The concept of a Signature Collection derives from that of a special collection. As a subset of special collections, signature collections are noted by their comprehensiveness; their uniqueness (both in terms of individual rarity and as a collected whole); as well as the state of their processing, and as such warrant additional attention. The Brown University Library is committed to fostering these collections and to making them available to scholars, without regard to status or affiliation, through a systematic digitization program. In addition to providing digital surrogates for the materials within a signature collection, Brown University Library works with faculty and students to develop contextual information through which the user may better understand the materials. These supplementary materials may include essays, timelines, biographies, and historical vignettes. The Napoleonic Satires collection, for example, includes several of these features.
African American Sheet Music, 1820-1920
This collection of African-American sheet music features many songs from the heyday of antebellum black face minstrelsy in the 1850s, and chronicles the rise of African American musical theater.
Alcohol, Temperance & Prohibition
Brown's collections of materials on alcohol, alcoholism, temperance and prohibition are among the largest of their type in the country. This digital collection includes broadsides, sheet music, pamphlets, and government publications, providing perspective on the temperance and prohibition movements in the United States.
Brown Archival & Manuscript Collections Online
A collection of finding aids providing enhanced access to primary source materials in many subject areas, including: American literature, American political and diplomatic history, Rhode Island history, and women's studies. Many of the manuscript collections have been digitized with links from the finding aid to digital facsimiles of letters, photographs, or other objects.
A collection of carriers' addresses dating from the late 18th through the early 20th century. Illustrated with wood-engravings and decorative borders, carriers' addresses are distinctive examples of popular publishing in nineteenth century America, and represent an important resource for the study of American poetry, history and the printing arts.
Instructional Image Collection
Brown University uses Luna Insight for management and retrieval of images for instructional use, and uses Insight software to connect to remote collections, such as AMICA and Rumsey Maps. Images can be accessed using either a web or desktop client.
James Koetting Ghana Field Recordings Collection
This digital collection presents a vibrant mix of traditional and popular music recorded at a broad range of locations and events in Ghana during the 1970s by ethnomusicologist James Koetting, and includes recorded interviews, musical demonstrations, field notebooks, photographs, commentary, and other source material surrounding Koetting's research.
Lincolniana at Brown
A collection of manuscripts, images, broadsides, newspapers, sheet music and other objects by and about Abraham Lincoln
A collection of Napoleonic satirical prints produced between 1792 and 1829, from
Germany, Britain, France, Holland, and Russia, by such noted artists as James Gillray and George Cruikshank.
Prints, Drawings and Watercolors from the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection
This vast collection of military artwork from the 16th through 20th centuries, contains thousands of battle and campaign scenes, portraits, caricatures, and is part of one of the world's largest collections devoted to the study of military and naval uniforms.
World War I Sheet Music
A collection of over 1700 pieces of sheet music published during World War I, including works written by Irving Berlin, George M. Cohan, and performed by Al Jolson, and the Ziegfeld Follies.
Yiddish Sheet Music
A collection of sheet music with focus on the Yiddish-language musical stage from the 1880's through the 1940's, and including many photographs of composers and performers.