Brown University’s John Hay Library
John Hay was a member of the class of 1858. He served as Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary during the Civil War and later became Secretary of State.
The John Hay Library opened in November 1910 and was used as the University’s primary library until 1964.
(What did people do in libraries before Tumblr? Read quietly?!)
Fun Fact of the Day: The Sacred Library Curse
The John Hay, the Annmary Brown Memorial Library, and the John Carter Brown are considered the “sacred” libraries on campus and it’s been said that entering all three during your freshman year means you will never get married. It is believed that this curse was born back when the JCB was so exclusive that the librarian needed to decide if you would be allowed in, thus labeling the students that studied there super nerds who probably wouldn’t get married.
Fun Fact of the Day: Skin-bound Book
The John Hay Library is known for having famed items, such as an original copy of The Great Gatsby with a note from F. Scott Fitzgerald to T.S. Eliot, one of the largest magic literature collections, an original copy of Sir Isaac Newton’s Principia, and one of the largest toy soldier collections in the world. In addition to these awesome things, Brown also owns three books that are bound in human skin. Weird? Yes. Even weirder is that you’re allowed to touch them if you ask the librarians. Surprisingly enough, they just feel like leather. Go on, touch them. We know you’re intrigued.
Fun Fact of the Day: Feeling Magical?
We know that Brown feels a lot like Hogwarts (no, it’s not because Emma Watson attends school here), therefore it is no surprise that some people may be interested in upping their performance magic. Lucky for you, Brown’s own John Hay library has one of the most extensive collection of books relating to magic. This collection was donated by Adrian Smith in 1988, and it’s rivaled only by The Library of Congress.