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Falvey Library is closed today, Friday, February 26, 2010.

  • Posted by: Luisa Cywinski
  • Posted Date: February 26, 2010
  • Filed Under: General News

Due to severe weather, the library will not open today. Our online resources and 24-hour lounge are available to Villanova students, staff, and faculty. Please contact Public Safety if you have questions about campus parking and sidewalk conditions.


“Rooftops of Tehran” Depicted in Falvey Cultural Windows


by Alice Bampton

Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji, this year’s One Book Villanova selection, is the focus of February’s cultural window display, at the library entrance. Although the author visited the campus last month, the display serves as a reminder for the numerous other One Book events and discussions.

Across the top of the window is a large sign with text over a panoramic view of Tehran.

A map of Iran with geographical information serves as the left frame and to the right is a large reproduction of the book cover. Between these frames are three shelves of images and objects related to Rooftops of Tehran, as well as a number of copies of the book. There are framed portraits of young peoples’ faces to represent the time before the revolution; red ribbons in these suggest foreboding. There is also a sepia photograph of Mahbod Seraji, the author. A fragment of a Time magazine cover with a headline “Iran: Struggle for Stability” and part of a story with the headline “Embittered Shah Leaves for Egypt, and Exile, Today” help set the stage for the book. (more…)


It’s Black History Month. Need some information for your project?

Phillis Wheatley

Phillis Wheatley

Falvey has many resources to help you, including encyclopedias focusing on specific aspects of African-American life, such as business, politics, folklore, literature and society. One online source which covers all of these aspects is the Oxford African American Studies Center.  In addition to factual information, you can find primary sources, maps, charts, images including some video clips such as a clip from the movie “Amistad.” Biographical information is plentiful — from Richard Allen, the first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Philadelphia, to Guion Stewart Bluford, Jr., the first African American in space.

(Photo courtesy of Oxford African American Studies Center – Phillis Wheatley was the first African American woman to have a book published and the second woman to have a book published in the United States.)


Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout: A Review

olivekitteridge(Elizabeth Strout appeared on campus January 26, as part of the annual Literary Festival. In 2009 she was honored with a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Olive Kitteridge (2008), a collection of connected short stories about a woman and her immediate family and friends on the coast of Maine.)

Reviewed by Gerald Dierkes

Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge may remind readers of Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, in which the author presents a look beneath the surface, so to speak, of a small Midwestern town’s residents, emphasizing the “grotesque” elements of their private lives.

Olive Kitteridge, similarly, focuses on a small New England town, in this case, a community in which its members know, or know of, everyone else in their town. Each story features the hidden elements of a different individual, family or similar group of townspeople. (more…)


On Exhibit: “Jack B. Yeats: Drawings & Illustrations,” a Colorful Glimpse into Literary and Artistic Ireland


Image from the Broadside "Treasure"

By Alice Bampton

W. B. Yeats, the poet, is a name familiar to most of us. But his brother, Jack Butler Yeats?

Visit the Falvey Special Collections exhibition, “Jack Butler Yeats: Drawings & Illustrations,” and learn about this member of the illustrious Irish family.

This exhibition consists of two parts, the physical one on display until August 1 and an online version. Both were curated by Róisín Corry Roche, fall ’09 Digital Library intern. Bente Polites, Special Collections librarian, assembled the physical exhibit and Joanne Quinn designed the graphics.

Róisín, who has a bachelor’s degree in history from the College of New Jersey, a master’s in Irish Studies from the National University of Ireland, Galway, and a master of science in Library & Information Science from Drexel University, said that she chose this exhibition topic because of her interest in Irish subjects and because Special Collections owns an extensive broadside collection with illustrations by Jack Yeats. (more…)


Michael Hollinger on Being a Playwright: “Killing Trees: Writing and Revising (and Revising, and Revising…)”

By Akua K. Adoo, Publications & Communication intern

hollingerAward-winning playwright Michael Hollinger seeks to demystify the creative process for writers, emphasizing the constant negotiation between design and discovery. He believes that his responsibility as a teacher is to reveal the “messy” process of creation and revision on the way to a finished work.

The Scholarship@Villanova series featuring Professor Hollinger continues on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 4:30 p.m. in Falvey Memorial Library’s first floor lounge.

Professor Hollinger describes the writing process this way: “Students tend to focus on the canonical works that are universally accepted and worthy of our attention. In doing so, they often forget to look at these works in their early formative stages. This poses a problem for students who are trying to generate their own work,  such as plays, stories and poems, measuring their creative output by the standards of the classics.”

Several of Professor Hollinger’s plays premiered at the Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company, including “Opus,” “Red Herring,” “Incorruptible” and “Tiny Island.” In addition, his plays have been produced throughout the United States, including New York City, in London, Paris, Athens and elsewhere in Europe.

According to his colleague Dr. Shawn Kairschner, “He is quite warm, funny and personable, and has a cornucopia of stories about all aspects of theatre-making.”

Associate Artistic Director for the Villanova Theatre, Michael Hollinger has been teaching at Villanova University for 15 years and is an associate professor of theatre.

This Scholarship@Villanova event, the second in the series sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library , is open to the public and is approved for Augustine and Culture Seminar (ACS) co-curricular credit.


Limited hours & live chat on Fri., Feb. 12, 2010

  • Posted by: Luisa Cywinski
  • Posted Date: February 10, 2010
  • Filed Under: Alerts

The library will be open from 10am – 4pm today, February 12th. This blog and our Facebook page will be updated regularly with any additional library news. As always, online library resources can be accessed from our homepage. In addition, librarians can be reached at ref@villanova.edu. We also have live chat hours available until 4pm. Please try our “Ask a Librarian” link on the library homepage.


Catholic Research Resources Alliance Portal: A Way to Discover Hidden Treasures

magnifyIn 2009 Falvey Memorial Library joined other Catholic university libraries in the Catholic Research Resources Alliance which has developed a free online research portal for scholars interested in the Catholic Church, particularly Catholic-related items held in the United States. Unlike some other fields of research that are cross-disciplinary in nature there has never been an effort, until now, to identify collectively what may be called Catholica.

Catholic studies in America have certainly grown a great deal as a locus for scholarly research in the last couple of decades, and now libraries, rather than creating a single repository, are working together to use current tools and technology to enhance methods for discovering  primary source material.

The intent is to aid researchers and students to do the kind of ferreting out of lesser known or little used publications and manuscripts related to the Catholicism. As one focus group member said, “In a decentralized community like Catholic higher education, being able to discover the treasures hidden away in libraries and archives is very desirable.”

For more information, see the Blue Electrode blog on the CRRA.

by Darren Poley


Online Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics: Read about the Star of Bethlehem or Space Missions

By Alfred Fry

astronomy-setDo you wish that you knew more about the night sky?  Have you dreamed of taking a flight into space?

Villanova University now has online access to the Encyclopedia of Astronomy and Astrophysics , the most extensive and comprehensive reference work in the field.  Currently, the encyclopedia contains over 2,750 signed articles.  The encyclopedia frequently adds new articles or updates existing ones.  Editorial and advisory boards consisting of prominent astronomers and astrophysicists assure the high quality of this definitive reference source.

Although the primary audience for this encyclopedia is people with an academic or professional interest in astronomy or astrophysics, most of the articles do not require scientific expertise.  People with a casual interest in astronomy can browse broad subject categories like Galaxies, the Solar System or Space Missions, and can also find articles on Mayan Astronomy, the Star of Bethlehem, Art and Literature and the Vatican Observatory.

The encyclopedia also contains articles aimed squarely at amateur astronomers.  Beginners can get started with articles on Naked-Eye Astronomy and Binocular Astronomy.  More advanced amateurs can find many articles on equipment and techniques, such as Wide-Field Astrophotography, Observing Asteroids, Radio Astronomy for Amateurs and Amateur-Professional Collaboration in Astronomy.

Amateurs make significant contributions to astronomy research; for example, an Australian amateur astronomer discovered a spot on Jupiter that was consequently photographed by the Hubble telescope.


Snow emergency: Library closed on Wed., February 10, 2010

  • Posted by: Luisa Cywinski
  • Posted Date: February 9, 2010
  • Filed Under: Alerts

Due to the expected inclement weather and in agreement with the university decision to cancel classes and close the university, the library will be closed on Wednesday, February 10, 2010. The 24-hour lounge will remain available to Villanova students, staff, and faculty as long as sidewalks and entrances have been cleared by grounds crews. Our online resources can be accessed from the library homepage.


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Last Modified: February 9, 2010