FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY



You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > Library News

Panama Canal Celebrates Its 100th Anniversary!

Panoramic image of the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal from the Library of Congress  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2007663303/

Panoramic image of the Atlantic entrance to the Panama Canal from the Library of Congress. (Click on image to enlarge.)

The Panama Canal celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The 50-miles-long canal across the Isthmus of Panama officially opened on August 15, 1914, although a French crane boat, Alexandre La Valley, had already traveled the Canal’s full length from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans, completing its journey on January 7, 1914. However, the Alexandre La Valley had traversed the Canal in stages during the Canal’s construction. On August 4 the SS Cristobal, cargo steam ship, made a test run through the Canal.

Sadly, the official opening held on August 15 was overshadowed by Germany’s invasion of Belgium on August 4, followed by Great Britain declaring war that evening. The grand celebration planned to mark the completion of the most expensive construction project funded by the United States became a modest, local event. No international dignitaries attended the ceremony.

William Howard Taft, half length, standing, facing right, with Col. George Washington Goethals and others, in Panama, 1910. Image from the Library of Congress. http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b01935/

William Howard Taft and Col. George Washington Goethals, 1910.
Image from the Library of Congress.
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3b01935/

The first civil governor of the Canal Zone, Major George Washington Goethals (1858-1928), who had served as the chief engineer for the Canal (1907-1914), observed the passage of the first ship through the Canal on opening day. Bellisario Porras, the president of Panama also attended the opening. A steamship, the SS Ancon, used by the Panama Railway to carry supplies for the Canal’s construction, made the first official transit of the Panama Canal on the opening day; Captain John A. Constantine piloted the SS Ancon’s passage through the Canal. The Ancon’s captain was G.E. Sukeforth. The toll charged the SS Ancon for its use of the Canal was 90 cents per cargo ton.

Editorial cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt  from Library of Congress http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013651586/

Editorial cartoon featuring Theodore Roosevelt
from Library of Congress
http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013651586/

In 1901 President Theodore Roosevelt had declared the need for a canal in Central America to join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. He was not the first American president to see the need for a canal. In 1869 Ulysses S. Grant created the Inter-Oceanic Canal Commission and sent an expedition to explore possible routes for a canal. However, Grant’s hopes were not realized. Even earlier, in 1839, an anonymous author wrote two articles published in The Democratic Review advocating the construction of a “Ship Canal to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.”

On November 18, 1903, the United States signed the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty (Canal Treaty) in Panama; the treaty gave the U.S. the right to build a canal in return for an annual payment of $250,000. In June 1904 the Americans began their construction and the Panama Canal was completed in 1914, two years ahead of schedule.

Construction of the Panama Canal cost the United States about $375 million dollars. Of this, $10 million was paid to Panama and $40 million paid to the French company, Compagnie Nouvelle, which had begun construction of the Canal in 1879. In 1915, the year after construction was completed, the Panama Canal earned approximately $4 million in tolls. The building of the Canal under American administration cost about 5,600 lives, although the majority of these were not Americans.

Don't miss the various live webcams from the Panama Canal

Don’t miss the various live webcams from the Panama Canal

It takes eight to ten hours for a ship to travel the length of the Canal, and about three of those hours are spent going through its locks. (According to dictionary.com, a lock is “an enclosed chamber in a canal … with gates at each end, for raising or lowering vessels from one level to another by admitting or releasing water.”)

Tolls are determined by the size and weight of the ship and its cargo capacity or, for passenger ships, by the number of berths. For current tolls see www.pancanal.com. Since the 1970s many cargo ships have become too large to use the Canal, and beginning around 2001 suggestions were made to expand the Canal. In 2007 construction began, dredging the existing canal and constructing additional larger locks. The project is expected to be completed in 2015 at a cost of $5.25 million dollars.

In 1977 President Jimmy Carter signed a treaty giving the Canal to Panama. Under Panama’s ACP, the state-owned agency, tolls have increased, traffic through the Canal has grown and service has improved.

Dig Deeper:

Official Panama Canal website

Panama Canal Timeline

Panama Canal Museum

Selected Falvey resources:

Center of Military History. The Panama Canal: An Army’s Enterprise (2009)

Panama’s Canal: What Happens When the United States Gives a Small Country What It Wants. (1998)

Panama Fever: The Epic Story of One of the Greatest Human Achievements of All Time – The Building of the Panama Canal. (2007)

Considerations on the subject of a communication between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans by means of a ship-canal … (1836)

“Two Articles on the Projected Ship Canal to Connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.” Reprinted from The Democratic Review for October and November, 1839. Washington, 1839.

Expansion of the Canal:

United States Maritime Administration. Panama Canal Expansion Study: Phase I Report, Developments in Trade and National and Global Economies. (2013)

“The Panama Canal: A Plan to Unlock Prosperity.” The Economist, 03 December 2009.

“Agreement reached on Panama Canal dispute.” 04 August 2014.


imagesArticle by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. 

Like

Sea Yarns, Shark Yarns, No Yawns!

Moby_Dick_final_chaseLife on the sea promises adventure, excitement and life-changing experiences. Ever since Homer’s Odyssey, people have enjoyed sea yarns, and some of the most memorable feature sharks. The following seafaring tales—many available at Falvey—will satiate your craving for a satisfying sea yarn.

Odyssey by Homer

Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Benito Cereno” by Herman Melville

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner by Daniel Defoe

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff

The Open Boat” by Stephen Crane

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy

Film—The Caine Mutiny

Film—Mr. Roberts

Film—Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

Film—Voyage of the Yes 

What’s your favorite sea story? Please use the Comment section to tell us.

Like

It’s Shark Week and we’ve got fintastic shark art from the Digital Library!

SHARK DIGITAL
http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Record/vudl:312089

Did we, ahem, whet your appetite for more Dime Novel adventure? If so, be sure to check out our fascinating full collection of Dime Novel and Popular Literature from 1860 to 1930.

Like

Dog Days Special: Do Dogs Make Literature Memorable?

White dog on books

Whether they are the focus of a narrative or one of its characters, dogs have played memorable roles in literature. Falvey Memorial Library has several stories about dogs in its collection.

Many University students probably read Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Sounder by William H. Armstrong and James Barkley or Red Dog by Bill Wallace for elementary school. And as adults, they may have read Marley & Me by John Grogan.

Readers who enjoyed Jack London’s The Call of the Wild would probably like White Fang and the suspenseful short story “To Build a Fire” by that same author.

Dogs also inspire writers of non-fiction: Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust by Michael Hingson; Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover’s Story of Joy and Anguish by Mark R. Levin; and Until Tuesday: A Wounded Warrior and the Golden Retriever Who Saved Him by Luis Carlos Montalvan (Author), Bret Witter (Contributor).

Sometimes a poem is the best choice for remembering a dog that has become a part of one’s life. Jimmy Stewart’s poem “Beau” provides an ideal example.

Do you have a favorite literary work that features a dog (or dogs)? Please use the Comment section to tell us.

Like

Dig Deeper: The Ramones

Guest blogger,  Rohanah Spatz-Mallory

Rohanah

 

On July 11, the last original member of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, passed away of bile duct cancer. Born Thomas Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungary, in 1949, he moved to Forest Hills, Queens, at the age of four and went on to found one of the most popular and enduring rock bands of all time. The death of Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the Ramones, marks the end of an era. The other three died recently: Joey in 2001 of lymphoma, Dee Dee in 2002 of a drug overdose and Johnny in 2004 of prostate cancer. The sad occasion of Tommy Ramone’s death is extremely significant to a certain large group of people, young and old: Punks.

Some have recently said that the Ramones are now finally dead—gone but not forgotten. Others, such as Legs McNeil, a close friend of the Ramones as well as other punk artists and bands of the original punk era, such as Iggy Pop and the UK group The Sex Pistols, think that the Ramones have been gone for a long time, citing their supposed artistic demise in the late 1980s. Even still, the Ramones were arguably the most influential punk band ever. They pioneered the simple, fast punk sound that many know and love.

image

The Ramones are still a fairly popular group with lots of people today, including the original punk rockers of the Ramones’ generation as well as a new generation of kids and young adults that like the punk style and music of the Ramones. As the past few weeks have gone by, many people have talked to me about Tommy Ramone’s death both on social media and in person. The day after he passed away I wore a Ramones shirt, and people of a wide range of ages complimented the shirt, asked if it was to remember Tommy, or said they loved the Ramones and were very surprised when they heard the news.

As a huge fan of the Ramones’ style, attitudes and music, I felt slightly upset about this death although I can’t really say why. There will always be easy access to Ramones music, and there are pictures, videos and interviews of them. I can say, as a young fan of the Ramones, I am disappointed that there is no way to ever see them. Of course there wasn’t any way to see them before Tommy’s death, but this just seals in the thought that the band all together is completely gone. Something about it just doesn’t feel the same, knowing that you’re listening to music where all four founding members of the band are not alive.

Dig Deeper:

People all over the world will always recognize the influence that The Ramones had on music and society. You can dig deeper into punk music and its cultural impact with these great resources from the Falvey collection:

For popular histories of punk rock that cover the Ramones, try these:

England’s dreaming : anarchy, Sex Pistols, punk rock, and beyond, by Jon Savage

Break all rules! : punk rock and the making of a style, by Tricia Henry

 

punk coverHere are a couple of region-specific histories:

Grinding California : culture and corporeality in American skate punk, by Konstantin Butz

It makes you want to spit! : the definitive guide to punk in Northern Ireland, 1977-1982, by Sean O’Neill and Guy Trelford

 

And finally, two more scholarly treatments of punk rock culture:

Punk rockers’ revolution : a pedagogy of race, class, and gender, by Curry Malott and Milagros Peña

Lipstick traces : a secret history of the twentieth century, by Griel Marcus

 

Like
1 People Like This Post

Special Collections project on WWI to be featured on PCN broadcast

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 2.02.00 PM
Verizon Channel 9 – which is PCN, Pennsylvania’s non-profit cable network, broadcast a show entitled Philadelphia in World War I. For those who missed it, this program will be re-broadcast Saturday, July 26th at 5:35 pm and again on Sunday, July 27th at 04:35 am.

This program includes an interview with Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator Michael Foight and other speakers involved with the “Home Before the Leaves Fall: a Great War Centennial Exposition” which features World War I content from Villanova University as well as other heritage organizations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Experience World War One as it happened day by day, 100 years ago at http://wwionline.org.

Like

Jersey Week: Summer Reading: Books Set at the Jersey Shore

JERSEYPLANE

This week the Library News blog will be highlighting everyone’s second favorite mid-Atlantic state, New Jersey! So grab your flip flops and head east with us each day this week. 

 

 

Summer Reading: Books Set at the Jersey Shore?

Straw hat , book and seashells in the sand

“Where in your library can I find books set at the Jersey shore?” the woman asked. Working at Falvey’s Learning Commons service desk, I searched the library’s catalog for “New Jersey” (as Subject) and “shore” (as All Fields):

Saving New Jersey’s Vanishing Shores

A Naturalist along the Jersey Shore

A Pictorial History of Selected Structures along the New Jersey Coast

Against the Deluge: Storm Surge Barriers to Protect New York City

Chance of a Lifetime: Nucky Johnson, Skinny D’Amato, and How Atlantic City Became the Naughty Queen of Resorts

“No,” she sighed, “I’m interested in summer reading: you know, fiction.”

I thought I’d find ideas for titles on Amazon.com, so I searched it for New Jersey shore fiction. I received 486 hits, including—

Summer’s Point by Margaret Palmer

Shore Stories: an Anthology of the Jersey Shore by Kay Boyle, Robert Pinsky, Stephen Dunn and Christopher Cook Gilmore

Missing by the Midway: An Ocean Grove Mystery (Volume 1) by Heath P. Boice

Murder Down the Shore: A Jersey Shore Mystery by Beth Sherman

Avalon by Gina Miani

Pop’s Place by Ed Buhrer

Shoretown by Dan Milczarski

High Tide by Tom Bruno

Dead and Breakfast (Asbury Dark) by Lori Bonfitto

Moondreams by Dean P. Johnson

The Methuselah Gene: A Science Fiction Adventure Thriller (New Millenium Writers Series) by Sal DeStefano

Wrong Beach Island (a Meg Daniels Mystery) by Jane Kelly

The results also included juvenile books (Nicky Fifth at the Jersey Shore, etc.) and several items related to the “Jersey Shore” television series. I tried avoiding the name of that TV show by changing my Amazon.com search to New Jersey beach fiction. The 479 results included many duplicates from my previous search. It also showed such titles as

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Book 1) by J.K. Rowling and Mary GrandPré

Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E L James

What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 4th Edition by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

none of which, I suspected, were set at the Jersey shore (or beach).

I also searched flashlightworthybooks.com, which offered Creepers by David Morrell and Dunk by David Lubar. And goodreads.com recommended Chili Pimping in Atlantic City: The Memoir of a Small-Time Pimp by Michael “Mick-man” Gourdine.

“But I was hoping to find a library book,” she clarified. “I’m trying to save some money.”

Remembering that the Delaware County Library System has a branch right down the street, in Wayne, I searched DCLS’s catalog: The Boardwalk Mystery and Black Jack Jetty: a Boy’s Journey Through Grief are both in the children’s section. And Jersey Angel and Touched are listed as “young adult fiction.”

Down The Shore by Stan Parish looks good. I’ll get that.”

I wrote down the book’s call number and handed her the slip of paper: “Let me know whether you recommend it.”
*     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *
Got summer reading? Falvey Memorial Library has Popular Reading and fiction to satisfy your need to read something fun.

Like
1 People Like This Post

Home Before the Leaves Fall: World War I Online Exhibit Launch

WIONLINE COUNTDOWN

Home Before the Leaves Fall: A Great War Centennial Exposition,” an online exhibit, will be launched Thursday evening, June 26, at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Peter John Williams—an attorney, an amateur historian with a special interest in World War I, and a life-long Philadelphia resident—will speak on life in Philadelphia during World War I (1914-1919). Williams is the author of Philadelphia: The World War I Years. Both digital and physical materials will be on display at the launch and reception.

keep-him-freeVillanova University, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, American Philosophical Society, Chemical Heritage Foundation, College of Physicians, Library Company of Philadelphia and Swarthmore College are current participants in the exhibit, which commemorates the centennial of World War I. The exhibit highlights little-known primary and secondary sources held by various institutions in the Delaware Valley region.

 

Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, says “[T]his sprang out of an initial collaboration with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, with Villanova’s Special Collections and Digital Library team as the coordinators and hosts of this project. A large and growing number of institutions in the Mid-Atlantic currently contribute content as well as a number of academically affiliated and independent scholars and researchers, including several Villanova University faculty and graduate students.”

kaisar77-191x300

Foight explains, “The goals over the next four years include to prioritize digitization of little-known primary and secondary sources on the Great War held by institutions in the mid-Atlantic and to share descriptions of held content for both the public and the scholarly community. The website itself will host a set of curated shorter articles authored with illustrations drawn largely from this newly available content. A number of Digital Humanities projects, including an independent crowd-sourced genealogical data collection and mapping of the Great War dead of Philadelphia, will be worked on with the scholars involved in the exhibition.”

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania explains that the website will contain images, memoirs, diaries, periodicals, “contextual essays, news of commemorative events, interactive data, and geographical information system (GIS) mapping. The project aims to promote the use of these materials to students, scholars and the public, and to commemorate the services and sacrifices of soldiers and civilians a hundred years ago.”


Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Poster image from National Archives. Photo Kaiser William II. Digital Library@Villanova University

Like

Say Hello to Summer: What to Read on the Longest Day

2014-06-04 15.57.00After a long, blustery and snow-filled winter, many of us were more than eager to prematurely whip out the sunscreen and sandals and hit the beach this Memorial Day, which has been dubbed by most as the start of the summer season. However, what most people don’t realize is that summer doesn’t officially begin until the summer solstice, which takes place this year on June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere. This day is often referred to as “the longest day” because we experience the most hours of sunlight that we will all year long. The extra hours of light will be a welcomed gift for many, especially after the cold and dreary winter that we’ve had.

So, wondering how you can embrace impending summer and take advantage of the extra precious hours of light? Here at Falvey Memorial Library we can make one inspired suggestion: sit outside and catch some of those rays with a big fat book and an ice-cold drink! In fact, there are a number of books that you can check out directly from Falvey to help you properly celebrate the “the longest day.”

Several prominent authors have written stories that take place over the course of a single day. As you will discover after reading these books, a lot of action can transpire within a mere 24 hours!

Books that take place over the course of one day:

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

Saturday by Ian McKellan

Seize the Day by Saul Bellow

Ulysses by James Joyce

Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

Or why not slow down and take on an extra-long book to help kick-off summer? You will have enough reading light to last you all day!

Long books that we suggest reading:

A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Make sure to check out a book from Falvey and, if you’re feeling especially ambitious, even snag two from our shelves. You might as well take full advantage of the longest day that we’ll see all year and give a proper welcome to the summer season!

Like

What Does Your Father Read? Roundup

EV006688

When your father used to come home from work, did he unwind with The Evening [Philadelphia] Bulletin, Sports Illustrated, or Popular Mechanics? Or did he kick back with a bestseller by David McCullough, David Bradley or Dave Barry?

Falvey Memorial Library staff members offer their responses below. How about you? What does (or did) your father read? Please contribute your father’s favorite titles/authors in our comments section.

From Darren Poley:

dune-book-coverMy Dad who was only an occasional reader liked Frank Herbert’s: Dune (1965). He encouraged me to read Ursula LeGuin‘s: The Word for World is Forest (1976).

 

 

From Sarah Wingo:

the-hobbitMy dad read J.R.R. Tolkien’s  The Hobbit and all three Lord of The Rings books to me when I was between the ages of 8-11 or 12ish. He did all of the voices and his Gollum in particular was perfect years before the movies ever came out. Having those books read to me at such a young age really influenced my imaginative aesthetic. One of my childhood friends, with whom I’m still close, called me when the movies came out to say “OH MY GOD, this is what we used to play when we were kids!! I had no idea!! And you weren’t kidding – those black rider things are terrifying!” She never read the books, but I used to always make her play Lord of The Rings with me when we were little. I’ve reread them many times since and they will always have a very special place in my heart because I shared them with my father.

Those terrifying ringwraiths

Terrifying ringwraiths

From Alice Bampton:

natgeovintagecoverMy father wasn’t much of a reader; he much preferred outdoor activities. But he had subscribed to National Geographic from early adulthood until he died. He kept every issue; they were stored in a  large bookcase and we – my sister and I – had free access to them. As a small child I enjoyed the photographs, originally in black and white and later in color  – perhaps this helped inspire my love of photography – and later I enjoyed reading the stories. My father also kept his set of the Book of Knowledge, a children’s encyclopaedia that contained all sorts of articles: biographies, science, literature, how to make things, etc. These were in the same bookcase as the National Geographics and also provided considerable entertainment on days when we couldn’t go outside to play and in the evenings. (Since we lived in the country,  television wasn’t available out there until I was in high school.)

From Susan Ottignon:

5386d250fca0708d3a6e9010.LDad served in the Army, during World War II, and I believe this major event led to him to be become a voracious reader on the subject of the Third Reich and its major players.  I especially remember him reading Albert Speer’s Spandau : the Secret Diaries and The House on Garibaldi Street : the First Full Account of the Capture of Adolf Eichmann as well as many of the works on Adolf Hitler.  Dad was an avid collector of all 39 volumes of the Time-Life’s series, World War II, and when each volume arrived, he read them cover to cover.

From Joanne Quinn:

mYn3WKOZOOIGVZ1zS0TDheQ-1My dad had the same pile of reading material sitting on the old metal tray table next to his La-Z-Boy for years…I always suspected it was mostly untouched. There was something there called The Golfer’s Trilogy, a slim three volume set that was written by some combination of Jack, Arnie or Sam, and fitted into a glossy cardboard sleeve. I think it came free with the subscription to Golf Digest or whatever other golf magazines were stacked there as well. He also hung onto the issue of Sports Illustrated with Steve Carlton on the cover long past its shelf life. That was 30 years ago, but he still has a recliner and a tray table and a pile of stuff that also doesn’t seem to change all that often: Remembering Harry Kalas. A pile of Ireland of the Welcomes, a subscription sent and renewed for him year each by a distant cousin. But it’s his love of the paper, the daily paper, that pushes his time spent reading into the stratosphere. Though he and my mom moved to Ocean CIty, N.J., almost 20 years ago, he still picks up the Delaware County Daily Times every single day. He also enjoys the Ocean City Sentinel & Inquirer as well. He’ll tell you it’s because he likes the puzzles – and, with an elbow, wants to double check that he’s not listed in the obits.

From Kimberley Bugg:

autobiography-malcolm-x-alex-haley-paperback-cover-artWhen I was around 11 or 12 years old, I either ran out of or lost interest in the Judy Blume and Baby-Sitters’ Club books that I loved to read so I began to search my house for other reading materials. In my father’s closet, I found a trunk of new and more exciting things to read including Donald Goines novels, Women, Culture, and Politics by Angela Davis, and this this gem of a book: The Autobiography of Malcolm X. To this day this it is one of the most profound literary works I think I have ever read. It was brazen, bold, and political. I loved it. I also enjoyed Angela Davis’s book too. The discovery of these works not only matured me as a person but evolved my scope of interest and reading selection.  Now that I am reflecting, sneaking in my father’s closet to read that biography has shaped some of the things I am most passionate about in my life.


Like
1 People Like This Post

Next Page »

 


Last Modified: June 15, 2014