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Christmas in Communication

Wondering what communication scholars are thinking of during the Christmas season?  Here is a selection of articles found through searches of Communication & Mass Media Complete, Communication Abstracts, and Film & Television Index.


Esquire, 1949

Campbell, W.J. (2005).  The grudging emergence of American journalism’s classic editorial: new details about “Is There a Santa Claus?”American Journalism, 22(2), 41-61.

Clarke, P. (2007).  A measure for Christmas SpiritJournal of Consumer Marketing, 24(1), 8-17.

Kimura, J. & Belk, R. W. (2005).  Christmas in Japan: globalization verus localizationConsumption, Markets & Culture, 8(3), 325-338.

Krider, R.E. & Weinberg, C.B. (1998).  Competitive dynamics and the introduction of new products: the motion picutre timing gameJournal of Marketing Research, 35(1), 1-15.

Nathanson, P. (1993).  You can’t go home again…or can you? Reflections on the symbolism of TV families at ChristmastimeJournal of Popular Culture, 27(2), 149-161.

O’Cass, A. & Clarke, P. (2002).  Dear Santa, do you have my brand? A study of the brand requests, awareness and request styles at Christmas timeJournal of Consumer Behaviour, 2(1), 37-53.

Pawlowski, D.R., Thilborger, C. & Cieloha-Meekins, J. (2001).  Prisons, old cars, and Christmas trees: a metaphoric analysis of familial communicationCommunication Studies, 52(3), 180-197.

Ray, G., Maguire, K. & Poulsen, S. (2007).  Constructing and performing family identity: an analysis of American holiday lettersConference Papers — International Communication Association, 1.

Turner, L.J. (2005).  Elmo’s story: a ticklish media creationPublic Relations Review, 31(2), 297-299.

Tuten, T.L. & Kiecker, P. (2009).  The perfect gift card: an exploration of teenagers’ gift card associationsPsychology & Marketing, 26(1), 67-90.

Image retrieved from AdViews, a digital archive of thousands of vintage television commercials and advertisements dating from the 1950s to the 1980s from Duke University Libraries Digital Collections.


Kristyna Carroll
Research Support Librarian


Library Events Now on YouTube

Sad that you missed a great event in the Library this semester?  Now you can catch up on the lectures, discussions and panels you couldn’t make!

Villanova’s YouTube channel has videos of most library events, as well as other events hosted around campus.

Here are some videos we recommend:

Sept. 16 – Scholarship@Villanova: Lara Brown, Ph.D, on presidential hopefuls

Oct. 20 – Mannella Lecture: Primo Levi, Auschwitz and After featuring Bryn Mawr College’s Nicholas Patruno, Ph.D.

Nov. 3 – Confessions Alive! featuring University President the Rev. Peter Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D.

Nov. 8 – Thomas Carlyle Rediscovered featuring Marylu Hill, Ph.D., and Brigham Young University’s Paul E. Kerry, Ph.D.

Nov. 10  – Scholarship@Villanova Endowed Chair Lecture: Ron Chadderton, Ph.D., P.E., D.WRE, the Edward A. Daylor Chair in Environmental Engineering, on historic dam failures in Johnstown, Pa.

Nov. 11 – Climate, Energy, & Ethics Roundtable featuring Joseph Robertson, Ph.D.

Nov. 15 – Scholarship@Villanova: Alan Drew, M.F.A., reads from his novels

Nov. 17 – Second Annual Graphic Novel Event: Superheroes and Scholars featuring graphic novel writer John Arcudi


Colorful Ads in Black and White

Written by: Cathleen Lu, Fall 2010 Digital Library Intern.

As Falvey’s Digital Library takes on the digitization of older issues of the campus newspaper The Villanovan, from its inception as a monthly in 1893 to its more recent years, we find content ranging from dependable sports sections detailing the many Wildcat and Owl rivalries between Villanova and Temple, to reflective discussions on racism, to historically heavy pages documenting a campus during wartime. Indeed, 1943 issues of The Villanovan announced the college’s new warning system for air raid drills among reports of Villanovans at the front and alumni casualty records. But, taken in aggregate through the years and through events in history that may or may not have reached the Villanova campus, the newspapers provide another interesting take on American life–advertisements.

Those of you who are fans of the AMC drama Mad Men might like to know that a little piece of the show exists in Falvey Memorial Library (figuratively speaking), and those of you who aren’t familiar with the cable series might find plenty of other surprises in early American advertising. Simple textual ads for naval uniforms and suits for 40 dollars eventually give way to fountain pens and Chevrolets in all their pictorial glory.

In Mad Men, one particularly famous scene features advertising wonder Don Draper pitching creative ideas to cigarette company Lucky Strike. His pitch? “It’s toasted.” A particular draw of the show has always been its historical accuracy and knack for details, but sure enough, in 1932’s Volume 4, Issue 11 of The Villanovan, Lucky Strike lets us all know: “It’s toasted.”


The idea of cigarette ads is anachronistic now, but from the 1930s to late 1960s, the ads, complete without Surgeon General’s warnings, were as consistent as they were prevalent. In the 1950s, Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, and Philip Morris were the bigger companies first battling it out, while L&M, Camel, and Marlboro came on the scene in later years. Through the decades, the ads change in tone to convey particular attitudes that include high society, campus cool, and a little bit of romance. And of course, celebrities always make an appearance. Barbara Stanwyck, Bob Hope, Joe DiMaggio, and Loretta Young are just a few of the recognizable faces.


The most recognizable of all, however, might be Santa Claus, just in time for the holidays.


Despite whether our hindsight finds these ads agreeable, valuable, or even fascinating, it does speak to the relevance of advertisements in both history and culture. Perhaps even more, it emphasizes an important aspect of newspapers in their “original” form, where the research value may extend far past the article of the day.


New Books!

December orders are beginning to arrive in the library.  This month’s selections include a number of great DVD selections.

Here’s the highlight reel:

personalconnectionsPersonal Connections in the Digital Age
by NancyK. Baym
Cambridge Polity Press, 2010

journalismethicsJournalism Ethics: a philosophical approach
edited by Christopher Meyers
Oxford University Press, 2010

lossinnocenceA loss of innocence?: television and Irish society, 1960-72
by Robert J. Savage
Manchester University Press, 2010

femaleleadershipThe Language of Female Leadership
by Judith Baxter
Palgrave Macmillan, 2010

Featured DVDs

ranasweddingRana’s Wedding
a film by Hany Abu-Assad
Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: she must either choose a husband from a preselected list of men, or she must leave Palestine for Egypt with her father by 4:00 that afternoon. With ten hours to find her boyfriend in occupied Jerusalem, she sneaks out of her father’s house at daybreak to find her forbidden love Khalil.

thegardenThe Garden
a film by Scott Hamilton Kennedy
From the ashes of the L.A. riots arose a lush, 14-acre community garden, the largest of its kind in the United States. Now bulldozers threaten its future.

powwow-highwayPow Wow Highway
directed by Jonathan Wacks
Buddy Red Bow is struggling, in the face of persecution, by greedy developers and political in-fighting, to keep his nation on a Montana Cheyenne Reservation financially solvent and independent.

bus174Bus 174
directed by Jose Padilha
Documentary depicts what happened in Rio de Janeiro on June 12th 2000, when bus 174 was taken by an armed young man, threatening to shoot all the passengers.


Kristyna Carroll
Research Support Librarian


Mystery solved: An antique book press

By Alice Bampton

minsky-book-press-smallA tall wooden and metal object which recently appeared next to the elevator on Falvey’s first floor has piqued people’s interest.

Communication and Publications team members conducted an investigation to determine what this is, contacting numerous Falvey staff members, James Mullins, Ph.D., former library director, Richard Minsky, an artist (who owns two presses which he uses daily), and the Museum of Printing, North Andover, Mass.

bertrand-press-plate-smallWe discovered that we have an antique standing bookbinding press manufactured in Paris, France, between 1870 and 1910 by A. Bertrand & ses Fils (A. Bertrand and Sons), Paris, a company well known for manufacturing printing-related equipment (“Fabrique de Presses en tous genres” is on the label of our press). This type of press is used “for the final pressing of a book [while glue is drying], as well as during the … cleaning of the spine”, and other parts of the processes of repairing and rebinding.

This large book press was probably used in early years in the library bindery. Book presses are still in use and these modern presses are similar to those used beginning in the 15th and 16th centuries.  Smaller table top presses replaced the large standing press in Falvey’s bindery at some point.

In the past, libraries often housed binderies to repair books and bind journals and magazines into bound volumes. Now such work is generally sent out and library binderies are rare. (more…)


New Fiction — Ready for Your Winter Break

thousand-autumnsBy Gerald Dierkes

Craving a good read for the holidays? Falvey continuously adds award-winning contemporary fiction to its collection. A sampling of these new fiction titles is currently on the new book display near the library entrance for you to browse and check out. Joanne Quinn designed the display.

Let us know what new fiction you would like us to order.

Historical fiction:

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet: a Novel by David Mitchell

A Short History of Women: a Novel by Kate Walbert

The Surrendered by Chang-Rae Lee

Glorious: a Novel by Bernice L. McFadden

Short story collections:

wild-child1Wild Child: Stories by T. Coraghessan Boyle 

Aliens in the Prime of their Lives: Stories by Brad Watson

Novella Collections:

The Farmer’s Daughter by Jim Harrison

I Hotel by Karen Tei Yamashita


Noir by Robert Coover

The Four Fingers of Death: a Novel by Rick Moody

I Am Not Sidney Poitier: A Novel by Percival Everett

The following novels are not easily categorized, but they demonstrate the range of interests Falvey’s new fiction satisfies:

Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott

Bitter in the Mouth: a Novel by Monique T. D. Truong

Skippy Dies by Paul Murray

Under the Dome: a Novel by Stephen King

The Imperfectionists: a Novel by Tom Rachman

To find more books, browse the library’s fiction section for other titles: the English and American literature books are shelved on the fourth floor.

English literature: Call numbers PR6050 through PR 6076 include English literature from the year 1961 to 2000. Call numbers beginning with PR6100 through PR 6126 cover English literature from 2001 onward.

American literature: Call numbers PS3550 through PS 3576 include American literature from 1961 to 2000. Call numbers PS3600 through PS 3626 cover American literature from the year 2001 and up.

Those sections are quite large, though, so search the library catalog for new books for the English department. New fiction in English will appear in this list.

Here is one search strategy:

1. From the library home page, click the “Search” tab.

2. Click on Books & More and then the Advanced Search link.

3. Fill in the fields as indicated below. This will provide a list of titles ordered for the English department in 2010 that have the word Novel in the title and Fiction as a Subject. Some, but not all, will be recent novels added to the library. Insert Stories instead of Novel for short story collections.


Happy reading!


New Digital Library Administration Software

Falvey’s Digital Library has just been upgraded with new backend software that will improve its ability to continue growing and improving the online collection. The Digital Library’s first incarnation was launched in August 2006. Over the course of 4 years, the DL’s collection grew to over 9,000 items, and a substantial software functionality wish-list.

  • Add support for more file formats, so our collection can include a broader range of materials
  • Incorporate an OCR process to facilitate full-text searching of collection content.
  • Add support for inclusion of transcriptions with hand-written materials


Our initial software used a variety of technologies to achieve its goal of storing information about digital documents. Unfortunately, not all of these tools worked well together. While the new version of the software retains the METS metadata format and eXist-db XML database, it replaces nearly all of the other components with a suite of more closely-related technologies. The new, all-XML, all-Open-Source framework consists of the following components:


New Key Features:

Root level Document Attachment


Catalogers now have the ability to add document-level items to each object. The most relevant use of this feature is to attach a hand-transcribed, fully annotated companion document to a digitally scanned book. More information on this feature can be found here and a live example can be found by viewing the Lane Manuscript

AJAX-based metadata editor


The Orbeon forms Java-based XForms engine integrates with the YUI JavaScript Library providing a rich user interface for metadata editing.

Document layout and file attachment configurations


The system incorporates a batch-attach routine for adding multiple files (in our case the pages of a scanned book) to a digital object as a single operation. An interface is available to customize the arrangement and location of these files, as well as adding and deleting files when appropriate.

OAI harvestable


OAI/PMH is a standard for serving and harvesting metadata. The Digital Library is now fully harvestable using this standard.

In the coming months we will extend the software to include custom drivers for a VuFind front-end and modularize the metadata editor to support a wide-range of options including Dublin Core, MODS, EAD, and PREMIS support for preservation Metadata.

Our plan is to launch the software as a simple, open-source platform for preservation and presentation of digital collections. So stay tuned! We are targeting April 2011 for the Beta Release.

We are always looking for development partners! If you are interested, please contact us at digitallibrary@villanova.edu


Foreign language conversation learning with Mango

mangoThe Mango Languages learning program recently subscribed to by Falvey is ideal for students studying abroad or those traveling overseas:  it is portable and freely available to Villanova University community members with an internet connection. Each of the 12 languages offered by Mango (Hindi, Italian, Latin American Spanish, German, French, Mandarin, Arabic, Hebrew, Irish, Russian, Portuguese and Japanese) includes chapters covering greetings, travel, shopping, dining, seeking emergency assistance and asking questions to expand your vocabulary.

For more information, see Linda Hauck’s business reference blog or Barbara Quintiliano’s nursing blog.

Connect to Mango Languages through the Databases A-Z list or the area studies and language Subject Guides.


Phylis Wright Selected USC Representative for Falvey

Joe Lucia, University librarian, announced that Phylis Wright, manager of Access Desk Services, will be Falvey Memorial Library’s University Staff Council representative for another two-year term.

Joe said, “I am thrilled that she is willing to take this on for two reasons. First, she is a superb ambassador for the library to the USC and the University at large. Second, she will now have an opportunity to work on the USC in its first active term, following all of the preliminary work of getting the Council organized and operational – essentially what was accomplished during its first two years.”

Reverend Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D., established the USC in 2008 “to encourage dialogue and involvement from Villanova University staff members.” The USC, which replaced Villanova Quality Improvement (VQI), includes representatives from various campus departments. It sponsors events, such as the faculty/staff Christmas party and annual picnic, and awards, such as the Distinguished Service Award.

Congratulations, Phylis, and thank you for agreeing to serve again. We appreciate your hard work!

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


ARTstor workshop – Friday, Dec. 10

container-cityWould you like to use ARTstor, but aren’t sure how to proceed? Are you already a user but want to brush up on your skills? Come to the ARTstor workshop in Falvey on Friday, Dec. 10, at 2:30 p.m. in the first floor Griffin Room.

“ARTstor is a nonprofit digital library of more than one million images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and social sciences with a suite of software tools to view, present, and manage images for research and pedagogical purposes. Our community-built collections comprise contributions from outstanding museums, photographers, libraries, scholars, photo archives, and artists and artists’ estates” (from the publisher).

Registration and more information


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Last Modified: December 6, 2010