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Brown University: John Hay Library

Research access guide for Brown University.

General Information

Facility: Brown University John Hay Library
Address: 20 Prospect Street
Providence, RI 02912
Phone: (401) 863-2146
Email: email
Hours: Hours of Operation

About the library:

Built in 1910, the John Hay Library is the second oldest library on the Brown University campus. It primarily houses the special collections and archives for the university, and as such its collections have been accruing since the founding of the university in 1764.

For more information concerning the Japanese collections, please contact the library with the information listed above.

Summary of Collections

Collection size: as of February 2015

The John Hay Library houses Brown University's rare books and manuscripts, special collections, and archives, with approximately 3 million items in over 300 collections. Of these collections, Brown has identified 13 with connections to East Asia.

Most notable among these collections is the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection, an internationally recognized collection dedicated to the history and iconography of soldiers, and includes the world's largest collection of military and naval history. This collection includes over 48,000 items, and includes pieces exploring Japanese military history from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These items document the Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, and Japan's involvement in World War II.


Online catalog:


This digital database is the result of a multi-year project to digitize all 15,000 prints, drawings, and watercolors within the collection individually. The database can be searched by keyword or browsed by creators, subjects, or titles.


How to Use the Facility

Researching with the Collections

Users who are not affiliated with Brown University or the Rhode Island School of Design must submit an online reader registration form before accessing the collections. While there, users must follow all Reading Room regulations. Reproduction services are available and are dependent upon the physical condition and intellectual property status of the individual objects. For more information, please visit the library's Using Special Collections webpage.

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For all comments and questions about the Guide, please e-mail us:

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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