Distributed April 17, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

19th century life

History of American West featured at John Hay Library

The American West will be the featured topic April 27 when historian Ron Tyler discusses his work. Tyler’s presentation, at 8 p.m. in the John Hay Library, marks the opening of an exhibition at the library drawn from the Ames Collection of Illustrated Books.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The American West is the theme of two events Thursday, April 27, 2000, in the John Hay Library at Brown University.

Ron Tyler, professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin, will speak on “Envisioning the American West – Illustrated Government Publications, 1843-1863” at 8 p.m. at the library, located at the corner of College and Prospect streets. Tyler is the director of the Texas State Historical Association and the author of many books on the American West, including Alfred Jacob Miller, Artist as Explorer – First Views of the American Frontier and Prints of the West – American Frontier Life.

In 1994, Tyler’s Prints of the West was named Best Book of the Year by the American Historical Print Collectors Society for Prints of the West. He is also a member of the Philosophical Society of Texas and the American Antiquarian Society. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Brown University. It will be followed by a reception in the John Hay Lobby.

In keeping with American West theme, a selection from the Robert S. and Margaret A. Ames collection of illustrated books will be exhibited at the library from April 27 through May 19. For 30 years, Mr. and Mrs. Ames have collected books that feature the history of illustration – particularly 19th century books illustrated with wood or steel engravings or lithographs, as well as the literature of travel and exploration in North America and pictorial representations of areas in which their family lived prior to their arrival in Providence in 1970. The collection includes many books about the American West.

Mr. Ames has served as vice chairman of the Friends of the Library since the early 1980s. Mrs. Ames is a noted authority on and collector of early American needlework samplers.

The John Hay Library is open from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.