Exhibit | La conquista dell’Abissinia (The conquest of Abyssinia)

The John Hay Library has a new acquisition on display in the second floor landing case:

La conquista dell’Abissinia/ The conquest of Abyssinia
Officine dell’Istituto italiano d’arti grafiche/ Office of the Italian Institute of Graphic Arts
Board game (paper and ink)
Milano: Carlo Erba S.A., 1936
Brown University Library, Special Collections

The item will be on display until May 31, 2017.

This Italian board game was created in 1936 by Officine dell’Istituto italiano d’arti grafiche in Bergamo during the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini in the midst of the Second Italo-Ethiopian War (also referred as the Second Italo-Abyssinian War). The game was printed to advertise products from various Italian companies while spreading colonial propaganda that applauded the expansion of the Kingdom of Italy. This piece featured a powder to make artificial mineral water by the pharmaceutical company Carlo Erba, S.A.

Play is based on the rules of the European “game of the goose,” in which two or more players move pieces along a track of consecutively numbered spaces by rolling one or two dice. La conquista dell’Abissinia is played on a color illustrated sheet against the background of a map of the Ethiopian Empire (also known as Abyssinia). While not depicted, the game pays tribute to Pietro Badoglio, 2nd Duke of Addis Abeba, and his army and their ultimate occupation of the capital of Abyssinia. It consists of 68 numbered spaces representing the Italian flag, the Red Cross, contemporary political figures, and tanks of the Italian armed forces. The goal of the game is to reach the circle numbered 68 before any of the other players by avoiding as many obstacles as possible. It was designed to have a maximum of eight players, each equipped with a small disc representing various divisions of the Italian armed forces (Infantry, Air Force, Blackshirts, Alpine Troops, Corps of Engineers, Tank Division, Askari, or local colonial troops and Dubats or White Turbans). Directions are printed on the upper right corner of the sheet.

Dates: May 1 – May 31, 2017
Time: John Hay Library Hours
Location: Second Floor, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

UPDATE 5/1: LexisNexis is Working!!

4/26/2017:LexisNexis is currently unavailable from off-campus. On-campus, you need to remove the phrase revproxy.brown.edu from your URL after you login to be able to search effectively in LexisNexis. The publisher and CIS have been notified and a notice will be posted here when the service is back up and working properly.

We apologize for the inconvenience. An alternate resource to use is HEINOnline.

Research Consultations at the Writing Center

The Library and the Writing Center are teaming up to help you jump start your research project!

You can drop into the Writing Center on the 5th Floor of the SciLi on these
Fridays from 12 – 3 p.m.:

  • April 21
  • April 28
  • May 5
You can talk about your work, ask questions, and get advice from librarians and writing associates. No appointment is necessary. Consultations are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Scalar: Writing Digital Scholarship | Curtis Fletcher

The Library is pleased to host three events in the series, Scalar: Writing Digital Scholarship, this April, 2017. All events will be held in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library.

Curtis Fletcher, Associate Director of the Polymathic Labs at USC Libraries and Co-PI on Scalar

On Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 12 p.m., Curtis Fletcher, Associate Director of the Polymathic Labs at USC Libraries and Co-PI on Scalar, will give a talk entitled, “Beyond the Platform: Enabling and Supporting New Forms of Digital Scholarship.” A reception will follow the talk. Free and open to the public.

Beyond the Platform: Enabling and Supporting New Forms of Digital Scholarship

Fletcher will discuss his experience working on Scalar, an open source authoring and publishing platform designed for media-rich, born-digital scholarship. Highlighting specific Scalar projects, broader use cases, and ongoing development, he will discuss the ways in which the platform’s affordances attempt to move digital scholarly publishing beyond the linear ePub; how emerging scholarly workflows and practices for creating media-rich, archive-connected, scholarship have evolved alongside those affordances; and how the platform’s design relates to broader trends in digital scholarship and the digital humanities.

Curtis Fletcher

Curtis Fletcher is the Associate Director of the Polymathic Labs at USC Libraries and Co-PI on Scalar. His research spans the history of technology, the history of humanities education, science and technology studies, and visual studies. He specializes in digital research and writing in the humanities with particular expertise in new models for authoring, credentialing, and publishing born-digital, multimodal, humanities scholarship. Prior to his work at USC Libraries he was Associate Multimedia Editor for Urban History at Cambridge University Press; Administrative Assistant for the Center for Transformative Scholarship in the Digital Age at USC; and Project Manager for the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture.

These events are part of the Library’s series, The Future of Scholarly Publishing, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 12 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Previous events in the series:

On Thursday, April 13, Caroline Frank, Visiting Assistant Professor of American Studies at Brown, gave a talk entitled,”Paths Across the Pacific: A Scalar Project of East-West Interaction,” during which she discussed her recent Scalar project, “Asia-Pacific in the Making of the Americas.” Professor Frank presented with collaborator Andrea Ledesma, a graduate student in American Studies.

On Tuesday, April 18, Elli Mylonas, Senior Digital Humanities Librarian, hosted an “Introduction to Scalar” workshop.

Event | Omer Bartov Discusses “The Voice of Your Brother’s Blood: Buczacz, Biography of a Town”

Omer Bartov, John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and Professor of History and Professor of German Studies

On Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab of the Rockefeller Library, Omer Bartov, John P. Birkelund Distinguished Professor of European History and Professor of German Studies at Brown, will present his new book, The Voice of Your Brother’s Blood: Buczacz, Biography of a Town.

A reception will follow the talk. This event is free and open to the public.

The Voice of Your Brother’s Blood: Buczacz, Biography of a Town

This lecture will discuss how the East Galician town of Buczacz was transformed from a site of coexistence, where Poles, Ukrainians, and Jews had lived side-by-side for centuries, into a site of genocide. Between 1941, when the Germans conquered the region, and 1944, when the Soviets liberated it, the entire Jewish population of Buczacz was murdered by the Nazis, with ample help from local Ukrainians, who then also ethnically cleansed the region of the Polish population. What were the reasons for this instance of communal violence, what were its dynamics, and why has it been erased from the local memory?

Professor Omer Bartov

Born in Israel and educated at Tel Aviv University and St. Antony’s College, Oxford, Omer Bartov’s early research concerned the Nazi indoctrination of the Wehrmacht and the crimes it committed in World War II, analyzed in his books, The Eastern Front, 1941-1945, and Hitler’s Army. He then turned to the links between total war and genocide, discussed in his books Murder in Our Midst, Mirrors of Destruction, and Germany’s War and the Holocaust. Bartov’s interest in representation also led to his study, The “Jew” in Cinema, which examines the recycling of antisemitic stereotypes in film. His monograph, Erased, investigates interethnic relations in the borderlands of Eastern Europe. As a framework for this research, he led a multi-year collaborative project at the Watson Institute, culminating in the co-edited volume, Shatterzone of Empires. Bartov has recently completed a major monograph, The Voice of Your Brother’s Blood: Buczacz, Biography of a Town.

This event is part of the Library’s lecture series, The Holocaust: History and Aftermath.

Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Annual Yoken Lecture | Anka Muhlstein: The Pen and the Brush

Anka Muhlstein in New York City, February 2012

On Tuesday, May 2, 2017 at 5 p.m. in the Lownes Room of the John Hay Library, celebrated French author Anka Muhlstein will deliver the Annual Mel and Cindy Yoken Cultural Series Lecture, entitled, “The Pen and the Brush,” based on Ms. Muhlstein’s recent book, The Pen and the Brush: How Passion for Art Shaped Nineteenth-Century French Novels. This event is free and open to the public. A reception and book signing will follow the talk. The Pen and the Brush will be available for purchase on site.

Anka Muhlstein

Anka Muhlstein was born in Paris in 1935. She has published biographies of Queen Victoria, James de Rothschild, Cavelier de La Salle, and Astolphe de Custine; studies on Catherine de Médicis, Marie de Médicis, and Anne of Austria; a double biography, Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart; and more recently, Monsieur Proust’s Library and Balzac’s Omelette (Other Press). She has won two prizes from the Académie Française and the Goncourt Prize for Biography. She contributes regularly to the New York Review of Books. She and her husband, Louis Begley, have written a book on Venice, Venice for Lovers. They live in New York City.

The Pen and the Brush

The lecture will elaborate on the close friendships and constant borrowings among artists and writers so characteristic of nineteenth-century France, as reflected in the novels of that period. Ms. Muhlstein will concentrate on the relations among three painters, Manet, Cézanne, Renoir, and three novelists, Balzac, Zola, and Proust, to show the influence of painting on their works.


Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Lownes Room, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Event | Adam Teller: The Power of Memory: Thinking about the Holocaust in Poland from 1945 until Today

Professor Adam Teller

On Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 6 p.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab of the Rockefeller Library, Adam Teller, Brown University Associate Professor of History and Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, will give a talk in the Library’s lecture series, The Holocaust: History and Aftermath. This event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow the talk.

The Power of Memory: Thinking about the Holocaust in Poland from 1945 until Today

This lecture will examine the ways in which the memory of the Holocaust has developed in Poland over the last 70 years.  It will show both how it was shaped by the changing political climate of the country and how it influenced Poland’s development in the Communist and Post-Communist periods. Based on his research as well as his personal experience in three decades of traveling to Poland, Prof. Teller will also discuss the roles which the memory of the Holocaust has played – and continues to play – in the development of the tortured relationship between Poles and Jews.

Professor Adam Teller

Born in London and educated at Oxford University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Adam Teller specializes in the history of the Jews in eastern Europe. He has published widely on the history of the Jews in early modern Poland-Lithuania. His book, Money, Power, and Influence in Eighteenth Century Lithuania: The Jews on the Radziwiłł Estates, was published by Stanford University Press in 2016. Professor Teller was a member of the core academic team which created the exhibit at the award-winning POLIN Museum for the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw, where he was responsible for two of the Museum’s eight galleries. He is currently a member of the museum’s Academic Advisory Council. Professor Teller is on the editorial board of Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry and is associate editor of Gal-Ed: On the History and Culture of Polish Jewry, published in Tel Aviv.

Date: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence, RI

Preservation Week Talk | Preserving a Textile Archive

To celebrate Library Preservation Week, the Brown University Library is hosting a talk about and viewing of textiles from the archives of Rush Hawkins and Annmary Brown.

Please join us in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library on Wednesday, April 26, 2017, from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. 

The Preservation Department staff will discuss the process for housing and preserving items and Archives staff will discuss the challenges in describing the collection ranging from quilts, clothing, and shoes to fans, parasols, and shawls, predominantly from the 18th and 19th century.
Date: Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Time: 10:30 a.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

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.

Updates from Around the Library | March 2017

The Library welcomes students back to session. We hope you had a restful spring break.

Here are a few updates from the Library: