John Hay Library

The John Hay Library is the second oldest library on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. Located on Prospect Street, opposite the Van Wickle Gates, it replaced the outgrown former library, now Robinson Hall, as the main library on the campus. The library was named for John Hay (Class of 1858), the private secretary and assistant to Abraham Lincoln, at the request of Andrew Carnegie, who contributed half of the $300,000 cost of the building. [ [http://www.brown.edu/Administration/News_Bureau/Databases/Encyclopedia/search.php?serial=J0080 From Martha Mitchell's "Encyclopedia Brunoniana": John Hay Library] ] It was constructed with Vermont white marble in an English Renaissance style. The library was dedicated on November 10, 1910 and had an estimated collection of 300,000 volumes. [cite book |last= Drake|first= Miriam|title= Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science|year=2003|publisher= CRC Press|location= http://books.google.com/books?id=tPnkxsklgXoC&dq=john+hay+library+librarians|isbn= 0824720776]

When the main library was removed to the new John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library in 1964, the John Hay Library retained the special collections and provided temporary quarters for the Physical Sciences Library until the Sciences Library was built in 1971. The John Hay Library was completely renovated and was rededicated on September 21 1981.

Anthropodermic book collection

The John Hay Library is well-known for its collection of anthropodermic books (books bound in human skin). [cite web | url = http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode_island/articles/2006/01/07/some_of_nations_best_libraries_have_books_bound_in_human_skin/ | title = Some of nation's best libraries have books bound in human skin | accessdate = 2007-10-03 | author = M.L. Johnson | publisher = Boston Globe | date = 2006-01-07 ] The Hay acquired the books in the 1960s as gifts from two alumni, at least one an avid book collector. The books were not originally bound in human skin, but were instead rebound for private collectors in the 19th century. [cite web | url = http://media.www.browndailyherald.com/media/storage/paper472/news/2006/01/31/Features/In.A-Literal.Bind-1545400.shtml | title = In a literal bind | accessdate = 2007-10-03 | author = Taryn Martinez | publisher = Brown Daily Herald | date = 2006-01-31 ] The library has three such human-skin books:

* Andreas Vesalius - De Humanis Corporis Fabrica (1543)
* Dance of Death - Featuring wood-cut illustrations by Hans Holbein the Younger (two copies)

pecial collections

The Library houses Brown's Special Collections division, which includes those materials that require special handling and preservation. Although many of the items in Special Collections are rare or unique, a majority of the materials are part of large subject-oriented collections which are maintained as discrete units. Altogether, Special Collections consists of over 250 separate collections, numbering some 2.5 million items.

Notable items include:

* [http://dl.lib.brown.edu/libweb/collections/askb/ Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection] - graphics, books and miniature soldiers
* H. P. Lovecraft - personal manuscripts and letters
* Henry David Thoreau - books from personal library

External links

* [http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/University_Library/libs/hay/ John Hay Library official website]
* [http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/University_Library/libs/hay/collections/index.htm John Hay Library collections]

References


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