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ATLA Historical Monographs: Not Just for Church Historians and Theologians

With the acquisition of the ATLA Historical Monographs collections, Falvey has added close to 30,000 new core titles in religion to its digital collections. Why would historians be interested in this collection? Read on to find out or simply visit the collection online to browse or search its content. Titles in the collection have been published between the 16th century and 1923 and cover a wide range of subjects. In addition to the more predictable histories of congregations, topics range from personal recollections of missionaries, including accounts of the opium war, to missions to Native American peoples, to the position of different churches vis-à-vis slavery in North America. This collection adds a wealth of new primary sources to the Library’s collection.

As with many other digital collections, this collection was originally filmed on microform for preservation and mass distribution purposes. Today these core titles are available in digital format as two distinct collections: ATLA Historical Monographs Collection: Series 1 (16th Century to 1893) and ATLA Historical Monographs Collection: Series 2 (1894 to 1923). Falvey owns both collections. Hyperlinks to ATLA Historical Monographs Series 1 and Series 2 can be found on the Library’s Databases A-Z list and the online catalog has records with links for each individual work.

Religion and philosophy are the core subjects, but interested readers will also find works on science, medicine, history and law. While theology is its own distinct discipline today, early modern theologians were often also scientists, doctors, historians, lawyers or philosophers. Therefore, a fair number of works from other disciplines are covered in this collection. Eight overview essays, located on the virtual reference shelf, give the reader a better understanding about the time periods in which works in the collection were written. The essays cover topics such as the Great Awakening, the history of the Catholic Church in America, the changing role of religion in the U.S. from 1850 to 1923, Cristian missionaries in China, and the economics of religious publishing in 19th century America.

This EBSCO collection offers a range of features which include PDF files and abstracts of all works, permalinks, bookmarking, personal notes, personal accounts, citations in all major styles, and an export function to RefWorks or EndNote. The full text view, a.k.a. the Digital Archives Viewer, makes it easy to jump to any page, illustration or chapter; browse a work page by page; bookmark individual pages; and search individual pages or the complete work. The full-text search is executed by optical character recognition software (OCR), and the reliability of search results depends on the quality of the original microfilm. The majority of titles are written in English with a strong showing of German, French, Latin, and Ancient Greek. The virtual reference shelf on the search and results screen includes a handy link to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary of Pre-19th Century Terms & Definitions to assist the reader in understanding the texts at hand.

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

 

 

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Open Access Rules in France: Persée, érudit, and revues.org

Interlibrary loan is often the only way to get hold of foreign-language-journal articles here at Villanova, given the University’s focus on undergraduate education and the limited demand for academic journals in languages other than English. The library’s foreign language subscriptions are generally only available in print, further complicating access in a time when online access is the norm. The French academic publishing environment took its time to embrace online access, but the wait was well worth it. Today the archives of a large number of humanities and social sciences journals published in France and Quebec are freely available online. Three open access platforms preserve French scholarship: Persée, érudit and revues.org. All three platforms are partially integrated with each other to improve content discovery.

Named after Perseus, the legendary hero of Greek mythology, Persée is an open access archive of French academic journals initiated by the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research in order to preserve and disseminate French scholarship. Over the years Persée has expanded to include social sciences journals, besides the original humanities journals, as well as French Canadian journals and dissertations archived on the érudit platform. Most of the journals archived in Persée have a moving access wall restricting access to current content to subscribing institutions. Persée currently archives more than 135 academic journals and over 400,000 articles, mostly in French. It indexes an additional 38 French Canadian journals which are archived on the érudit platform. Anybody with an internet connection can search the complete archive and browse individual journals.

Like Persée, revues.org is an open access journal platform. It is part of the OpenEdition portal run by the Centre pour l’édition électronique ouverte (Cléo) in Marseille. While the back issues of all 381 journals archived on this platform can be accessed freely by anyone, the access to current content of some journals is restricted to subscribers. In some cases free online access is limited to html format, and only subscribers are permitted to download articles as PDF files. The archives of some journals are divided between the Persée and revues.org platforms with the deep back files stored in Persée and the more recent years available on revues.org.

Both the Persée and the revues.org platforms include central search boxes which will search the content of all archived journals while also allowing the reader to search or browse individual journals. Aside from proper names, search terms should be entered in French since most of the publications are in French. Interested readers can bookmark their favorite journals or set up email alerts (via an RSS feeds) for new content. The journal articles archived in Persée and revues.org are at least partially indexed in various library databases, such as the International Medieval Bibliography, Historical Abstracts, and L’Année Philologique. The familiar blue Find It button will link directly to the open access journal titles archived in Persée. The library is still in the process of establishing a similar link to journals on the revues.org platform. All articles include citations with a date stamp, URL and sometimes a digital object identifier (DOI). Persée also has a citation export function which will download citation information to EndNote and RefWorks.
Most of the journals archived in Persée and revues.org are not part of the Library’s journal subscriptions, so that adding these platforms to the Library’s full-text-link service considerably expands access to foreign language journals. As for the limited number of French journals to which Falvey subscribes, among them Cahiers de Civilisation Médiévale, the Annales historiques de la Révolution française and the Revue philosophique de Louvain, adding these titles to the Library’s E-Journal Finder will increase overall accessibility.

I hope this description will encourage you to take a look at these open access journal platforms and to browse available journals in your subject area. What is your favorite open access scholarly resource? Email the name and URL directly to me (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post it online, and I will feature it in a future blog post.

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Intimate Insights: Primary Sources of the American Founding Era

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: November 27, 2012
  • Filed Under: History

Are you or your students working on projects related to James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Dolley Madison, Eliza Lucas Pinckney or Harriott Pinckney Horry? When you need to consult the print sets, do you typically need it at a time when the library is closed? Are you frustrated by the limitations of print indexes? If you answered in the affirmative to one or all of the above questions, then you will be glad to hear that the papers and correspondence of these five founding-era individuals are now available online via the American Founding Era digital collection. Published online by the University of Virginia Press, the content of the collection is based on the most recent critical editions, such as the 27 volumes set of the Papers of Alexander Hamilton edited by Harold C. Syrett, and it includes all editorial annotations. Also available are the papers of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams and documents related to the History of the Ratification of the Constitution. The papers of John Jay, John Marshall and Andrew Jackson will be added in the near future and will further enhance the value and importance of the collection.

Each collection includes an introduction to the digital edition with detailed information about content sources and editorial history. Collections can be browsed in chronological order or by corresponding print volume. Aside from 24/7 access, the digital editions present unique opportunities to scholars and students alike, making it easy to locate keywords and names in individual collections as well as to search simultaneously across the complete American Founding Era collection. Results are tagged with collection-specific icons which identify the source collection (see image at right). Each document includes the page numbers of the original print edition in brackets together with a page icon which will open a jpeg image of the print page (). Each document also includes a reference to the print volume, a canonical URL and a recommended citation.

Correspondents are indexed as authors and recipients. The correspondent search function has an auto-complete feature which brings up matching names and the number of available documents for each author and recipient (see image at left).

The records for the print editions in the library’s catalog include links to the online collection. A link to the American Founding Era collection has been added to the Databases A-Z list.

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

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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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Want to know a secret? Look into declassified documents.

 

 

 

Try Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS) (available until Sept. 28)

Background

In 1998, the systematic digitization and online publication of Declassified Documents Reference System (DDRS) was initiated by Gale Cengage Learning.  The process involves indexing, abstracting, and capturing on microfiche a large selection of U.S. government documents obtained from presidential libraries. These libraries receive declassified documents from various government agencies, including the White House, the CIA, the FBI, the State Department, and others. As researchers visit these presidential libraries and request documents, the libraries photocopy and provide for filming. The result is a collection of more than 75,000 documents, consisting of more than 465,000 pages, that has literally been built by researchers themselves for nearly two decades.

Searching

DDRS supports basic and advanced searching.  Basic search includes keyword and full-text searching.  Advanced discovery provides for searching by keyword/subject, title/abstract, source institution, and full-text, including the use of Boolean logic. Searches can be limited to a range of issue dates, a range of declassified dates, document type (such as bill, agenda, cable, airgram), source institution (such as agency, department, Supreme Court, Warren Commission), sanitized or unsanitized, completeness, number of pages.

Search history can be accessed during a search session. An InfoMark at the top of any page indicates that the URL of the page is persistent and can be bookmarked or copied for future reference.  Help links and search tips are also available.

Document facsimiles can be viewed as electronic text.  Document facsimiles can be scaled for ease of viewing, by choosing a size percentage. Facsimile documents can be viewed or printed as a PDF version but due to some excessive sizes cannot be emailed. Electronic texts of the documents can be emailed and printed.

Questions or comments? Contact me directly (merrill.stein@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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Slavery and the Law: Court Petitions and Slavery Statutes

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: May 22, 2012
  • Filed Under: History

Race, Slavery and Free Blacks, a primary source collection of court petitions and slavery statutes which was originally published on microfilm by University Publications of America, has received a second lease on life as a digital collection.  It has been re-released in Proquest’s History Vault and is now called Slavery and the Law.

The collection covers the years 1777-1867 and consists of petitions to state legislatures and Southern county courts as well as state slavery statutes.  The reproductions of the handwritten petitions are accompanied by petition analysis records (PAR) to facilitate access to the document.  Each PAR contains an abstract of the petition besides dates, location, names of petitioners and defendants, the repository of the original document and subjects.  As an added bonus the collection also includes the contents of two classical scholarly works related to the subject:  Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro (1926) by Helen Catterall and James Hayden and The Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States (1862) by John Hurd.

Slavery and the Law is now available as a trial until November 22, 2012.
Questions or comments?  Contact me directly (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu) or post your comments online.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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Last Modified: April 30, 2012