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A Library like an Elephant

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: October 15, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

By Nikolaus Fogle

HathiTrust Digital Library is an immense online repository of 10.5 million scanned volumes, 31 percent of which are in the public domain and accessible free of charge. Its name comes from the Hindi word for elephant, an animal renowned for its size, strength, and memory.

The site could be described as a nonprofit version of Google Books, and in fact much of its content was originally digitized by Google. But if Google represents quick and simple (and often unreliable) access to book content, then HathiTrust is a resource for the scholar. It also has loftier preservation goals than its corporate cousin. Its creators describe it as “a partnership of major research institutions and libraries working to ensure that the cultural record is preserved and accessible long into the future.”

Massive as it is, the collection takes in a bit of everything. There are fiction and nonfiction books in every language, as well as periodicals, government documents, genealogical records, Spanish books from the fifteenth century—and on and on. As with Google Books, you can search the full-text of the collection with the click of a button. But HathiTrust’s advanced full-text search far outstrips Google. Say you want to find personal narratives about the Napoleonic Wars. A subject search yields 166 results. Limit your search to titles in French, and you’ve still got more than seventy titles. The full-text search is also great for working with an individual text. Can’t remember exactly where it is that Proust’s narrator takes his famous bite from the madeleine? Just do a keyword search.

HathiTrust users can create and share their own collections, compiled out of materials found on the site. It’s sort of like a playlist for digital books. For example, the collection How to Be a Domestic Goddess, created by the user sooty at the University of Michigan, contains 147 titles about cooking, child-rearing, and housewifery, from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. Once you create a collection, you can search just that material.

For now, HathiTrust books are intended mainly for online reading. Limited page-by-page downloads are allowed, and full chapter downloading is coming soon, but only partner institutions may download full text. That said, even if the books you find are under copyright, HathiTrust is still a powerful means of discovering that they exist. Just click the “find a library” link on the book’s catalog page. You’ll be connected to the WorldCat catalog, where you can see if we have the book at Falvey, or else request it through Interlibrary Loan. The vast majority of public domain works in the HathiTrust catalog (those published before 1923) are also available for full-text download through Google Books.

The site also includes a few really arresting graphics, like this interactive pie chart that breaks down the collection by Library of Congress classifications. This is bit of a promotional gimmick, but it can also help you browse the site in a more focused way.

Best of all, a federal judge declared this week that HathiTrust’s services are legal, and not a violation of copyright.

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The Complete Schottenstein Talmud in English Translation now at Falvey

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: October 11, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

By Darren Poley

As the Torah is the written law of Judaism, the Talmud is the oral law of Judaism, written down. Talmud Bavli, commonly called the Babylonian Talmud, is a monument of rabbinic literature from around 70 A.D. until the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land at the beginning of the seventh century. Falvey has added to its print collection Talmud Bavli; the Schottenstein daf yomi edition. This edition of Talmud Bavli is located in the Falvey West stacks, call number: BM499.5 .E5 2000.

The Encyclopaedia Judaica (2007) identifies the publisher, ArtScroll, as having “embarked on large-scale translation projects that have had little precedent (and not much success) among other English-language Judaica publishers, such as the case of their widely acclaimed, 73-volume Schottenstein Talmud (completed in 2005), which involved a remarkable array of sponsors, translators, and talmudic authorities from both within and outside the ḥaredi [that is the ultra-Orthodox Jewish] world” (Stolow, Jeremy. “Artscroll.” Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 534-535. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 4 Sep. 2012.).

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Brill’s Encyclopedia of the First World War: Hot off the press and available at Falvey!

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: September 5, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

Translated from the German Enzyklopädie Erster Weltkrieg (2003), Brill’s Encyclopedia of the First World War (2012) is an excellent complement to the Library’s Encyclopedia of World War I (2005) and United States in the First World War (1995). With its emphasis on the social aspects of the war, the Encyclopedia covers numerous topics not included in the Encyclopedia of World War I, such as barbarians, disability, sexuality, newspapers and war toys. Half of the first volume of the Encyclopedia is dedicated to essays on warring nations, the social aspects of the war and the course of the war. Noteworthy are the essays on the social aspects of the war, such as the ones on war literature, propaganda, scientists and religion. A complete list of essays is available on the publisher’s website.

Although international in scope, the Encyclopedia overrepresents German individuals and organizations as is to be expected from a German language publication. The nine-pages long historiography essay focuses on (West-) German scholarship, but also references Anglo-Saxon and French contributions. A separate essay is dedicated to World War I scholarship in the former GDR.

The Encyclopedia’s subject index simply mirrors the A-Z list of entries and will disappoint the reader who expects detailed subject indexing. Chemical warfare and chemical weapons, for example, are not listed in the index although it would have been helpful to add a cross-reference to gas warfare. Unfortunately, the Encyclopedia is only available in print, but interested readers can compensate for the lack of a detailed index by referring to the full text search feature available for the German language copy on Google Books.

Can’t wait to get your hands on it? The print volumes of the Encyclopedia are shelved on the second floor of Falvey. Sample entries are available online on the publisher’s website. A detailed review of the German original is available on H-Net Reviews.

Questions or comments?  Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.

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New Online Tutorial on Chicago-Style Citations

Are you tired of repeating the basics of Chicago Style notes and bibliographies to your students?
Are your students confused about how to format first and subsequent notes following Chicago style?

Clear up some of your students’ confusion by referring them to Falvey’s Brief Introduction to the Chicago Manual of Style.  Research Center intern Matt Ainslie has created a brief online tutorial (4 min.) in which he demonstrates step-by-step how to cite a sample source in the first note, in subsequent notes and in the bibliography.

The tutorial includes a link to the Chicago-Style Citation Quick Guide, which is basically a short list of templates for first notes, subsequent notes and the full bibliographic entries for commonly cited sources such as books, chapters, journal articles, dissertations and even web sites.  The Quick Guide is easy to use and a great reference tool for undergraduate and graduate students alike.  It includes a link to the full text online version of the 16th edition of the Chicago Manual of Style.

Please contact me with your ideas and suggestions for additional tutorials.

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The Other Side of the Story: Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: April 30, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

The Black Abolitionist Papers (BAP) document the struggle for abolition from the perspective of African Americans both free and enslaved. The digital collection consists of the correspondence, speeches, sermons, lectures, editorials and poems of close to three hundred African American abolitionists. Some of the voices are familiar such as those of Harriett Tubman and Frederick Douglass, others are less well known or disguised behind pseudonyms. The original sources are located in over one hundred archives and libraries. Over thirty percent of the sources are hand-written letters and documents.

Previously only available on microfilm, the collection can now be accessed online by Villanova faculty and students.  Access links to BAP can be found under Databases A-Z, in the library catalog and under the primary sources tab of the history subject guide.

Collection contents can be browsed and results can be narrowed by document type, time period, subject, geographic location and source library.  A personal, password-protected archive is available to store documents, citations can be exported to RefWorks and persistent URLs make sharing with colleagues and students a snap.  Short online tutorials introduce the novice to the collection’s search features.

BAP includes the five companion volumes to the original microfilm collection edited by P. Ripley and published by the University of North Carolina Press.  The companion volumes add commentary, annotations and images to about ten percent of the primary sources in BAP and make the collection suitable for undergraduate students.  Look for the Full Text links (see image below) in the search results to locate commentary, notes and images or browse the companion volumes.  Use the links to explore two sample documents with commentary and annotations:

Charles Lenox Remond to Richard Allen, 7 January 1841 . Rhodes House—Oxford, England. MSS, British Empire, C154/202 . 7 January 1841.
“Bury Me in a Free Land” by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper. Anti-Slavery Bugle . 20 November 1858.

Additional online resources with African American primary sources:

African American Studies Center Online
Includes biographies, subject entries, primary sources, maps, charts and tables.  Notable titles in this collection are the New Encyclopedia of African American History 1619-1895 and the African American National Biography Project.

African American Newspapers: the Nineteenth Century
Comprises major 19th century African-American newspapers such as The Christian Recorder (1861-1902), Freedom’s Journal (1827-1829), The North Star (1847-1851), and the Frederick Douglass’ Paper (1851-1863).

American Periodicals Series
Includes abolitionist periodicals such as the Liberator (1831-1865) and the Anti-Slavery Examiner (1836-1845).

Questions or comments? Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.

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Not Just Genealogical Research: What Ancestry Library Edition Can Do For You

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: April 24, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

The waiting is over!  Ancestry Library Edition is now available at Falvey Memorial Library.  Earlier this year, the library ran simultaneous trials of two popular genealogical databases, Ancestry Library Edition and HeritageQuest. Faculty and students alike unanimously voted for Ancestry.  Access to Ancestry is available via the library’s Databases A-Z list as well as from the History and Biographies research guides.

Ancestry encompasses a vast collection of genealogical data which traces the history of millions of individuals going in some cases as far back as 1300.  The collection consists of census data, vital records, directories, photos, and more.  Faculty members in the history department are already planning student research projects with  Ancestry data sets for the coming semesters.

U.S. census data from 1790 to 1940, Indian census rolls, passenger lists from New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, New Orleans, New South Wales and Hamburg, U.S. naturalization records, Irish immigrants arrival records, and London parish records are some of the data collections available through Ancestry.  An unexpected bonus are image collections, such as U.S. historical postcards, U.S. Civil War photos, U.S. war and conflict images (1765-1970), and the African American photo collection.  The photo of St. Rita Hall in this post is from the U.S. historical postcards collection.

Questions or comments?  Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.

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Looking for Data? Data for Historians @ Falvey

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: March 22, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

by Matt Ainslie (Falvey Research Center Intern)

Looking for scholarly historical data sets used by others in projects past?  The solution may be a resource about which most historians  have probably not heard.  It’s a clearinghouse of quality data, some historical, called the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.  ICPSR has grown from its 1962 founding into a data archive of more than 500,000 files of research in the social sciences.  Data files can be downloaded into statistical programs such as SPSS and a growing number of data sets can also be analyzed online with ICPSR’s own Statistical Data Analysis program.

The historical data sets in ICPSR are mainly raw data from surveys, censuses and administrative records.  You can browse by subject or use ICPSR’s search engine.  For example, subject browsing for historical resources leads to data sets of tax lists from Chester County, Pa. from 1693 to 1799, tax and census records in New York City in 1790,  and data from census records that reflect the social characteristics of Mexican-American families in Los Angeles from 1844 to 1880.  The search function is also excellent.  Searching using the keyword “riots” turns up, to name one example, demographic information about those arrested for participation in the insurrection in Paris, France: Analysis of Arrests in Paris, June 1848.  Results can be narrowed by subject, geography, author, and historical time period.  You can save your search and sign up to be notified of new results using RSS.  You can download the data in different formats after you set up an account.

Remember that research article by Goldin on the wages of single women during the progressive era which you recently read?  Are you interested in taking a closer look at the data she used?  A quick author search in ICPSR will establish whether Goldin archived her data sets in ICPSR as indeed she did.  The View Related Literature link will eventually lead you to her Woman and Child Wage Earners (1907, Philadelphia and New York) data files.  The study description lists the scope of the study, its data sources and the methodology.  In order to download the data files you need to create an account and log into ICPSR.

Feel free to contact your liaison librarian with any questions or comments that you may have.

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Oh, the books you’ll find and the things you can do! – When you take full advantage of the library’s catalog!

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: January 24, 2012
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

Do you know that you can quickly find keywords in the library’s print books via the Google Preview link in the catalog?  Google Preview will take you deeper into a book than the best index.

Have you set up annotated reading or movie lists in the catalog and shared them with students and colleagues?  Read the Add to Favorites section of my blog post Falvey Favorites, Tags, and Lists for more information.

 

 

Use the Text this icon to text records and call numbers to yourself or others.  Cite this will generate instant citations in MLA and APA styles.  Need Chicago style?  Use Export Record to export references to RefWorks and EndNote.

 

 

Curious about new books and movies in the library’s collection?  Go to the New Items search.  Results can be narrowed with the now familiar facets in the catalog.  Options include format, classification, language, genre, publication year and era.  Click here to link to a list of new movies in the library’s collection.

 

 

Last but not least, if you switch over from Books & more to Combined Results, you will notice that your search results include journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations besides the traditional catalog fare of books, DVDs and journal records.  Falvey’s familiar blue FindIt button will link you to online journal articles or generate an interlibrary loan form.

Falvey’s technology team is continuously improving the online catalog and the fame of the little catalog that could is spreading around the globe.  I still remember when it all started as a home-grown open-source experiment here at Falvey Library back in 2006.  Vufind, as the catalog is known outside Villanova, is the brainchild of Joe Lucia, whose vision of a next generation catalog was recognized with the prestigious Mellon Award for Technology Cooperation in 2008.  Librarians at Villanova, initially nervous and cautious, had to overcome many roadblocks on the path to catalog bliss.  The funny things is, when things run smoothly, we take them for granted. Sometime last year, however, it dawned on me how much our little catalog was doing for me.  Others had noticed the catalogs capabilities too: A number of large and small, public and academic libraries nationally and internationally have adopted Villanova’s homegrown catalog.  Among them are the National Library of Ireland, the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the library system at Yale University, the National Library of Australia and joining them soon, the Free Library of Philadelphia.

I cannot pinpoint the exact moment when I stopped complaining about software bugs to the technology team here at Falvey.  However, when I learned about the new Google Preview feature I was instantly excited.  Somehow I had always accepted that a catalog search is limited to authors, titles and subjects.  The addition of table of contents to the catalog was an enormous progress.  Who would have thought that a few years later it would be possible to search the full text of books in Falvey’s collection.  Google Preview is rapidly turning into a gateway to many a book on Falvey’s shelves.  A simple click on the icon will take you to Google Books where you can search the full text of the book for a reference, a name or any other keyword.  Text snippets reveal the page and context in which your keywords appear.   To read the entire book you still need to come to the library to check it out unless it is one of the library’s increasingly popular e-books.
The Google Preview plug-in was developed by a programmer at the National Library of Ireland who shared his code with the Vufind community.

Isn’t it time you took a fresh look at the library’s catalog?  Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments that you may have.

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Scholarship @ Villanova: History Faculty Research

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: March 11, 2011
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

By Alice Bampton

Do you have a favorite history or art history professor? Are you curious about his or her research? This exhibit, sponsored by the History Liaison Team and mounted by Joanne Quinn, a graphic artist on the Outreach team, focuses on the published research of the history department professors. Joanne also created the graphics such as the banner and large decorated letters which form signs in the exhibit.

Jutta Seibert, coordinator for the History/Sociology/Criminal Justice team, was inspired to create this exhibit because “the history faculty not only uses the library collections heavily, but their publications are also strongly represented in journal indexes such as Historical Abstracts, Project MUSE, JSTOR, in the community bibliography, in books and encyclopedias.”

On display are colorful book covers from the Villanovana in Special Collections; they were scanned by Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant. Large posters for JSTOR and Project MUSE, databases in which one can find works by history department authors, are prominently displayed. Other, smaller posters provide information about ProQuest, library news, e-journals and print print journals. Three large digital frames present slide shows on the community bibliography and faculty full text, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Historical Abstracts and the Falvey homepage. The slide shows were created by Jutta Seibert.

Jutta said, “The Scholarship @ Villanova exhibit celebrates the scholarly output of the history department while simultaneously highlighting popular resources. We received many positive comments and plan to do more Scholarship @ Villanova exhibits in the future.

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Access World News

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: November 5, 2010
  • Filed Under: Uncategorized

newsbank

Are you looking for the latest regional or international news?  Access World News includes a wide variety of local, national, and international news sources such as the Main Line Times, Le Monde (France) and the Irish Times.  Among the over 2,500 U.S. titles are major newspapers such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal as well as well-known regional dailies such as the Philadelphia InquirerAccess World News includes close to 2,000 newspapers and news wires from all over the world.  The Library has access to this resource on a trial basis until the end of the fall semester.

Please note that the content of foreign language newspapers is only available in English language abstracts, but not as full text in the original language. Selected domestic titles such as the Wall Street Journal are ‘abstracts only’ as well. Click on the title of the news source to determine its coverage. Few titles will go back farther than 2000 and the coverage of some newspapers does not include current content.

Please feel free to get in touch with us, if you have any questions or comments .


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Last Modified: November 5, 2010