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 | Multiple Career Opportunities, Brown University Library

In conjunction with an ambitious strategic plan, Brown University Library is in a period of staff growth and renewal, seeking a diverse candidate pool for multiple positions:

  • Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Librarian
  • Director of Library Exploration and Research
  • Head of Metadata Services

See below for brief descriptions of each open position listed above, including links to the full job descriptions and application tool. All applicants must apply through the Careers at Brown application interface, through which you should submit your résumé/CV, cover letter, and contact information for three references in order to be considered.

You can also view a complete list of all Library job openings.

This is an exciting time to join the Brown University Library for professionals seeking an opportunity to advance scholarship at a top tier research institution while working to strengthen community ties within the Library, the University, and beyond, and to actively participate in a highly intentional, organization-wide effort to transform the Library into a site of racial justice. Applicants who span a wide range of viewpoints, life experiences, and intellectual pursuits are encouraged to apply.

Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian

Brown University Library seeks an entrepreneurial and innovative Medical Education and Clinical Engagement Librarian with primary responsibility for supporting the students and teaching faculty of the Alpert Medical School, and for providing library services for research, education, and learning in support of the health and biomedical sciences at Brown. This new position reports to the Director of Health and Biomedical Library Services. The Alpert Medical School (part of Brown’s Division of Biology and Medicine) is in a period of dynamic growth and innovation, including investments in physician-scientists, new research initiatives, expanded medical education programs, and the formation of an integrated academic health system with affiliated teaching hospitals. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and a dedication to anti-racism are critically important to the Library, the Alpert Medical School, and the University; the successful candidate is committed to incorporating these values in all aspects of instruction, engagement, and professional practice. Experience and/or familiarity with research and/or concepts related to antiracism, anti-Black racism, intersectionality, health disparities, transgender health, LGBT health, critical race theory (and other overlapping themes) is especially favored. 

Engineering and Physical Sciences Librarian

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Librarian joins a vibrant and collaborative team committed to academic excellence and that is actively engaged with the research and teaching needs of Brown’s diverse community. Brown’s strategic plan has led to dynamic growth in engineering, physical sciences, mathematics, and the University’s interdisciplinary approach to innovation. The interplay between these areas and collaboration with centers of entrepreneurship, technology, biological sciences, social and humanistic exploration, and sustainability are strengths of the University, as is advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the sciences. Reporting to the Director of Academic Engagement, this position joins the dynamic team of colleagues in the Academic Engagement unit and other Library departments, including the transformative, newly announced Center for Library Exploration and Research, to provide coordinated and programmatically aligned services to Brown University and the extended community. 

Director of Library Exploration and Research

The Director of Library Exploration and Research will provide overall leadership for the University Library’s new Center for Library Exploration and Research (CLEAR), with a mission to build and nurture an academic community for students, faculty, and library staff. Working collaboratively with library and University leadership, the Director of Library Exploration and Research will develop and lead a program that brings greater focus, coordination, and accessibility to library activities that advance students’ research capabilities in three domains: core tools and methods, data, and primary sources. CLEAR is an unprecedented new venture at the Library, and the inaugural director will contribute to refining the vision as well as implementing it. The director will report to the Deputy University Librarian and also work closely with the University Librarian and Associate University Librarian for Special Collections on CLEAR’s strategic development. 

Head of Metadata Services

Brown University Library seeks a creative and forward-thinking library professional to lead the metadata services unit in the next phase of the evolution of object description for inclusive discovery. The Head of Metadata Services is responsible for the day-to-day supervision and professional development of the Library’s paraprofessional cataloging and metadata staff. This team produces the technical and descriptive metadata needed to provide intellectual and physical access to our information resources and collections in support of the University’s goals for academic excellence, integrative scholarship, and educational leadership. A collaborative leader, the Head of Metadata Services works with library staff in Scholarly Resources and other units across the Library to develop a roadmap for prioritizing the work of the unit’s many responsibilities, including metadata production, remediation, enhancement, and management — with the goal of inclusive discovery. Working closely with the Head of Technical Services, the Head of Metadata Services assesses, develops, and documents internal policies and procedures and initiates projects related to improving the discoverability of resources for a wide range of campus users, with focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

About the Brown University Library

All members of the Brown University Library team are vital contributors to our mission to advance instruction, learning, and research at Brown University in an environment of creativity and inclusivity. A community of academic, professional, and organizational learning, the Library embraces people who span a wide range of viewpoints, life experiences, and intellectual pursuits. Together, we preserve the past and innovate for the future. The Library’s strategic objectives are responsive to and strengthened by Library-wide goals that act upon the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion as reflected in the backgrounds and experiences of our people as well as our approaches to the materials, methods, and accessibility of scholarship. Similarly, we want to find new ways for scholarship and practice at the Library to have a positive impact on the wider community in Providence and beyond. As reflected in our strategic objectives, the Library should not only be responding to the legacies of historic inequity and injustice, but also taking action through its work and expertise to overcome them. We invite candidates with initiative, unique perspectives, inventive thinking, and a passion for collaboration to join the University’s global mission of leadership and academic excellence.

Announcement | Changes Coming to NCBI Accounts

Changes Coming to NCBI Login Accounts in June 2021

Beginning in June 2021, NCBI will no longer have a direct login option (username/password). This change is occurring to improve account security by using third-party logins. Your NCBI account is used to access MyBibliography, SciENcv, and MyNCBI. 

If you currently log in to MyNCBI with a username and password, you will need to add an additional login path to your account. This will not change anything saved in your account — it will simply add different login credentials. 

To update your account, first login to MyNCBI:

Then click your account name in the top right hand corner:

Click “Account settings”:

Under the “Linked Accounts” section on the following page, click “Change” to add an account. Note that the “Native NCBI” account option will no longer be available to be used as a login after the June cutover.

You can use your Brown shibboleth login, or an additional third party login such as Login.gov. If you anticipate changing organizations in the future, you may want to choose Login.gov or ORCiD. If you have NIH funding and an eRA Commons account, you should use the same login mechanism for both. Search for Brown or Login.gov, and click the result to continue configuring the login.

See NCBI’s Blog post, and FAQs for more information, or please contact your librarians at healthscilibrarians@brown.edu for help.

Announcement | Commencement and Quiet Period Library Services

Brown University Library buildings will be closed Saturday, May 1 and Sunday May 2 for Commencement Weekend, and Friday, May 7 for a University-appointed day off for staff.

In observance of the Quiet Period, undergraduate students will not be able to make a reservation for seating in Library buildings from Monday, May 3 through Tuesday, May 18. Reservations can be made by undergraduate beginning Wednesday, May 19.

Graduate students can continue to access Library spaces during the Quiet Period. Make a reservation.

Remote support and distant circulation will remain available during the Quiet Period.

Questions? Please email rock@brown.edu.

Event | Performing Objects and the Objects of Performance in the Global Early Modern: A Virtual Interdisciplinary Symposium

Join the John Hay Library and the Center for the Study of the Early Modern World for Performing Objects and the Objects of Performance in the Global Early Modern: A Virtual Interdisciplinary Symposium, taking place over two sessions on June 14 and 15, 2021 from 9 a.m. – 12:20 p.m. Professor Holly Shaffer of Brown’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture will moderate. 

Register to attend.

Visit the Performing Objects and the Objects of Performance website for more information. 

Symposium

Symposium participants will convene to bring forward new or under-explored theories of performance in the study of the global early modern, with a focus on performance in relation to objects of historical analysis. These objects may be archival materials, the individuals or collectivities that produced these materials, or conceptual and abstract knowledge-objects.

Papers by invited scholars will be published on the Performing Objects and Objects of Performance website in advance. Each of the two symposium sessions will be divided between discussion of the papers and presentations by participants on relevant objects digitized from the John Hay Library’s collections.

Panelists

  • Claire M. L. Bourne (Penn State)
  • Frans-Willem Korsten (Leiden University) 
  • Matthew Melvin-Koushki (University of South Carolina) 
  • Anthony Ossa-Richardson (UCL) 
  • Kishwar Rizvi (Yale University)

Discussion topics

  • How can performance, as a theoretical rubric, illuminate the interaction within and among such categories of object, as well as between object and subject — both historical subjects and historian subjects?
  • How do objects represent, enact, or mediate performance? In what ways can one object surrogate or perform as another?
  • How do objects circulate performances across distances of space and time?

Kenneth Molloy, John Hay Library/Center for the Study of the Early Modern World Fellow

The symposium is the culmination of a fellowship project by Kenneth Molloy, PhD Candidate in the Department of Theater Arts & Performance Studies, the fourth John Hay Library/Center for the Study of the Early Modern World Fellow. Kenneth’s fellowship was conducted with support from Holly Snyder, Curator of American Historical Collections, Lincoln and Hay Collections, and History of Science at the John Hay Library.

Announcement | Winners of Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research, 2020-2021

Announcing the Winners of this Year’s Undergraduate Prize for Excellence in Library Research

Brown University Library is pleased to announce that Cal Turner ’21 and Olivia Golubowski ’23 are the recipients of the fifteenth 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.

Cal Turner ‘21 “Finance and the Other in The Merchant of Venice” 

Comparative Literature

Cal Turner ’21

Cal Turner’s paper, “Finance and the Other in The Merchant of Venice,” written for Prof. Connie Scozzaro’s ENGL1361P Shakespeare’s Girls, pulls together a variety of research threads to explore the interactions between the economics of early capitalism and the language of exchange in Shakespeare’s play. Contributing to Cal’s interest in the topic was Pembroke seminar Narrating Debt, on theoretical frameworks for understanding the role of finance in literature, which he was also taking. According to Prof. Scozzaro, “The final result of Cal’s paper is a graduate-level English paper that could, with the right resources and mentorship, be worked into a journal article…”

Cal’s research for this paper began in JSTOR and EBSCO, surveying existing scholarship on finance and the Merchant of Venice. The online Encyclopedia Judaica had information on money-lending and anti-Semitism, and Early English Books Online yielded other uses of financial terms such as “usury,” “lottery,” and “fortune.” Cal also used the Oxford English Dictionary for the semantic evolution of these words. 

The paper is a wide ranging and well researched analysis, based on primary and secondary sources that explain and support each other. Cal is able to discuss the rise of finance and its justification for members of the dominant culture as lottery and fortune, and its negative role as debt and usury, when practiced by racial others and foreigners. His research ultimately connects the financial language of Shakespeare’s play to the financing of colonial expansion in the Americas.

Olivia Golubowski ‘23 “Neanderthal Dietary Reconstruction Via Analysis of Microremains in Dental Calculus”

Anthropology

Olivia Golubowski ’23

Olivia Golubowski’s paper, “Neanderthal Dietary Reconstruction Via Analysis of Microremains in Dental Calculus,” written for Zachary Dunsett’s ARCH1774 Microarchaeology details a research proposal to investigate Neanderthal dental calculus for food microremains, so as to support or revise theories about the Neanderthal diet. According to Prof. Dunsett: “Ms. Golubowski went above and beyond what was expected for the paper, and deservingly received a 100% on the

paper, and an A in my class. During my short time of Brown, this has been the best (and most realistic!) archaeological science paper I have read.” 

In order to develop her proposal, Olivia demonstrated thoughtful and creative use of library resources: she surveyed different topics in a general way. After she identified a domain of interest, she grounded her hypothesis and methodology by researching about Homo Neanderthalensis and the relevant scholarship, then reading dental journals, to learn about the study of dentition and, specifically, dental calculus, then identifying locations and condition of Neanderthal skulls to figure out where she would perform the analysis. 

The paper leads the reader through theories of Neanderthal diet, which was assumed to be based on hunting large animals, and contributing to the Neanderthal demise. Olivia explains how microemains from plant matter and carbohydrates are embedded in dental calculus, and what processes should be used to examine them. She identifies the criteria for selecting which skulls and which teeth might be sampled. Her hypothesis, that Neanderthals had a varied diet, eating a mixture of plant and animal foods, leads to broader impacts which could change how we see the interactions between H. Neanderthalensis and H. Sapiens.

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 | Orwig Music Library Closure – April 3 Material Request Deadline

From May through August 2021, the Orwig Music Building, including Orwig Music Library, will be closed for renovation. The renovation will involve installation of essential human safety equipment including wet fire suppression in every room and an upgrade to the building’s entire HVAC system. 

Due to the significant amount of work being done in every space, the library stacks must be encased in a protective wrap and some library material will need to be boxed and placed in storage. Consequently, physical materials in the music library collections will be inaccessible. Purchasing of electronic materials (ebooks and similar) will continue during this time.

Please make your requests for physical music-related research and reserves materials for Summer 2021, including distance circulation and digitization requests, by April 3. 

We do not yet have a specific project end date, as planning is still underway. Music material will be made available as soon as possible, once staff members are able to access the stacks and stored items in August. We will keep the community updated as the project progresses.

Please direct any questions and requests to orwig@brown.edu.