Exhibit | April 23, 2012

Hans Sloane Exhibit at the John Carter Brown Library

THE JOHN CARTER BROWN LIBRARY announces the opening of a new exhibition which uses the history of Hans Sloane’s voyage to Jamaica in 1687 to 1689 to raise new questions about the intersection of science and slavery in the early modern Atlantic world. The exhibition is guest-curated by former JCB Fellow, James Delbourgo.

Sloane (1660-1753) is best known as the Enlightenment naturalist whose enormous collections of specimens, objects, books and manuscripts formed the basis for the British Museum, which opened in London in 1759. His voyage to Jamaica was a crucial early step in his scientific career, allowing him to bring back a stunning collection of hundreds of plants, animals and ethnographic artifacts. James Delbourgo is Associate Professor of History of Science and Atlantic World at Rutgers University and consulting advisor to “Reconstructing Sloane,” an ongoing collaborative research project between the British Museum, British Library, and Natural History Museum in London.

The display of books, book illustrations, prints, and maps will be on view in the MacMillan Reading Room at the John Carter Brown Library from May 1 through August 31, 2012, and can be seen online from early May 2012 at www.jcbl.org/sloane.html.

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition, James Delbourgo will give a public lecture on “Animal Magic in Sloane’s Jamaica,” May 3, 5:30 p.m., in the MacMillan Reading Room. There will be a scholarly colloquium on “Early Modern Knowledge and Cross-Cultural Encounter,” Friday, May 4, 9 a.m. to noon, co-chaired by James Delbourgo and Jeremy Mumford, Dept. of History, Brown Univer-sity, and co-sponsored by the JCB, and the Depts. of History and History of Art and Architecture at Brown University. Limited access — for information contact Margot Nishimura (margot_nishimura@brown.edu).

The John Carter Brown Library is a private, non-profit,  independently funded and administered institution for advanced research in history and the humanities, founded  in 1846 and located at Brown University since 1901.

The John Carter Brown Library
Box 1894
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912