Bibliographies and Finding Aids

Finding Aids

Finding aids (collection guides) to the JCB’s holdings of archival records and personal papers are available in the reference area of the library.

Online versions of some of these collections may be viewed at Rhode Island Archival and Manuscript Collections Online (RIAMCO).


Much of the research performed at the Library benefits greatly from established bibliographies of material relating to the Americas.  Many of these are available in the reference area of the library, often with annotations referring to the Library’s own holdings.  A printed guide to bibliographic resources at the JCB is available in the reference area. 

Some of the significant bibliographies available at the JCB include:

European Americana: A Chronological Guide to Works Printed In Europe Relating to the Americas, 1493-1750. edited by John Alden with the assistance of Dennis C. Landis. Published New York : Readex Books, 1980-1997

Compiled and edited at the JCB, this six-volume work provides a comprehensive guide to printed material about the Americas written in Europe before 1750. It can also be accessed as a free searchable database called European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750 , hosted by EBSCO. 

Indigenous Languages of the Americas:  Sources at the John Carter Brown Library. Compiled by Daniel Slive with Jennifer Gage, and others.

The John Carter Brown Library holds one of the world's largest collections of books containing text in one or more Amerindian languages for the period before the nineteenth century. This searchable bibliography lists every book in the library–whether it contains a one-page vocabulary list or an entire work–on native American languages. Besides the many grammatical studies, dictionaries, and thematic vocabulary lists, genres such as speeches, dramatic dialogues, scriptural excerpts, catechisms, and other religious texts are included, as are manuscript sources held by the library. Links to complete works that have been digitized and added to the Library’s collection at the Internet Archive are provided in each bibliographic record.

Portuguese and Brazilian books in the John Carter Brown Library 1537 to 1839: with a selection of Braziliana printed in countries other than Portugal and Brazil. Compiled and edited by Valeria Gauz.  Providence, R. I. : John Carter Brown Library, distributed in Brazil by Briquet de Lemos/Livros, 2009. 

This bibliography describes in detail the finest collection in North America of books relating to Brazil before the country declared its independence from Portugal in 1822. Each of the approximately 1,300 items catalogued in the book is annotated with historical and biographical information. This resource serves as an important guide to the JCB’s collection of Portuguese and Brazilian materials, much of which can be viewed at the Internet Archive .