FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY



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Villanova history comes alive in the pages of The Villanovan

Falvey Memorial Library recently completed a major digitization project to make available online all 1,713 issues of the campus newspaper, The Villanovan, published between 1893 and 1995. On Feb. 23, the Library hosted a program to celebrate this accomplishment. The celebration was dedicated to the memory of longtime Villanovan faculty adviser, June Lytel-Murphy.

The program began with introductory remarks by University Librarian Joseph Lucia and University President the Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA., PhD, ’75 A&S, who characterized the project as a history of “the voice of the student body.” Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator Michael Foight, Library Technology Development Specialist Demian Katz and Research Support Librarian Susan Ottignon each addressed various aspects of the project.

Prior to 2011, The Villanovan was available only through bound volumes of issues or microfilm—neither providing an especially pleasurable experience for casual perusal….

The above paragraphs were excerpted from David Burke’s article about the event on the main library news blog. Click here to read his full article.

Since the event, we’ve seen a huge increase in use of this collection. Michael Foight reported that we had a record 1009 unique visitors to the Digital Library in the week following the event and most of those visitors were browsing the Villanovan collection.

We’ve written about the Villanovan digitization project previously. Michael Foight wrote about the initial phase of this digitization effort in December 2008. Cathleen Lu, Digital Library Intern in Fall 2010, wrote about some of the more eye-catching advertisements she found in the papers while working to improve the PDF files. And last year Laura Bang wrote about the 10,000th item to be added to the Digital Library, which happened to be the April 4, 1944 issue of the Villanovan.

These papers provide a fascinating look at not just the University’s history, but also the historical context around the University and how world events affected life at Villanova. Take a look and see what you discover!

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Colorful Ads in Black and White

Written by: Cathleen Lu, Fall 2010 Digital Library Intern.

As Falvey’s Digital Library takes on the digitization of older issues of the campus newspaper The Villanovan, from its inception as a monthly in 1893 to its more recent years, we find content ranging from dependable sports sections detailing the many Wildcat and Owl rivalries between Villanova and Temple, to reflective discussions on racism, to historically heavy pages documenting a campus during wartime. Indeed, 1943 issues of The Villanovan announced the college’s new warning system for air raid drills among reports of Villanovans at the front and alumni casualty records. But, taken in aggregate through the years and through events in history that may or may not have reached the Villanova campus, the newspapers provide another interesting take on American life–advertisements.

Those of you who are fans of the AMC drama Mad Men might like to know that a little piece of the show exists in Falvey Memorial Library (figuratively speaking), and those of you who aren’t familiar with the cable series might find plenty of other surprises in early American advertising. Simple textual ads for naval uniforms and suits for 40 dollars eventually give way to fountain pens and Chevrolets in all their pictorial glory.

In Mad Men, one particularly famous scene features advertising wonder Don Draper pitching creative ideas to cigarette company Lucky Strike. His pitch? “It’s toasted.” A particular draw of the show has always been its historical accuracy and knack for details, but sure enough, in 1932′s Volume 4, Issue 11 of The Villanovan, Lucky Strike lets us all know: “It’s toasted.”

luckies

The idea of cigarette ads is anachronistic now, but from the 1930s to late 1960s, the ads, complete without Surgeon General’s warnings, were as consistent as they were prevalent. In the 1950s, Lucky Strike, Chesterfield, and Philip Morris were the bigger companies first battling it out, while L&M, Camel, and Marlboro came on the scene in later years. Through the decades, the ads change in tone to convey particular attitudes that include high society, campus cool, and a little bit of romance. And of course, celebrities always make an appearance. Barbara Stanwyck, Bob Hope, Joe DiMaggio, and Loretta Young are just a few of the recognizable faces.

stanwyck

The most recognizable of all, however, might be Santa Claus, just in time for the holidays.

santa

Despite whether our hindsight finds these ads agreeable, valuable, or even fascinating, it does speak to the relevance of advertisements in both history and culture. Perhaps even more, it emphasizes an important aspect of newspapers in their “original” form, where the research value may extend far past the article of the day.

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Villanova boys … grow fat (PALINET Mass Digitization Collaborative)

Villanova-Monthly

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:
http://www.palinet.org/dshome.aspx

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.

vm2.jpg

Links to the individual volumes :

http://www.archive.org/details/villanovamo1897_p_rs

http://www.archive.org/details/villanovan1926_p_rs
http://www.archive.org/details/villanovan1921_p2

vm3.jpg

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:

Villanova Boys
Eat
Wanklin’s Candy
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-

Glad Autumn!

Following fast on Summer’s train,
Filling fields with golden grain,
Purpling vineyards on the plain-

Ripe Autumn!

Trees their royal garments spread
Purple, crimson, scarlet, red;
Golden glories crown their head

In Autumn.

Birds returning paint the sky
Rainbow hues of various dye
Watch the vagrant migrants fly

With Autumn!

Halcyon day and skies serene,
Climes that keep the golden mean,
Tepid airs and frosts not keen.

Gives Autumn!

Rarest ripeness bursts its molds!
Winter’s snows and icy colds
Dormant lie within the folds

Of Autumn!

Francis A. Rafferty

CHRISTMAS

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

vm4.jpg vm5.jpg

(Photos are one of the San Fransisco Internet Archive microfilm scanning stations and the Villanova microfilm awaiting digitization. – Photos courtesy of Laurie Gemmill).

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World War I Pro-German Newspapers Published in America

World War

Joseph McGarrity, the Irish-American revolutionary who lived in Philadelphia area during the era of the First World War was an active collector of books and periodicals about Ireland. Within this collection, now housed in Falvey Memorial Library’s Special Collections, are a number of rare pro-German books and newspapers. These were largely published in Philadelphia and New York and chronicle the viewpoints of Imperial Germany and German-Americans in the United States, as war raged in the trenches of Europe and the sealanes of the Atlantic. At the same time as Germany warred against Great Britain, McGarrity and many members of the Irish-American community were actively raising funds to foment Irish independence from Great Britain. In 1916 these effort would help start the Easter Rising in Dublin. McGarrity’s collecting of German materials can thus be seen as an actualization of the proverb: “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Vital Issue

Villanova’s Digital Library has completed the digitization of these newspapers collected almost a hundred years ago by McGarrity, and which consist of nearly complete runs of 3 titles: The Fatherland; Vital Issue; and World War. These titles are rich in articles ranging from hortatory arguments about continued American neutrality and perceived war crimes of the British to narrations of current events from an “unbiased” source, like the armament carried by the Lusitania. These titles also contain elaborate photographic spreads and polemical illustrations as well as pro-German advertisements including specific ads for German war bonds, war trophies, and aid packages (The Fatherland Needs Coffee); even games and apparel (Iron Cross Stick-Pins) were included. On noteworthy advertisement from 1916 for the “Deutschland Game”, claimed that this “game will interest grown-ups as well as the children. Two German submarines try to reach the United States and return to Germany in safety.” Indeed some of the ads are not so much pro-German as pro-Irish with titles such as The Gaelic American featured.

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As an effort to publicize these titles Digital Library staff have composed a Wikipedia entry about the most notable of the three titles: The Fatherland; in edited form it is here reprinted :

“The Fatherland was a World War I era weekly periodical published by poet, writer, and noted propagandist George Sylvester Viereck (1884-1962). Viereck reputed to be the child of the Kaiser William I, was born in Munich, Germany, and moved to New York City in 1896, Viereck graduated from the College of the City of New York and directly entered the world of publishing.

Viereck outspokenly supported the German cause at the outset of World War I, and his poetry reflected his pro-German zeal. Drawing on experience gained while working on his father’s German-language monthly, Der deutsche Vorkämpfer (The German Pioneer), later called Rundschau Zweier Welten (Review of Two Worlds), the younger Viereck now channeled his German sympathies into his own publication. He founded The Fatherland in August 1914, a weekly publication in English that reached a circulation of 75,000, by some estimates, and 100,000 by others, to promote American neutrality in the war and give voice to German support. The Fatherland was advertised on the cover of its first issues as a magazine devoted to “Fair Play for Germany and Austria-Hungary.”

Three German-American banker friends helped Viereck with the fifty dollars needed to start up The Fatherland. The first edition of ten thousand copies sold out quickly in New York. The publication grew to thirty employees almost immediately and “took upon itself the task of exposing the malfeasance of the Allied countries, of revealing the prejudices and distortions of the American press, and of rallying German-Americans in their own defense.” The weekly received part of its funding from a German propaganda cabinet set up in New York Society, with which Viereck worked closely.

Viereck was accused by the New York World of receiving German subsidies for propaganda purposes, but the Department of Justice was unable to prosecute. Still, Viereck faced social censure, being driven from his house by a lynch mob and expelled from the Authors League as well as the Poetry Society of America.

Surely, Viereck’s personal circumstances affected the publication life and reception of The Fatherland. He continued the publication’s German bias until 1927. However, after America entered the war, he subdued the publication’s tone of German sympathy and changed its title. It was New World and Viereck’s: The American Weekly in February 1917, Viereck’s American Monthly in August 1918, and American Monthly in October 1920.”

The Fatherland

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Last Modified: July 25, 2008