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Digital Library adds 8,000th item

By Michael Foight

In March 2010, the 8,000th item was added to the Digital Library. In April 2008 the Digital Library uploaded the 4,000th item, so in less than two years the collection size has doubled.

The title is from the Joseph McGarrity Book Collection and it is a newly purchased book from 1911:  Standing rules and regulations for the government and guidance of the Royal Irish Constabulary, the Irish police force prior to Irish independence. (See the Blue Electrode blog for the complete article.)

Villanova University’s Digital Library initiative assembles, presents and preserves digital collections that support the teaching and research of the campus and the global community of scholars.


EconLit with Full Text Trial

We’ve got a trial for EconLit with Full Text!    EBSCO, one of the leading academic database platform and journal subscription agents, offers an enchanced version of the American Economic Association’s indexing and abstracting service EconLit.   In the plain vanilla version of EconLit that we have been using, to obtain the full text of articles, working papers, conference papers, dissertations and book chapters the searcher needs to use the “findit” button to link to the full text of content via journal subscriptions, our catalog or open access sources.  EconLit with Full Text does not entirely eliminate the need to link through to content, but does cut down on it because the full text of some 540 journals reside in the database.

EBSCO’s search platform is different from EconLit via FirstSearch or OCLC, but is still searchable by JEL classification and all of the precise fields you are used to finding.  You man even find the search screen and results display more intuitive and pleasing to the eye!  Please give it a test drive and let me know what you think.


Dictionary of Literary Biography Complete — Now on trial

The Dictionary of Literary Biography print series has been a favorite with students and scholars for many years, often the first place to go to find authoritative biographical and critical essays on “the world’s most influential literary figures from all eras and genres.” The digitized version, now on trial for the use of the Villanova University community, includes the thousands of images contained in the print volumes.

From Phillis Wheatley to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Chinua Achebe, the DLB content covers writers’ “lives, works and careers”  in a format that is fully searchable.

The trial is in effect until July 22 and includes access to Literature Criticism Online and Something About the Authors Online as well. (If the link takes you to the Databases A-Z page, return to the blog article to connect to the database. UNIT is currently working on this problem.)

Let us know what you think!


Calling All Distance Learners: Falvey Really Delivers

When I was a kid, the Bookmobile, as it was called, used to park at the end of our street for a couple of hours every Friday afternoon. It transported a small selection of books, as many as could fit into a converted school bus. If a book was located at the main library or at another branch, I could place a request and pick it up the next time the Bookmobile came to town. This outreach service of our municipal library really gave me a feeling of empowerment. I got the same service as an adult!

If you are part of the growing number of Villanova University students enrolled in distance learning courses, you too can feel empowered by taking advantage of many of Falvey Memorial Library’s resources and services available to your on-campus counterparts.

For starters, take a quick, virtual tour and get to know the home page hot spots, especially the online catalog tab where you can search for books held in Falvey’s collection. If you are currently registered in 100% distance learning courses, books can be shipped to you via UPS. The library even pays the shipping charges both ways!

Do you need authoritative, scholarly resources for a paper or research assignment? If you limit your search to Google, then you’re missing out. Your LDAP ID and password will unlock a treasure-trove of electronic resources that can be delivered to your computer screen, from full-text scholarly journal articles to digitized historical documents.

The Library also offers document delivery services to Villanova students, staff, and faculty who are too busy to retrieve and photocopy articles from the physical journal collection in Falvey. If you would like library staff to send you a digitized copy of an article from our print collection, use the Interlibrary Loan Request form on ILLiad.

If you’re unsure where to begin your search, try clicking the “Research” tab on the Falvey home page. Here you will find subject and course guides created by the library’s subject specialists, whose photos and contact information appear on each page. Falvey librarians will also be happy to provide individualized assistance via telephone and e-mail. Look for this buttonchat and you can even chat with someone online.

Learning can take place anywhere, and the Falvey staff wants to help you succeed.
Other helpful links:

Falvey home page
Description of services to distance learners
Hours of service when you can speak to a staff member or subject specialist by phone
Online encyclopedias, dictionaries and more
Help! I have to do research for a paper! (Tutorial)
Part 1: What are scholarly journal articles? (3 min)
Part 2: How do I find scholarly journal articles? (2:42 min)
Part 3: Database searching simplified (3:42 min)


Stephen Spatz wins Harper Magazine's crossword puzzle contest

stephen-spatz-aeb-thumbnailStephen Spatz, assistant outreach librarian, was one of three winners for the April crossword puzzle contest, “Alphabetical Inserts,” in Harper’s Magazine. The announcement is in the June issue. Each month winners are selected from the first three randomly chosen correct solutions sent to Harper’s. Each winner receives a one year subscription to the magazine. Stephen has been sending his completed crossword puzzles to the magazine for several years and was pleasantly surprised to be called by the puzzle editor telling him he was a winner.

Stephen said, “This is how I relax.” Stephen has been working crossword puzzles since he was in the fourth grade when he did them with his father. Stephen’s other hobby is writing and recording music.

The Harper’s crossword puzzles are cryptic, a complicated and difficult type of crossword puzzle  in which the whole puzzle has a theme and the clues are themselves puzzles which must be solved to get the correct answer.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


“One of these days how ridiculous will all this appear”

A recent addition to the Digital Library is the friendship book of Cornelia Fletcher. This is a blank album in which affectionate friends and relatives wrote selections of poetry and prose they thought Cornelia might enjoy—sort of akin to both a commonplace book and the notes one finds in yearbooks. Most of the selections are works by popular authors (with or without attribution!), but several appear to be original. In addition to poetry and prose, there are also several artistic works, including pen-and-ink drawings, watercolors, and colored sketches.

Colored drawing of an artist's palette

The earliest entries in Cornelia’s friendship book are dated 1828, with the latest date being 1842—though many of the entries are not dated. Although, as noted, the majority of selections are not original, there are some noteworthy entries. The entries inscribed by “J.A.C.”, for instance, are most likely from Cornelia’s husband, Joseph Ashmead Clay. “J.A.C.” appears several times throughout the book, having selected for contribution several poems by George Herbert. Although one might expect these entries to have been written during their courtship, all of Clay’s entries are dated 1840—five years after his marriage to Cornelia! (As an example, see Herbert’s “Vertue” on page 89 of the album.) On a sadder note, there are two poems about the death of an infant on pages 181 to 185 of the album. These poems, dated June 1842 and without a signed inscriber, perhaps offer a glimpse of Cornelia’s own grief upon the loss of a child.

Colored drawing of a flower

My favorite inscription, however, is a note on page 12 from “C.H.P.”, dated 1831. The note begins with: “If there is one thing in this world that I dislike more than another, it is a Young Ladies Album, and a more decided bore I never suffered in my life than writing in one.” Despite these opening sentiments, the author was clearly fond of Cornelia, and grudgingly accepts the “necessary evil” of inscribing something to be remembered by.

Manuscript image

Cornelia Fletcher’s personal history is not easily traced in great detail, but I have found that she was a daughter of Noah and Elizabeth Fletcher, born in 1814 in Washington, D.C. She married Joseph Ashmead Clay, a prominent lawyer of Philadelphia, on 12 March 1835 and presumably moved to Philadelphia with him at that time. Cornelia died in Philadelphia on 24 December 1880.

The original manuscript is also available for use in the library Rare Book Room.

Colored drawing of goats


Cornelia Fletcher’s friendship book in the Digital Library.

Cornelia Fletcher’s marriage license is listed in the District of Columbia Marriage Licenses: Register 1, 1811-1858, available on Google Books here.

Information about Cornelia’s grave, along with information about her children, can be found here.

For information about Joseph Ashmead Clay (and several other generations of Clays), see Cecil Clay’s The Family of Clay, of New Castle, Delaware & Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1895), available from the Internet Archive here.

Colored drawing of a flower


Everyone’s favorite cookie

Last month, our friend Matt Herbison at the Independence Seaport Museum Library & Archives introduced me to Photosynth. Photosynth is a Microsoft product that stitches together multiple images into a 3D scene. It’s really fun to play around with some of the “synths” that are posted on the website!

Matt thought this venue would be a good idea for my tree project, but for my first trial I opted to do an outdoor sculpture instead. I took 72 photos of “Awakening,” a sculpture referred to on-campus as “the Oreo” because of its resemblance to a certain cookie, and you can see the resulting “synth” I created here.


Stay tuned for trees!


Summer reading: Staff’s stellar selections secure certain satisfaction

Handling Sin (Little, Brown, 1986)

Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System-and Themselves (Viking, 2009)

handling-sin_ed1Planned poolside reading is a contradiction in terms; it should be picked up on a whim, based on a summer friend’s chit chat, what’s hanging around the “take a book, leave a book” shelf, or the appeal of a paperback cover. Based on all of the above, I started reading Michael Malone’s Handling Sin this Memorial Day.

Too Big to Fail: The Inside Story of How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System-and Themselves by Andrew Ross Sorkin is believed to be the best and most sweeping account to date of the underlying causes of the financial crisis, complemented by intimate details of the personalities and events as they unfolded. This book, one of Bartley Business Bestsellers is on my summer reading list, too! (Ask at the main desk for the Bartley Bestseller’s summer location.)

~Linda Hauck

Anno Dracula by Kim Newman (Avon, 1994)

anno-dracula_edAn alternate history in which Bram Stoker’s novel was true and Count Dracula has taken over the British monarchy, this is the most well-known of film critic Kim Newman’s novels. Elaborately blending real history with literary characters famous and obscure, this account offers a satisfying game of “catch the references” to the detail-oriented reader while still providing good writing and strong characters to keep the story moving along on its own merits. It makes for a change of pace from more traditional vampire novels, and it’s a good entry point into Newman’s rich and interesting body of genre-bending fiction.

~Demian Katz

Whole Dog Journal (Belvoir)
Organic Gardening (Rodale)

whole-dog_edI don’t get much time to read novels, but for those who share their lives with canines, the Whole Dog Journal is full of practical, helpful information about positive reinforcement training, types of foods to feed, agility competition, health topics, puppies, seniors and more. Available by subscription, it might also be available in public libraries.

I also enjoy Organic Gardening magazine. It’s full of environmentally friendly information about yard and garden care, and I’ve found many helpful tips.

~Donna Chadderton

Just Kids by Patti Smith

just-kids-1_edPatti Smith writes about her experiences in the 1960s art and music scene in New York City. Away from home for the first time and finding herself homeless, Patti meets a young artist, Robert Mapplethorpe, who shares her predicament. They survive solely on their love of art and the determination to make their talents work. I was fascinated to find that I had read at least half of this book before she makes any mention of her foray onto the music scene, but once this happens it’s interesting to see how Patti makes the transformation.

Love, Janis by Laura Joplin

Laura Joplin, Janis Joplin’s sister, gives us insight into Janis’s relationship with her family through letters Janis wrote home after going to San Francisco to pursue her musical career. I was a big Janis Joplin fan in the late 1960s and had certain ideas about her life as a musician, but this book introduced  me to Janis the daughter, sister and friend.

sam-cutler_edAfter reading Just Kids, I ran right out and bought Love, Janis. Both books have taken an edge off my craving to know more about the 1960’s art and music scene, but haven’t completely satisfied that desire. My next read: You Can’t Always Get What You Want by Sam Cutler, tour manager for the Rolling Stones.

– Laura Hutelmyer

If these titles are not available in Falvey, try E-ZBorrow or interlibrary loan.

Compiled by Gerald Dierkes


Kristyna Carroll Appointed Social Sciences and Business Librarian

kristyna-carroll_ed1Kristyna Carroll, a 2007 Villanova graduate with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and honors, has joined Falvey Memorial Library as a social sciences and business librarian. She received her master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University in December 2009.

She provides liaison support to students and faculty in the social sciences and the Villanova School of Business. She will teach research sessions, meet with individuals for research consultation and provide online guides to scholarship in these areas, such as the Human Resources subject guide recently posted, where you can locate her contact information.

Kristyna said she is “glad to be back at Villanova University” and, although she has been away just a few years, she noted changes to the campus, such as the three new buildings on campus – the College of Nursing’s Driscoll Hall, the Law School’s new facility and the Davis Center for Athletics and Fitness.

Her hobby is playing ice hockey for the Philadelphia Freeze. The team is part of the United Women’s Hockey League which includes the greater Philadelphia area, from Bethlehem to Delaware.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton



Last Modified: June 3, 2010