I am pleased to announce the completion of Villanova University’s participation in the pilot phase of the PALINET Mass Digitization Collaborative (MDC). For more information on the program itself, please see the pages on the PALINET website at:
In the pilot project, staff members from various institutions worked with Internet Archive and PALINET representatives to develop digitization policies and procedures for the broader membership. Villanova’s participation included testing the functionality of digitization of microfilm materials scanned at the main San Francisco scanning center of the Internet Archive. The titles scanned and now available on the Internet Archive site in perpetuity are two Villanova student newspapers: first, The Villanova Monthly, from Jan 1893 to Jan 1897, and second, The Villanovan, from November 1916 to June 1926. These are currently available in 3 volumes based on the original microfilm reel at the Villanova University page on the Internet Archive at: http://www.archive.org/details/villanova_university The page images have also been OCRed (Optical Character Recognition), so the pdf file format for each volume can be searched for keywords; this is machine OCR and so not all words will have been accurately recognized.
Villanova University has committed to support these collaborative digitization efforts, assisted in part by grant support from the Sloan Foundation to PALINET. As part of that commitment in the non-pilot phase of the program, Villanova University will continue to grow the available issues of The Villanovan over the coming year, with the goal of making the entire run available. In addition to the remote access provided by hosting materials on the Internet Archive site, Villanova’s Digital Library will be harvesting the images and OCRed text of these works to eventually create locally hosted copies, organized in the more easily readable and browsable format of individual issues.
These student newspaper provide a unique view of the history and community life of Villanova University. Not only are the early volumes filled with interesting articles, alumni notes, and photographs of campus, students, events, and athletic competitions, but they also include a wealth of poetry and local Main Line advertisements.
One advertisement from 1916 reads:
and grow fat
Here are two poems from 1921:
ODE TO AUTUMN
Richest season of the year
Bringing men abundant cheer,
Soothing heart and eye and ear-
Following fast on Summer’s train,
Filling fields with golden grain,
Purpling vineyards on the plain-
Trees their royal garments spread
Purple, crimson, scarlet, red;
Golden glories crown their head
Birds returning paint the sky
Rainbow hues of various dye
Watch the vagrant migrants fly
Halcyon day and skies serene,
Climes that keep the golden mean,
Tepid airs and frosts not keen.
Rarest ripeness bursts its molds!
Winter’s snows and icy colds
Dormant lie within the folds
—Francis A. Rafferty
Over the snow-white hills of Judea
A gleaming star shed its beckoning light,
Gliding three kings from the red land of morning
Who traveled on through the darkness of night.
They followed the star over the hills and through valleys
Rich treasures and spices and incense they bore;
And they watched it move ever steadfast and silent
Till it rested o’er Bethlehem and wandered no more.
Behold there a stable of rude planks erected
To shelter the sheep from the winds and the sleet,
And there in a crib lay the world’s Infant Saviour
While Mary and Joseph bent low at His feet.
Angelic choirs sang His praise and His glory,
From the hills the poor shepherds had come to adore;
The beasts with mute eyes paid reverence and homage,
While their warm breast gave comfort. They could give no more.
Then from the far-distant rim of the East Land
The sun slowly rose o’er the whole world so still.
And a day so long prayed for was born with this message,
“All peace on earth, to men of good-will!”
—William J. Meter
(Photos are one of the San Fransisco Internet Archive microfilm scanning stations and the Villanova microfilm awaiting digitization. – Photos courtesy of Laurie Gemmill).