Tara Nummedal Appointed Faculty Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship

headshot of Tara Nummedal

The Brown University Library is delighted to announce the new Faculty Director of the Center for Digital Scholarship (CDS). Professor Tara Nummedal, John Nickoll Provost’s Professor of History and Professor of Italian Studies, began her three-year tenure in this role on July 1, 2023. She succeeds Professor Steven Lubar, the inaugural Faculty Director, who made great strides to create an integrated and coherent suite of resources for digital scholarship at Brown.

As Faculty Director, Professor Nummedal will lead CDS in the further development and implementation of digital scholarship programming, including continuation of the Digital Humanities Salon series, a regular, informal presentation series bringing together digital humanities work across campus; a full slate of expert-taught, well-attended workshops; and the new Doctoral Certificate Program in Digital Humanities. Conceived and taught in collaboration with the Cogut Institute for the Humanities, the certificate program offers currently enrolled Ph.D. students added expertise in digital methodologies and techniques. In addition to programming, Professor Nummedal will work with Library leadership and campus partners to advance campus-wide visibility and collaboration with CDS around digital scholarship tools and methodologies, and to deepen the sense of academic community at the Library.

Tara Nummedal

Professor Nummedal has been a long and productive partner with CDS, having co-edited, with scholar Donna Bilak, the first digital publication produced by Brown University Digital Publications, a signature program within CDS launched with funding from the Mellon Foundation. Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens with Scholarly Commentary, published by University of Virginia Press in 2020, is a multi-modal, digital scholarly reproduction and interpretation of the musical alchemical emblem book, Atalanta fugiens (1618). It received the 2022 Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Creativity in Digital History from the American Historical Association and has been viewed by 22,000 readers in 169 countries to date. Prof. Nummedal was also one of the principal architects of the new doctoral certificate.

She is also the author of Alchemy and Authority in the Holy Roman Empire (University of Chicago Press, 2007), and Anna Zieglerin and the Lion’s Blood: Alchemy and End Times in Reformation Germany (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019), winner of the 2022 Pfizer Award from the History of Science Society. With Janice Neri and John V. Calhoun, she published John Abbot and William Swainson: Art, Science, and Commerce in Nineteenth-Century Natural History (University of Alabama Press, 2019).

Professor Nummedal’s work has been supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and, most recently, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. She is a co-editor, with Joel F. Harrington and H. C. Erik Midelfort, of the Studies in Early Modern German History series at UVA Press. She is a member of the editorial board of Ambix, a member of the Council for the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry, and Past President of the New England Renaissance Conference. She teaches courses in early modern European history and the history of science. She received a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. 

Passport to Summer Learning

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

Bruno at Brown University gates

Thank you for a wonderful summer of programming!

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

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

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

Public Art: Self-Guided Campus Tour

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


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

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

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

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

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

About Brown University

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

Visiting the Brown University Campus


Public Transit

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


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

Brown and Providence

Learn more about Brown’s commitment to Providence schools.

Information about Brown for Community Members

Brown admission

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

Brown Pre-College

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

Brown Summer High School

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


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


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

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

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

Brown University Library

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

Off-campus Users: Use VPN to Access Eresources until EZProxy Restored

Due to an unforeseen issue with EZProxy, the third party software that allows the Library to securely deliver eresources to our patrons, off-campus users may encounter access issues. To access library resources from off campus, you will need to log into VPN first.

View VPN instructions from Brown’s Office of Information Technology: https://ithelp.brown.edu/kb/articles/connect-to-brown-s-vpn-pc-mac.

If you do not currently have VPN, you will need to download the app.

The Library is closely monitoring the status of the issue. Normal access will be restored as soon as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience. If you need assistance, please reach out to [email protected].

Clare Kirkpatrick Jones Appointed Assistant Editor of Brown University Digital Publications

headshot of Jones
Clare Kirkpatrick Jones

The Library is pleased to announce the appointment of Clare Kirkpatrick Jones as Assistant Editor of Brown University Digital Publications (BUDP). Reporting to Director Allison Levy, Clare’s first day will be July 10, 2023.

Clare joins an innovative and exciting program expanding the frontiers of scholarly publishing. A collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, launched with generous support from the Mellon Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, BUDP creates new possibilities for the production and sharing of knowledge for both scholarly audiences and the wider public. Landmark publications include Furnace and Fugue: A Digital Edition of Michael Maier’s Atalanta fugiens (1618) with Scholarly Commentary (University of Virginia Press, 2020), recipient of the 2022 Roy Rosenzweig Prize for Innovation in Digital History awarded by the American Historical Association; Shadow Plays: Virtual Realities in an Analog World (Stanford University Press, 2022), recipient of the 2023 PROSE Award in the category of eProduct awarded by the Association of American Publishers; and A New Vision for Islamic Pasts and Futures (MIT Press, 2022). Thirteen other works are currently in development and represent a broad disciplinary range. BUDP also partners with the MIT Press on a new multimodal book series, On Seeing, committed to centering under-examined questions at the intersection of visual culture and social justice.

As Assistant Editor, Clare will work as part of a multi-skilled team of experts to develop complex born-digital scholarship intended for publication with leading academic presses. She will play a key role in supporting humanities scholars in the creation of new scholarly forms that present research and advance arguments in ways not achievable in a conventional print format, whether through multimedia enhancements or interactive engagement with research materials. Clare will help administer national training workshops such as Born-Digital Scholarly Publishing: Resources and Roadmaps, an NEH Institute on Advanced Topics in the Digital Humanities, and will work in close collaboration with the director to support new initiatives and partnerships.

“I am very excited to join the BUDP team,” shared Clare. “I look forward to contributing to this collaborative, creative endeavor that is setting the standards for the future of scholarship in the digital age and developing accessible, intentional, and inclusive scholarship.” Clare brings a decade of publishing experience to Brown. In her current role as an Associate Editor at Cornell University Press, she leads the management of the literary studies list as well as the award-winning Cornell Series on Land: New Perspectives on Territory, Development, and Environment. Clare is the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Program, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a graduate of Carleton College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the University of Iowa Center for the Book. Clare received the Keats-Shelley Prize for her essay “Bat, Bat, Come Under My Hat.” She holds the degree of Master of Philosophy in Eighteenth Century and Romantic Studies from Queens’ College, Cambridge.

BUDP logo

Commencement Forum | Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict

Join the Brown University Library for “Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict,” a Commencement Forum on Saturday, May 27 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. in the Willis Reading Room at the John Hay Library.

Free and open to the public. In-person only.

The curatorial team and experts will explore Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict, the current Library exhibition created in response to the overturning of Roe v. Wade (1973) through materials held in the Hay Library special collections. Acknowledging the critical shift in American law and the diverse emotions powerfully associated with the sudden change, the panel discussion, like the display, intends to provoke thought and inquiry rather than present definitive truths.

More information about the exhibit

Commencement Forum | Care & Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health

Join the Brown University Library and the Warren Alpert Medical School for “Care & Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health,” a Commencement Forum on Saturday, May 27 from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in the Willis Reading Room at the John Hay Library.

Free and open to the public.

Hybrid event: in-person and live streamed at http://bit.ly/library-forum-23-care-and-custody.

Video recording of Care & Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health

Commencement Forum

In this panel discussion sponsored by the Brown University Library and the Warren Alpert Medical School’s celebration of 50 Years of Medicine, Brown faculty will discuss the history of psychiatry in Rhode Island and the work they have done in this field, including the history and politics of mental health systems, representations of mental health in society, and mental health issues related to the carceral state. Discussion will explore how and whether society has moved away from custodial forms of treatment for people with mental health conditions. Attendees will be invited to view the corresponding exhibit at the Rockefeller Library.


  • Christine Montross, MD, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior
  • Jennifer Lambe, Associate Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History
  • Josiah “Jody” Rich, MD, MPH, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology
  • Moderator: Leo Lovemore, Librarian for History, Society, and Culture

Care & Custody: Past Responses to Mental Health
A traveling exhibition from the National Library of Medicine, hosted at the Warren Alpert Medical School, May 8 – June 17 2023

This traveling banner exhibition and companion website explores the treatment of people with mental health conditions throughout history, especially in the United States, bringing to light the tension that has existed between care and custody. Physicians, advocates, families, and government agencies have all contributed to the shaping of mental health policies. Care and Custody examines this history to understand how the country has moved away from custodial forms of treatment, toward more inclusive approaches, and worked to protect the rights of people with mental health conditions.

Visit the Brown University Library Guide to the exhibit for more information and exploration.

The National Library of Medicine produced this exhibition and companion website, in conjunction with Public Health Historian and Educator, Anne E. Parsons, PhD (University of North Carolina at Greensboro)

Commencement Forum | Nicholas Brown and the Roman Revolution of 1848-1849

event poster with headshots of Kertzer and Levy plus same details as blog text

Join the Brown University Library for “Nicholas Brown and the Roman Revolution of 1848-1849,” a Commencement Forum presented by Professor David Kertzer on Saturday, May 27 from 9 – 10 a.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library.

Free and open to the public.

Hybrid event: in-person and live streamed at http://bit.ly/library-forum-23-Kertzer.

Video recording of Nicholas Brown and the Roman Revolution of 1848 – 1849 with Author David Kertzer

Nicholas Brown and the Roman Revolution of 1848 – 1849

Nicholas Brown and the Roman Revolution revolves around a trove of the titular American diplomat’s recently rediscovered correspondence — one of the most important collections of original manuscripts linked to the Roman Revolution found outside of Italy (Brown was U.S. consul when Pope Pius IX fled Rome). The interactive publication permits a deeper understanding of the historical significance of the Nicholas Brown papers, housed at the John Hay Library.

David Kertzer

David Kertzer joined Brown in 1992 as Paul Dupee, Jr., University Professor of Social Science. A Professor of Anthropology and Italian Studies, he was appointed Provost in 2006, serving in that role until 2011. Kertzer founded and directed the Anthropological Demography program. He was also founding director of the Politics, Culture, and Identity research program of the Watson Institute for International Studies.

A Brown alumnus (A.B., 1969), Kertzer received a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Brandeis University in 1974. He was William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor at Bowdoin College from 1989 to 1992. Kertzer twice won the Marraro Prize from the Society for Italian Historical Studies for the best book in Italian history. Kertzer co-founded and for a decade co-edited the Journal of Modern Italian Studies. He served as president of the Social Science History Association and the Society for the Anthropology of Europe, and co-edited the book series New Perspectives on Anthropological and Social Demography for Cambridge University Press. His book The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara was a finalist for the National Book Award in 1997 and is published in 17 languages. In 2005 he was elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His book, The Pope and Mussolini, won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2015. His most recent book, The Pope at War (2022), tells the story of Pope Pius XII’s relations with Mussolini and Hitler during the Second World War.

About Brown University Digital Publications

Brown University Digital Publications — a collaboration between the University Library and the Dean of the Faculty, generously launched with support from the Mellon Foundation with additional support from the National Endowment for the Humanities — creates exciting new conditions for the production and sharing of knowledge. Widely recognized as accessible, intentional, and inclusive, Brown’s novel, university-based approach to digital content development is helping to set the standards for the future of scholarship in the digital age.

BUDP logo

Pizza Nights – Spring 2023

cartoon drawing of heart shaped pizza

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

Students: Enjoy some free pizza to fortify your studies.

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

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

Best of luck with finals!

This is your Library. You belong here.

Exhibit l Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict

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

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

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

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

Ordinary Circumstances, Extraordinary Conflict

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

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

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

Exhibit Artifacts

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

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

Content Warning and Support

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

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

Exhibit Dates

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

Accessing the Exhibit

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

Related Events

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

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

Exhibit l Contextualizing Taíno Collections

Left: Carved stone amulet in a human-like form, ca. 1200–1500 CE (Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology 2012-31-1). Right: Cover of Directorio comercial, industrial y turístico, ca. 1970 (John Hay Library HF3336 .D57).

In this exhibit, student curators share their work to put a new donation of ancient Caribbean artifacts into cultural, historical, political, and contemporary contexts. First peoples of many Caribbean islands developed shared beliefs and practices, which today we call Taíno culture. People practicing this culture were historically erased from Caribbean stories. To make sense of Taíno artifacts recently donated to the Haffenreffer Museum, the exhibit focuses on them instead. The exhibit shares collections from the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology and John Hay Library.

Opening reception:  Thursday, May 4th, 6 – 7:30 PM
Speaker: Amanda Guzman, P.h.D., Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Trinity College

Dates: May 4, 2023 – May 3, 2024
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Willis Reading Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence