The Library's newest initiative, African Americas, draws attention to the JCB's significant archive of materials related to the history of Africans in the Americas and sponsors new ways of engaging with the collection at all levels. A lecture on October 4, 2019 by noted historian Herman Bennett (CUNY Graduate Center) on his most recent book, African Kings and Black Slaves (Philadelphia, 2019), inaugurated this initiative, with other activities related to the history of Africa, Africans in the Americas, and the history of slavery and the slave trade throughout the Americas planned for the 2020-2021 academic year and beyond.
The Library’s Indigenous Studies initiative has sparked conversations about how the JCB can best acknowledge, encourage, and provide support for indigenous studies as a central node in the history of the Americas. Focused on the use of the Library’s collections, the initiative has provided a dedicated space – through lectures, fellowships, symposia, and exhibitions – to highlight new approaches and new questions posed by scholars of indigenous history, literature, language, and culture.
Outreach to Brown
As part of its academic and public outreach mission, the JCB regularly hosts undergraduate class visits, organizes show-and-tells of rare materials, and invites all of the Brown community to its public events. The Library awards the J.M. Stuart Fellowship as an academic-year fellowship for a Brown graduate student and participates in the Graduate School's Interdisciplinary Opportunities fellowship program by hosting one fellow per academic year.