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John Hay Library

20 Prospect Street, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912 (College Hill)
401-863-3723
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Ranked #38 of 70 Attractions in Providence
Type: Libraries
Most recent review
- Sep 5, 2013
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10 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pleasant Hill, California
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
28 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2013

After reading the new Biography by John Taliaferro (an excellent biography) I wanted to see the Sargeant painting located in the library. Be aware the library is being renovated for 9 months.

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Vermont
Top Contributor
131 reviews 131 reviews
67 attraction reviews
120 helpful votes 120 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

John Hay Library has incredible collections and the helpful and welcoming librarians make it a pleasure to visit. There is a small display case in the lobby with a rotating exhibit for casual visitors (i.e., not there on a research visit) to enjoy.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Lakeland, Florida
Top Contributor
113 reviews 113 reviews
36 attraction reviews
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 27, 2012

We got to see so much greatness here....Collections of toy soldiers, Lincoln and Napoleon Memorabilia, Stamps, and a Slavery exhibit. You should definitely go and arrange for a tour. So overwhelmed with what we saw. We really want to go again. Walk around the campus too. Lovely!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Providence, Rhode Island
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
51 attraction reviews
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

The John Hay, Library which is named after a friend of Henry James who was the first modern US Secretary of State, is a stately, somewhat boring marble faced edifice that houses the university's main special collections, collections, however, which are far from being in the league of those at Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Texas, and so on. Not much of... More

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Dartmouth, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
8 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 15, 2012

Nice place to visit if you're doing research on American history.

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Connecticut
Top Contributor
188 reviews 188 reviews
62 attraction reviews
96 helpful votes 96 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

We dropped into the Hay Library while visiting Brown University. The staff at the desk was so friendly and helpful! We went up to the top floor to see the toy soldier collection. I've never been interested in toy soldiers before, but this collection was large and extraordinary. I was quite caught up in the lovely little display of WWII... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Providence, Rhode Island
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
26 attraction reviews
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2012

I love the marble building of this library as well as the comfortable interior. It is not crowded so it is a great place to study when they are open. I find their schedule to be quite limited.

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Corvallis, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2012

I stopped in to study, the lady at the desk was very welcoming and even let me borrow a quarter so I could put my things in a locker. The windows are large and let a ton of sunlight into the reading room.

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Rhode Island
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
32 attraction reviews
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2011

If you love history and books and old manuscripts, you'll love this library! This is a research library so stacks are closed but but there's plenty to see. This library is Brown University's Special Collections library. Contrary to what the previous reviewer said, it's easy to get in. There are two exhibit rooms inside the front entrance and more exhibits... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
RI
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 17, 2009

They don't let just anyone in here, so don't expect to just hop in and start checking out on-of-a-kind texts. I went on the Providence Ghost Tour, and after having tried to get in without success, learned a lot about this building on their tour. Beautiful location, beautiful building, amazing contents. On a lovely street corner and in walking distance... More

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