is currently closed. Orwig materials are available by request through Josiah.

Reservations

STUDY SPACE SEATING

The web-based LibCal reservation system will be available for reservations starting on January 20 for all students to reserve a seat for January 27. Reservations can be made up to one week in advance. 

Please make a reservation before going to a library. 

Please make only one reservation per day to allow for equitable access to the limited number of de-densified seats. Seat reservations are for two-hour blocks of time with a half hour in between.

Carrel reservations will be made on a monthly basis, using alternate sides of each carrel on different days of the week to ensure safe distancing.

Once you place a reservation, you will receive a confirmation email. When you go to the library for your confirmed time, please bring a printout of the confirmation or be able to show it on an electronic device. Queue up outside, maintaining six feet of space with others in line. A security staff member will check your reservation confirmation before you will be allowed to enter the building. 

We ask that patrons bring only a personal water bottle into Library buildings.

GRADUATE AND MEDICAL STUDENT CARRELS

Graduate and medical students can make a reservation for a carrel using the Library Carrel Request for Graduate Students form. Reservations are for one month at a time. Carrel use will be on an alternating schedule to ensure safe distancing between carrels.

CLEAN IN / CLEAN OUT

We ask that all patrons clean your designated area when you arrive and before you leave, using provided disinfectant wipes.

FACULTY, VISITING SCHOLARS, AND STAFF USE OF LIBRARY SPACE

We ask that faculty and staff allow students only to reserve seating and carrels in the libraries. We will continue to provide digital delivery and distant circulation of materials for faculty and visiting scholars.

Faculty members with individual Faculty Studies will receive a Faculty Study Card via email. Please print the card, queue at the Rock, show the guard the card, and proceed to your study. You will need to bring the printout of this card with you each time you go to the Rock to access your study.

GRADUATE TEACHING ASSISTANT ROOMS

Graduate TA’s may also access a limited number of small study/collaboration rooms to conduct your online sections. Registration is required through 25Live. Please follow all safety protocols including Clean in / Clean out.

CLASSES IN LIBRARY SPACES

At this time, the only classes scheduled to be held in Library spaces will be on floors of the Sciences Library that are managed by other campus units. Students will be asked to identify themselves as members of the class upon entry to the building.

Library Materials and Services Requesting Library Materials

REMOTE ASSISTANCE

An array of research support is available to you.

While staff will not be available for in-person library assistance, Library experts are standing by online to help students and faculty. Staff onsite will be primarily engaged in helping to keep our study spaces safe and healthy. Please use the Ask a Librarian service for questions and to get research support. You can also email rock@brown.edu (general) and hay@brown.edu (special collections) with questions. 

Library Video Tutorials

There are a number of videos on the Library’s YouTube channel that provide information about how to use the Library, conduct various aspects of research, and more.

This Is Your Library

We look forward to welcoming you in person, without restriction, when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we are committed to providing the same standard of support and collaboration that is essential to the academic success of the Brown University community. We are doing all we can to make resources, materials, and expertise available to you. Please do not hesitate to make a connection with your Library. We are eager to support you and to be an integral part of your academic experience at Brown. You belong here. This is your Library.