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Digital Library’s New Intern is History Buff

Jean Turner is Falvey Memorial Library’s Digital Library intern for the spring semester. A graduate of Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, she has a bachelor’s degree in history with a minor in anthropology. As an undergraduate, Jean worked in the college archives.

Jean is in the process of  applying to library science and graduate history programs. Meanwhile, in addition to her Falvey internship, she also works at the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

Jean says she acquired her interest in history from reading Victorian and Edwardian historical fiction. Her  hobbies are singing in her church choir, playing with her two dogs and having brunch with friends. She also played rugby as an undergraduate.

A native of Havertown (Pa.), Jean first came to Villanova University for her high school graduation ceremonies. Her next visit to campus was for her internship job interview.

The Digital Library intern position requires experience in the digital library field and familiarity with general library activities, cataloging procedures and working with historic artifacts.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


Rebecca Creehan – February Student of the Month

Rebecca Creehan has been selected the February Falvey Student of the Month. She works in the Digital Library scanning lab where she scans books from Special Collections,  theses and other documents. She also transcribes documents. Her supervisor is Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator.

A self-described “history nerd” and “book lover,” Rebecca enjoys her job because of these interests.

She is a sophomore nursing major with an Arab and Islamic Studies minor. She chose Villanova for its outstanding nursing program. Rebecca is a member of the Student Nurses’ Association of Pennsylvania (SNAP). Her home is Lynchburg, Va.

Check out Joanne Quinn’s sketch of Rebecca posted behind the Circulation desk.

The Falvey University Staff Council (USC) selects the Student of the Month based upon nominations from student supervisors.

Congratulations, Rebecca!

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


New Nursing Resource for Health Care Intervention Reviews: The Cochrane Library

“Falvey users now have full text access to the Cochrane Library’s systematic reviews of health care interventions.” See the Nursing blog for more information.


Black History Month Lecture Celebrates Civil War Activist

This year’s annual Black History Month lecture brings two Philadelphia Inquirer journalists to the Library to discuss Civil War history. Daniel R. Biddle and Murray Dubin, co-authors of Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America, will speak in the first floor lounge on Wednesday, Feb. 23, at 4:30 p.m. This event, presented by Africana Studies and co-sponsored by the history department and the Library, is free and open to the public.

Octavius Catto was an educator, Civil War activist and well-known baseball player in 19th century Philadelphia. He attended the Institute for Colored Youth, which would later become Cheyney University. At the age of 20, he returned to the school as a teacher and became known for his excellent oratorical skills.

“By the early 1860s Catto had become outspoken about the evil of slavery and the need for black rights.” Additionally, he was among the few black officers in the army, serving as a major in the First Division of the state’s National Guard.  He later worked to protect African American voting rights through the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution. (African American National Biography)

Tasting Freedom provides an in-depth look both at Catto’s life and the history of the fight for black rights in America.  Library Journal calls it a “captivating story” that “illustrates the too often neglected street battles for black rights in northern cities long before the hot summers of the 1960s” (starred review).

Biddle and Dubin have recorded a video interview that provides a great introduction to Tasting Freedom and the upcoming lecture.  Extensive excerpts of the book are available to read for free at their website.

Photo courtesy of the Urban Archives, Temple University


Exhibit Honors African American History with Historic Texts

Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute

By Alice Bampton

“Black History in Special Collections,” Falvey Memorial Library’s tribute to Black History Month, is on display in two cases near the first floor elevator. This compelling exhibit of six books from the 19th century provides a fascinating look into an earlier time in our nation’s history. Laura Bang, the Special and Digital Collections curatorial assistant, selected the texts and composed the explanatory placards.

The first book, Hampton and its Students, written in 1875 by two teachers at the Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in Hampton, Va., is opened to an illustration of “The Assembly Room.”  Note that in the Assembly Room, students are not separated by gender. Be sure to read the text in which the authors comment on the students’ “marked eagerness to learn.”

Peter Jackson

Founded after the Civil War, Hampton, now Hampton University, helped former slaves achieve self-sufficiency, and, in fact, developed “a system of industrial education that became the model for African American education in the post-Civil War era.” (Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience)

The central book in the same display case is a large volume, The Portrait Gallery of Pugilists of America and their Contemporaries, by Billy Edwards (himself a boxer), published in Philadelphia in 1894. Here we see an impressive photograph of Peter Jackson, an Australian boxer. Laura provides a brief biography of Jackson, known as the “Black Prince,” who had “a significant international career.” (more…)


Digital Library Search Now Integrated with VuFind

If you’ve run a search on the Digital Library in the past week, you may have noticed a big change.  Search results are now delivered through VuFind, the same way the general catalog results are.

In addition, Digital Library items will now appear when you search the catalog as a whole.  As a default, these results will appear at the very bottom of a search.  They can be weeded out by choosing “Catalog” under “Refine Search”  in the righthand column on the “Books & more” search results page.

For more information about the Digital Library’s use of VuFind, read Demian Katz’s blog on the Blue Electrode.


Michael Murray: First “Student of the Month” for 2011

By Alice Bampton

Phylis Wright, manager of Access Desk Services and the Library’s University Staff Council (USC) representative, announced that Michael Murray is Falvey Library’s first Student Worker of the Month for 2011.  Michael, a senior English major, works for Darren Poley, outreach librarian, helping set up library events, and for Stephen Spatz, assistant outreach librarian, working on the Community Bibliography.

Darren commented that “Michael is a hard-working member of our student employee crew . . . He is a model student, as well as an excellent employee, with a dedicated service orientation. No one will soon forget his smile and sunny disposition.”

Michael, from Sicklerville (N.J.), likes to read, play basketball and work with the youth group at his church. He has worked for Darren and his team since August of 2009.

The Student of the Month idea originated with Phylis who then consulted Library Director Joe Lucia and members of the Falvey USC team who agreed that this is an appropriate way to honor student workers. At the start of the semester Phylis asked for nominations of outstanding students. She noted that the USC team “received so many [nominations] that our . . . team is finding it a difficult task to choose . . . [the winners]” – a very nice comment on the quality of Falvey’s student workers!

Portrait by Joanne Quinn; photograph by Alice Bampton


New Scanners On Trial – Feedback Needed

Two high-end scanners have been installed on a trial basis and we invite students, staff, faculty, and visitors to help us test them. We have a large flatbed scanner and an overhead scanner. They are both located between the Circulation desk & the public printer on the first floor of the library. Feedback forms are available at the scanning stations. Give them a try and tell us what you think!


News blog RSS feed moved

Over winter break, the Falvey Library News blog underwent a slight relocation.  For those who follow our entries via RSS feed, the URL has changed.  The News blog RSS feed is now located at http://blog.library.villanova.edu/news/feed/

Please update your feed subscriptions to continue seeing our posts.  More information on how to subscribe to RSS feeds can be found here.


Digital Library Announces Transcriptions Now Online

Handwritten materials like letters or manuscripts can be incredibly important to researchers of all stripes. But what if a researcher can’t read an author’s handwriting?

Transcriptions — typed reproductions of documents — can be key in aiding researchers: not only do transcriptions make it possible to decipher a document, but, when used digitally, they become searchable.

The Digital Library recently made an exciting announcement: transcriptions of handwritten materials are now being added to the website. Volunteers have been working to transcribe materials in the Digital Library for years, but the transcriptions have not previously been available on the Library’s website.

For further information on the newly available transcriptions, read Michael Foight’s announcement on the Blue Electrode, the Digital Library blog.



Last Modified: February 2, 2011