Dedicated in 1964, the John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Library was built to house collections in the humanities and social sciences and, at the time, was billed as having the capacity for 1.5 million books—although perhaps not quite that many if they were all as big as these volumes—along with smoking rooms and the latest in desk-to-stack efficiency, a pneumatic tube messaging system. Most recently renovated six years ago, looming shelves like these have been replaced by meeting and study spaces. The periodicals room is now the Sidney E. Frank Digital Studio, complete with a recording booth and 3D printer. Designed by Danforth Toan, the Rock caused a stir as the first Brutalist building on Brown’s campus; later Brutalist additions include the SciLi, Graduate Center, and List Art Center.
Reader Responses to Stocking the Rock
Despite Brown being one of the “hot” and “fashionable” colleges of the 1980s, radiant in its John F. Kennedy Jr. ’83 and Countess Cosima von Bulow Pavoncelli ’89 glow, I couldn’t write a major research paper without borrowing books from Harvard. I’m sure things have changed!