On July 30th Edward Widmer, Director of the John Carter Brown Library (JCB), invited our research group to visit this library, crucial for every Atlantic historian. We took the train to Providence and in an hour met him in the beautiful building at Brown University´s campus. Besides the pleasure of going back to the library—where I was fellow in 2008—, the warm welcome we received and the rich explanations about the materials we could find there, we discovered how an old library was transmuted into a New World helping historians in unprecedented ways. Since 2008 they have digitized and made public a large amount of unique books allowing historians from everywhere to have access to them. The library´s new policy of making some of its material available from afar does not stop scholars from visiting the library and working there—they provide fellowships for that–, quite the opposite. Edward Widmer knows well that JCB´s collection is absolutely exceptional and that JCB fellows who arrive to work on a research project leave with at least two concluded projects, and with new perspectives out of the scholarly exchange between the Atlantic historians researching in such a scholar´s paradise. The whole group is immensely grateful to him for the time and dedication he devoted to us last Friday.
Eva Botella Ordinas, coordinator of Atlantic Empires.