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

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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.”

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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

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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!

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What Does Your Father Read? Roundup

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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.


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Dig Deeper: Remembering Maya Angelou

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Whenever a public figure passes away, I can expect that for the next few days my social media will be abuzz with articles, remembrances and general mentions of said person. So it has come as no surprise that since Maya Angelou’s death on Thursday May 28 my Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr feeds, as well as many other websites and blogs that I frequent, have been brimming with content on the life, works and death of Angelou. However, as I have scrolled through the many posts and tweets in response to Angelou’s life and death over the past few days I have been struck by the genuine outpouring of emotions people are expressing. It felt somehow unique, somehow more personal than the usual “rest in peace” and “they will be missed” messages I usually see.

I was particularly moved by a Facebook post by a good friend of mine who teaches high school English who posted late in the day on the 28th long after all of the initial posts of surprise and sadness had flooded my news feed, she said:

“I spent some time today thinking about what I love so much about Maya Angelou, and I’ve decided it’s the fact that she made me feel powerful, in all the positive connotations of that word.”

Go to Angelou’s Wikipedia page or any site detailing her biography and you can learn that “she published seven autobiographies, three books of essays, and several books of poetry, and was credited with a list of plays, movies and television shows spanning more than 50 years” (Wikipedia). And Angelou’s resume was as varied and interesting as her writing. In her lifetime she was a poet, civil rights activist, dancer, film producer, television producer, playwright, film director, author, actress and professor, just to name a few of the occupations she held in her 86 years of life.

But put all of that aside; remove the titles, labels, accomplishments and honors, and consider a simple sentence: “She made others feel powerful.”

It’s hard to think of a better epitaph for a woman who once said “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Dig Deeper: Maya Angelou

If you’re interested in learning more about Maya Angelou, we have some resources to recommend:

Books in our catalog written by Maya Angelou

Books about Maya Angelou and critical companions to her works:

 

Maya Angelou’s official website (pretty bogged down right now, may not open due to heavy traffic)

 

Dictionary of Literary Biography (Available through Databases A-Z) has the following entry on Maya Angelou:

Maya Angelou (4 April 1928-). Lynn Z. Bloom

Afro-American Writers After 1955: Dramatists and Prose Writers. Ed. Thadious M. Davis and Trudier Harris-Lopez. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 38. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. p3-12.

 

JStor:

Remembering Maya Angelou: a 1977 interview in The Black Scholar.

 

YouTube:


SarahArticle by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.

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DH in the Classroom: Aurelius Digital Humanities Launches Second Project

During the spring semester, the Aurelius Digital Humanities Initiative launched its second project, a digital edition of El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte. The project was commandeered by Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Chad Leahy, PhD, who worked with his special-topics Spanish class to digitize and transcribe the text. Guidance was also provided by Laura Bang, digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications. Dr. Leahy explains that the materiality of text as object, the smell and feel of the item itself, has a story to tell us and digital humanities as a new technology has a way of opening this aspect of the text to the world.

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  El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte is a 133 page multimedia scrapbook that contains postcards, newspaper clippings, drawings—more than 160 distinct visual objects in all. In many cases, these entries are copied without original sources, raising difficult questions regarding authorship, provenance and purpose. There is no way to prove authorship, but Dr. Leahy speculates that the text may have originated through the Augustinian missions in Peru and was probably a gift. The latest internal date, 1924, suggests that the scrapbook was produced in the latter half of the 1920s. In addition to studying the Peruvian text, Dr. Leahy’s class had the opportunity to develop hands-on digitizing skills while scanning the text Los dramas de la Guerra, a serialized account of the First World War published in Barcelona during the war years.

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Participants loved the way the website reformatted for easy reading on hand held devices.

David Uspal wrapped up the event by explaining the development behind the website. Uspal said, “in addition to the transcription work by the undergraduate students, technical support for the project was provided by Falvey [Memorial] Library’s Technology Development Team, with a large contribution by technology graduate assistant Pragya Singhvi.  Pragya’s work on importing transcription documents and automatically producing TEI and HTML versions of these documents will both help reduce the work necessary on future translation projects (and thus, more likely to get more and varies projects approved) and allow these projects to adopt open standards which will allow for greater use in the academic community.”


Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Publications Team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management

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Ramp Up Your Research: How to Tag Items in the Library’s Catalog

Do you ever think an item should have a search term or category associated with it, but it doesn’t? This video shows how to make items easy to find by adding a tag. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing.)

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.


Gerald info deskVideo tutorial produced by Gerald Dierkes, information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copy-editor for the Communication and Service Promotion team and a liaison to the Department of Theater.

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‘Twas the Week Before Finals: Essential Ethics & Philosophy Resource

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Recently, Falvey Memorial Library obtained access to the International Encyclopedia of Ethics, an essential reference work in the field of ethics and philosophy.  The encyclopedia is a comprehensive resource comprised of over 700 entries, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 words in length, written by an international cast of subject experts. It provides clear definitions and explanations of all areas of ethics including the topics, movements, arguments, and key figures in normative ethics, metaethics, and practical ethics.

Hosted on Elsevier’s Science Direct platform, the IEE interface is simple enough for new researchers while providing the flexibility required by advanced scholars. From the IEE main page, users can browse broad subject categories ranging from traditional subjects such as the Ethics of politics to modern issue such as computer and information management ethics.

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The main search box allows for broad searching in all subject classifications and the results page displays comprehensive search limiters that allow users to limit results to particular resource types (books, articles, etc.), dates, and other useful parameters as well as the ability to check off and email multiple articles to themselves.

Rob thumbFor more information or assistance, contact Rob LeBlanc, First Year Experience & Humanities Librarian.

 

 

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Easter Sunday: Dig Deeper

Easter Good Wishes Card

Easter Bunny Postcard, 1900.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

For a long time, Easter Sunday meant no more to me than the day my brothers and I reluctantly got out of bed and put on over-starched shirts so we could arrive at our local church for 7:30 a.m. Mass. Trapped in what we thought was a seemingly endless cycle of sitting, standing, kneeling (repeat), all we wanted to do was run home, for we knew that, if we were lucky, the Easter Bunny had come and left plastic eggs in the backyard for us to find and discover their mysterious contents. In other words, The Mystery was a complete mystery to me.

Now, when the spring rains come and the wind carries the smell of fecund earth, I don’t think about having to wake up early and putting on a suit. I think of the Greek myth of Persephone who, returning from her stay with Hades in the Underworld, signals the end of winter and the beginning of new life on earth. I think of the rabbit, that fertile animal who symbolizes the coming of spring. I think of the egg, that really simple yet powerful symbol of fertility, purity and rebirth, and of new life breaking through the eggshell much as Christ came forth from the tomb. I think about how these eggs were originally stained red, as in the postcard above, in memory of the blood Christ shed during the Crucifixion for us.

The most important of Christian feasts, Easter, “the great day,” celebrates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has given us new life by dying for our sins. I wish this time of the year reminds you, too, what a gift of hope the light of spring is after so much winter darkness.

Easter – Dig Deeper:

Here are just a few of the resources on Easter available at Falvey:

Passover and Easter: Origin and History to Modern Times 

An excellent and exhaustive study treating the histories and comparisons of Passover and Easter. Recommended for undergraduates and graduate students alike.

Journey to Easter: Spiritual Reflections for the Lenten Season

Written by Pope Benedict XVI, this title discusses the meaning of the Easter season, the birth, death, passion and resurrection of Christ, and more, in a very meditative style.

Easter Vigil and Other Poems 

A collection of Poems written by Pope John Paul II before he became Pope.

The Challenge of Easter

A very short and highly accessible introduction to what Easter means and why we celebrate it.

Easter in the Early Church: An Anthology of Jewish and Early Christian Texts 

A very thorough collection of texts with commentary on Easter in the early church from Jewish, Greek, Latin and New Testament writers.

Revisiting the Empty Tomb: The Early History of Easter 

Explores how the Gospels vary on what happened at the empty tomb of Christ and provides careful discussions of the origins of Easter.

Urbi et Orbi Message of Pope Francis – Easter 2013

This papal address and blessing Urbi et Orbi (“to the City [of Rome] and the World) was given by Pope Francis on Easter in 2013 and explains how Easter is the exodus, the passage of human beings from slavery to sin and evil to the freedom of love and goodness.

Warmest wishes on Easter from everyone at Falvey Memorial Library.


Alex Williams theology liaisonAlexander Williams, ’11 MA, is the temporary librarian liaison to the Department of Theology and Religious Studies and a research librarian on the Academic Integration and the Information and Research Assistance teams. He is currently pursuing an MS in Library and Information Science at Drexel University’s iSchool.

Our Dig Deeper series features links to Falvey Memorial Library resources curated and provided by a librarian specializing in the subject, to allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops! 

 

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And the Best Literary Character Is…

BRACKETOLOGY-LOGOThe time has finally come: today we crown Falvey Memorial Library’s top literary character. After three weeks of fierce voting and competition, the tournament draws to a close with two titans in the Championship matchup: Atticus Finch, lawyer extraordinaire, and Gandalf, White or Gray depending on your preference. But before we name a victor let’s take a look at a few of the match-ups these two characters had to get here.

2014-04-16 19.45.14Gandalf v. Ebenezer Scrooge:

Gandalf’s opening match-up was an intense showing of geriatric prowess. You’d think that Gandalf would take this one in a landslide, as Scrooge is famously crotchety and smells like Metamucil and IcyHot, but the final count was closer than anyone expected. In the end Gandalf proved too much for old man Ebenezer, and we all learned a valuable lesson about generosity and the ancient Istari order. So that was nice.

Gandalf v. Winnie the Pooh

No one, and I mean no one, could have predicted the tournament that Winnie the Pooh ended up having. You’d think a character whose single motivation is a desire for condensed milk and “hunny” wouldn’t stand a chance against the psychological complexity of Elizabeth Bennett. But then again this is March, and anything can happen I guess. Luckily, Gandalf escaped the bear with minimal lumps, probably because he’s an all-powerful white wizard and not a hopelessly naïve, snack-grubbing cartoon bear JEEZ. I’m sorry guys. I just—I flew off the handle.  Let me be the first to apologize to the Disney Corporation and all the Pooh lovers out there, wherever you are. This one’s for you.

Atticus Finch v. Tom Sawyer

Well, we were expecting a very cordial match-up between these two Southern gentlemen. We were expecting a sporting competition between two good-ol-boys, one in a white suit and the other in overalls, just sippin’ ice tea at the general store. What we got was an absolute beatdown, and it wasn’t pretty. Atticus Finch trounced Tom Sawyer in the Elite Eight, with Tom Sawyer receiving just two measly votes on the big board. Two. I feel kinda bad for the guy. He can barely look Becky Thatcher in the eye after that.

2014-04-16 19.26.12But our final match was the most contentious yet, garnering over 80 votes! When the dust settled, we were looking at a 52-30 victory by none other than…Gandalf! Congratulations my man, we knew you could do it.

Thanks to everyone who voted this year. Stay tuned to find out who won the drawing and will receive a free copy of a book featuring one of these fine characters. And as always, happy reading.

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Brill’s New Pauly Supplements Online

Brill's New Pauly OnlineFalvey Memorial Library is pleased to announce that it now offers Brill’s New Pauly Supplements Online, which serves as a complement to Brill’s New Pauly Online: Encyclopedia of the Ancient World. The supplements consist of six distinct reference titles that provide in-depth information on ancient authors and texts, historical atlases, the history of classical scholarship, the reception of myth and classical literature, and more. This resource is highly recommended for humanists and scientists alike.

With Brill’s New Pauly Supplements Online, you now have access to the following titles:

1)      Chronologies of the Ancient World - This is an exhaustive list of names, dates and facts about the rulers and dynasties that have played significant roles in the course of history.

2)      Dictionary of Greek and Latin Authors and Texts - Provides an overview and history of ancient authors and their works up to the present and contains lists of manuscripts; scholia; early, modern and bilingual editions; translations; and commentaries.

3)      Historical Atlas of the Ancient World - Covering the ancient Near East, the Mediterranean world, the Byzantine Empire, the Islamic world and the Holy Roman Empire from 3000 B.C. to the 15th century A.D., this new atlas illuminates the political, economic, social and cultural developments of key areas in history.

4)      The Reception of Myth and Mythology - Explores how and where the myths of Greece and Rome have spread into literature, music and art over the centuries.

5)      The Reception of Classical Literature - This supplement provides an overview of the reception and influence of ancient literary works on the literary, visual and musical arts from Antiquity to the present.

6)      History of Classical Scholarship – A Biographical Dictionary - Offers an overview of the history of classical studies and contains biographies of over 700 scholars from the 14th century to the present in social, political and cultural contexts.

After completing a quick and simple registration online, you will find a series of “personal user tools” that can catapult your research experience into another world. Some of these added features include the ability to label and “star” entries, to email entries to yourself or classmates, and to share links on social media (Facebook and Twitter). You can save your searches and easily return to those lists of results, manage them from “My Account,” and even subscribe to Brill’s RSS Feed to learn when new or revised content is added.

As an additional bonus, try out the “Cite this Page” feature found at the end of each entry. If you are using this resource for an assignment, copy and paste citations to create your reference list in just seconds. You can also use the “export citation” feature to send the bibliographic information to EndNote or RefWorks, or you can even save it as a document in either MLA or Chicago Style.

Be sure to browse the bibliography at the end of each entry so you can easily find other sources that explore your topic of interest.

Alex Williams theology liaisonIf you have any questions pertaining to this resource, please contact Alexander Williams via email or telephone (ext. 8845).

 

 

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Last Modified: April 16, 2014