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Get to know the poet — Juan Ramón Jiménez exhibit

When you enter the Library you will see two posters: a large hanging photograph of Juan Ramón Jiménez with “Aquel chopo de luz,” and, on an easel, a smaller poster which says “Get to know the poet” and “JUAN RAMÓN JIMÉNEZ, FOURTH FLOOR, FALVEY LIBRARY NOW THRU 3/31.”

To learn just who he is, you should go up to the fourth floor where a group of colorful paper lanterns direct you to the lounge area at the back of the building.

Here you will find a remarkable series of thirty-four large posters which trace the life of the Spanish poet who received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1956. The first poster, the same as the one posted at the Falvey entrance, shows one of the numerous photographs included in this comprehensive documentation of his life and works. The inscription, “Aquel chopo de luz (That poplar tree of light),” is taken from Espacio (Space), one of Jiménez’s poems. (more…)


The Owl

The latest addition to the Villanova Digital Collection is The Owl. This student magazine published by Phi Kappa Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, highlighted student life and activities in the engineering community at Villanova from 1925 to 1933. In 1933 the title changed to The Villanova engineer. Currently online are the first two volumes with more to be added soon.

In addition to articles about new engineering projects in the Delaware Valley, The Owl carried news about students and engineering alumni. Photographs taken by engineering students are featured in most issues and show the vibrant and energetic Villanova, then college not university, campus of the 1920s. Sport also figures in many issues with photographs of athletic events and athletes, and a score roundup in most issues.

Here are photographs of the annual Engineer’s Banquet from the Spring of 1927, and engineering professors out of the classroom:



As can be seen in the following cartoons which are included in most issues, many highly talented and creative students produced The Owl. For example, in the “Snapshots of Tech Life”, students are whimsically portrayed in romantic scenes under the rubric of the serious “Astronomical Absurdities”.



Villanova student engineers were involved in drafting plans for the future development of campus as can be noted in this illustration taken from a published engineering study of a proposed new athletic field in the space where the Pavillion now rests.



Feedback Friday: When numbers talk, we listen.

calculatorDid you know that over 3700 people used the library on December 10, 2008? Based on that data (and student requests), we have decided to offer late night hours the week before spring term final exams and the week of spring term final exams. Can you guess which date this spring will have the highest entrance count at Falvey?
Tell us in the Comments!


ReferenceUSA Trial

When the renewals for Ward’s Business Directory and Hoover’s Handbooks of [Emerging, Private, World and American] Companies came around this Spring, I had to decline.   The print editions just aren’t getting enough usage to justify the price.  As a consequence, the library is looking to round out its online access to quality US and global business information. Let us know what you think of one of the top contenders, ReferenceUSA.

We have an extended trial to ReferenceUSA an outstanding source for US public and private businesses.  Their enhanced records are verified by phone and include credit score, proximate businesses, estimated sales and expenses and public filings.  OneSource, their global company directory, offers much, much, more then a online company database.  It supports ranking by sales, assets, employees and market value.  It has one of the easiest interfaces I’ve encountered for searching by SIC, NAIC or local controlled vocabulary.  And a feature, I’m sure students will love is the quick and simple aggregation of industry reports from Datamonitor, Business Monitor International, Freedonia, and STAT-USA all in one place.

You can access ReferenceUSA from the Marketing, Managment, Accounting and Finance pages in the Company and Industry Tabs.  Let me know what you think.


“Lost in a sea of conjecture”: Stokes collection fully transcribed

This week marked the completion of the first fully transcribed collection available in the Digital Library. The Stokes Collection contains a small number of letters to and a speech by William Axton Stokes (1814 – 1877) who was a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, attorney who contributed notes and references to an U.S. edition of Mathew Hale’s (1609-1676) Historia placitorum coronae (History of the pleas of the crown) published by R. H. Small of Philadelphia in 1847. Stokes later served as a major in the U.S. Infantry during the American Civil War, including a period in 1861 commanding at the 18th U.S. Infantry Headquarters, Camp Thomas, Franklin County, Ohio.


His stirring speech, at the Union Convention of Westmoreland County, PA in 1861, was delivered in support of the united American Republic and in favor of the war to crush rebellion. He denies the rebel cause by systematically positing that the rebel states have no right of secession, no grounds for revolution, and no justifiable argument against Abraham Lincoln’s election to the presidency. [Images ]

In 1874, Stokes was part of a committee appointed to report upon the operations of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. [Images Transcription]

In addition to the Villanova University Collection, a small collection of Stokes documents can also be found in the Special Collections Department at the University of Delaware Library.

Over the last month both Susan Ottignon and Ward Barnes worked on deciphering the letters to Stokes. Seven manuscript letters are included in the collection spanning the years from 1839 to 1870. Some of these letters are to his wife Mary and relate to the death of a friend in the Western Pennsylvania Hospital for the Insane. While others ask for assistance about military duty in the Civil War.

The longest letter, which is also authored by Stokes, describes in detail the courtship, and his proposal of marriage, to Mary. This is a serial letter written over a number of days and may very well have not been mailed. It thus shows the inner dialog of Stokes as he deals with Mary’s rejection of his initial proposal:

But am I mistaken? Can I love? – I should think not, and yet how am I to account for this repulse and its manners so cold and so indignant – Could any woman who loved as one should in her situation should, could any such one do as she did? I do not know – Lost in a sea of conjecture, without knowledge [or] skill, I am tossed about by doubts and fears of this most painful nature.

I know that she would not voluntarily deceive me. Can she deceive herself? But for this one single sentence and its manner I should at once repudiate such an idea. But how else am I to answer for this?

Perhaps she may know enough, (although not very experienced) to think that an occassional repulse will … to increase the exhibition of my feelings. She forgets that this is a very dangerous scheme in its self and besides it is a game at which two can play. I will do it. I will be as reserved as she is and as she wants me to be more dignified I will give enough dignity to make her tired of it forever.


Picturing Women’s History

Did you know that ARTstor includes the Schlesinger History of Women in America Collection? This digital collection includes over 36,000 images  from Harvard University’s Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library, the leading national repository for women’s history. “These images represent the work of both professional and amateur artistic and documentary photographers, including the work of many women photographers as well as men.”

Click here to see a selection of images from the Schlesinger Collection, including pictures of Amelia Earhart, Clara Barton, and Susan B. Anthony. Browse through the images with the help of the arrows at the bottom of the screen. Click on the i-button for detailed information about the images.

To search the complete collection, please go to the Library’s homepage, click on Databases A-Z, select ARTstor and add the keywords schlesinger, harvard to your search terms. Alternatively go to Find and select Browse ARTstor by collection.


Philadelphia’s Public Ledger now available via “America’s Historical Newspapers”

The Philadelphia Public Ledger (1836-1942), Philadelphia’s first penny paper, was recently added to America’s Historical Newspapers, 1690-1922. Over 5,000 issues of the Public Ledger ranging from 1836 to 1876 are now accessible online. The Library also retains the complete run of the Public Ledger on microfilm.

America’s Historical Newspapers includes more than 60 newspaper titles published in Philadelphia between 1690 and 1922, among them the Philadelphia Inquirer for the years 1860 to 1922 and the Philadelphia Evening Post.

For more information about the Public Ledger, click here to read a short article from the Oxford Companion to American Literature.


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John Paul II and Benedict XVI: An Enduring Legacy

Brennan C. Pursell, Ph.D., will address the idea that Benedict XVI is a continuation of John Paul II, as many claim him to be. Although basically contemporary and presumably theologically in sync, can Benedict XVI and John Paul II be considered to be liberal and conservative simultaneously? Dr. Pursell discusses whether the reputation of being both at the same time suits Benedict XVI as it did for John Paul II, the people’s pope. (more…)


A Connection between Poverty and Mass Incarceration: Dr. DeFina To Discuss Award Winning Work

DefinaRobert DeFina, Ph.D., professor of sociology, is the recipient of the University’s 2008 Outstanding Faculty Research Award for his work, The Impact of Mass Incarceration on Poverty. On Thurs. Mar. 26, Dr. DeFina will share his work, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. in the first floor lounge of Falvey.

One of the most pressing social problems of the last thirty years is the persistence of poverty in the face of overall economic growth. Researchers have examined a variety of possible causes including de-industrialization, lower minimum wages, de-unionization and technological change. However, much remains unexplained. (more…)


Dr. Shawn Howton on Real Estate Investment Trusts: A Unique Tool for Research

howtonWhat makes real estate investment trusts unique? In his presentation, “The Valuation Effects of Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) Common Stock Repurchases,” Shawn D. Howton, Ph.D., associate professor of finance, Villanova School of Business and director of the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, will address the unique characteristics of REITs. The talk will take place on Wed., Mar. 11, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m. in the first floor lounge of Falvey.

Dr. Howton will shed light on what REIT’s are and why they make for a unique laboratory for research. He will also outline the findings of his working paper, Do REIT repurchases signal value changes in rivals? An analysis of the stock price reaction of non-repurchasing REITs. He will focus on how values are affected by open market stock repurchases for these unique firms.

Not only is there an active Villanova Real Estate Society, advised by Dr. Howton, and a Real Estate minor, but there is also a lot of interest in this field around campus, according to Dr. Howton. The talk will be of special importance to anyone with an interest in commercial real estate.

Dr. Howton’s presentation is part of the Scholarship @ Villanova series sponsored by Falvey this semester.


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Last Modified: March 6, 2009