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New Books, E-books, and DVDs!

This month’s new books list includes quite a few e-books and DVDs, in addition to paper books.  Beat the winter weather with an e-book!  Many of the new DVD selections were featured in the previous post, Native American Films.  Here is the highlight reel:

Watching YouTube: extraordinary videos by ordinary people
by Michael Strangelove
University of Toronto Press

Premediation: affect and mediality after 9/11
by Richard A. Grusin
Palgrave Macmillan

Cinema: a visual anthropology
by Gordon Gray

Covering Disaster: lessons from media coverage of Katrina and Rita
edited by Ralph Izard and Jay Perkins
Transaction Publishers

Communicator-in-chief: how Barack Obama used new media technology to win the White House
e-book version
edited by John Allen Hendricks and Robert E. Denton, Jr.
Lexington Studies in Political Communication Series
Lexington Books

Kristyna Carroll


Engineering Historica: The Final Report on the Engineering and Construction of the Quebec Bridge

To His Excellency, Victor Christian William, Duke of Devonshire, Marquis of  Hartington, Earl of Devonshire, Earl of Burlington, Baron Cavendish of Hardwicke, Baron Cavendish of Keighley, K.G., P.C., G.C.M.G., etc,. etc, Governor-General of Canada,

May it Please Your Excellency:

The undersigned have the honour to lay before Your Excellency the Final Report of the Board of Engineers on the Design and Construction of the Quebec Bridge.

Respectfully Submitted,

J.D. Reid,

Minister of Railways and Canals

Our digital library collection grows day by day, as volunteers and staff at the Falvey Memorial Library here at Villanova University continue to scan different works from both our own collection as well as collections generously loaned from other institutions.  Because Villanova is a Catholic university, much of this material is of related interest, i.e. our collection includes scanned Catholic manuscripts, works from Augustinian scholars, collections related to Irish history, etc.  Of course, not every item in our collection comes from this area, so I’ve decided to highlight one item from our collection today with more of an engineering-historical bent.

Published in 1919, and donated to Villanova in 1944, the digital library currently has posted two volumes containing the final report from the board of engineers on the design and construction of the Quebec Bridge.  With its abundance of information, figures and stats on the bridge, this material may be of interest to civil and structural engineers on its own merit; however, what makes this a more interesting read is that the Quebec Bridge itself is famous above and beyond other bridges for three reasons: the first is that, at 987 meters, the bridge is the longest cantilever (i.e. non-suspension) bridge in the world; the second and third reasons are related – the bridge is also famous for collapsing not once, but twice during construction, the first occurrence in 1907, the second in 1916.

The Quebec Bridge @1919

Fortunately for the travelers and commuters among us, bridge collapses, though not unheard of, are a rare occurrence – and collapsing while still under construction rarer still.  To collapse twice, however, is exceptionally rare.  Therein, the story of the construction of this particular bridge is a fascinating tale – the initial warning signs of the first impending bridge collapse were ignored, and eventually when pleas from on-site engineers to halt construction on the bridge were finally heeded, the message did not arrive to the construction site in time before disaster struck.   The resulting collapse cost the lives of 75 bridge builders.  When construction of the bridge began a few years later, disaster struck again when the central span of the bridge was being raised into position – the span fell during the raising, killing an additional 13 workers [1].

Raising the Central Span

This particular report covers the time period of the second bridge building, including the time period when the central portion fell into the river (the central portion was re-raised and the bridge eventually completed, leading to this report). While the later sections of this report are very “engineer dense”, with drawings, figures and tables on the exact structure of the bridge (load tolerance of the materials used, etc.), most users will find the General Narrative, starting at page 13 of the book, the most interesting portion of the read.  It recounts the issues with the first bridge and its collapse, what was changed in the new bridge and why, as well as a running narrative of the construction of the new span (the fall of the central span is covered on page 32).  Included in this read are some interesting historical references (note the reference to the Lusitania on page 18 as the current ship with the tallest mast, and references to the Carnegie Steel Co. and Bethlehem Steel on page 25, amongst others).

The complete scan of this report is available through the Villanova University Digital Library.  Volume I can be found here and Volume II here.

[1]  “Quebec Bridge.Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004. Web. Dec 2010.


Soldiers in Print and Film: One Book Villanova at the Library

Craig Mullaney

In this year’s One Book Villanova selection, The Unforgiving Minute, Craig Mullaney provides an extensive reading list for a “soldier’s education.” Many of these books, as well as others about war and the military, are available in our collection. We’ve chosen a handful of books and DVDs to highlight, spanning centuries and conflicts, including memoir, poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

This small selection can be seen on display at the Library’s first floor entrance. It includes classics such as Shakespeare’s Henry V and Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, as well as a Vietnam War memoir from Villanova University’s own James J. Kirschke, entitled Not Going Home Alone.

Craig Mullaney visits Villanova University on Monday, Jan. 31. In addition to other campus appearances, he will sign books in the Falvey Memorial Library first floor lounge at 12:30 p.m. For a full roster of events, please see the One Book Villanova special events page.

The Unforgiving Minute is the story of Mullaney’s journey through — and education at — West Point, Ranger School, the University of Oxford, and finally, the battlegrounds of Afghanistan. Booklist called it “an unforgettable portrait of a young soldier grappling with the weight of his hard-earned knowledge while coming to grips with becoming a man.”

Mullaney currently serves as Senior Advisor at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He graduated second in his class from the United States Military Academy, and his military decorations include the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal with “V” device, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Ranger Tab and Parachutist Badge.


Senior Project Series – Staying Organized

As you gather background information on your topic and prepare your literature review, you will be doing a lot of library research and reviewing many, many articles.  It is important to develop a good notetaking system, as well as a method for storing, summarizing, and retrieving articles you have already reviewed.  Get Organized!


Communication & Mass Media Complete, Communication Abstracts, and the Film & Television Literature Index, as well as many other useful databases are all available on the EBSCO platform, so you will probably find yourself using it often.  You can create a personal log-in account to save article citations in organized and shared folders, and to save useful searches.  It will also remember your complete search history if you log in at the beginning of each session.

To create an account, click “Sign In” on the toolbar in the upper right-hand portion of the screen.  You can use any log-in and password that you wish.  After creating your account, you will still need to access the database through the library homepage.



Refworks is a web-based citation manager.  As you search through article databases, you can export citation information directly to Refworks.  Citations can then be organized in folders and shared with group members.  When the time comes to write your paper, the Write-n-Cite feature can automatically generate your in-text citations as well as your bibliography.  Or, you can generate a bibliography of selected citations at any point.

Always double-check for errors! Refworks has a tendency to capitalize incorrectly or improperly list author names.  Always have your APA style guide handy.

Refworks provides its users with a helpful series of online tutorials and is generally pretty simple to use.  For more information, please see the library guide to Refworks, or contact me.

Kristyna Carroll


Coming Soon: New E-Z Borrow System

by Luisa Cywinski

Falvey Memorial Library will soon be moving to a new E-Z Borrow system.  The company providing the web service, Relais International, has worked with the PALCI consortium, of which Villanova University is a member, to develop a new application that will enhance the E-Z Borrow experience for users and staff alike.

The web interface, which allows patrons to search for materials held at other libraries, will allow advanced item searches, behaving more like a library catalog. Patrons can sort search results, refine their search for subject headings or authors, and, when the item is not available through E-Z Borrow, link directly to Interlibrary Loan or our local catalog, from which they may “Place a Hold.”

When we are ready to “go live,” more detailed instructions will be made available to library patrons.


VuFind tools and search transform the Digital Library experience

Posted for Demian Katz,  Library Tech Development Specialist:

As announced on January 20th, Villanova Digital Library content is now fully searchable through the library’s VuFind software.  You can perform a search using the box at the top of the page at http://digital.library.villanova.edu/.

In addition to helping you find documents more easily, VuFind offers several other useful features to anyone with a Villanova University login:

* You can build lists of favorites and add tags in order to more easily revisit records in the future or share them with others.
* You can post comments if you want to add notes to a record.

Even without a VU account, you can still take advantage of some new features:

* You can text or email records to friends (or to yourself, for future reference).
* Suggested MLA and APA citations are provided (although you may need to make manual adjustments for some records).

This is only the beginning of the melding of VuFind and the Digital Library.  Over the coming months, more features will be added and the experience will become even more seamless, allowing faster access to content with fewer clicks.  Stay tuned, and feel free to ask questions and offer suggestions in the meantime.  Feedback is always welcome as we work to continually improve our software.


A stellar day for Villanova’s Digital Library

Thursday, January 20th 2011,  was quite a day for the Digital Library: the incorporation of Digital Library data into VuFind – and this is not just the metadata but the full indexing of all OCR’ed content, pdf files from transcriptions and faculty publications.  This of course brings all of the functionality and power of VuFind to the Digital Library content including all of the social features and best of all – high quality searching.  In addition to this, the Google sitemaps to Digital Library content were published so all Digital Library content will again be findable – after a 3 year hiatus – directly from Google.  It also marks the final tweaking of the latest software back-end rewrite from David Lacy – we are back in full operation since a break in November for software deployment and testing.  Transcripts for handwritten materials that have been archived for over 4 years are finally being wedded to the images and of course it is all findable using VuFind.  These software deployments have been eagerly awaited for years!

So a hearty round of Kudos to Dave Lacy, Demian Katz, and Dave Uspal.   They have worked tirelessly to make these enhancements possible and have been excited about the developments too!  They are working hard to bring VuDL to birth and so share this robust toolset with the library and archives communities!  Indeed there are a large number of enhancements and tweaks that will increase the utility of the software that are in development.

Other items on Thursday of interest are: the highly positive news about a possible development / testing partner for VuDL;   a request from another maritime museum about possible partnership;  a request from a Princeton scholar for a Digital Library photograph for a new book on Irish nationalists to be published by Princeton in December 2011,  and of course, an article in the latest ACRL News about our La Salle partnership!

From last week we had some other fantastic news:  two new partnerships – the modest partnership with the Sisters of the Order of Saint Basil the Great, and dramatically the Philadelphia Ceili Group. We will be digitizing the audio and video of the Ceili Group’s meetings and performances of Irish Musicians from their historic archive – who knows what content and performers we will find on these tapes!  And we will also be working with the Library of Congress to obtain the master tapes for years that Villanova University currently does curate.   Stephen Spatz will be acting as our point person for this project due to his skill and interest in all things musical.

I am so very positive about our future progress and our outstanding staff that works so very well together!


Native American Films

Falvey Library has recently required a collection of films about, starring, or directed by Native Americans, Aborigines, and other native groups.  Many of these films were featured on Reel Injun: On the Trail of the Hollywood Indian, an installment of Independent Lens.  See the full list of films, or check out some highlights below:

Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner
Directed by Zacharias Kunuk
Starring Natal Ungalaaq, Sylvia Ivalu, and Peter-Henry Arnatsiaq
The telling of an Inuit legend of an evil spirit causing strife in the community and one warrior’s endurance and battle of its menace.*

Rabbit-Proof Fence
Directed by Phillip Noyce
Starring Everlyn Sampi, Tianna Sansbury, and Kenneth Branagh
In 1931, three aboriginal girls escape after being plucked from their homes to be trained as domestic staff and set off on a trek across the Outback.*

Smoke Signals
Directed by Chris Eyre
Starring Adam Beach, Evan Adams, and Irene Bedard
When Victor hears Arnold has died, Thomas offers him funding for the trip to get Arnold’s remains, but only if Thomas will also go with him. Thomas and Victor hit the road.*

Flags of Our Fathers
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Starring Ryan Phillippe, Barry Pepper, Adam Beach, and Joseph Cross
The life stories of the six men who raised the flag at The Battle of Iwo Jima, a turning point in WWII.*

The Last of the Mohicans
Directed by Michael Mann
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Madeleine Stowe, and Russell Means
Three trappers protect a British Colonel’s daughters in the midst of the French and Indian War.*

*Movie information from IMDb.com.

Kristyna Carroll


Reaxys, Organic Chemistry Resource, Replaces Beilstein

By Alfred Fry, Science Librarian

Beilstein, an organic chemistry database, has been replaced by Reaxys.  Reaxys also contains content from Patent Chemistry and Gmelin, an inorganic and organometallic chemistry database. Reaxys can be found on the Databases A-Z page and on the Chemistry Subject Guide.

Search for substances or reactions in Reaxys.  If you have a compound or group of compounds that you regularly use, you can create your own templates and save them as icons in the structure editor toolbar.

Filter your results in many ways.  When searching for substances, you can filter by sub-structure, molecular weight, number of fragments, various physical and spectroscopic data, bioactivity and other limits.  When searching for reactions, you can limit by sub-structure, yield, reagent/catalyst, solvent, reaction type, number of steps and other filters. (more…)


Attention Political Science researchers!

by Merrill Stein and Kristyna Carroll

A trial of Worldwide Political Science Abstracts (WPSA) is available until Feb. 11, 2011.

WPSA is one of the premier databases in political science, covering many areas of study, including comparative politics, developing nations, electoral systems, environmental policy, labor relations, political psychology, and many more!

Hosted on the ProQuest platform, WPSA allows for simultaneous searching with other databases, such as PAIS International (CSA), ProQuest Newspapers, ProQuest Social Science Journals (ProQuest) or Ethnic NewsWatch (ProQuest). Advanced searching includes limiting by document type and language.  The WPSA trial also introduces ProQuest’s new Google-like interface, promoting a link to scholarly journals.

A in the citations will link to any journal subscriptions to which we provide access.

Several institutions that have had success with WPSA are the University of Pennsylvania, University of Notre Dame, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Dickinson College and Johns Hopkins University.


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Last Modified: January 18, 2011