Open Doors

Join the JCB Library to celebrate Spring with Welcome and Access. On May 19, the JCB will open its doors to a renovated front entrance, a state-of-the-art digital space, and more.

On this page you will find more information about the events of May 19 and associated ongoing programming.


A drawing showing the renovation of the JCB façade

A Gentle Renovation

If you walked by the JCB's beautiful historic facade recently, you will have noticed that we have been renovating the west entrance to the building. This renovation has enhanced the front porch to accommodate a walkway and added automatic doors for full accessibility.  The refurbished wooden doors now stand inside glass doors, illuminated when the building is closed, and when the library is open allowing a view through to the interior.

We are also refreshing exhibition spaces. The new exhibit 1846: Inventing Americana at the John Carter Brown Library is opening on site and online, and in the historic MacMillan Reading Room we will be sharing a history of JCB exhibits and publications.

a decorative pattern in the form of scales used in the decoration of the JCB library

A New Digital Door

Just as we have renovated the west entrance, we have renovated our digital front door.  The JCB has a long tradition of opening access to its materials.  Since the Photostat machine of the early twentieth century to the Welcome and Access initiative in the last year we have wanted to share our collection using the latest technology. 

Building this digital space has been as complex as the physical renovation, requiring similar attention to the JCB's traditions and future, to design and to user experience. We have learned so much in the pandemic about how the JCB can support and share inquiry into the early Americas, in large part through the essential service of our digital collections. We want to use what we have learned as we think about how we serve students, scholars, and communities near and far. 

During the JCB Open Doors on May 19 we will launch our new digital platform, Americana, which will bring together in one place all of our digital assets, allow users from around the world to create projects with these materials, and host our extensive and ongoing program of digital exhibitions.

Access Americana