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Eyewitness to the Civil War and Reconstruction: Historic Newspaper Added Through Alumnus James Mason’s Bequest

By Alice Bampton

Falvey Memorial Library recently received a bequest from the estate of James L. Mason ’64 A&S , who died in 2009. Mason’s gift was used to purchase the Christian Recorder, which began regular publication in Philadelphia in1861.

History professor Judith Giesberg, Ph.D., teaches the History Practicum graduate seminar in which her students actively use the Christian Recorder, “the premier journal for news about emancipation and civil rights,” for news stories about legal cases from the 1860s through the 1880s and “the activism of black communities around the country.”

Last fall several students used parts of the Recorder to find want ads “placed by former slaves looking for lost loved ones in the ‘Information Wanted page,’ school integration cases argued in … Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and the paper’s coverage of the passage of Reconstruction amendments and the 1876 Civil Rights Act.”

Dr. Giesberg notes that students will now have access to the full run of the newspaper and “will be able to expand their understanding of the nineteenth and early twentieth century antecedents to the 20th century civil rights movement.”

The Christian Recorder was published by the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church with the stated purpose of “the Dissemination of Religion, Morality, Literature and Science.” (Accessible Archives) (more…)


Earth Day is April 22

By Merrill Stein and Kristyna Carroll

What you can do: Consider our planet today.  Consider the Villanova Commitment to Sustainability.  Find out what you can do to make a difference.  Learn how to be green in a billion ways or learn how even Olympic athletes are being green.  Follow the Earth Day Network on Facebook.

Lobby for environmental protection by contacting your representatives in Congress.  Support green companies and products while also protecting the environment by being a green shopper.

Library resources: Find inspiration with our many DVDs related to the environment or with some classic environmental literature.


Learn about some famous tri-state area environmentalists, such as Rachel Carson in the Biography in Context database.

Follow the history of Earth Day in the Historical New York Times and ProQuest Newspapers databases.  Read about the development of  U.S. environmental policy  in the America: History and Life , CQ Electronic Library and Congressional (Lexis Nexis) databases.  For instance, learn more about Disappearing Forests from CQ Global Researcher.

Try looking in the Pollution Abstracts database for information about flex-fuels, biological diversity and water quality.

Remember our planet to keep it well.




Loving the Library Video Contest

In honor of National Library Week, Falvey is holding a video contest! Submit a short video highlighting what you love best about the Library. The winning video will be featured on our website.

The winner(s) of the overall best video will also win fabulous prizes!
Submit your video by midnight, Sunday, Apr. 17, 2011, by e-mailing it to socialmedia@villanova.edu. We will announce a winner on Wednesday, Apr. 20th, 2011.


Your video entry must:

* Be between 30-60 seconds in length
* Be in .AVI, .MOV, or .WMV format
* Highlight a library space, service, resource, or feature
* Be emailed to socialmedia@villanova.edu by midnight, Sunday, Apr. 17, 2011
* Comply with the Student Code of Conduct (as laid out in the Student Handbook)
* Comply with U.S. Copyright Law (find some tips for working within fair use here)
* Be filmed and produced entirely by Villanova students

Entrants must:

* Have a completed release form for every person appearing in the film
* Give Falvey Memorial Library royalty-free use of the work
* Be respectful of others who are working if you choose to film in the library
* If submitting as a group, the group must be comprised of 3 students or less

Prizes for best video will be awarded as follows:

* If submitted by an individual the prize will be an Apple iPad
* If submitted by a group of 2-3 individuals the prize will be an Apple iPod Touch for each group member

Judging will take place between Apr. 18 and Apr. 20, 2011, and will consist of a panel of Villanova undergraduate and graduate students as well as Falvey staff. Winners will be posted on the Library website, blog, and Facebook page on Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2011.


Irish and Irish-American Poetry @ the Library

To celebrate National Poetry Month and conclude our Scholarship@Villanova lecture series for the spring, Falvey Memorial Library welcomes three poets: Joseph Lennon, Ph.D., Mary Madec, Ph.D., and Nathalie Anderson, Ph.D. The three poets will read from their respective new books of poetry on Wednesday, Apr. 13, 2011, at 4:30 p.m. in the library first floor lounge.

Dr. Lennon recently released his first volume of poetry, Fell Hunger (Salmon Poetry), and will read from this collection. “They are sonnets mostly,” he says, gathered from 20 years of writing. He writes about Ireland, he explains, in large part due to his childhood. “I grew up in an Irish-American household and was always interested in Ireland, but after living there for a year, following my B.A., I grew more interested.”

He went on to focus on Irish literature in his graduate work, and now serves as director of the Irish Studies program at Villanova University. Of his first year at Villanova, he says, “It has been really busy, but very satisfying. I really enjoy the open space on the campus (coming from NYC), as well, of course, as the openness of the community here. The students are smart and interested in new ideas, and I try to bring them to them. The administration, faculty and students have been really supportive of any new initiative I’ve begun—that is also really welcoming.”

Among his current favorite poets, Dr. Lennon lists Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Emily Dickinson, Moya Cannon, Giacomo Leopardi, Walt Whitman, Daniel Tobin, Eamon Grennan, Eleanor Wilner and Robert Frost, as well as fellow Villanova faculty member Lisa Sewell and Wednesday evening’s additional poets, Nathalie Anderson and Mary Madec.

Especially for students interested in poetry, he recommends reading widely. “I think taste is individual but achievement is always recognizable. I love to read poets from my area, and poets I know, poets with an Irish connection, and I’d recommend that our students read one another as well as the greats!”



Stumped by your research? Got a question?

The research consultation librarians and the information desk staff are here to help you with both short questions and in-depth research.

In the library? Stop by the front desk to query the info desk staff or talk to the research librarian on duty.

Off site? Use “live chat” on the library home page (bottom right) to connect to a research librarian. Post your question on the “Question Center” and you will receive an answer in no time at all. Other questions/answers are listed there as well. Or, contact a research support librarian by email, by telephone or online  to talk or to schedule an appointment.

Check the Subject pages to locate the specialist librarian for your discipline.

It’s easy to get research help for your paper, class assignment or other information finding needs.


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Last Modified: April 6, 2011