John Russell Bartlett Society

Drawing of John Russell Bartlett.
Collection of the John Carter Brown Library.

PAST EVENTS 2012-2013


The John Russell Bartlett Society partners with the Watts Program at the John Carter Brown Library to offer other events of mutual interest to bibliophiles. See the Watts Program Events Calendar for upcoming Watts events.


22 September, 2:00 PM: Rhode Island Broadsides Rule!
Aldrich House (110 Benevolent St., Providence)

In her keynote lecture, Phoebe Bean will discuss the history and importance of RI’s broadside history. This is the opening event for the Rhode Island Center for the Book’s Art of the Book program, co-sponsored by the Bartlett Society.

6 October, 11:00 AM: A Visit to the Naval War College Museum
690 Peary St., Newport

Join Bartlett Society members for a special glimpse of a collection not usually available to the public as we visit the museum of the Naval War College in Newport. In addition to a behind-the-scenes tour of the collections, we’ll see items from the collection of Navy Secretary Middendorf on display.

Lunch at the nearby Best Western Mainstay Inn will follow the event.

The event is free, but if you’re interested in attending, please RSVP to by September 29th. Reservations and a government ID (driver’s license or passport) are required for entry to the base. We’ll meet at the Museum (690 Peary St.), which is accessed through Gate 1 (see for more information).

8 December, 10:30 AM: A Visit to the Johnson & Wales Culinary Arts Museum
315 Harborside Blvd, Providence

The Bartlett Society will be visiting a unique Providence institution on Saturday, December 8th at 10:30 AM: the Culinary Arts Museum at Johnson & Wales University. Curator Richard J.S. Gutman will be offering Bartlett members a tour of the museum’s vast collections on the history of all things culinary, including exhibitions featuring menus from ships, trains, airplanes and other restaurants “on the move” and ephemera from the age of the diner.

According to Yankee magazine, “nobody knows more about these classic eateries than Richard Gutman,” which isn’t surprising, since he’s been studying them for 40 years. He’s been interviewed by everyone from NPR and the New York Times to the Food Network and the History Channel. (Bartlett Society members will also be pleased to note that he’s a collector in his own right, having won a prize for his Lincoln assassination collection while a student at Cornell.)

If you’re interested in attending what promises to be a very fascinating tour, please RSVP to Members whose JRBS dues are currently paid can attend for free; all others are welcome for the reduced admission fee of $5. Since we’re likely to be hungry after the tour, we’ll head to the nearby Seaplane Diner (307 Allens Avenue) for lunch afterward.


26 January, 1:00 PM:
Dragonfly Bindery Exhibition and Lecture
The Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit St., Providence

JRBS members Pat and George Sargent will be exhibiting books, posters and artifacts looking back at 30 years of Dragonfly Bindery/Studio January 8−29 2013 at the Providence Athenaeum (251 Benefit Street , Providence Rhode Island). A talk with observations and commentary will be given Saturday January 26 at 1:00 PM.

27 February, 5:30 PM:
“Buried with Him by Baptism”: A Revere Print Unearthed
The Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit St., Providence

Three members of the Brown University Library staff will offer their perspectives on the discovery last spring of a rare print made by the famous Revolutionary War figure, Paul Revere. The announcement of the discovery led to a flurry of national media attention—including interviews with NPR and The New York Times—but this presentation will focus on the intimate moment of discovery; the work of tracing the print’s origins; and the historical, political and religious context in which the print itself was created. The Revere print and books from the collection in which it was discovered will be on display before and after the lecture.

28 March, 5:30 PM:
Membership Night & Annual Meeting, with a Lecture by Russell DeSimone: “RI Broadsides: A Collector’s Perspective."
John Carter Brown Library, 94 George Street, Providence

Russell J. DeSimone will present an illustrated talk on collecting Rhode Island broadsides. With examples drawn from his own collection he will discuss a variety of broadside types issued over a 130 year period that spans the timeframe from the early Republic up to just after the First World War. Topics to be addressed are News & Information; Advertising; Murder & True Crime; Death, Disasters & Misery; Rebellion & War; Politics & Voting, Medicine & Quackery; Entertainment, Recreation & Excursions; Ballads & Poetry as well as Lotteries, Carrier’s Addresses and other types of broadsides.

15 April, 5:30 PM: Stillwell Prize Awards
John Carter Brown Library, 94 George Street, Providence

Lucas Mason-Brown will discuss his efforts to decrypt the mysterious marginal annotations made by Roger Williams in a copy of one of his books. The resulting discoveries have been covered by the Boston Globe and Slate, among other media venues..

11 May, 1:30 PM: Tour of the Redwood Library and Athenaeum
50 Bellevue Ave., Newport

We’ll enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the oldest lending library in America and see some of the many treasures inside.

Email the Bartlett Society.