The John Carter Brown Library is home to more than 50,000 rare books and 16,000 reference books and secondary sources. But due to the changing nature of students’ study habits and library restrictions to protect its books, most of these resources remain vastly underused. In an effort to make its collections more widely available, the library is working with the company Internet Archive to digitize its book collections and make them available online for anybody to see.
The project, now in its second year, is set to continue through at least spring 2013 and longer if it receives more funding. Costing $46,000 per year, it is being sponsored by map collector and Cartography Associates President David Rumsey.
The project started with the JCB’s Haiti collection, which includes rare books, maps and newspapers that tell the story of the founding of the French colony of Saint-Domingue and its evolution from the richest colony in the Americas to the only colony that fell to a slave revolution. The revolution resulted in the founding of Haiti.
Collections from Argentina, indigenous America, Peru, Portugal and Brazil combine with the Haiti collection to make up roughly 4,000 JCB items currently available online. The collections contain firsthand accounts of colonies, laws, revolutions, wars and countless other historical events.
Direct to The John Carter Brown Digital Collection (via Internet Archive)
Close to 3,947 items are available at the time this item was posted.