John Carter Brown Library
This independently funded institution on the Brown University Green in Providence, Rhode Island, is dedicated to maintaining and continuing its namesake’s private collection of rare books and manuscripts. In 1846, John Carter Brown (son of Nicholas Brown Jr., for whom the university is named) turned his attention and his fortune to collecting every document he could find on the exploration of the Americas.
Director Edward Widmer explains that the strength of the collection comes from the library’s dedication to telling the whole story of the Americas, amassing works from every country that sent explorers across the Atlantic. “We have the English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Dutch greatest hits all in one place, and that’s essentially unique on Earth,” he says.
–Yankee Magazine, January/February 2011
The John Hay and John Carter Brown libraries hold astonishing collections of rare and ancient texts, and they frequently display curated exhibits of their finest holdings.
–Yankee Magazine, May/June, 2012
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