John Hay Library: Collections
see also: Collections
A to Z
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Technology, & Medicine | Magic
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Collections is the division of the Brown University Library which
houses those materials which require special handling
and preservation. While many of the items in Special Collections are rare
or unique, a majority of the materials are part of large
subject-oriented collections which are maintained as discrete units. Altogether,
Special Collections consists of over 250
separate collections, some of which are listed below, numbering some
information about our collections write, phone, or fax us at the numbers
the bottom of this page, e-mail us at
consult our listing of
a to z,
or review our
Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays
The Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays is composed of approximately 250,000 volumes of
American and Canadian poetry, plays, and vocal music dating from 1609 to the present day. It is perhaps
the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind in any research library.
Leaves of an Hour
: Developing Literary and Popular Culture Collections at Brown University Library
S. K. Brown Military Collection
The Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection is the foremost American collection of material devoted to the history and
iconography of soldiers and soldiering, and is one of the world's largest collections devoted to the study of military and naval
uniforms. It was formed over a period of forty years by the late Mrs. John Nicholas Brown (1906-1985) of Providence and is
Brown University Archives
The University Archives, dating from 1763, contains
copies of the official publications
of the University and the papers of many of its departments, officers,
and affiliated groups.
for Everybody: Brown's Innovation and Influence in Collegiate Education
Remembering Brown Sports
The Manuscript collections contain literary, historical,
and scientific manuscripts generated by individuals, families,
institutions, and organizations and totaling over 2,000,000 pieces of paper.
The Broadsides Collection houses broadsides (single-sheet imprints), posters, bookplates,
prints, postcards, and photographs. From a nucleus of 8,000 pieces in 1928, holdings have increased to over 40,000 items. See
Addresses in 19th Century America
- William Blake
- John Buchan -
- Harry Crosby -
American poet and, with Caresse Crosby, founder of the Black Sun Press in Paris. Proofs of two books, typescripts of poems, ten diaries and notebooks for 1926-1929,
biographical notes, and letters about Crosby and his press.
Approximately 1,700 volumes, consisting in scholarly editions of the 15th through the 19th centuries of Dante's works,
in particular the Divine Comedy, commentaries (chiefly in Italian), and other supportive works.
- John Hay -
- T. E. Lawrence (uncataloged)
- H.P. Lovecraft
Extensive holdings of manuscripts, letters, editions of Lovecraft's works in all languages, periodicals, biographical and
critical works, and many supportive collections of manuscript and printed materials of Lovecraft friends and associates.
- Niccolo Machiavelli
- Brown-Ives Shakespeare
- Henry David Thoreau
Albert E. Lownes Thoreau Collection, consisting of over
1,000 items, and including books by Thoreau, later editions of his writing,
biographical and critical works, and books from his personal library. There are also periodicals, engravings, photographs, a
striking original sketch of Thoreau, maps, broadsides, museum objects, and other memorabilia. The Collection includes a number of Thoreau letters, college
papers and journal excerpts. Noteworthy is an album entitled "Concordia", a collection of autograph letters, portraits, and original sketches of Concord personalities.
- Lester Frank Ward
- H. G. Wells (uncataloged)
- Emile Zola -
Asa Cushman Collection.
Plays in manuscript parts and prompt copies, the working library of a mid-19th century actor-manager.
Lucy Truman Aldrich Collection of Rare Illustrated
Children's Books Collection-level
Dr. Arlene Pillar Collection of Children's Literature
Over 3,000 volumes of children's literature primarily form the 1970s and
1980s, including many illustrated works and fiction for young adults.
Michael J. Ciaraldi Collection of Comic Books and Comic Art
A collection of approximately 60,000 comic books, graphic novels, comic
art, and related materials, dating from the mid-1970s to the
Martha Dickinson Bianchi Collection
Consists of the papers of the family of Emily Dickinson, along with the 3,000 volume family library from
"The Evergreens," the Dickinson home in Amherst Massachusetts;
supplemented by gifts from Barton St. Armand and George Monteiro, of additional items from the same source.
Gay and Lesbian Literature Collection
Katzoff Collection - Collection-level
Approximately 1.500 volumes of gay and lesbian literature, primarily of
recent imprint, based on the personal library of Richard Katzoff.
Preston Archive. Personal and professional
correspondence including letters from friends, other writers, and groups
whose focus is gay life and rights. Original
typescripts of his writings; photographs; magazines with articles he authored; clippings; books
written by Preston and others. See: Josiah Record,
Gay Men's Pulp Fiction. A collection of over
4,500 volumes of gay men's pulp fiction.
Search the database.
Scott O'Hara Papers.
Literary and personal papers,
1979-1998, of Scott O'Hara (1961-1998), pornographic film actor, author,
magazine publisher, also containing publications that include material by or
about him. See: Provisional inventory
James Jackson Bequest.
Approximately 1500 titles in the area of
gay/lesbian literature, much of it dating from the pre-Stonewall era. The Jackson Collection contains many titles not
owned my Brown and virtually all are in very good condition and retain their dust jackets. There are a quite a few
lesbian-related titles which fills in a gap in our existing holdings and quite a few gay-related science fiction and fantasy
titles which complement one of existing collection strengths. Quite a few of the books are signed or inscribed, this being
particularly true of the post-Stonewall titles.
James Laughlin Collection
Bequest of James Laughlin, poet and publisher of New Directions Press, and
the gifts of his widow. It is composed of approximately 5,000 volumes
from his personal library, and focuses on editions of William Carlos
Williams, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, Thomas Merton, and other major 20th
century literary figures. (uncataloged)
William Chauncey Langdon Collection of
Collection of pageants directed and organized by Langdon, founder and President of the
American Pageant Association, and also includes scripts, correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia relating to other pageants of the early 20th
18th and 19th century English literature assembled by Walter H. Kimball,
Class of 1894.
Originally the working library of Brown Professor of Rhetoric Hammond
Lamont. The principal focus of the collection is
18th and 19th century English literature with an emphasis on prose. Notable
for its novels published between 1760-1840, particularly those by women
writers and over 100 17th and 18th century tracts by Jeremy Collier and
William Prynne, among others, exhorting against the pernicious moral
influence of the stage.
Miller Collection of Wit and
Approximately 40,000 volumes of wit and humor, including theatrical
biographies and memoirs, joke books, comic magazines, cartoon books, ethnic
humor, folklore. Primarily 20th century American and British.
(uncataloged) See: Collection-level
Novels by Brown and Rhode Island Authors
90 dialogue and post-production scripts from a variety of major American studios.
American Television Scripts.
Over 1000 items representing 730 different programs.
Robert J. Tierney Collection of Entertainment Memorabilia.
Posters, scripts, tickets, photographs, and other ephemera related to theatrical and
entertainment events in the local area over the past fifty years.
19th and 20th century American prose writers (uncataloged)
Wandering Jew Collection
The gift of W. Easton Louttit, Jr., Class of 1925, this collection includes
plays, poems, novels, and stories as well as critical, philosophical, and
scholarly studies of the archetypical story of the men shut out from the
human community and doomed to wander eternally.
Earl Church Collection
Over 3,500 volumes of economic, historic, geographic
and descriptive studies collected by Colonel Church, who spent
his later life as an explorer and engineer in South America.
See also the Latin American Travelogues digital project .
Approximately 300 printed accounts of the development
of the American West.
Gordon Hall and Grace Hoag
Collection of Dissenting and Extremist Printed Propaganda.
Contains documents representing a broad spectrum
of militant political, social and religious dissent in the United
States, from the post-World War II period to the present.
Gorham Company Archives.
Archival records of the company founded in 1831
by silversmith Jabez Gorham of Providence, Rhode Island. At various
times the company was the largest manufacturer of silver products,
producer and distributor of ecclesiastical goods, and art bronze
foundry in the United States. The collection features many thousands
of drawings and photographs of Gorham products, reflecting American
taste from Victorian times to the present. It also contains corporate,
personnel, costing, sales, and advertising records, as well as
blueprints, plaster casts, and copper printing plates. Included
also are the records of fourteen companies acquired by Gorham.
John Hay Collection and John
Hay Personal Library
Includes over 9,100 manuscripts by Hay and his
associates, and 2,000 books by and about Hay and his period.
Includes literary works by Hay and his personal diaries from his
Civil War service as Abraham Lincoln's private secretary.
Sergei Khruschev Papers
Includes memorabilia of his father, Nikita Khruschev.
H. Kirk Collection on Alcoholism and Alcoholics Anonymous
Catalog Record See:
exhibit Of the Poison
McLellan Lincoln Collection See:
Approximately 15,000 books and newspapers, 2,600
manuscripts (of which some 950 were written or signed by Lincoln),
5,200 broadsides, 6,900 prints and photographs, 250 phonograph
records, 320 pieces of sheet music, and 1,560 museum objects affording
research opportunities not only in relation to the career of Abraham
Lincoln, but also for the entire middle period of American history
and political culture
American and English pamphlet literature of the
17th through the 19th centuries. The collection contains well
over 10,000 items including ordination, election-day and dedicatory
sermons, Fourth of July orations, plus pamphlets on the Civil
War and slavery, the Irish question, Mormonism, agriculture, medicine
and women's suffrage to name but a few categories.
The Paul R. Dupee Mexican
History Collection - See: Three
for Three Million
With but one exception, the Dupee
Collection's more than 340 books, broadsides, pamphlets, and periodicals
were published after the Mexican republic secured its independence
in 1821. Most are Spanish-language sources written by Mexican
citizens and published in Mexico. The bulk of the materials falls
into the period 1821-50, covering the first decades of Mexican
independence and that nation's war with the United States. The
collection's nearly 200 broadsides chronicle Mexican partisan
politics, religious and anti-clerical debates, popular literature
and drama, domestic revolutions and armed conflict with the United
Morse Whaling Collection
Personal narratives and classics of whaling literature.
The collection also includes manuscript log books.
Primarily 19th century books, pamphlets, manuscripts,
broadsides and newspapers on Rhode Island subjects amassed by
the Providence bookseller and antiquarian, Sidney S. Rider.
Holbrook Smith Collection of Books, Manuscripts and Memorabilia
Five thousand items, including two hundred books, dozens of pieces
of memorabilia, and several hundred manuscripts (original and
photocopied) and photographs once the property of "Dr. Bob," the
legendary co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Schirmer Collection on
Collection now numbers almost 950 titles dealing
with the Anti-Imperialist movement of 1898 and its repercussions
in United States, Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Filipino history.
Earl Selle Collection
Contains about 1,000 books, photographs, manuscripts,
etc., that document Selle's career as an American journalist in
China, 1929-1941 and in Hawaii during World War II.
Swan Antarctica Collection
In 1996, the Bradford Swan Antarctic Collection
was transferred from the John Carter Brown Library to the John
Hay. The 225 titles in the original donation have now been catalogued,
and in the four years that Antarctic exploration has been a collecting
interest of the John Hay, 150 titles have been purchased to supplement
Mr. Swan's original collection and to provide reference materials
for researchers using the Antarctic materials. See:Collection-level
Annmary Brown Memorial Collection
One of the largest and most important collections of incunables (books printed through the year 1500) in the
United States. In addition to incunables, the collection contains sizeable manuscript holdings relating to the American Revolutionary and
Civil Wars, and to the 17th-century New England witchcraft phenomenon.
Robert and Margaret Ames Collection of
Contains materials on the
history of illustration, particularly nineteenth century books illustrated
woodcuts, wood or steel
engravings or by lithography and on the literature of travel and
Dard Hunter Collection
Contains most of the works printed or written by
papermaker, printer and paper historian, Dard Hunter, as well as works by
his associates in the Roycroft shop of East Aurora, New York. Ongoing
additions to the collection concentrate on the revival and continuation of
hand papermaking in the 20th century.
Koopman Collection of Literature and the
English and American literature from the 17th to the early 20th
century. Intended as a laboratory collection for the study of the art
and history of the book, it includes the production of many late 19th
century private presses, books issued in parts, and literary relics.
St. Martin's Press Archives
Includes copies of all books published (including current titles) by St.
Martin's, correspondence with authors, galleys, proofs, and associated
materials from this major American publishing house.
Other Publisher's Archives.
Deck, Conjunctions, Copper Beach, Feminist Press, Greenhouse, Third & Elm, Unicorn,
Rollo G. Silver Collection of Printing and Publishing
The working library of Rollo Silver, historian of early
American printing, publishing, and typography; includes ca. 3,000 volumes,
as well as 45 linear feet of notebooks containing transcriptions or
reproductions of primary and secondary source materials.
Dupee Collection on Fireworks - See:
Three for Three Million
Lownes Collection of Significant Books in the History of Science
Contains over three-quarters of those texts recognized by scholars as the "great books" of
science published since the middle of the 15th century.
History of Science Collection -
Euclid to Newton
A major source for the history of mathematics
Rhode Island Medical Society Library
Saklad Collection of Surgical Anaesthesia
Over 300 books and medical society publications which trace the development
of anesthesiology from the late 18th century to the middle of the 20th
Reitman Pharmacopoeia Collection (uncataloged)
Snell Mycology Collection
Over 300 monographs and serials on mushrooms published between 1640 and
Chester H. Kirk Collection on Alcoholism and Alcoholics
See: Collection-level Catalog Record
Robert Holbrook Smith Collection of Books, Manuscripts and Memorabilia
Five thousand items, including two hundred books, dozens of pieces of memorabilia, and several hundred manuscripts (original and photocopied) and photographs once the property of "Dr. Bob," the legendary co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Damon Collection of Occult and Visionary Literature
The collection deals primarily with alchemy, the interpretation of dreams,
mysticism, black magic and the Kabbalah plus visionary testaments and
manifestations of all kinds.
Smith Magic Collection
The H. Adrian Smith Collection of Conjuring and Magicana, long considered one of the finest private
libraries on conjuring and magic, includes 16th century titles on natural magic, alchemy, astrology,
religious rites, and witchcraft. Later holdings include sections on conjuring, card tricks and games,
magicians as performers, magic periodicals and other works intended for practicing magicians,
posters, ephemera, and realia. The Collection is the gift and bequest of the collector, class of 1930,
who as an undergraduate put himself through Brown by giving magic performances.
Brown Memorial Gallery of Art
Bullard Napoleon Collection
Constitutes one of the largest collections of caricatures of Napoleon in the
United States, and represents the work of English, French, German Russian,
and Spanish artists, and complements similar holdings in the Anne S. K.
Cramer Silver Collection
Extensive reference library, providing support for
collections in the decorative arts, particularly the Gorham Archive.
Engravings (25 total) acquired from the estate of Fritz
Mughal, and Indian Miniature Paintings from the Minassian Collection
In 1933 Colonel Webster Knight, Class of 1876,
bequeathed an almost complete collection of mint United States postage stamps, in blocks of four, along with
mint and used singles and blocks of revenue stamps plus an endowment for supporting the collection. The Knight Collection served as a magnet to attract the Peltz and Morriss Collections of Special Delivery stamps, in 1947
and 1960, as well as the George S. Champlin Memorial Stamp Collection of international issues, which began arriving in