Zhuqing Li Appointed Head of Library Exploration and Research for East Asia

Dr. Zhuqing Li

The Library is thrilled to announce the appointment of Zhuqing Li as the Head of Library Exploration and Research for East Asia in the Center for Library Exploration and Research (CLEAR). She reports to the Director of Library Exploration and Research.

Zhuqing previously served as the Library’s Faculty Curator for East Asian Collections on a part-time basis along with her appointment as Visiting Associate Professor of East Asian Studies. As Faculty Curator, she established a stellar record of achievement in teaching and scholarly project development, bringing students and collections together to develop new and exciting scholarly projects that combine traditional and digital methods. Zhuqing led a collaborative, global team of scholars and Brown undergraduates to create Depicting Glory: Rare Objects from the Late Qing to the Republic of China, a digital project that presents a group of rare Chinese objects drawn from across the Brown University Library. 

In her new role, Zhuqing will expand CLEAR’s footprint to include student research-driven experiences rooted in the Library’s East Asian collections and increase scholarly and public engagement centered on East Asian materials.  In addition, she will continue to teach as Visiting Associate Professor of East Asian Studies.

Zhuqing Li

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

Zhuqing is the author of five books, most recently including Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden: Two Sisters Separated by China’s Civil War (W. W. Norton & Company, 2022), the remarkable true story of two sisters (Zhuqing’s aunts) who were inseparable as children and whose lives are irrevocably disrupted when the “bamboo curtain” drops overnight between Communist mainland China and Nationalist Taiwan. Her other books are Reinventing China: Experience of Contemporary Returnees from the West (Bridge 21, 2016), Minnan-English Dictionary (Dunwoody Press, 2008), The Structure of Fuzhou Dialect (Dunwoody Press, 2002), and Fuzhou-English Dictionary (Dunwoody Press, 1998), as well as numerous academic articles.

Brown’s East Asian Collection

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

Tarika Sankar Joins Library as Digital Humanities Librarian

Tarika Sankar

We are delighted to announce that Tarika Sankar will be joining the Brown University Library’s Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS) team as the Digital Humanities Librarian. Her first day is May 15, 2023. She joins us from the University of Miami’s English Department, where she will shortly receive her Ph.D. with a graduate certificate in the Digital Humanities and a graduate concentration in Caribbean Studies. Her hobbies include running, playing with her kitten, and trying boba tea spots. When asked what she’s most excited about in joining CDS, she wrote:

I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can about CDS projects, staff, and everything the Brown Library’s CDS does!

Tarika brings to Brown a wealth of experience in digital humanities, critical race theory, and Caribbean literature. As the Digital Humanities Librarian, she will work in project development, leading a selection of our projects (i.e., managing the intake process, development process, and preservation of the final product), creating digital humanities instructional materials, teaching digital humanities methods to scholars of all levels across the campus (i.e., faculty, graduate students, undergrads, fellow staff, and the public), and working to develop new, sustainable research projects, instructional materials, and curricular offerings in digital methods in the humanities.

As Digital Humanities Librarian, she will also take on a new role in the Library to research and recommend purchases for new books, journals, and/or databases specifically for digital humanities work (such as text and data mining resources). This work includes continuously looking for ways to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into digital humanities practice and projects. Welcome, Tarika!

Dr. Khanh Vo Joins Library as Digital Humanities Specialist

Dr. Khanh Vo

The Library is delighted to announce that Dr. Khanh Vo will be joining the team in the Center for Digital Scholarship as the Digital Humanities Specialist. She comes to Brown from the University of Toronto’s Jackman Humanities Institute and Critical Digital Humanities Initiative, where she has served as the 2022-23 Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Fellow. She completed her doctorate in American Studies in 2021 at William and Mary. Khanh brings to Brown a wealth of experience in digital humanities, academic teaching, and museums and libraries. When we asked her what excites her about joining CDS, she shared, 

“I’m really looking forward to working with students and faculty on their Digital Humanities projects and ideas. It is always exciting to learn about new topics and approaches to research”

In her free time, Khanh enjoys working with her hands by crafting, modeling, and crocheting. She collects (non)recyclable materials (from broken equipment to ramen containers) and recrafts them into 3D models, mostly to give as gifts. Her current projects are a Harry Potter themed tapestry blanket, a Skyrim Breezehome book end, and a miniature replica of Studio Ghibli’s Howl’s Moving Castle. 

As the Digital Humanities Specialist, she will work in project development, leading a selection of our projects (i.e., managing the intake process, development process, and preservation of the final product), creating digital humanities instructional materials, teaching digital humanities methods to scholars of all levels across the campus (i.e., faculty, graduate students, undergrads, fellow staff, and the public), and working to develop new, sustainable research projects, instructional materials, and curricular offerings in digital methods in the humanities. This work includes continuously looking for ways to integrate diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice into digital humanities practice and projects. Welcome, Khan!

Graduate Students: Interdisciplinary Fellowship Opportunities at the Library!

Brown University Library is hosting four Interdisciplinary Opportunities Fellows for students in the humanities and social sciences who will be entering their 5th or 6th year of doctoral study in 2023-2024.

Fellowships are available in these areas at the Library:

Interdisciplinary Opportunities Fellows will draw on their own interests and areas of expertise to conduct research, contribute to Library programs, and engage with students, faculty, and staff to support Library initiatives. Fellows will be provided with office space in the Library.  

Applications are due by Wednesday, March 1, 2023.

See the Graduate School website for contact information about the different opportunities, and instructions on how to apply.

Elizabeth Yalkut New Digital Scholarship Front End Developer in the Center for Digital Scholarship

Elizabeth Yalkut
Elizabeth Yalkut

The Library is excited to welcome Elizabeth Yalkut as the new Digital Scholarship Front End Developer in the Center for Digital Scholarship. First day: August 15

Elizabeth has been a web developer at Columbia University, the socially progressive digital agency Threespot, and (most recently) Harvard Medical School. She brings a passion for accessibility and universal design, component-based design approaches, and collaborative coding to CDS.

And, like many of the staff in CDS, Elizabeth came to technology via the Humanities—she has a BA in History from Barnard College of Columbia University.

Hilary Wang New Digital Archivist at the John Hay Library

Hilary Wang
Hilary Wang

Hilary Wang joins the Library in the role of Digital Archivist within Digital Services at the John Hay Library. First day: August 1.

Hilary will be preserving and providing access to born digital and reformatted digital collection materials including websites, social media, email and other digital record types from archival and manuscript collections at the John Hay Library to advance the integrative scholarship and educational mission of the University. She will provide access and support widespread dissemination of digital collection materials through the Brown Digital Repository and other portals, with a particular focus on materials from the priority collection areas identified in the John Hay Library’s collecting directions.

Hilary comes to Brown from Yale University’s Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library and the Yale Center for British Art Archives where she was the Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship. As part of her fellowship, Hilary described and arranged hybrid archival materials, including describing born-digital materials and preparing those for ingest into a long-term preservation system. In addition Hilary served on the Reparative Archival Description Working Group at Yale.

Previously Hilary was an Archives Intern at the Isamu Noguchi Museum, the Born Digital Archives Pratt Fellow at the Guggenheim Museum, and a User Experience Researcher and Data Analyst at the Pratt Center for Digital Experiences.

Hilary holds a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Pratt Institute School of Information. She is very familiar with Providence as she holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Bianca Pallo Named Global Curatorial Project Archivist

The Global Curatorial Project Archivist is a project-based position housed at the John Hay Library in partnership with the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice (CSSJ). The Global Curatorial Project (GCP) was founded in 2014 to be a network of scholars, curators, and educators who are committed to creating innovative forms of public history about the historical social system of racial slavery and the ways in which it continues to shape our world. To learn more about this innovative project see the description on the CSSJ website.

Bianca Pallo
Bianca Pallo

Bianca Pallo is originally from South Florida and earned her bachelor’s degree from Florida State University and her Master’s in Library Science from Simmons University. Bianca has a broad range of experience in the archival field, having worked previously in digitization, metadata, and collections management. Prior positions include Digitization Intern for Liberty Mutual, Graduate Student Assistant for Simmons University, Post Production Archives Intern for Lucasfilm Ltd., Museum Educator and Collections Assistant for The Grove Museum, and Archival Assistant for The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience.

Christopher West Inaugural Curator of the Black Diaspora

Christopher West
Dr. Christopher West

The Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Christopher West as the inaugural Curator for the Black Diaspora at the John Hay Library. He will curate special collections, provide instruction and outreach, contribute to programming, and strengthen relationships with key partners like the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice and the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. He will also work closely with the Library’s Academic Engagement unit as the subject liaison for Africana Studies. First day: August 8.

Christopher brings deep subject and collections expertise to this role. He most recently served as the Black Culture Literacy Librarian Assistant at the Central Branch of the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, where he assessed the current holdings of the Library’s Black Resources Center, conducted outreach, and developed programs with Black & African arts organizations in the Portland Metropolitan Region. One example of the collaborative work in which he has participated is the exhibit Reckoning: Racism & Resistance in Glendale, which examines systemic racism in this city. Christopher also developed Historic Central Avenue: A Public History Resource Website which focuses on mid-20th century Central Avenue, a commercial and business district in South Central Los Angeles, based on a 1930s Black business directory with supporting materials including oral histories and thematic essays.

Previous roles include Pasadena City College, in California, where for eight years he served as the College Diversity Initiative Coordinator and for 9 overlapping years as an Assistant Professor of History. He also worked for six years at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles, as Curator and Program Manager. In 2007, Christopher was awarded a PhD in American History from the University of Southern California.

Roger Shaw Williams Inaugural Head of Libraries Conservation

Roger Shaw Williams

The Brown University Library and the John Carter Brown Library are pleased to announce Roger Shaw Williams as the inaugural Head of Libraries Conservation. Roger’s first day will be September 30, 2022.

Reporting jointly to Michelle Venditelli, the Director of Collections Care for Brown University Library, and Karin Wulf, the Director and Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, Roger will create and oversee a collections conservation program for both libraries, including the assessment, treatment, and documentation of the libraries’ sizable distinctive special collections with a focus on the conservation of bound materials. He will also play an active role in expanding access to these collections for a global scholarly community through both campus-based and digital outreach.

The majority of Brown University Library’s special collections are located at the John Hay Library, one of seven facilities within the University Library system. The Hay’s holdings include more than three million items in several hundred named collections of books, manuscripts, and prints. Overall, the University Library’s collections include approximately seven million volumes and over 15,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives. 

The John Carter Brown Library is a world-class collection of materials focused on the early Americas. An independently administered and funded center for advanced research in history and the humanities located on the Brown campus, the JCB is home to more than 65,000 exceptional and rare books, maps, and manuscripts related to the early Americas from the 15th through the early 19th centuries. This position is the second full-time, joint position between the JCB and Brown University Library.

Michelle Venditelli noted that “We are thrilled to have Roger head this inaugural position. An active member of the professional conservation community, Roger will also bring his collaborative spirit, expressed through expanding access to the profession and mentoring postgraduate conservation fellows.”  Karin Wulf said that “having Roger join our team at the JCB, and expand our joint work with Brown University Library, is equally exciting. We’re so pleased to welcome him to Providence.”

Roger is currently the Book and Paper Conservator at Northwestern University Libraries. During his time at Northwestern, he initiated the Adaptable Conservation Book Support project, collaborating with undergraduate engineering students to create a DIY and open-design tool that has been implemented in conservation labs around the world. Previously, Roger worked at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia and interned at Smithsonian Libraries. He completed his master’s degree in conservation studies at West Dean College and the University of Sussex. He is a Professional Associate member of the American Institute for Conservation and currently serves as an editor for the Book and Paper Group Annual. Recently he has been involved in writing and illustrating Conservation of Books, a comprehensive overview of the field to be published by Routledge next year.

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

Isabella Uliasz

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

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

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

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