February 2018
Exploring the Global Connections of the Early Modern Caribbean  
The Library is grateful to have received a generous grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation in support of an innovative two-day workshop on the Early Modern Global Caribbean. Scheduled for next September, and organized by Carla Pestana (Professor and Joyce Appleby Endowed Chair of America in the World at UCLA) and Molly Warsh (Assistant Professor of World History at the University of Pittsburgh), the JCB will provide a laboratory-like environment for experimental research and collaboration around its formidable Caribbean collection. The workshop will give scholars the opportunity to contribute to the digital database that the Library is developing to provide greater access to – and engagement with – its collections. Scholars also will produce bibliographies, online commentaries, and curated content suitable for students, scholars, and the general public.
Video: Charting the JCB’s Digital Future 
Neil Safier, Director and Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, spoke with Molly O’Brien of GoLocalProv about the founding of the Library, its mission, and the scope and rarity of its collections. Learn more about some of the “rock stars” in the JCB’s collections and about the Library’s bold commitment to make its collections digitally available to more than a billion citizens of the Americas. Watch the video.

If you are interested in helping the Library create and freely share digital reproductions of rare, primary materials to a worldwide community of scholars and citizens, we invite you to make a donation online
From the Cataloger’s Desk: Ptolemy’s Exquisite Geographia
In the second century, Claudius Ptolemy described all that was known in the Roman Empire about the world’s geography in his Geographia . Of the forty-nine editions of Geographia printed from 1475 to 1730, the JCB has all but two! Thanks to the generous support of the Pine Tree Foundation and the Luther I. Replogle Foundation, Allison Rich, the Library’s rare book cataloger, has fully cataloged all forty- seven of the Library’s editions, providing important views into the particulars of each.

The first printed Latin translation of the Geographia , for instance, was printed in Vicenza, Italy in 1475 by Hermannus Liechtenstein, and was issued without maps. The maps in the various editions beginning in 1477 of Ptolemy are woodcuts or engravings. The Bologna, 1477 edition printed by Dominicus de Lapis contains some of the earliest known engravings made from copper plates; these were executed by Taddeo Crivelli. Other editions have maps created from woodblocks, such as the Ulm, 1482 issue, printed by Lienhart Hol.

Of the various editions held by the JCB, only eleven have hand-coloring. None is more magnificent than the Amsterdam, 1605 edition printed by Cornelius Nicolaus and Jodocus Hondius. The twenty-eight Ptolemaic old world maps are engraved by Gerhard Mercator (1512-1594) and previously appeared in the Cologne, 1578 and 1584 editions printed by Gottfried von Kempen. The hand-coloring is finely executed in blues, greens, pink, red, and yellow hues, which appear not only on all the maps in the volume but also on the ornate engraved border of the title page and the engraved portrait of Mercator in the prefatory pages. 
Global Americana Exhibition Now Online
Join the JCB on a journey through different geographies, genres, and languages! This special exhibition, curated by 28 scholars from around the world, explores the connections between the Americas and other regions through the Library’s globe-spanning collection. Discover the many worlds – and not just American ones – that lie beneath the surface of the Library’s extraordinary collection.  View the exhibition.
Meet Fellow Teresa Clifton
J.M. Stuart fellow Tess Clifton first encountered Los sirgueros de la Virgen sin original pecado (1620), the first American novel and — housed at the JCB — the only remaining copy of the text, while conducting research for her master's degree during her second year at Brown. Now a sixth-year PhD candidate in Hispanic Studies, Clifton is writing her dissertation on the only two pastoral novels written in the colonial New World - Francisco Bramón's Los sirgueros and Bernardo de Balbuena’s Siglo de oro en las selves de Erífile (1608) - in the context of New Spain and against the European cultural and intellectual tradition.

Clifton attests that pastoral fiction offers a fascinating glimpse into the intellectual and aesthetic concerns of New Spain's educated elite. She says, "I was first drawn to the topic because of the JCB's incredible collection, and now, as the J.M. Stuart fellow, I also have the privilege of working closely with the Library's community of scholars. Thanks to the expertise of staff and fellows, I've been able to explore both the material history that shaped these two pastoral novels and their legacy in later colonial literature."
Fresh Ink - Substance and Seduction:
Ingested Commodities in Early Modern Mesoamerica
Congratulations to former fellow Kathryn Sampeck (Donald L. Saunders Fellow, 2008-09) on the publication of Substance and Seduction: Ingested Commodities in Early Modern Mesoamerica (University of Texas Press, November 2017), co-edited with Stacey Schwartzkopf. This interdisciplinary anthology reveals how the consumption of seductive ingestibles, such as chocolate, pulque, and peyote, illuminates the links between colonization and commodification in Mesoamerica. Contributors explore how the individual pleasures of consumption were shaped by social, cultural, economic, and political forces. The anthology features essays from former fellows Martin Nesvig (National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow, 2007-08) and Joan Bristol (Ruth and Lincoln Ekstrom Fellow, 1999-00). Former fellow Marcy Norton, who has held several fellowships at the JCB over the years (most recently a National Endowment for the Humanities/InterAmericas Fellowship in 2016-17) wrote the foreword. The Library is thrilled to see such collaboration among its former fellows and extends its congratulations to all!
JCB Jamboree to Showcase Former Fellow Publications
Later this year, from May 31 – June 3, the Library will be hosting its Jamboree, which it convenes every three years. The JCB invites back our former fellows and members of the Associates to view new items added to the collections, enjoy research presentations, and learn about exciting new directions for the Library. One special feature of the Jamboree is a showcase of recent publications by former fellows. If you have published a book since our last Jamboree in May of 2015, and would like to have your “fresh ink” displayed at the 2018 Jamboree, please email jcb-events@brown.edu with the title, publisher, and publication date and we’ll be in touch with more details.