The purpose of the John Carter Brown Library is to preserve and collect books and other recorded information on the discovery and settlement of the Western hemisphere. As part of its mission, it has always sought to reconcile the divergent, and often discordant, aim of preserving its collection, while at the same time promoting access to it. One way to preserve our collection and make it available to scholars is to digitize it. By digitizing books and making them available online, more people in more places can use the books while at the same time the actual book is preserved from handling.
Most important, we have been systematically scanning discrete collections of books within the collection for our Digital Book Collection. We have made them freely available online with Internet Archive.
Our image collections are being assembled using LUNA Imaging software. Our image collections assist scholars in their quest for contemporary images to illustrate their research and to facilitate the study of historical images in their own right.
We encourage publication of research on the John Carter Brown’s collection by sponsoring online journals and publishing an online bibliography of Fellows’ publications. We also have published online bibliographies to aid research.