Announcement | Barbara Schulz, Head of Library Facilities and Security, Retires

Barbara Schulz headshot
Barbara Schulz

Barbara Schulz began at the Brown University Library as the Head of Library Facilities, Finance and Business in 1994. During her 25 years with the Library, Barbara managed a multitude of facilities projects that have shaped the buildings, interiors, landscapes, functions, and security of every Library building and space.

Some of the notable projects she worked on include:

  • At the Rockefeller Library:
    • Vincent J. Wernig Graduate Student Reading Room (2016)
    • Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio (2015)
    • Lobby and Café (2015)
    • Historic Chandelier Restoration (2015)
    • Sorensen Family Reading Room (2014)
    • Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab (2012)
    • Finn Reading Room (2010)
    • Circulation (2010)
  • At the John Hay Library:
    • First Floor Restoration (2014)
    • Life Safety & HVAC Upgrade (2014)
    • Building Security System (2014)
    • Exhibition Room (2009)
  • At the Sciences Library:
    • Quiet Study (2011)
    • Friedman Study Center (2006)
  • At the Library Annex:
    • Construction of the Annex High Bay Storage Module #2 (2014)
    • Construction of the Library Collections Annex (2003; project co-manager)

Barbara officially retires this October as the Head of Library Facilities and Building Safety. The Library is deeply grateful to Barbara for her years of dedicated service and her commitment to the Library’s mission and values. Through her leadership, library facilities offer patrons and staff a safe, comfortable, accessible, and inviting library environment. We wish Barbara all the best in her retirement.

Announcement | Head of Preservation, Conservation, and the Library Annex Exhibits Disaster Preparedness Kit at the United Nations

Michelle Venditelli describes the Brown University Library’s disaster preparedness kit to colleagues from India at the UN

In May of this year, Michelle Venditelli, Head of Preservation, Conservation, and the Library Annex, attended “Sustainable Development Goals in Libraries today: the role of libraries in strengthening our communities,” a panel discussion at the United Nations’ Dag Hammarskjöld Library in New York. While there, she was invited to exhibit at the 68th Annual United Nations Civil Society Conference at the Salt Palace Convention Center, Salt Lake City, Utah. She was also asked to be a mentor during the Youth Mentorship Circle – Setting the Stage for Success.

The three-day conference, held August 26 – 28, 2019, was co-hosted by the UN Department of Global Communications, Salt Lake City, and the NGO Executive Committee. It featured opening and closing plenary sessions, interactive thematic sessions, NGO-sponsored workshops, exhibits, and a youth hub. Speakers and attendees included leaders and other representatives from NGOs, UN agencies, academia, faith traditions, the public and private sectors, and youth from around the world.

The conference focused on #11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a blueprint for action, advocacy, and partnership and a compass to ensure that no one is left behind, including those who are poor and vulnerable. The 11th SDG is, “to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by 2030.” The conference also explored the interlinkages among all 17 Goals, including critical issues relating to gender.

During the exhibition component, Michelle presented an exhibit entitled “Reducing Risk in Libraries, Museums, and Cultural Institutions through Disaster Preparedness Kits.” She was accompanied by a fully stocked disaster kit, which represents the Brown University Library’s new approach to localized threats to our collections. Showcasing the kit at this conference provided Michelle with an opportunity to discuss cutting edge preservation efforts and techniques with professional peers from around the globe. “It was an honor to exhibit at this unique and critically important conference,” Michelle said. “Interacting with experts in disaster preparedness as well as professionals seeking to develop best practices around disaster prep for collections of all kinds was incredibly informative and rewarding.”

the kit in front of the exhibit table

The kit was extremely well received and sparked robust, excited conversation from library and museum colleagues from states throughout the U.S. and abroad. More than once, a colleague told Michelle that the kit is “like a crash cart for disasters.”

Staff from the University of Utah’s Marriott Library were particularly impressed with the kit. At the conclusion of the conference, instead of shipping the sizable unit back to Brown, Michelle and the Brown Library gifted it to the Marriott Library, providing them with a much-needed preservation tool, which they were thrilled to receive.

Announcement | Andrew Creamer Named Librarian on AMS Library Committee

Andrew Creamer, Librarian for Computer Science and CLPS – Scientific Data Management

The Library is pleased to announce that American Mathematical Society (AMS) President Jill C. Pipher has appointed Andrew Creamer to the post of Librarian on the AMS Library Committee. Andrew is the Brown University Library’s Data Management Librarian, and he supports Computer Science and CLPS.

Membership on this committee is split between librarians and mathematicians. The committee supports both mathematicians and librarians in the use, maintenance, and betterment of mathematics libraries.

Andrew will serve for a term of three years, effective February 1, 2020 through January 31, 2023.

The AMS Library Committee Charge

The Library Committee considers the use by mathematicians of all the various resources found in mathematics libraries in Canada and the United States. It periodically collects and maintains authoritative data on those libraries, and it provides advice about the questions to be addressed when library surveys are conducted. It studies and articulates the needs and concerns of mathematicians about their use of both print and electronic information. It monitors problems in libraries and fosters dialog between mathematicians and librarians on issues concerning the dissemination and preservation of research. It supports librarians in their efforts to build and maintain better mathematics libraries and to provide ready access to information.

Announcement | Erika Sevetson Selected as National Library of Medicine/Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries Leadership Fellow

Erika Seveston headshot
Erika Sevetson, Health Sciences Librarian and the Library’s Director of Academic Engagement for Health, Biomedical, and Physical Sciences

The Library is pleased to announce Erika Sevetson’s selection into the National Library of Medicine/Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries Leadership Fellows Program. This jointly sponsored program matches five fellows and five mentors in a one-year program that prepares emerging leaders for director positions in academic health sciences libraries. 

The program provides a combination of in-person and virtual learning experiences for fellows and offers the opportunity to work collaboratively with the cohort of participants. Fellows are paired with mentors who are academic health sciences library directors. Mentors work closely with their fellows throughout the year, and host their fellow’s visit to their library.

Fellows are chosen based on a substantial record of leadership accomplishment and potential for a director position. We are delighted that Erika was selected from among a highly competitive candidate pool to be one of five fellows in the cohort. Her place in this group is a great and well-deserved recognition of Erika’s outstanding work and leadership to date as Brown’s Health Sciences Librarian and the Library’s Director of Academic Engagement for Health, Biomedical, and Physical Sciences.  The fellowship also contributes to Brown’s emergence as a major center for research and education in the life sciences. 

Please join us in congratulating Erika on this tremendous honor and opportunity.

Announcement | Nicholas Friesner, Senior Library Specialist – Assessment

Nicholas Friesner headshot
Nicholas Friesner, Senior Library Specialist – Assessment

The Library is pleased to announce the transfer of Nicholas Friesner from Technical Services to the Office of the University Librarian as Senior Library Specialist – Assessment. This is a new position that will assist in the Library’s expanded focus on assessment, supporting the strategic plan as well as operational and user assessment activities.

Nicholas began his new role on September 16.

Prior to this new position, Nicholas served as Senior Library Specialist – Technical Services for two years, working with the Shared Cataloging team and also working with manuscripts/archival materials at the Rock. 

Nicholas earned his Ph.D. in Religious Studies at Brown. His prior library experience includes working in Special Collections at the Yale Divinity School library and in the Catalog Maintenance Department at Johns Hopkins University’s Milton S. Eisenhower library. Additionally, his very first library employment was as a work-study book shelver in the Rock when he was an undergraduate over a decade ago. 

Family Weekend Forum | Furnace & Fugue

Allison Levy headshot
Allison Levy, Digital Scholarship Editor

On Saturday, October 19, 2019 at 11 a.m. in the Digital Scholarship Lab at the Rockefeller Library, join Allison Levy of the Brown University Library’s Digital Publications Initiative for an engaging look at the changing face of 21st-century scholarship.

Free and open to the public.

A Q&A period will conclude the program.

Furnace & Fugue

Demoing the Initiative’s pilot project, Furnace and Fugue, alongside Atalanta fugiens, the rare and elegantly illustrated alchemical book that inspired it, Levy will show how Brown Professor of History Tara Nummedal has turned to innovative digital tools to create new and more dynamic scholarly experiences.

Screen capture of an interactive page from Furnace & Fugue

Re-rendering a multimedia 17th-century text as an online publication, Furnace and Fugue allows readers to hear, see, manipulate, and investigate a work in ways that were perhaps imagined when it was composed but were simply impossible to realize in full before now. Whether through interactive visualizations of modern notation or a multifunctional space that allows users to curate, save, and share their own selection and arrangement of alchemical emblems, Furnace and Fugue makes possible the capabilities implied by this early modern book with digital tools and features that also clarify and/or advance the arguments of the eight scholarly essays included in the work.

Allison Levy

Allison Levy is Digital Scholarship Editor at Brown University Library. An art historian educated at Bryn Mawr College, she has taught in the US, Italy, and the UK. Allison has published widely on the visual culture of early modern Italy and serves as General Editor of the book series Visual and Material Culture, 1300–1700, published by Amsterdam University Press.

Date: Saturday, October 19, 2019
Time: 11 a.m.
Location: Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, Rockefeller Library, Providence, RI

Event | Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective

Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective

Join the Library and the Department of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies on Monday, September 23, 2019 at 7 p.m. in Martinos Auditorium at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts for Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective, the 15th Annual Don Wilmeth Endowed Lectureship in American Theatre.

Founder and Artistic Director of New York City’s Spiderwoman Theater, Muriel Miguel will share the fascinating journey from her roots in Brooklyn to her landmark contributions to the contemporary feminist and Indigenous theatre movements in the United States, Canada and around the world. Experience her extraordinary life through stories, photos and video from the last 60 years.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is not required. A light reception will follow the talk.

Muriel Miguel

Muriel Miguel (Kuna/Rappahannock) is a founding member and Artistic Director of Spiderwoman Theater, the longest running feminist Native American theater company in North America. She has directed and co-written almost all of Spiderwoman’s shows since their first show, Women in Violence in 1976. They have produced over twenty original works for the theatre.

Muriel is a 2018 Doris Duke artist and in 2016, was a John S Guggenheim Foundation Fellow. She has received an honorary Doctorate in Fine Arts from Miami University in Oxford, OH, home of the Native American Women Playwrights Archives. She was awarded a Rauschenberg Residency in 2015 and is a member of the National Theater Conference and the Southeastern Theatre Conference where she received the 2019 Distinguished Career Award.

Muriel studied modern dance with Alwin Nickolai, Erick Hawkins and Jean Erdman. She was an original member of Joseph Chaikin’s Open Theater where she performed in the groundbreaking works: Terminal, The Serpent, Mere Ubu and Viet Rock.

She is a choreographer, director, and actor. She has choreographed Throw Away Kids and She Knew She Was She for the Aboriginal Dance Program at the Banff Centre. She directed Spiderwoman Theater’s Material Witness; The Scrubbing Project with Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble and Evening in Paris with Raven Spirit Dance Company. She has been a dramaturge with Native Earth Performing Arts’ annual Weesageechak Begins to Dance Festival. As an actor, she was the Mary Deity in the off-Broadway hit, Taylor Mac’s Lily’s Revenge. She created the role of Philomena Moosetail in The Rez Sisters, by Tomson Highway, a play that is a seminal work in the development of a First Nations play repertory in Canada. She played Aunt Shadie in The Unnatural and Accidental Women by Marie Clements and Spirit Woman in BONES: An Aboriginal Dance Opera. She has created one woman shows Hot’ N’ Soft, Trail of the Otter, and, most recently, Red Mother. Her latest project is Misdemeanor Dream, which explores the real and the fantastical existence of Native and First Nations tricksters and spirits in the stories, languages and lives of Indigenous people.

First East Coast Pow Wow in New Haven in 1945

She was selected for the Native and Hawaiian Women of Hope poster by Bread and Roses International Union’s Bread and Roses Center and in 2003 was the recipient of the first Lipinsky Residency (feminist-inresidence) at San Diego State University Women’s Studies Department. She has received many awards as a member of Spiderwoman Theater. The Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of the American Indian presented a retrospective exhibit, New Tribe, New York honoring Spiderwoman Theater’s years of work; a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for Art and the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre. Spiderwoman Theater received the first Honoring the Spirit Award for Arts and Entertainment from the American Indian Community House.

Muriel was an Assistant Professor of Drama at Bard College. She taught and directed a yearly production at the Centre for Indigenous Theatre (CIT) was Program Director for CIT’s three week summer intensive. She is a pioneer in the development of an Indigenous performance methodology and is active in the training of Indigenous actors and dancers in this culturally based method. She was a Program Director for the Aboriginal Dance Program at The Banff Centre and an instructor there for seven years. Muriel has lectured with Muriel Miguel: A Retrospective and facilitated Storyweaving Workshops in conservatories and universities in the US, Canada and Europe.

Her work has been profiled in numerous articles and essays. The most notable of these are Women in Love: Portraits of Lesbian Mothers and their Families by Barbara Seyda and Diana Herrera and American Women Stage Directors of the 20th Century by Anne Fliotsos and Wendy Vierow. Plays Published: TRAIL OF THE OTTER in Staging Coyote’s Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English Vol. II & HOT ‘N’ SOFT in Two-Spirit Acts: Queer Indigenous Performances- Playwright’s Canada Press. Publications of Spiderwoman Theater plays: PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY in Performing Worlds into Being: Native American Women’s Thetare -Miami University Press; WINNETOU’S SNAKE OIL SHOW FROM WIGWAM CITY in Keepers of the Morning Star: An Anthology of Native Women’s Theater -UCLA American Indian Studies Centre and REVERB-BER-BER-RATIONS in Staging Coyote’s Dream: An Anthology of First Nations Drama in English -Playwright’s Canada Press.

Don Wilmeth

Don Wilmeth joined the Brown English and Theatre faculty in 1967. He retired as Asa Messer Professor Emeritus, Professor Emeritus of Theatre, Speech and Dance, and Professor Emeritus of English in 2004. The first endowed Wilmeth Lecture was presented in 2005.

Accessibility

To request special services, accommodations, or assistance for this event, please contact Jennifer Braga at Jennifer_Braga@brown.edu or (401) 863-6913 as far in advance of the event as possible. Thank you.

Date: Monday, September 23, 2019
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, 154 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02912

Exhibit | Nineteenth-Century Architecture Course Models

Examine works created by students in Professor Dietrich Neumann’s lecture course, “Nineteenth-Century Architecture,” which surveys stylistic developments, new building types, and the changing conditions of architectural production through the 19th century. Models on display reflect a building or industrial design object of this time period.

Dates: September 16 – December 8, 2019
TimeJohn D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library Hours
Location: John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library, 10 Prospect Street, Providence

Announcement | Network of Women Writers and Readers Crux of John Hay Library’s Janis Ian Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy


The John Hay Library is now home to renowned recording artist, writer, and activist Janis Ian’s collection of personally inscribed works of science fiction and fantasy, many by women and LGBTQ authors. 

Janis Ian holding guitar
Janis Ian

Providence, R.I. [Brown University Library] The John Hay Library at Brown University is delighted to announce the acquisition of Janis Ian’s personal library, including collections of books of contemporary science fiction and fantasy authors inscribed to her. Among these authors are Anne McCaffrey, George R. R. Martin, Mercedes Lackey, Mike Resnick, Nancy Kress, Neil Gaiman, Connie Willis, Harlan Ellison, Jane Yolen, Tanith Lee, Diane Duane, and many others. In all, the Library received approximately 200 volumes from Ms. Ian’s collection.

The John Hay Library is the Brown University Library’s repository for rare books, manuscripts, archives, and other special collections. Its holdings of U.S. and Canadian poetry, plays, and vocal music dating from 1609 to the present day are considered to be among the largest and most comprehensive of their kind in any research library, including significant clusters in women’s writings, LGBTQ literature, science fiction and fantasy, and modern first editions.

cover of The Dragonriders of Pern
Cover of “The Dragonriders of Pern” by Anne McCaffrey, part of the Janis Ian Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the John Hay Library

The Janis Ian Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy will take its place alongside unique items like the only surviving manuscript of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, the preeminent collection of H. P. Lovecraft’s papers, and a robust array of writings by more recent masters of speculative fiction such as Caitlín Kiernan and Samuel Delany.

Heather Cole, Curator for Literature and Popular Culture at the Hay Library observed, “The Janis Ian Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy substantially increases our holdings of women science fiction and fantasy authors. In addition, the fact that the books were owned by Ms. Ian—most with inscriptions—provides a wonderful record of a network of women writers and readers, something that is not always easily captured in library collections. Already a broad area of strength at the Hay, our materials in the science fiction and fantasy genres are significantly enhanced by this exciting acquisition. Brown students and researchers are certain to make great use of these materials, furthering scholarship in the many important areas of inquiry that are supported by this collection.”

Title page of “The Dragonriders of Pern,” inscribed by author Anne McCaffrey to Janis Ian

A Grammy Award-winning singer and musician, Janis Ian has been writing and recording music for five decades with a total of ten Grammy nominations in eight different categories. She has been at the forefront of numerous social movements, using music as a force of change, and has impacted the lives and works of artists from Nina Simone to Johnny Cash to Joan Baez. Artists including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and Trevor Sewell have recorded duets with her.

Janis and her wife Pat are currently downsizing while Janis continues to make music and write children’s books, the first of which is the recently published The Tiny Mouse.

Ms. Ian’s library was cataloged by Mary Jo Duffy of Temporary Culture (Upper Montclair, New Jersey), who acted as Ms. Ian’s representative in the sale. Proceeds will benefit the Pearl Foundation, which endows scholarships for returning students.

Items in the Janis Ian Collection of Science Fiction and Fantasy at the John Hay Library

The collection is currently in the process of being cataloged. Over 160 titles can now be found in the Library’s online catalog, with more titles being added each month.

Exhibit | The Malana Krongelb Zine Collection, 1974-2018

The Pembroke Center Archives at Brown University: women’s history is here!, 2018

Explore a sampling of this collection consisting of administrative files and zines that focus on social justice and marginalized identities dating from 1974 to 2018. Areas of strength include zines by and about people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other queer peoples, the disabled, interpersonal violence, sex and relationships, sex work, the prison industrial complex, self-care, feminism and punk.

Titles of particular interest include bluestockings magazine, a Brown University, Providence-based zine that challenges dominant media narratives by centering on communities systematically excluded from those discourses; Muchacha, a Latina feminist fanzine; SPACE (Space in Prison for Creative Arts and Expression), a zine that highlights the voices of incarcerated individuals in Rhode Island; Joyce Hatton’s Think About the Bubbles #8, which chronicles her struggles with cancer as a poor black woman; and Queer Indigenous Girl, a zine highlighting intersectional identities and activism.

Exhibit Dates: September 9 – 30, 2019
Exhibit TimeJohn Hay Library Hours
Exhibit Location: Second Floor Landing, John Hay Library, 20 Prospect Street, Providence