September 2017
JCB Jamboree around the Corner:
Mark your Calendars for May 31 - June 3, 2018
Once every three years, fellows and Library Associates travel from near and far to return to the JCB to enjoy fascinating presentations, convivial conversation, and culinary delights. We are getting ready to welcome you back to the Library in just a few short months.

This year, the JCB is teaming up with the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture to explore the theme of water, the fourth and final element in our Four Elements series exploring the early environmental history of the Americas. The centerpiece of our Jamboree will be a jointly sponsored conference exploring enslaved migrations within the Americas and a special tribute to the late Danny Vickers, a preeminent historian of the maritime worlds of early America.

More details to come in future emails, but for now, please save the dates!
JCB Cultivates Collaborations with Brown University Constituencies
For the fourth year now, the JCB invites Brown University faculty, researchers, graduate students and undergraduates to submit proposals that focus on areas that probe new ways of using the Library’s world-class collection. Proposals related to the Library’s ongoing programming initiatives, including those in environmental history, indigenous studies, book history, history of science, travel writing and the production of ethnographic knowledge, visual and material culture studies, the revolutionary Americas, and the Americas in a global context, are especially welcome. Thanks to a generous donation from the Joukowsky Family Foundation, we are able to provide these opportunities once again. Applications are due September 15th. For program details and application process information, click here.
Meet Collaborative Cluster Fellows Lisa Voigt and Stephanie Leitch
Mining the JCB’s unparalleled collection of early modern travel reports for recycled illustrations and iconography, Lisa Voigt (Spanish/Portuguese, Ohio State University) and Stephanie Leitch (Art History, Florida State University) just completed a two-week Collaborative Cluster Fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library. As part of a book project tentatively entitled The Epistemology of the Copy in Early Modern Travel Narratives , they were able to locate copied images that they see as a critical part of the early modern printer’s apparatus.

 Their project aims to credit the copied print as an important cornerstone of publishing history and the circulation of information about distant places and peoples. Insofar as repetition encouraged and standardized knowledge, the recycled image also contributes to the development of visual literacy. This project builds on an article that Voigt initiated while a long-term fellow at the JCB in 2012, “The Traveling Illustrations of Sixteenth-Century Travel Narratives,” which she coauthored with Elio Brancaforte (Tulane University) and published in PMLA in 2014 (129.3). Although Brancaforte could not join them at the JCB this time, the trio plans to submit additional applications for long-term collaborative fellowships. The Collaborative Cluster Fellowship at the JCB served as the perfect launching pad for their larger collaboration.
Mexican Sermons Shed Light on Daily Life in Colonial Mexico
The JCB has one of the largest collections of colonial Mexican imprints in the world and now boasts 300 newly cataloged additions, thanks to the work of temporary cataloguer Gabriel Angulo (who has just accepted a new position at the Boston Public Library – congratulations, Gabe!). Approximately half of these items were acquired at auction in 2014 from the estate of the renowned historian of Mexican print culture, W. Michael Mathes (1936-2012).

The scope of these seventeenth- and eighteenth-century imprints reflects the wide variety of primary source materials for the social and literary history of Mexico that await discovery at the JCB. In addition to printed monographs and works of popular devotion, this collection includes biographies, works on the study of Oriental languages, as well as works of medicine, architecture, art history, baroque literature, official proclamations, and short runs of insurgent newspapers. Of special note are 174 baroque sermons which are emblematic jewels of baroque rhetoric style. These sermons also offer a view into daily life in colonial Mexico. In addition to marking feast days, the sermons commemorate nuns’ final taking-of-vows of nuns, the installation of new altarpieces, the consecration of new worship spaces, and other important occasions. Sermons praising notable dignitaries and elaborate funerary orations are especially well represented. We invite you to discover these gems of Mexican printing at the JCB!
Fresh Ink: Celebrating the Monarchy in the Spanish Empire
Congratulations to former fellow Alejandra Osorio (Center for New World Comparative Studies Fellow 2005-06 and 2009-10) on the recent publication of her article: “Courtly Ceremonies and a Cultural Urban Geography of Power in the Habsburg Spanish Empire” in Cities and the Circulation of Culture in the Atlantic World: From the Early Modern to Modernism , edited by Leonard von Morzé. Osorio explores how the Spanish empire staged ceremonies centered on the Spanish monarch’s body in the urban spaces in its territories. The figure of the king and related ceremonies turned colonial cities into provincial courts and helped cultivate loyalty to the king. 
How Precious this Gold? Exciting New Addition to the JCB Collection
Although the cumulative cost of the Library’s wish list of rare books and maps always outpaces available funds, Library staff and curators carefully weigh opportunities to buy items of the greatest use to our researchers, considering their condition, rarity, and fit within the scope of the collection. One such item that recently passed this high bar explores the subject of precious metals, a commodity of great value in the Spanish empire. Jardin de ensayadores que ensena a aquilatar, y dar el valor a la plata conforme a las leyes reales (Lima, 1639) was written by Miguel de Rojas Ruiz, who was chief assayer of the Peruvian mint at the time the book was published. This extremely rare volume discusses how to value precious metal and the Spanish laws governing this process.

Much of the growth of the JCB collections is due to the generosity of our donors, including members of the Association of Friends and Fellows . If you are a member, thank you for helping us provide new resources like Jardin de ensayadores in our Reading Room and (soon!) online.