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Villanova-Inspired Novel Available for Proofreading

Bolax CoverIn 1907, Josephine Culpeper published Bolax, Imp or Angel–Which?, a novel set in part at a fictionalized version of Villanova. This book has become the latest title to be selected as part of the Digital Library’s collaboration with the Distributed Proofreaders project. Please visit the project page if you would like to help turn this bit of university history into a full-fledged eBook. If you are unfamiliar with the Distributed Proofreaders effort, see Proofreading the Digital Library for an introduction.


Slavery and the Law: Court Petitions and Slavery Statutes

Race, Slavery and Free Blacks, a primary source collection of court petitions and slavery statutes which was originally published on microfilm by University Publications of America, has received a second lease on life as a digital collection.  It has been re-released in Proquest’s History Vault and is now called Slavery and the Law.

The collection covers the years 1777-1867 and consists of petitions to state legislatures and Southern county courts as well as state slavery statutes.  The reproductions of the handwritten petitions are accompanied by petition analysis records (PAR) to facilitate access to the document.  Each PAR contains an abstract of the petition besides dates, location, names of petitioners and defendants, the repository of the original document and subjects.  As an added bonus the collection also includes the contents of two classical scholarly works related to the subject:  Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro (1926) by Helen Catterall and James Hayden and The Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States (1862) by John Hurd.

Slavery and the Law is now available as a trial until November 22, 2012.
Questions or comments?  Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.







Electric Demand Response, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 21

An Electric Demand Response is scheduled for today, June 21. Due to the extremely high outside temperatures Villanova University Facilities is implementing a load reduction today between the hours of 3:00 PM and 6:00 PM. We will be curtailing some nonessential services between those hours. This reduction will benefit Villanova and the surrounding community as well as the rest of the utility grid.

The lights on the third and fourth floors in Falvey will be turned off during this time. It is also possible that the air conditioning in the building will be adjusted to an energy-saving level. Lights will be restored on the upper floors at 6:00 pm. Thank you for your patience as we implement this energy saving method.




Father Syvinski: The Story of the Mosaic







As one enters Falvey, colorful mosaics on either side invite scrutiny. On the right is the Villanova University seal, adopted in 1953 and closely related to the 1911 earlier version. On the opposite wall is another mosaic, the seal of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova, which bears an inscription, “FR. HENRY B. SYVINSKI, OSA, VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY.”

Who is Father Syvinski and why did he sign this image?

Henry Bronislaw Syvinski (1919-1999), a native of Amesbury, Mass., graduated from Villanova College (it was not yet a university) in 1944 with a bachelor’s degree. He was ordained a priest in 1947 after studying theology at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C.

The Rev. Henry B. Syvinski, OSA, continued his studies at Catholic University, Washington, D.C., and in 1948 he received a master’s degree in fine arts. Father Syvinski’s first assignment was in the parish of St. James, Carthage, N.Y. After serving in several other positions over the next ten years, he came to Villanova where he remained for the rest of his life.

In January 1958, Father Syvinski became a professor at Villanova University, teaching various courses in religion and fine arts until retiring in 1987. He was also associated with the swim team, University band, Student Art Club and the Glee Club. (more…)


Economic Census and ACS on the Block

The Economic Census and the American Community Survey are in danger of being discontinued.  Last year Congress ceased publication of key statistical compendia such as Statistical Abstract of the United States, State and Metropolitan Area Data Book, and County and City Data Book.  The once unthinkable is indeed a very real possibility.   For details:  NABE


Scopus is Back!

Good news, Scopus is back!  It is now accessible from our Databases A-Z page and business subject guides.  This well liked, broad indexing and abstracting service for scholarly literature has many valuable features.

My favorite feature is the Scopus Alart.  My Alert is set to send me a weekly email with citations to publications by Villanova School of Business affiliated authors.  This feature keeps me informed about your research interests and use that knowledge to inform my collection development decisions.  Alerts or RSS feeds can  be set up for every time a document or author is cited or simply for new publications in your field.  Creating an Alert is as easy as establishing a Scopus user name and password, clicking “Alerts”  on the task bar or within a search using the bell or broadcast icons and following the prompts.

Trying to identify the best place to submit an article for publication? Scopus Journal Analytics is useful for judging the prestige, impact and scope of a journal.  This feature competes directly with Thomson’s Journal Citation Report but includes a broader range of journals and does not confine rankings by discipline.

Up for promotion or tenure? the Author Evaluator provides beautiful reports on publication source, type, time span, co-authorship networks, cited by references and h-index metrics.

These are  basic features build into the database, but it also offers a growing number of applications that you can add to your personal profile.  One app displays the most often downloaded articles from a journal, another, Jrate, displays journal metrics alongside abstracts, and Co-Author Explorer visualizes an authors collaborating network. For faculty on the go, Scopus offers mobile apps.





Gavin Wilk on Joseph McGarrity and the Militant Irish Republican Networks in the U.S.

By Alice Bampton

“The Joseph McGarrity Collection at Falvey Memorial Library provided a fantastic variety of complementary material to McGarrity’s papers at the National Library of Ireland,” says Irish scholar and Villanova alumnus Gavin Wilk, PhD.

Dr. Wilk, who received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University in 2000, visited Villanova on February 20. During his talk, he mentioned his use of the McGarrity Collection in Falvey.

Dr. Wilk returned to campus to present “Resolute Revolutionaries: Joseph McGarrity and the Militant Irish Republican Networks in the United States, 1922-1940.” His talk was sponsored by Irish Studies, with support from the History Department and Graduate Studies.

His discussion was based on his 2012 PhD dissertation, “Displaced Allegiance: Militant Irish Republican Activism in the United States, 1923-39.”

He received his doctorate from the University of Limerick, Ireland, in January. While attending the University of Limerick, Dr. Wilk was an Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholar. For his dissertation Dr. Wilk conducted research in Ireland, Great Britain and the United States.

Dr. Wilk explains, “The Joseph McGarrity Papers at the National Library of Ireland offered a large amount of material for my thesis, including personal correspondence and Clan na Gael records.” The Clan na Gael was an American-based militant Irish republican organization.

About Falvey’s McGarrity Collection, Dr. Wilk says, “Included in the collection are photographs and sketches of IRA veterans who had emigrated to the U.S. The collection also holds some correspondence between Joseph McGarrity and certain IRA veterans, which provided further context for my thesis.” Dr. Wilk returned from Ireland to Villanova to use the McGarrity Collection as part of his dissertation research. (more…)


Falvey Scholars: Exceptional Undergraduate Research Spanning Five Disciplines

To highlight undergraduate research and the Library’s role in facilitating such research, Falvey Memorial Library honors students whose achievements have distinguished them as Falvey Scholars. The tenth annual Falvey Scholars Award ceremony took place on Friday, April 27, 2012, on Falvey’s newly renovated second floor.

The Falvey Scholars Award was established in 2002 by Joseph P. Lucia, University librarian and library director. Lucia collaborated with the honors program and the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships to establish the award. This annual program, according to Lucia, serves “to recognize and reward exceptional undergraduate research.”

Casey Burkhardt (Computer Science), delivered the first presentation: “The Trajectory to the ‘Technological Singularity.'” Singularity, Casey explained, is “a point at which technology surpasses the abilities of the human brain.” He also discussed the ethical component and social responsibility related to such technological pursuits. Casey’s faculty mentor, William Fleischman, PhD, could not attend. Joe Lucia read Dr. Fleischman’s introduction in his stead.



Theresa Donohoe (English), the next presenter, discussed “Nature, Culture, and Gender in Gardens of Middle English Poetry.” Focusing on “The Pearl,” an anonymous fourteenth century poem, Theresa studied a manuscript from the British Library in researching the treatment of nature and of women in the poem. She cited other fourteenth century texts—”The Book of the Duchess,” “The Knight’s Tale,” and “The Merchant’s Tale” by Chaucer—in her presentation, reciting some passages in middle English. Theresa’s faculty mentor was Alice Dailey, PhD.


Mark Reimlinger, Emily Battinelli, and Frank Anuszewski (in absentia) (Electrical Engineering), discussed their project: “Microstructured Optical Fibers for Environmental Sensing.” Mark’s work on this project, which he had begun in March of 2010, involves measuring the absorption of light so precisely as to detect, for example, chemical agents. Emily stated that this technique could also be used to detect types of antibodies, indicating the presence of certain diseases. Rosalind Wynne, PhD, served as the team’s faculty mentor.

Matthew Hemmerle (Economics) showed how a country’s dependence on oil affects its economy and its political system: “Manufacturing Institutional Quality: The Impact of Dutch Disease on Governance in Oil Dependent Countries.” In researching dozens of oil-dependent countries, Matthew studied how such countries’ oil sectors may negatively impact their manufacturing sectors. Matthew integrated his experiences studying in Jordan and visiting Cambodia on a service trip into his research. His faculty mentor was Mary Kelly, PhD.

Hillary Dutton (Nursing), the event’s final presenter, delivered “Electronic Aggression in Adolescents: The Current State of the Science.” Cyber-bullying, Hillary explained, exceeds the boundaries of traditional bullying, following its target into his/her home and even the bedroom. And if the bullying doesn’t originate from a school computer, she continued, the school can’t intervene. Her faculty mentorElizabeth Dowdell, PhD, described Hillary as “a really strong and independent soul.”

The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, ’75 A&S, president of Villanova University, spoke next. In the context of faculty’s responsibility to build knowledge, Father Peter asserted that the University’s “students are also contributing to that knowledge.” He also recognized the service of the faculty mentors who supported the Falvey Scholars.

During the luncheon that immediately followed, attendees remarked on the timeliness of the Scholars’ topics, their professionalism—both in presenting their research and in responding to the audience’s questions, and the thoughtful questions posed by student attendees.

Special thanks to Gina Duffy, library events and program coordinator, and her team for posting online announcements; for setting up the chairs, tables, computers (for the presenters) and the display screen; and for organizing the refreshments. Special thanks also go to the library’s graphic designer, Joanne Quinn, who created the display window on the first floor, celebrating the Falvey Scholars and the tenth anniversary of this event.

Contributed by Gerald Dierkes; photography by Alice Bampton


Sarah Zinn Selected Student Employee of the Month

Sarah Zinn is Falvey Memorial Library’s current Student Employee of the Month.

Sarah, a senior English major from Cleveland, Ohio, has minors in philosophy and German. She has worked in Falvey since enrolling at Villanova University. Sarah says, “[I]t’ll always feel a bit like home to me … It’s been a good run, and I’m happy to have been here.”

She works at Circulation and helps with all aspects of interlibrary loan (ILL). Sarah receives the incoming ILL book requests, processes articles for delivery, and prepares returned ILL books to be shipped back to loaning libraries.

Phylis Wright, manager of access desk services, says, “Sarah … always comes to work with a smile on her face. She has never missed a shift and often flexes it to accommodate the workload of ILL.” Jesse Flavin, interlibrary loan specialist, says, “She consistently provides conscientious and precise work for our ILL team.”

Her interests are varied: getting caught in the rain, dogs, silly movies, good books, music, the Oxford comma, embarrassing her friends by dancing and singing in public, and the Game of Thrones television series. Sarah also enjoys hot tea and adds, “There are no words in the English language passionate enough to describe my feelings for Nutella.”

After graduation, Sarah plans to attend law school.

The University Staff Council at Falvey selects a Student Employee of the Month based upon nominations from the department supervisors of student employees.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


Catholic Colonization in Minnesota in Proofreading

In case you missed your opportunity to proofread the Digital Library in March, another book is now available through the Distributed Proofreaders project. This month’s title is Catholic Colonization in Minnesota, a 19th-century pamphlet full of advice about opportunities for Catholics in Minnesota. If you have the time, stop by and help preserve a little piece of history. If you don’t get there quickly enough this month, don’t worry: more titles are on the way.


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Last Modified: May 7, 2012