Office of University Communications
From Martha Mitchell’s Encyclopedia Brunoniana:
The Catalogues of the Universitygraduated, when a large broadside was published, entitled Catalogus Eorum qui in Collegio Rhod. Ins. et Prov. Plant. Nov. Anglorum, ab Anno 1769, ad Annum 1772, alicujus Gradus Laurea donati sunt, which was a list of baccalaureate and honorary graduates. The next catalogue appeared three years later. The College was closed during the Revolutionary War, so there was no catalogue until 1786, after which a new edition was published every three years. In 1798 it took a new format as a pamphlet. From the beginning the forenames of the graduates were rendered in Latin, the names of clergymen were italicized, and the names of deceased persons were indicated by asterisks. The triennial catalogue continued to appear until it was superseded in 1895 by the first English catalogue of officers and students, the Historical Catalogue of Brown University ... 1764-1894. This valuable work contained the names of the faculty from the beginning of the college listed by rank and then in order of appointment, and lists of graduates for the classes of 1769 through 1894, with biographical sketches. There were also lists of advanced degree and honorary degree recipients and Doctors of Medicine, together with a numerical summary and a geographical index. Subsequent Historical Catalogues were published at ten year intervals until 1934. The 1904 edition included for the first time the names of those who had attended but had not graduated. In 1924 the Historical Catalogue was issued in two volumes, one for the Men’s College and one for the Women’s, on the grounds that in 1924 an alumna had to buy a book which contained a thousand names of her fellow alumnae, in most of whom she was interested, but also six thousand men in whom she was not, and vice versa. A combined edition was provided for those who were interested in everybody. The 1934 edition was the last of the historical catalogues published at ten year intervals, as none could be printed during World War II. The next edition, and the last to bear the title Historical Catalogue, was printed in 1950. It was dedicated to and contains a list of names of the alumni who were killed in the war. The Catalogue was superseded by the Brown University Alumni Directory, published in 1964 by the University, and published commercially in 1979, 1984, and 1989.
The first Catalogue Of the Officers and Students of Rhode-Island College was a broadside list dated October 1800, which listed Chancellor Jabez Bowen, President Jonathan Maxcy, two Professors, David Howell and Asa Messer, and three tutors, one of whom, Calvin Park, was also the librarian, followed by the names of the members of the four classes with their places of residence. The Catalogue became a pamphlet publication in 1820. Information about admission, courses, and expense was added in 1824. In 1852 the Catalogue was issued as a small duodecimo instead of the usual octavo. The students so resented this change that they called an indignation meeting and decided to publish another catalogue by themselves in a more dignified size, which they identified as a “second edition.” As the annual catalogue evolved, separate catalogues were printed for Pembroke College from 1927-28 to 1957-58, and for the Graduate School from 1927-28 to 1970-71. Biennial catalogues replaced the annual catalogues since the 1966-68 edition, with the exception of one single year catalogue in 1970-71, and the latest catalogue is for the year 1991-94.
The above entry appears in Encyclopedia Brunoniana by Martha Mitchell, copyright ©1993 by the Brown University Library. It is used here by permission of the author and the University and may not be copied or further distributed without permission.