Announcement | Sean Briody ’19, Library Student Employee, Receives Stillwell Prize

Sean Briody '19

In April 2019, Sean Briody ’19 took first place in the John Russell Bartlett Society Stillwell Prize for Undergraduate Book Collecting for his distinguished collection of Brunoniana from the 19th and 20th centuries. His collection of Brown University materials is notable for the dense web of personal connections to Brown that are documented in each of the books. A lover of libraries, Sean has worked in the Brown University Library during all four of his undergraduate years at Brown. He attributes his love for book collecting to his work here.

Stillwell Competition

Sponsored by the John Carter Brown Library’s John Russell Bartlett Society, the Stillwell Prize is named in honor of the late Margaret Bingham Stillwell, Brown Class of 1909, the University’s first woman Professor of Bibliography, a renowned scholar of early printing, and Librarian at the Annmary Brown Memorial. The Stillwell Papers are housed in the University Archives.

The Brown Band

Sean was appointed historian of the Brown Band during his sophomore year and was asked to organize the partially unprocessed collection of Brown Band materials at the Hay. Through this connection, the Band donated additional papers to the archives, bringing the collection from 15 to 21 boxes. During this time, Sean also curated the exhibit, Ever True: A History of the Brown Band, at Orwig Music Library, after soliciting items from alumni, including a uniform from the Band’s founder, Irving Harris, and a 1927 Victor record of the Band–the first Brown musical group to be professionally recorded. According to Holly Snyder, Curator of American Historical Collections and the History of Science, and Sean’s supervisor at the Hay, “His interests in collecting, curation, and many different aspects of Brown’s history are truly outstanding.”

Collections Assistant

The Hay staff was so impressed with Sean’s work on the Band archive that he was hired as a collections assistant to catalog and organize parts of the Lownes Collection, the Rush Hawkins Collection, the Porter Collection of Washington Portraits, and a recent gift of important books from Dan Siegel ’57.

Finding Hidden Gems

Sean has a knack for finding hidden gems in the stacks. While working in Circulation at the Rock, he noticed an interesting report from the 1867 Anti-Slavery Conference in Paris, inside of which he found an inscription to Theodore Weld from William Lloyd Garrison.

Reverend lysander dickerman

Later, he was browsing a collection of Egyptian travelogues when he came across a boxed book with “Rock (Temporary)” on the spine. Within the box was a finely bound auction catalog with newspaper clippings pasted atop each page. The book, which details the Rev. Joseph Thompson’s trip to Egypt in 1853, is also a scrapbook of sorts, compiled by Rev. Lysander Dickerman (1825-1902), Brown Class of 1851, a lecturing Egyptologist in the 1880s and 1890s. After his death, Rev. Dickerman’s widow donated his library to Brown, along with his lectures and accompanying glass lantern slides. This volume sparked an interest in Dickerman for Sean. He consulted the original accession registers to reconstruct Dickerman’s library. In December 2018, Sean performed a costumed reenactment of Dickerman’s lecture, “The Pharaohs,” before an audience of professors, students, and library staff at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.

Favorite Collections

In his work as a collections assistant at the Hay, Sean has been particularly intrigued by the personal library of General Rush C. Hawkins, the husband of Annmary Brown. Hawkins’s collection of incunabula is catalogued, but his personal library has remained untouched since 2004, when item records were created but nothing further was done. The collection contains many treasures. Among those Sean has found so far are a book that belonged to King Louis Philippe (and also bears a gift inscription to Annmary Brown from her uncle John Carter Brown (1797-1874); a book that may have belonged to George Washington; William Lloyd Garrison’s Works, inscribed by the author to Nicholas Brown III (1792-1859); and a second edition of Robinson Crusoe (1719). According to Sean, “Not only are there many valuable research tools in the collection, but these books give a rare insight into the personal life of the Brown family–a popular research topic. Nicholas Brown III was minister to Rome during the European Revolution of 1848, and thus any of his books that relate to his travels in Europe are important for study.”

One of Sean’s favorite things at the Library is the Sidney S. Rider Collection. He describes Rider as an amazing collector: “Almost every book has something special added to it–maybe it’s a badge from a monument unveiling, a photograph, or an inscription from Moses Brown. Regardless, it’s the best resource for Rhode Island history around.”

North Burial Ground

In addition to his work at the Library, Sean is a records management and genealogy specialist intern for the North Burial Ground in Providence. The cemetery has existed since 1700, but official records were not kept until 1848. Sean is indexing these print records. He has also created some new tours for the cemetery, focused on topics including Brown University, black heritage, and Rhode Island politics. 

Future Studies

Originally from Commack, NY on Long Island, Sean has found Providence to be “rainy, but a blast.” He will remain in Rhode Island for at least a couple more years since he is entering the MA program in public humanities at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage this fall. He looks forward to continuing exploration into the management of both object and paper archives, his primary focus of study.

Announcement | Recipients of Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research 2019

Each year, in partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, the Brown University Library recognizes one or two undergraduate students for outstanding research projects that make creative and extensive use of the Library’s collections, including, but not limited to, print resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media. The project may take the form of a traditional paper, a database, a website, or other digital project. The prize winners receive $750 each, funded through an endowment established by Douglas Squires ’73.

2019 Prize Recipients

Maya Omori ’19 created “Hidden Portraits at Brown,” a Brown-focused walking tour for the statewide Rhode Tour mobile app. The walking tour examines overlooked or underrepresented people associated with Brown and offers closer inspection of some of Brown’s famous landmarks and traditions. Maya incorporated interviews with Brown faculty, curators, and staff with extensive research using our online databases and primary sources.

Maya Omari receives award certificate
Maya Omori ’19 receives award certificate from Joseph Meisel, Joukowsky Family University Librarian

Using primary sources from the John Hay Library as well as numerous secondary sources from Brown’s physical and online collections, Gabriela Gil ’20 wrote a research paper, “First Aid in South African Gold Mines,” which explores the rationale for European mining corporations to create first aid programs specific to Black laborers. The paper provides an in-depth discussion of a first aid manual (“Ikusiza Aba Limele”) in order to better understand how mining officials construed the roles and responsibilities in the provision of first aid in these settings, and how they evaluated the significance of these attitudes and policies for Black labor.

Gabriela Gil Skype image
Gabriela Gil ’20 connects to the ceremony remotely to present her project and receive the award

Congratulations to Maya and Gabriela!

Thank you to this year’s judges:

  • Heather Cole, Curator, Literary & Popular Culture Collections
  • Carina Cournoyer, Scholarly Resources Librarian for the Social Sciences
  • Claudia Elliot, Associate Director of the International Relations Program and Senior Lecturer in International Studies
  • Jessica Metzler, Associate Director of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Sheridan Center

More information about the Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research and past winners.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This year’s panel of judges was composed of:

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

Opportunity | Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

Are you an undergraduate who is working on an interesting research project? Consider submitting it to this prize contest.

Click here for detailed information.

Click here to apply!

Deadline: March 19, 2018

In partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, the Brown University Library sponsors the annual Undergraduate Research Prize. The purpose of the prize is to recognize excellence in undergraduate research projects that make creative and extensive use of the Brown University Library’s collections, including, but not limited to, print resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media. The project may take the form of a traditional paper, a database, a website, or other digital project.

Up to two prizes of $750 each may be given. Prize recipients will be honored at a Library reception and will be asked to give a short presentation on their research projects.

Prize-winning projects will be honored on the Brown University Library website and added to the Brown Archives.

Eligibility

Applicants must be current full-time students working towards a Brown University undergraduate degree.

Eligible projects:

  • Need to have been completed during 2017
  • Can be submitted by an individual or by a team
  • Must have been completed for a semester-long, credit-bearing course, either for a class or an independent study
  • Cannot be a senior honors thesis
  • Multimedia/digital projects are encouraged

Winners will be announced in early April 2018. If you have questions, please contact Heather Cole.

2017 Winning Project

 

The winner of the 2017 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research was Vaughn Campbell ’18, an International Relations Concentrator.

Vaughn submitted a paper entitled, “Brown ­in­ China: Brown’s Role in the American Missionary Project of the Early Twentieth Century,” written in the spring of 2016 for Naoko Shibusawa’s course “HIST1554: History of American Empire.” The paper describes a collaboration between Brown University and Shanghai College in 1920.

Winner of the 2017 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

The Brown University Library is pleased to announce the winner of the 2017 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research: Vaughn Campbell ’18, an International Relations Concentrator.

Vaughn Campbell ’18

Vaughn submitted a paper entitled, “Brown ­in­ China: Brown’s Role in the American Missionary Project of the Early Twentieth Century,” written in the spring of 2016 for Naoko Shibusawa’s course “HIST1554: History of American Empire.” The paper describes a collaboration between Brown University and Shanghai College in 1920. Vaughn says:

I did the bulk of my research in the Hay Archives, paging through thick files of personal articles, searching for documents relating to these individuals’ time and ambitions in China. I supplemented this with both broad contemporary accounts and secondary historical works found in the stacks of the Rock or through the Library’s online resources. Having never been able to work in the Hay before, or really with any archival resources, I thoroughly enjoyed having such a close connection to the original, 100-­year-­old documents of these three professors, as well as working with the Hay librarians to discover and locate these rare documents.

Professor Shibusawa wrote, “What I appreciated about Vaughn’s paper is that every year when I lecture on Chinese student missionaries to China, I ask the 80-120 students in the class, ‘Does anybody want to research what Brown students were doing?’ Nobody took me up on it except Vaughn when he did so last year.”

One of the judges wrote:

Building on scant University records, the author creates the history of Brown-in-China in 1920. To this end he pieces together records, letters, and a survey undertaken in rural China from faculty involved in the program; newspapers and China Mission Year Books from the period; and most interestingly, photographs and their corresponding notes from the files of the professor who founded the program. This was the student’s first use of the Hay Library and first attempt at archival research. One feels his awe and respect for these rare documents, even describing their “wonderful” binding. Not only does this study make an original contribution to our knowledge, “filling a gap” as he put it in Brown’s engagement with the Missionary Project at the beginning of the 20th century, but it is also well-written and throughout demonstrates insightful reflection on potential biases in records and survey data as well as on the scope of the claims he makes.

The judges this year were:

  • Karen Bouchard, Scholarly Resources Librarian, Art & Architecture
  • William S. Monroe, Senior Scholarly Resources Librarian, Humanities
  • David Buchta, Lecturer in Classics
  • Claudia Elliott, Senior Lecturer in International and Public Affairs
  • Besenia Rodriguez, Senior Associate Dean for Curriculum

In partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, the Brown University Library sponsors the annual Undergraduate Research Prize, awarded each April. The purpose of the prize is to recognize excellence in undergraduate research projects that make creative and extensive use of the Brown University Library’s collections including, but not limited to, print resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media. The project may take the form of a traditional paper, a database, a website, or other digital project. Please click here to visit the Prize’s webpage for more information.

Winners of the 2016 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

bookrainbow

The Brown University Library is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research. The Committee decided this year to award two prizes, both for projects that coincidentally were done for the same course, Michael Vorenberg’s first-year seminar, “Abraham Lincoln: Historical and Cultural Perspectives” (HIST 0551A).

Rachel Gold ‘19 wrote a paper on “The Education of John Hay,” for which she used a wide variety of contemporary sources, including John Hay’s own letters and papers, archival records, and other students’ diaries to describe John Hay’s experience at Brown and in Providence. She worked her way into these sources by first reading, chronologically, a series of biographies of Hay from 1905 through 2014. The result is an evocative portrait of the Midwesterner who found himself at Brown University in 1855.

Halley McArn ‘19 created a website that explores the issue of presidential pardons, with special reference to pardons issued by Lincoln during the Civil War, as well as a discussion of the issue in the Obama presidency. The website begins with the origins of the presidential pardon, then proceeds to Lincoln’s pardons and the special issues he had to consider, especially in the midst of a war that had torn the country apart. It ends with an overview of the presidential pardon up to and including Obama, with special reference to the context of the War on Drugs and mass incarceration, issues raised by this year’s First Readings choice: Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.

The committee judging the awards this year consisted of:

  • Karen Bouchard (Library)
  • Harold J. Cook (History)
  • William S. Monroe (Library)
  • Joseph M. Pucci (Classics)
  • Besenia Rodriguez (Associate Dean of the College)

In partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, the Brown University Library sponsors the annual Undergraduate Research Prize, awarded each April. The purpose of the prize is to recognize excellence in undergraduate research projects that make creative and extensive use of the Brown University Library’s collections including, but not limited to, print resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media. The project may take the form of a traditional paper, a database, a website, or other digital project. Please click here to visit the Prize’s webpage for more information.

2014 Library Innovation Prize Awarded

Michael Rowland '15 receives the 2014 Library Innovation Prize from Ned Quist, Associate University Librarian for Research & Outreach Services

Michael Rowland ’15 receives the 2014 Library Innovation Prize from Ned Quist, Associate University Librarian for Research & Outreach Services

In a ceremony on May 9 in the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, the Brown University Library awarded the winner of the 2014 Library Innovation Prize to Michael Rowland ’15. The $750 prize was given to the applicant who created the most effective working prototype of a mobile application designed to enhance access to or use of the Library.

Michael describes his winning creation: “The app has two main functions. It is able to generate citation information via scanning a barcode (either ISBN or Brown Library) that can be easily emailed to the user. Additionally, it provides recommendations for similar books using previous checkout information from the Brown libraries.”

Serving as judges for the competition were two faculty members: Jo Guldi, Assistant Professor of History, and Tom Doeppner, Associate Professor of Computer Science; a graduate student in the Department of Music: Chris Johnson-Roberson; and the Associate University Librarian for Digital Technologies: Andrew Ashton.

Click here for more information about the Library Innovation Prize.

The two winners of the 2014 Undergraduate Research Prize for Excellence in Library Research also received their awards at the ceremony. Leah Jones ‘17 was selected for her paper “Soldiers of Solidarity: The Boston Committee for Health Rights in Central America” and Richard Salamé ‘16 was chosen for his paper “Clocks and Empire: an Indian Case Study.” This award carries a prize of $750. (Read the full story here.)

Leah Jones '17

Leah Jones ’17 receives the 2014 Library Innovation Prize from Ned Quist, Associate University Librarian for Research & Outreach Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richard Salamé '16

Richard Salamé ’16 receives the 2014 Library Innovation Prize from Ned Quist, Associate University Librarian for Research & Outreach Services

 

 

Library Innovation Prize 2014

Innovation Prize

The Brown University Library is offering a $1000 prize for the creation of the most effective and innovative working prototype of a mobile app (stand-alone or web-based) designed to enhance access to or use of the Library.

Timetable and Process:

  1. Informational meeting on Tuesday, February 11 at noon in the Rockefeller Library Hecker Center (first floor).
  2. Initial proposals are due on or before February 15: Apply Here.
  3. All proposals will be evaluated by a team of library staff. Successful proposals will be announced by February 21.
  4. Presentation by applicants of final working prototypes will be held on April 15 in the Rockefeller Library Digital Scholarship Lab.
  5. A panel of faculty and library staff judges will determine the winners.

Other Details:

  • Contestants must be currently enrolled Brown undergraduate students.
  • Projects may created by individuals or teams
  • Winning projects remain the intellectual property of the contestant(s), but the winning contestant will grant a non-exclusive perpetual license to Brown University for its internal non-commercial use.

For more info visit the official “Library Innovation Prize” page.

Apply Now: Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

UGRA
In partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, the Brown University Library is now accepting applications for the annual Undergraduate Research Prize.

The purpose of the award is to recognize excellence in undergraduate research projects that make creative use of the Brown University Library’s collections including print resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media.

The project may take the form of a traditional paper, a database, a website or other digital project.

Apply at: http://library.brown.edu/ugresearchprize/

2011 Undergraduate Research Award Recipients

BROWN UNIVERSITY AWARDS 2011 PRIZES
FOR EXCELLENCE IN LIBRARY RESEARCH


PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — The Brown University Library is pleased to announce that Evelyn Ansel ’11.5 and Elise Nuding ’11 are the recipients of the fifth annual Undergraduate Award for Excellence in Library Research, generously funded by Douglas W. Squires, ’73. This award, established in partnership with the Office of the Dean of the College, recognizes undergraduate projects that make extensive and creative use of the Brown University Library’s collections, including print and primary resources, databases, and special collections. A six member review committee composed of Brown University faculty members, librarians, and a representative from the Office of the Dean of the College, selected this year’s winners and presented each with an award of $750 at a reception held in the John Hay Library on April 29, 2011.

Elise Nuding’s paper “Observations on ‘the volcanick work’: A cultural biography of Sir William Hamilton’s Campi Phlegreai” is a comparative and biographical study of the Brown University Library’s copy of Campi Phlegreai (1776), conducted for Professor Karen Holmberg’s course, Archaeology Under the Volcano. The Campi Phlegraei, part of the Albert E. Lownes Collection, is a rare book of observations and fifty-four hand colored plates. It documents the eighteenth century eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Using Photoshop to view digital versions of this title held in other collections, Nuding identified idiosyncrasies of each copy and developed a sense of the Brown copy’s particular “colour identity.” As reviewers stated, Nuding’s “excavation of a book…[is] a compelling research model”; she created a “seamless integration of the primary source with inter-disciplinary secondary sources.”

Evelyn Ansel’s project, “Qur’anic Manuscripts of the Early Islamic World,” was conducted as an Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award (UTRA) with Professor Ian Straughn. With Straughn’s guidance, Ansel explored the provenance, care, paleography, and illumination in Qur’anic folios from the Library’s special collections. She participated in the creation of a searchable digital database of prints, featuring contextual essays Ansel co-authored and documentary videos she produced. She also co-curated the exhibition Sacred Script: Qur’anic Manuscripts from the 8th to 16th Centuries in the Minassian Collection, on view through July 2011 in the John Hay Library’s second floor Bopp Seminar Room gallery.  Sacred Script charts the development of calligraphic styles, considers the folios’ contemporary reception as art, and explores their materiality as manufactured objects. As a reviewer stated: “from making her own notebooks, to encoding her experience of learning Arabic and studying its significance as an art form, Evie demonstrates the connection between artistic experience and learning.”

2012 UGRA award information will be announced this December.

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Contact: Jennifer Braga |  401-863-6913