March 2017
Supporting the Humanities

JCB Director and Librarian Neil Safier has signed an open letter in support of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission along with other directors whose institutions are members of the Independent Research Libraries Association.

Read the letter  

December 2015
JCB Awarded NEH Funding for New Digital Environmental History of the Americas

The JCB was given a grant for "Exploring the Four Elements:Toward a Digital Environmental History of the Americas." Given for the development of a series of online and onsite exhibits examining the ways that the ecological elements of earth, air, fire, and water were interpreted by the inhabitants of the early Americas.

October 2015
EXHIBITION—Pamphlet Wars: Arguments on Paper from the Age of Revolutions

This exhibition marks the 250th anniversary of Great Britain's issuance of the Stamp Act, a law that required most printed materials in North America to be printed on paper bearing a revenue stamp. The justification for this tax was to pay for the quartering of English troops in America following the end of the Seven Years’ War. The law ignited a pamphlet war on both sides of the Atlantic. The exhibition also highlights two bibliographies compiled by Thomas R. Adams, Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library from 1957 to 1983, on the pamphlets of the American Revolution.

May 1-3, 2015
Annual Meeting
JCB Fellows' Reunion and Jamboree

The 72nd Annual Meeting of the Associates of the John Carter Brown Library and the second Fellows' Reunion and Jamboree hosted a major reunion for former fellows and friends of the Library.

April 2015
EXHIBITION—Subterranean Worlds: Under the Earth in the Early Americas

As the inaugural event of a project entitled 'Exploring the Four Elements,' this exhibition showcases the John Carter Brown Library's collection of texts, illustrations, and maps that open a window onto the quest for metals below the surface of the earth in the colonial Americas.

February 19-21, 2015
SYMPOSIUM—Merchants of the Printed Word

The symposium, commemorating the 475th anniversary of the introduction of the printing press in America, was introduced by a lecture given by Roger Chartier, Collège de France / University of Pennsylvania. "The Seven Lives of Las Casas' Brevísima Relación (1552-1822)."

October 2014
NEW EXHIBITION—Printers' Devils :: Printers' Delights

This exhibition draws on the John Carter Brown Library's unparalleled collection of Spanish American imprints to celebrate the 475th anniversary of the introduction of printing to the Americas.

October 12-14, 2014
The Earliest Americas: A New Initiative in Indigenous Studies at the JCB

Included the screening of the film, Oil & Water, a lecture by Ned Blackhawk, Yale University, on "The Rediscovery of America: American Indians and the Remaking of U. S. History," and a roundtable.

May 9, 2014
Annual Meeting
John Demos

Professor Demos spoke about his newest book, The Heathen School, which chronicles an experiment in diversity in Connecticut—a school for heathen youth from all parts of the world for the seventy-first Annual Meeting of the Associates of the John Carter Brown Library.

April 2014
NEW EXHIBITION—Off to College: Higher Education in the Americas, 1551-1825

To join in the celebration of the 250th anniversity of the founding of Brown University, the library presents education in the Americas and examines the differences and similarities between institutions of higher learning there.

Beginning on April 22, 2014
Inaugural Lecture in the series: 1764: Brown's Founding in a Global Age

Joyce Chaplin spoke on "The World is Not Enough: Brown circa 1762 (and circa 2014), "the first of seven lectures in the series, "1764: Brown's Founding in a Global Context." Visit, for more information.


February 9-11, 2014
Early Oceanic Histories

A new intiative in environmental studies at the John Carter Brown Library. Screening of the film, Leviathan, in Martinos Auditorium, Granoff Center with a Q & A with the director, Lucien Castaign-Taylor. The Sonia Galletti Lecture with Jeffrey Bolster speaking on The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail. American Oecologies: A Roundtable on Environmental History.


February 2014
NEW EXHIBITION—The Other Revolution: Haiti, 1789-1804

This new exhibition explores the Haitian Revolution, the least understood of the three great democratic revolutions that transformed the Atlantic world in the late eighteenth century. This exhibition--for the first time the books included in the exhibition may be read in their entirety online--provides a running narrative of the Haitian Revolution.

October 25-26, 2013
Conference on Sugar in the Early Atlantic World

Beyond Sweetness
A conference—in conjunction with the Library’s Fall 2013 exhibition on sugar in the early modern period—on new histories of sugar in the early Atlantic world. Please go to the conference website for program.

September 28, 2013
Rhode Island Center for the Book

RI Center for the Book celebrates the books intended for young minds and eyes. The Keynote Lecture by Laura E Wasowicz, Curator of Children's LIterature at the American Antiquarian Society, will speak on “Vivid Imaginations: the History of the McLoughlin Bros.” Kim Nusco, Reference Librarian, put together a mini-exhibition to welcome the Rhode Island Center for the Book.

September 15, 2013
NEW EXHIBITION—Sugar and the Visual Imagination in the Atlantic World, circa 1600-1860

The Library’s newest exhibition focuses on the visual imagery of sugar in the Americas, examining how this sweet, powerful, and often destructive commodity was depicted in books, single sheet prints, and maps that are in the collection of the John Carter Brown Library.

July 29, 2013

Watch as panelists from the John Carter Brown Library, David Parsons and Susan Danforth, talk about a map made in 1507 by German mapmaker Martin Waldseemuller. It is considered one of the world’s rarest maps and believed to be the first map to name America. This program was part of an event hosted by the Library of Congress and the John Carter Brown Library.

July 11, 2013
Maps and Monsters

JCB Invited Research scholar, Chet van Duzer, has a newly-released book, Sea Monsters on Medieval and Renaissance Maps. It was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal. See review here.

June 15, 2013
Neil Safier Named New Director and Librarian

Neil Safier, currently associate professor of history at the University of British Columbia, has been appointed director and librarian of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Safier will begin his new duties at the John Carter Brown Library in October 2013, succeeding Edward Widmer, who directed the library from 2006 to 2012.

May 13, 2013
JCB Celebrates the Upload of 5,000th Book on Internet Archive

THE JOHN CARTER BROWN LIBRARY uploaded our first contribution to the Internet Archive in 2010 initiating our collaboration with that non-profit digital library. That book was contributed in early March 2010. Just over three years later, on 13 May 2013, we uploaded our 5,000th book. Within this short timeframe the Library has made over 10% of its rare materials freely available online to users around the world, and the digitization of the JCB collection continues apace.