Giving Opportunities

The Library appreciates and welcomes gifts of all sizes. If you are interested in supporting one of the below areas, please contact Harriette Hemmasi at or 401-863-2162 or give online


  • Special Collections

    Brown University Library’s renowned Special Collections, most of which reside in the John Hay Library, contain more than 3 million items (well over half of the University Library’s total holdings), and include some 350,000 printed books and over 2 million manuscripts, broadsides, prints, maps, photographs, pieces of sheet music, and ephemera. Special Collections support campus-based teaching and research as well as national and international scholarship, with holdings ranging from Babylonian clay tablets, Egyptian papyri, and pre-1501 imprints to extensive collections in the history of science, military history, American poetry and plays, Abraham Lincoln, magic, extremist and dissenting literature, American wit and humor, and Rhode Island history. For more information about the Library’s holdings visit Special Collections of Brown University: A History & Guide.

  • Digital Collections

    Brown digitizes the Library’s signature collections of manuscripts, photographs, books, and other primary resources and makes them available online. The Library also provides access to licensed electronic resources, including more than 700,000 e-books and 74,000 journals (97% available online), and online subscription databases. Support for the Library’s Digital Collections enables subscriptions to digital resources and increased accessibility to the Library’s rare and significant collections anytime, anywhere.

  • General Collections

    The Library’s general collections include more than 4 million printed volumes covering a broad range of information in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts, science and mathematics, as well as music materials in all formats. Support for the Library’s General Collections enables us to build on strengths, enhance the richness and depth of targeted subject areas, expand holdings in new areas of emphasis, and meet the needs of students, faculty, and researchers more effectively.


  • College Street Reading Room, Rockefeller Library

    The College Street Reading Room is located in the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library. It occupies a prime location on the first floor, and establishes the identity of the Library providing visibility from the exterior. It also serves as a major patron thruway leading to the new state-of-the-art Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab, the Hecker Training Classroom, and the Laura and David Finn Reading Room. The renovation of this space will be key in bringing the Rock into the 21st Century.

  • Graduate Student Research Commons

    While the designation of graduate and undergraduate study areas has begun to address the diverse learning styles and research needs of students, adequate space designated for graduate students is still lacking. Funds to support the Graduate Student Research Commons at the Rock will allow the Library to create a state-of-the-art, flexible research space designated for graduate students.

  • Special Collections Conservation Lab

    While the Library maintains a preservation lab in the John Hay Library, its space and equipment are inadequate for supporting the conservation needs of the collections, particularly our world-renowned rare and unique materials. Funds for the Preservation Lab will support the development and maintenance of appropriate work spaces, work surfaces, and the purchase of conservation equipment and materials that meet current conservation standards.

  • Quiet Study Spaces Among the Stacks

    Perimeter seating in the stacks of the Rock, while in valued locations with good views and natural light, is uncomfortable and does not meet contemporary study needs. Support for these spaces will enable the Library to provide furnishings, lighting, and environmental factors to enable more effective use of quiet study areas, and reduce crowding in other library spaces.

General Library Endowment

  • Emerging Opportunities

    The Library must respond quickly and effectively to evolving University priorities and the 21st Century needs of Brown students and faculty. This flexible fund enables the Library to keep pace with technology and curriculum developments across the disciplines.

  • Center for Digital Scholarship

    The Center for Digital Scholarship is a cross-departmental group which supports scholarly and academic activities that are conducted or enhanced through the use of digital technology at Brown. CDS builds infrastructure, interfaces, tools, and systems that support digital information and scholarly activity; develops new digital projects with and for Brown community members; engages in research and experimental development work on tools and technologies that contribute to the broader understanding of digital scholarship and scholarly communication; and serves as a locus of expertise in digital scholarship. Donations to CDS support the general operations of this group, and the special projects they help to develop, manage, and promote for Brown.

  • Technology Support and Renewal

    The University Library provides access to over two hundred computers, and allows students to borrow a variety of equipment and computer peripherals, from microscopes to laptops, headphones and power cords. Library spaces include cutting edge technology to support the teaching, learning, and research needs of the Brown community. Technology support and renewal allows the Library to maintain up-to-date software and hardware for patron use, and to conduct routine maintenance and replacement of equipment.

  • Staff Recruitment and Development

    The Library recruits, hires, develops, and retains professional librarians, managers, administrative and technical support staff who are highly qualified and possess a commitment to customer service excellence. Donations to Staff Recruitment and Development assist the Library in covering the costs of hosting, interviewing, and hiring staff who will make long-term contributions to the Library and University, supporting professional development for Library staff, and providing training opportunities to ensure staff skills keep pace with changing needs.

To establish a new endowment (minimum $25,000), please contact Harriette Hemmasi at