University News

Stocking the Rock

By Pippa Jack
March 28th, 2022
Image of two students unpacking books at the Rockefeller Library at Brown
PHOTO: Brown Archives

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 Most recently renovated six years ago, looming shelves like these have been replaced by meeting and study spaces.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.

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