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Designer data sets at bargain prices

OK, soon there will be no more excuses.  Classes and exams will be over, grades handed in.  Summer break is a great time to explore the wonderful world of health data sets available to you for FREE (beat that price if you can!) from ICPSR, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.  Here are just a few of the data collections available in the area of the health sciences.

How could you use some of these data sets for your research?  For projects for your classes?

Health and Medical Care Archive (HMCA) – preserves and disseminates data collected by research projects funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans.

Integrated Fertility Survey Series (IFSS) – offers data and tools for examining issues related to families and fertility in the United States spanning five decades. IFSS encompasses the Growth of American Families (GAF), National Fertility Surveys (NFS), and National Surveys of Family Growth (NSFG), as well as a single dataset of harmonized variables across all ten surveys. Analytic tools make it possible to quickly and easily explore the data and obtain information about changes in behaviors and attitudes across time.

National Addiction & HIV Data Archive Program – NAHDAP acquires, preserves and disseminates data relevant to drug addiction and HIV research. By preserving and making available an easily accessible library of electronic data on drug addiction and HIV infection in the United States, NAHDAP offers scholars the opportunity to conduct secondary analysis on major issues of social and behavioral sciences and public policy.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive (SAMHDA) –  provides public data access and online analysis for important substance abuse and mental health data collections. The project offers variable-level searching, an archive of survey instruments, related literature for data collections, a listserv, disclosure analysis, and traditional data products. SAMHDA was established at ICPSR in 1995 by the Office of Applied Studies (OAS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

To access ICPSR, start at the library homepage

  • Click Databases A-Z
  • Choose ICPSR
  • Log in with your LDAP ID and password

Questions? Need help? Contact Barbara



The Other Side of the Story: Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865

The Black Abolitionist Papers (BAP) document the struggle for abolition from the perspective of African Americans both free and enslaved. The digital collection consists of the correspondence, speeches, sermons, lectures, editorials and poems of close to three hundred African American abolitionists. Some of the voices are familiar such as those of Harriett Tubman and Frederick Douglass, others are less well known or disguised behind pseudonyms. The original sources are located in over one hundred archives and libraries. Over thirty percent of the sources are hand-written letters and documents.

Previously only available on microfilm, the collection can now be accessed online by Villanova faculty and students.  Access links to BAP can be found under Databases A-Z, in the library catalog and under the primary sources tab of the history subject guide.

Collection contents can be browsed and results can be narrowed by document type, time period, subject, geographic location and source library.  A personal, password-protected archive is available to store documents, citations can be exported to RefWorks and persistent URLs make sharing with colleagues and students a snap.  Short online tutorials introduce the novice to the collection’s search features.

BAP includes the five companion volumes to the original microfilm collection edited by P. Ripley and published by the University of North Carolina Press.  The companion volumes add commentary, annotations and images to about ten percent of the primary sources in BAP and make the collection suitable for undergraduate students.  Look for the Full Text links (see image below) in the search results to locate commentary, notes and images or browse the companion volumes.  Use the links to explore two sample documents with commentary and annotations:

Charles Lenox Remond to Richard Allen, 7 January 1841 . Rhodes House—Oxford, England. MSS, British Empire, C154/202 . 7 January 1841.
“Bury Me in a Free Land” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Anti-Slavery Bugle . 20 November 1858.

Additional online resources with African American primary sources:

African American Studies Center Online
Includes biographies, subject entries, primary sources, maps, charts and tables.  Notable titles in this collection are the New Encyclopedia of African American History 1619-1895 and the African American National Biography Project.

African American Newspapers: the Nineteenth Century
Comprises major 19th century African-American newspapers such as The Christian Recorder (1861-1902), Freedom’s Journal (1827-1829), The North Star (1847-1851), and the Frederick Douglass’ Paper (1851-1863).

American Periodicals Series
Includes abolitionist periodicals such as the Liberator (1831-1865) and the Anti-Slavery Examiner (1836-1845).

Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.


Window Shopping: Environmental Programs at Villanova

by Alice Bampton

Just in time for Earth Day (April 22), Jutta Seibert, coordinator for Academic Integration; Merrill Stein, Social Sciences liaison team coordinator; and Joanne Quinn, graphic designer, collaborated to create the “Environmental Programs at Villanova” window display.

This exhibit is just part of the larger campus-wide recognition of the day as shown by an eye-catching poster with an image of an oil-soaked bird titled “Villanova University 42nd Earth Day Celebration, April 18-20, 2012.”

While the specific events are over, the exhibit itself provides information and food for thought far beyond the dates of the events.

A large poster to the left provides information about “Environmental Programs at Villanova: Majors & the Concentration.” On the right, another poster lists “Environmental Courses” and “Environmental Fields.” A campus map in the lower left corner shows the locations of green projects.

Two digital picture frames publicize University-wide faculty research on the environment as well as environmental e-resources (journals, dissertations, theses, Community Bibliography, JSTOR) available through Falvey Memorial Library.

Faculty from many departments beyond Geography and the Environment—Theology, Philosophy, History, Engineering, Chemistry, Nursing and Business—have addressed environmental issues. Jutta Seibert noted that faculty from all colleges and most departments are represented.

Numerous books on various environmental topics fill the window. Two of these are particularly interesting: Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, now in its 50th anniversary, and a colorful children’s book by Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.

Silent Spring, published in 1962, was widely read and instrumental in launching Earth Day and the environmental movement.

The Lorax, a fable set in a polluted world caused by the Once-ler’s cutting down the truffula trees, tells the story in language appropriate for children. The window display includes various references to Dr. Seuss’ book: the truffula tree to the far right (balanced by a real tree on the left), the Lorax holding a container labeled “Scholarship at Villanova,” and a stone ominously inscribed “UNLESS [someone cares for the environment],” the message the Lorax left before he disappeared.

Come visit the exhibit. Take time to view the slide shows, examine the range of courses, books and e-resources available and be inspired to do your part for the environment.

Photo by Alice Bampton



Quick Tip: "Find It" Helps You Find Articles with the 360Link Page

You’ve located an article on the “Articles & more” section of the library catalog or from a library database that you want to use for your paper.  But how do you get the full text of the article?

When you click (the Find It button), you are taken to the 360Link page. This page allows you to access the article you found.

Here is what the 360Link page looks like:

(Click the image for larger view)


From this page, you can do a number of things:

1. Click “Article” to get the full text of the article.  You can also click “Journal” to browse the contents of the specific journal the article was published in.  Or click the name of the database to browse or search that specific database.

2. If the full text of an article is not available, you can click a link to request it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), also called ILLiad.

3. You can export the citation of the article to RefWorks.  (Find more information about using RefWorks.)

Note that the Catalog link on the 360Link page will take you to the library catalog if Falvey has a print subscription to the journal you want.


Disclaimer! This article touches on the highlights of the 360Link page.  If you have further questions, or are having trouble accessing articles, please contact us via email or call (610) 519-4270.

More Quick Tips.


How a Book Becomes a Library Book

by Laura Hutelmyer

You’ll never step into the same library twice at Villanova University. That’s because the Library constantly adds new titles to its collection to keep up with new research and new interests.

But how does an ordinary book actually become a Library Book?

The Library receives book requests in many formats and from many sources. Requests can come from a librarian, a faculty member, staff or a student. They are routed to the Resource Management Center (RMC) via the online request form or regular email. Sometimes we even receive requests on Post-it notes, post cards, scrap paper or napkins.

Most requests must first be routed to the designated subject librarian for purchase approval. Once approved, the order is forwarded to the Acquisitions group and is ordered, either from our book vendor, Yankee Book Peddler, or from another source like Amazon.com.



When the new book arrives, it goes directly to be cataloged. This process includes assigning the book a unique barcode and then establishing its record in our online catalog. Some books can be cataloged in just minutes; others take much longer.





Christine Bochanski, RMC student aide, processes the Picasso book.


Once it’s cataloged, RMC student employees insert a security device into the book, stamp the library name on it in several locations, and apply a call-number label to its spine. RMC students process hundreds of books every week, and their attention to detail is crucial. The book has now become a Library Book.



Finally, the Library Book is put on a cart with other new books and taken to the sorting room, ultimately to be proudly shelved in its proper location.

The patron locates this new Library Book through the library catalog and checks it out at the Circulation desk!


This process explains how a print book becomes a Library Book. The Library also purchases e-books, but that’s a different story!



Not Just Genealogical Research: What Ancestry Library Edition Can Do For You

The waiting is over!  Ancestry Library Edition is now available at Falvey Memorial Library.  Earlier this year, the library ran simultaneous trials of two popular genealogical databases, Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest. Faculty and students alike unanimously voted for Ancestry.  Access to Ancestry is available via the library’s Databases A-Z list as well as from the History and Biographies research guides.

Ancestry encompasses a vast collection of genealogical data which traces the history of millions of individuals going in some cases as far back as 1300.  The collection consists of census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more.  Faculty members in the history department are already planning student research projects with  Ancestry data sets for the coming semesters.

U.S. census data from 1790 to 1940, Indian census rolls, passenger lists from New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans, New South Wales and Hamburg, U.S. naturalization records, Irish immigrants arrival records, and London parish records are some of the data collections available through Ancestry.  An unexpected bonus are image collections, such as U.S. historical postcards, U.S. Civil War photos, U.S. war and conflict images (1765-1970), and the African American photo collection.  The photo of St. Rita Hall in this post is from the U.S. historical postcards collection.

Questions or comments?  Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.


We Appreciate Our Student Employees!

Phylis Wright & Ashley Dunbar

Every year we recognize the contributions that our student employees make to the Library. Falvey employs close to 100 students and, whether they are working behind the scenes or in a public space, we appreciate the work they do. The student employees bring their ideas, energy and positive attitudes to the workplace. They have learned to use specialized library applications, developed important customer service skills and taken ownership of their work. It would be difficult to run the Library without their help.

This year, to reward student employees for their contributions, the Library hosted a pizza party and gave special recognition to students who are graduating this academic year. The graduating student employees were awarded with certificates of achievement and bookplates honoring their work were placed in library books they selected from the collection.

Graduating students include Ashley Dunbar, Ryan Holihan, Sarah Zinn, Vanvi Trieu, Michele Manz and Kakani.

Laura Bang & Vanvi Trieu

Robbie Rosci, who supervises students in Resource Management, said their student employees are “the best, always helpful and friendly, and we couldn’t do without them.”

According to Laura Bang, Special & Digital Collections, she loves her “student workers because they do great work and they’re also just wonderful people who are a pleasure to chat with and get ideas from!”

When asked about the Library’s student employees, Phylis Wright, Manager of Access Desk Services, said “the students that work in Falvey are among the highest caliber on campus.  Their dedication to Falvey and Villanova is reflected in our success.” (more…)


Share Your Work at This Year's Open Mic Poetry Reading on Tuesday, April 24

Calling all poetry enthusiasts!

You’re invited to share your work at this year’s Open Mic Poetry Reading on Tuesday, Apr. 24, at 12:00 p.m. in the Speakers’ Corner.  Hosted in partnership with the English Department, this annual event provides a fun and relaxed forum for students, faculty, staff and others to read their own poetry and listen to the work of their peers.  It also serves as the release party for the new issue of Arthology, one of the University’s student-produced art and literary magazine.

You are encouraged to arrive promptly to sign up for a spot on the reading list or just to get a good seat for listening to the readings.

The reading will feature contestants for theSenior Class Poet award, given by the English Department every spring. The following Senior Class Poet entries are posted around the Library: “The modern conception of zero” by Jonathan De Martino, “St. Paul’s Cathedral, London” by Meghan Farley, “The Angel of 30th Street Station” by Sarah Zinn, “Flushed” by Nicole Battisti, “The father, the father!” by Daniel Pepe, “debtor” by Theresa Donohoe, “A Sunday” by Joseph Bagnasco, “Building Houses” by J.D. Hall, an excerpt from “The Almost” by Melanie Romero, “Crow Creek Reservation, midnight” by Emma DelVecchio, “Nothing’s Planted…” by Ashley Dunbar and “In the wrong place at the wrong time” by Julianna Brown.

The reading, which is free and open to the public, is timed to coincide with National Poetry Month, celebrated across the country every April.  It is organized by Lisa Sewell, PhD, Gerald Dierkes, Joanne Quinn, Judy Olsen and Gina McFadden Duffy.

Refreshments will be served.


“High historical drama”: Dr. Michael Tomko on Catholic Emancipation and the British Romantics

By Alexandra Edwards

Dr. Michael Tomko’s work examines one of the Romantic Period’s most controversial issues, Catholic Emancipation, and describes how this period in history not only caused political and cultural conflicts but also provoked some of the most exceptional writings of the time. He explains, “Any student of Romanticism knows that understanding the British reaction to the French Revolution is integral to understanding Romantic literature. But what if, I asked, an understanding of Britain’s relationship to its Catholic past is integral to understanding not only the French Revolution but to many other major political events?”

This is the question Dr. Tomko, assistant professor of literature in the Department of Humanities, examines in his Scholarship@Villanova lecture on Monday, Apr. 23 at 4:30 p.m., in room 205. He will speak on his book, British Romanticism and the Catholic Question: Religion, History, and National Identity, 1778-1829.

“The book focuses on the way that writers and poets from the Romantic period in Britain (c.1780-1830) were involved with the political campaigns over the Catholic Emancipation bill and how that involvement affected their writing.”



Need Help? Find the Cost of Internet Advertising for Your Marketing Project

By Linda Hauck, Business Librarian

Question: My team’s marketing plan assignment includes Internet advertising, and I’m tasked with estimating media buying costs for the campaign. Do you have any library resources that will help me?

Getting Started

First, specify the type of web advertising your team is going to deploy: search, display, social media, email or media rich.

Books in the Library: Internet advertising is a rapidly evolving medium, so Falvey buys current professional books on this topic. Search the library catalog for “internet advertising” or “internet marketing” to find more books like these on my list of favorites.

Print media, such as consumer and trade magazines or newspapers, have “media kits” that usually provide data on circulation, demographic reach, technical requirements and advertising rates called “rate cards.” SRDS Media Solutions is a directory providing quick access to media kits as well as the “rate card.” SRDS provides quick access to the media kits and additional analytics but without the rate cards for web sites.

Trade and professional associations are always good sources for getting a handle on how industries operate. The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is a trade association of sellers of online advertising; as such, it is a rich and relatively open site for learning about how interactive advertising is sold and measured.

Wikipedia articles on Online Advertising, Ad Exchanges and Advertising Network are recommended for their clarity, currency and ease of use. Don’t forget to take advantage of the “talk” tabs in Wikipedia to get in on the back-story.


Estimating Media Buying Costs

e-Marketer, a heavily used library resource, is by far the most efficient and reliable source for estimating online advertising costs. It aggregates articles, reports and data compiled by research firms, consultancies, government agencies and universities around the world. Search it for terms used to measure digital advertising, such as “cost per thousand” (abbreviated as CPM), “cost per click” (CPC), “click through rate” or “cost per view/visitor.” Once you have a group of articles, reports and charts, search within your results by relevant geography, platform or industry.

Similar searches in the trade news on platforms such as ABI/Inform or Business Source Premier can also yield good results but usually require a greater time investment to scan the results for useful data.

A professional tool not included in our library collection for estimating Internet display advertising is offered by SQAD Webcosts.



An alternative approach to estimating online advertising spending is to look at the historical advertising spending done by your target brand and competing brands. Ad $ Summary provides advertising spending totals for both traditional channels and Internet display advertising by brand or product category for the years 2008 to 2010.


Work the Phones

Talking to the right people is key for almost any kind of business research. Use the Advertising Red Book to find agencies that specialize in media buying or the type of Internet advertising you want to use. Practice your cold call and best personal elevator pitch to connect to experts at an agency willing to share information about how they estimate digital advertising buying costs.

(Link to the Subject Guide for Marketing and Business Law)


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Last Modified: April 18, 2012