G_34A College Hill - Looking West Through The Class of 1872 Gate at Brown University to the John Hay Library (1910 & 1939) - 20 Prospect Street with the H. P. Lovecraft Memorial Plaque to the Right
The plaque on the Class of 1872 Gate (built by the Norcross Brothers for $1217) was given by Louise Harris, Class 0f 1926, and reads,
"1770-1840 -- Near this location
Was the first official residence
Of the President of Brown
Thanks to Gayle D. Lynch, Brown University Archives for the Gate information.
The John Hay Library was designed in the English Renaissance style by the eminent Boston architectural firm of Shepley Rutan & Coolidge.
It opened as the main library of Brown University in November 1910, continued to serve that function until 1964; and now houses the University Library’s collections of rare books and manuscripts, the University Archives, and many special collections on a wide variety of topics. Strong areas of coverage include: American literature and popular culture, political and diplomatic history, the history of science, book arts and graphics, and of course, H. P. Lovecraft.
The Library is named for John Hay, class of 1858, who served as Abraham Lincoln’s private secretary during the Civil War and later became Secretary of State. His papers and personal library also form part of the collections at the John Hay.
With room for 300,000 volumes, the capacity of the John Hay Library was expected to be adequate for many decades, but by the 1930's demand for more space became so critical that a brick wing providing two floors of reading space for 140 readers, and six floors of stack space for 150,000 volumes was added on to the John Hay Library in 1939.
The John Hay Library is mentioned in H. P. Lovecraft's, "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward," and in his "The Haunter of the Dark."
The H. P. Lovecraft Memorial Plaque at 22 Prospect Street, was unveiled on 19-August-1990 by The Friends of H. P. Lovecraft; and officially dedicated on 20-August-1990 by The City of Providence, Brown University, and The Friends of H. P. Lovecraft.
The Friends of H. P. Lovecraft, the brainchild of Jon B. Cooke, really took off in earnest on May 11, 1990, when Cooke teamed up with S. T. Joshi and Will Murray to broadcast an appeal for funds for the H. P. Lovecraft Memorial Plaque to be dedicated to the Providence fantasy writer on the grounds of Brown University's John Hay Library on the centennial of Lovecraft's birth on Monday, August 20, 1990. The full story of how this all came about can be read in the 1990 Necronomicon Press booklet, "The H. P. Lovecraft Memorial Plaque" by "The Friends of H. P. Lovecraft".
Photo taken by Will Hart on 19-August-1990.
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