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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10,000 and Beyond!

This week, we added our 10,000th item to the Digital Library! This is quite an exciting milestone!

The item in question is the Volume 18, No. 4 issue of The Villanovan, dated April 4, 1944. The Villanovan was scanned from microfilm by the Internet Archive and we have been steadily working on adding the individual issues to our Digital Library.

Volume 18, No. 4, April 4, 1944 issue of The Villanovan.

This issue features numerous articles related to World War II. The front page headlines are listed below:

* Easter Theme In ‘Bunny Hop’ Show And Dance Apr. 15
* Lt. W. Garrity Killed Piloting Bomber in Africa
* Augustinians In Philippines Safe
* Comdr. Milner Leaves for Active Sea Duty Again
* Guadalcanal and Tulagi Veterans in Marine V-12 Unit Describe Battles
* Plans Completed For Guild Party
* Financier’s Frolic Tickets On Sale Now

Not content with just 10,000, we are already edging past 10,100 as of this writing! The current item count is viewable here and it is updated in real time as we add new items.

This week, we added our 10,000th item to the Digital Library! This is quite an exciting milestone!

 

The item in question is the Volume 18, No. 4 issue of The Villanovan, dated April 4, 1944. The Villanovan was scanned from microfilm by the Internet Archive and we have been steadily working on adding the individual issues to our Digital Library.

 

This issue features numerous articles related to World War II. The front page headlines are listed below:

 

Easter Theme In ‘Bunny Hop’ Show And Dance Apr. 15

Lt. W. Garrity Killed Piloting Bomber in Africa

Augustinians In Philippines Safe

Comdr. Milner Leaves for Active Sea Duty Again

Guadalcanal and Tulagi Veterans in Marine V-12 Unit Describe Battles

Plans Completed For Guild Party

Financier’s Frolic Tickets On Sale Now

 

Not content with 10,000 we are already edging past 10,100 as of this writing! The item count is viewable here.

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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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Last Modified: December 9, 2008