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eBook available: How to Fence

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve already heard about How to Fence twice: in July when it was rediscovered in our basement, and in August when it first went into proofreading.  Now, at last, the book is available in electronic form at Project Gutenberg.  As you might expect, 60 pages of text won’t actually make you a master of fencing, broadsword combat, archery, and assorted Olympic-style sports, but it’s interesting to see just how much the author tries to cram into the available space.  The book can be read online or downloaded for all popular reading devices here.


Poet Diane Gilliam Fisher to Read at Falvey Memorial Library

By Corey Waite Arnold

On Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 7:00 p.m., poet Diane Gilliam Fisher, PhD, will give a reading at the Library as part of the 15th Annual Villanova Literary Festival. Dr. Fisher’s most recent book, entitled Kettle Bottom, tells the story of the West Virginia coal mine wars of 1920-1921 through the individual perspectives and voice of characters affected by those events.

Dr. Fisher is the recipient of an illustrious range of poetry honors and awards, including the 2008 Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing and a spot on the American Booksellers Association’s spring 2005 Book Sense Picks Poetry Top Ten list for Kettle Bottom. Her poetry shows a remarkable awareness of buried histories, and her language illuminates the beauty in seemingly common vernacular. By leveraging the dialects of eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, Dr. Fisher invokes a sense of place in her poetry as dependent on language as it is on landscape, and even the minor communications in her work crackle with a rare vitality. Dr. Fisher earned her PhD in Romance Languages from Ohio State University, and her MFA in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. She currently lives in Ohio.

The reading is the second in this year’s Literary Festival, sponsored by the Department of English. Along with Dr. Fisher, the festival will bring major writers from all over the country to Villanova’s campus, including Junot Díaz, a recent recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Keep an eye on the Department of English blog and homepage for future announcements regarding festival events.

This event will be held in the Speakers’ Corner of the Library, and will be followed by a book sale and signing.

Graphic Design by Joanne Quinn


Cambridge Histories Online now in Shades of Deep Purple

Cambridge University Press re-designed the interfaces of two popular reference collections: Cambridge Histories Online and Cambridge Companions Online. The old interface had various usability issues, which left the user at times frustrated. The new interface is less cluttered, more user-friendly and its attractive design and color scheme are pleasing to the eye.

Did you know that Cambridge University Press continues to add new and old print titles to the Cambridge Histories Online collection? In 2012, six back-list titles and seventeen new titles were added. Noteworthy among the new titles is The New Cambridge History of American Foreign Relations: Dimensions of the Early American Empire, 1754–1865 by William Earl Weeks, not to be confused with the 1993 volume authored by Bradford Perkins. The remaining three volumes in the series are slated for publication later this year. Forthcoming in 2013 is the second volume of the Cambridge History of Science series entitled Medieval Science. New 2012 titles include:

The interface for Cambridge Companions Online mirrors the Cambridge Histories Online interface except for the crimson color scheme. The Companions focuses on philosophy, religion, culture, literature, classics and music.

When did you last browse either one of these remarkable collections? It may be time to take a fresh look.


Meet Conor Hafertepe, Spring 2013 Digital Humanities Intern

A few weeks ago, Conor Hafertepe became our first Digital Humanities Intern. Conor is from Media, PA, and he is currently a senior at Temple University, where he is majoring in Film & Media Arts. After graduating in May, he plans to teach English abroad for the next year or two, before applying to graduate programs in the digital humanities.

Conor Hafertepe scanning a book.
Conor scanning a book for our dime novel collection.

During the past year, Conor has been working on two digital humanities projects. He conducted independent research on “digital authorship,” especially with regard to Twitter, and he will be presenting his findings at the Re:Humanities Conference in April. In addition, Conor is working with Dr. Roderick Coover on Estuary, a project for the Chemical Heritage Foundation that looks at the Delaware River region in the age of climate change.

Here at Aurelius, Conor is learning about digital humanities in an academic library environment and helping to further establish our fledgling program. He is assisting with the digitization of the dime novel collection for Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections and Digital Library as well as processing some of the digitized works for our Project Gutenberg proofreading project. He is also working on our dime novel bibliography project.

If he could travel anywhere in the world, Conor would like to go to Istanbul, Turkey, the meeting point of East and West that “combines Western influences and schools of thought with more Eastern philosophies.”

Yeni Cami mosque and Eminönü bazaar, Constantinople, Turkey
Yeni Cami mosque and Eminönü bazaar, ca. 1890s.
Photo from the Library of Congress on Flickr.


How to start library research on Catholic social thought and teaching

By Darren G. Poley

Begin your research with reference books on topics related to Catholic social thought and teaching. The print reference collection is located on Falvey’s 2nd floor. Some excellent books to explore are The New dictionary of Catholic social thought, Human rights and the world’s major religions and the Encyclopedia of Catholic social thought, social science, and social policy. The New Catholic Encyclopedia in print or online is another good place to start.

Church documents that contribute to Catholic social teaching, such as Pope John Paul II’s “Compendium of the social doctrine of the Church” and Pope Benedict XVI’s “encyclical on integral human development in charity and truth,” are not only online at the Vatican Web Site (See Compendium and Caritas in veritate) but also shelved with commentaries on church statements (Catholic social thought: American reflections on the Compendium and The moral dynamics of economic life: an extension and critique of Caritas in veritate, for example) in the Falvey West stacks area. There you will also find anthologies of Catholic Church documents as well as scholarly sources on them: The social agenda: a collection of magisterial textsCatholic social thought: the documentary heritage and Modern Catholic social teaching: commentaries and interpretations.

To search by subject using descriptive phrases that match the subject headings in Falvey’s catalog as well as those in many databases, such as the ATLA Catholic Periodical and Literature Index, here are some suggestions: “Christian ethics Catholic authors,” “Christian sociology Catholic Church,” “Church and social problems Catholic Church,” “Globalization Religious aspects Catholic Church,” “Peace Religious aspects Catholic Church,” “Economics Religious aspects Catholic Church” and “Human rights Religious Aspects.”

For some basic resources online that can familiarize you with Catholic Social Teaching, explore “Seven Themes of Catholic Social Teaching” by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, or go to Villanova University’s Office for Mission and Ministry resource page. Finally, for a thorough annotated bibliography on the subject, consult Catholic social thought, Renovating the tradition: a keyguide to resources.

Darren Poley is the theology and religious studies subject librarian. Contact him directly at darren.poley@villanova.edu.


Curtain Call: Don’t Miss Your Chance to See Rare Theatrical Materials

By Alice Bampton

Abbey Theatre program cover. Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Ireland, 1904-1910.

“Curtain Call: Theatrical Materials in Special Collections and the University Archives,” currently on display on the library first floor, showcases the breadth of theatrical materials housed in Special Collections and the University Archives. Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, designed “Curtain Call.” On a placard introducing the exhibit, Bang states, “These materials cover a wide array of theatre history in the Western world with a particular emphasis on Irish theatre and our own Villanova theatre.”

Bang worked with the Rev. Dennis Gallagher, OSA, PhD, University archivist, to select materials from University Archives. Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, helped Bang mount the exhibit. And Joanne Quinn, design specialist, created graphics for the exhibit and the banner on Falvey’s homepage.

“Curtain Call …” is divided into six sections: “Curtain Call,” “Setting the Stage,” “Casting Call,” “The Play’s the Thing,” “Criticism and Reviews,” and “The Bard.”

The “Curtain Call” section, in the tall glass cabinet, features four programs from Belle Masque Dramatic Society productions (1948-1961) and seven posters from various Villanova University plays. In “Setting the Stage” Bang has gathered programs from some notable theatre companies, including the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Ireland, and the University’s past theatre groups. “Histoire Générale Illustrée Du Theatre” by Lucien Dubech, et al, is opened to an illustration of a Greek theatre.

“Casting Call,” according to Bang, “contains information on some notable performers as well as some behind-the-scenes glimpses of the production side of a play.” Particularly interesting is a large sketch of Brian G. Morgan, MA ‘70, BA ‘67. Other images show Villanova actors reviewing scripts, a selection of theatre-arts prints and a copy of “Le Theatre” (December 1898) opened to a story about Loïe Fuller (1862-1928), an American actor and dancer.

The Golden Apple: A Play for Kiltartan Children. Lady Gregory. London: John Murray, 1916.

“The Play’s the Thing” displays play scripts including three written by the cofounders of the Abbey Theatre: “The Golden Apple: A Play for Kiltartan Children,” written by an Irish woman, Lady Gregory; and “Vision: A Tale of the Time of Christ” by the Rev. John F. Burns, OSA, of Villanova. This case also highlights a program from the “[f]irst entertainment given by the Villanova College Dramatic Society” on Thanksgiving evening, 1873.

“Criticism and Review” includes three works: an anonymous critical review of “The Playboy of the Western World” in The Lepracaum [sic], a 1907 Irish publication; a 1905 critical review by Bernard Shaw and John Corbin, “The Author’s Apology From [sic] Mrs. Warren’s Profession”; and a review in a periodical, “Samhain,” edited by W. B. Yates.

The final section of the exhibit, “The Bard,” highlights the work of William Shakespeare, whose “characters and plays … are [probably the] most widely known in the Western world” (Bang). Three books and a collection of plates from “Theatre Arts Prints” provide a sampling of Shakespeare’s works.

This exhibit will remain on view for the spring semester except for a brief hiatus for an Easter exhibit.


New Intern for Academic Integration and Information and Research Assistance Teams

By Alice Bampton

Alexander (Alex) Williams, a Drexel University iSchool graduate student, is serving a six-month internship with Falvey Memorial Library’s Academic Integration and Information and Research Assistance teams. “We are excited to welcome Alexander back to the Library while he is pursuing his master’s degree [in Library and Information Science] at Drexel University. His master’s degree in English from Villanova [University] makes him a welcome addition to the library staff,” says Jutta Seibert, team leader – Academic Integration. Alex is focusing on information services although he is also interested in competitive intelligence. He expects to graduate from Drexel in 2013.

Alex, a native of Rhode Island, earned a master’s degree in English literature from Villanova in 2011. While attending Villanova, Alex worked in Access Services for Phylis Wright, manager of access desk services, and Domenick Liberato, stacks manager.

When asked what made him decide to become a librarian, Alex said, “Until quite recently, I never realized that my work history was comprised primarily of library support-staff positions … There was this impulse to both consume and to be physically near books and information, so I decided it was time to listen to myself. Since I have a master’s in English literature, I ultimately hope to become a subject specialist in an academic library; that way I can keep abreast of contemporary trends in literature and theory as well as share my love of the subject with new generations of students.”

Alex believes working with “research support through email and chat will help me understand how the methods of information seeking have recently changed, as well as ground my theory in practice. … Having an inside view of how the library, students and teachers communicate really puts everything into perspective.”

He is currently reading Aldous Huxley’s Eyeless in Gaza and Longinus’s treatise, On the Sublime. His hobbies include “running, cooking, reconnecting with nature, playing the guitar, writing and reading (of course).” He loves animals of all kinds. His research interests are varied, “Just about anything could set me off in one direction or another.”

Alex earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature and religious studies from Stonehill College, Easton, Mass. While a student at Stonehill, Alex worked as a circulation aide in the library, an early indication of his future interests.


Falvey Launches Mobile Website

By David Uspal

We are proud to announce that as of Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, the mobile version of the Falvey Memorial Library website is officially live.

The goal of this project is to provide information in a more readily accessible form for mobile users than is provided through the main library website. As such, the mobile site allows users convenient access to the most frequently used services on the main library website, including catalog search capabilities, library hours, building maps, news and events, and interactive research assistance.


Falvey Library Mobile Website

Falvey's mobile website homepage, as seen from a mobile device.

Falvey Library Main Website

The library's main website homepage, as seen from a mobile device.











When you access Falvey through a mobile device, the library homepage should detect your device and automatically send you to the mobile version of the website. Users who prefer the main website over the mobile site can still access the main site by clicking on the “Full Website” icon at the bottom of the homepage. If you’d rather access the mobile site directly, http://m.library.villanova.edu will take you directly to the mobile content.

The mobile website also showcases the capabilities of the VuFind open-source, library-search-engine software (developed here at Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University). The mobile website was, in fact, developed on top of the VuFind software and uses the built-in mobile version of its catalog-searching capabilities.

As Falvey recognizes that mobile devices are becoming an ever greater percentage of its user base, the Library is dedicated to providing the best service possible to this market. As such, the Library will continue to develop applications and services for the mobile community, and work towards improving the mobile user experience.

For more information, or to offer comments or suggestions, please feel free to contact the library technical team at libtech@villanova.edu.


To Hell and Back: the Library Hosts Marathon Reading of Dante’s Inferno

This Tuesday, Feb. 12, the Villanova University community will gather for a marathon reading of Dante’s Inferno. Students, faculty, and staff are all invited to Falvey Memorial Library to read a Canto from this classic Italian text. As the first part of Dante’s epic Divine Comedy, Inferno provides an allegorical journey of Dante Alighieri himself, as a pilgrim, traveling through the nine circles of hell. The reading will begin at 10 a.m. in the library first floor lounge, and refreshments will be served throughout the day. Participants are welcome to read in either English or Italian, and costumes are encouraged.

Continuing the Villanova University community-marathon-reading tradition, this year’s event focuses on all things Italian. Sponsored by the Italian Club, the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Villanova Center for Liberal Education (VCLE), the Office for Mission and Ministry, the Department of Humanities, the Classical Studies program and the Library, the marathon reading is the brainchild of Romance Languages Assistant Professor Diane Biunno, PhD, and Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator Michael Foight.

The “l’avventura Dantesca” is sure to be divertente!

Asked what relevance a fourteenth-century work like the Divine Comedy has for 21st century readers, Foight pointed out the prolific use of Dante’s allegories and imagery in modern, adaptive works, and Dante’s stylistic device of casting himself in his own poem, a trope often seen in contemporary literature.

The event coincides with an online exhibit of Dante materials from Falvey Special Collections prepared by Dr. Biunno, billed as an “illustrated adventure” through the epic, with scans of etchings and prints by Dore, Botticelli and others. This fascinating exhibit is live now on the library’s website, and provides several unique visualizations of Dante’s masterpiece, including images from Inferno. Dr. Biunno served as a Digital Library intern this summer and is currently enrolled in Drexel University’s Master of Science in Library and Information Science program. She teaches Italian courses here at Villanova University. On Tuesday’s reading, her students will read a portion of the Cantos in Italian.

Other readers are encouraged to participate, and all members of the University community are invited to stop in and listen. If you’d like to practice your reading before the big event, check out the entire work online here.

As with many library events, first-year student participation earns ACS credits. Previous community readings of classical texts have included the Odyssey, the Iliad, and Augustine’s Confessions.

If you have any questions, please contact Diane Biunno.


The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics: a New Addition to the Library's Online Resources

The Library is making The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics available to the entire campus community. The Encyclopedia is an online resource accessible through a catalog search.

The Encyclopedia, published in November, is an online comprehensive reference resource covering the highly diverse field of applied linguistics. Coverage includes “27 key areas of the field,” including

language learning and teaching,

bilingual and multilingual education,

assessment and testing,

corpus linguistics,

conversation analysis,


cognitive second language acquisition,

language policy and planning,

literacy, and

technology and language.

Additional features available with this resource include regular additions and updates to articles, as well as new entries, to keep the Encyclopedia current and cutting edge. It offers a wealth of additional material, too, such as sound files and direct links to cross referenced articles, creating a multifaceted learning experience. Entries are available in both HTML and PDF, enabling users to print in a clean, easy-to-read format, which includes citation and cross-references. The encyclopedia is easy to navigate and available 24/7 through the library’s website.

Image courtesy of The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics


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Last Modified: February 8, 2013