Thursday, October 4, 2012

John Carter Brown Library, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island

[LIB7046] The scholarly value of the Library’s collection is extraordinary partly because its origins go back to a time when systematic book collecting around a historical theme was a rarity. Although the Brown family had been acquiring books since early in the eighteenth century, the present collection was not fully launched until the mid-nineteenth century when John Carter Brown (1797–1874) began avid pursuit of Americana, an area of interest he termed “the Great Subject.” His son, John Nicholas Brown (1861–1900), actively continued this tradition and before his untimely death had conceived the idea of giving the Library to the world of historical research as a memorial to his father. In his will, John Nicholas Brown assigned funds for the construction of an appropriate building and for an endowment to support the Library’s work. The original Library building was formally dedicated in 1904. In 1990, the Library raised the capital to construct a 15,000 square foot addition, designed in the classical style like the original structure and named the Caspersen Building. [Thank you to Brown, this information can be found here]

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