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Continuum: Welcome 2014


As classes get back into full swing for the spring semester, I hope students continue to see their Library as a welcoming and inviting place to interact and explore intellectually. My concern is that, because they grew up in a digital world, students may not recognize that the Library is significant and also relevant to current learning and study needs.

A good contemporary academic library, such as Falvey, functions as a setting for group study, a collaborative environment for interacting around computers, a place to connect with complex digital resources while receiving instructional assistance from a librarian, and a venue for a broad mix of cultural and intellectual events, in addition to providing access to learning resources in print and digital forms. Falvey strives to provide students with a lively and diverse learning environment.

We know students come to study in Falvey and Falvey Hall, both individually and in groups, often using the group-study rooms, Reading Room and similar study spaces we have available. They come for quick access to email; if they don’t have their laptop with them, they borrow one of our laptops; and they use the wireless network to sit comfortably and read, write, browse the Web, or perform similar tasks. They come to Falvey to print documents (we have the busiest printers on campus!) and for assistance with class assignments. They come to access services on the second-floor Learning Commons: the Writing Center, the Math Learning Resource Center, Learning Support Services, Library Research Support.

Our mission is to provide a positive supportive experience from the start, so our users will see the Library as a place to come when they need assistance and support with academic and co-curricular pursuits. We very much see Falvey Memorial Library as essential to the Villanova experience.



Research Support Center Provides Additional Service for Students

Information specialists Gerald Dierkes and Donna Chadderton

Information specialists Gerald Dierkes and Donna Chadderton

A new service point is coming to The Learning Commons on Falvey Memorial Library’s second floor. Falvey’s Research Support Center, comprised of 12 dedicated librarians whose offices are on the library’s second floor, will soon have a new service desk. Information Services Specialists Donna Chadderton and Gerald Dierkes will be the primary team members staffing the desk and connecting students, faculty and staff with resources necessary to achieve their learning and research goals.  Screen Shot 2014-01-09 at 9.44.29 AM

Gerald Dierkes is an information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copyeditor for the Communication and Service Promotion team, and a liaison to the Department of Theater.

Photograph by Alice Bampton; graphic by Gerald Dierkes.


Falvey Student Satisfaction Survey: results are in!

MICK-Recently Falvey presented the results of its faculty survey in our blog space. In this post, we are pleased to report the results of the student satisfaction survey.

Since spring 2002, a survey has been administered every 2 to 3 years to a random sample of undergraduate and graduate students to assess their satisfaction with the Falvey Memorial Library services and resources. In February and March, 2013, we again administered the questionnaire to a sample comprised of 2,042 undergraduate students and 1,289 graduate students. The overall response rate for undergraduate students was 22%, ranging from 17% for VSB students to 29% for students majoring in the sciences. Fifteen percent (15%) of the graduate students responded to the survey with rates ranging from 9% for VSB students to 23% for nursing students.

Villanova’s Office of Planning and Institutional Research electronically administered the faculty and student surveys. An invitation email was sent through the survey software and reminders were sent to non-respondents to increase response rates. Chi-square goodness of fit tests were run to determine representativeness of the respondents.

The library display case in front of Falvey Holy Grounds currently holds some of the results of both the faculty and student surveys. Check it out next time you’re in the Library. It will be up for a limited time only, prior to our forthcoming One Book Villanova display.


Academic success
Daily or weekly visits to Falvey were made by 68% of undergraduates, with about 30% visiting monthly or during the semester. Forty-five percent (45%) of undergraduates visited Falvey weekly. Graduate students responded that 35% visit Falvey daily or weekly with about 17% visiting Falvey monthly. Slightly more than three-quarters (76%) of undergraduate respondents feel that Falvey Memorial Library is important to their success. Eighty-four percent (84%) of graduate students agree or strongly agree that Falvey is important to their success. Overall, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences students comprised the majority of nearly 80% of respondents who felt Falvey was important to their success.


Learning Commons
Students are increasingly finding Falvey an attractive place to work alone or in groups, use public computing, and avail themselves of Learning Commons services, as this 2013/2011 survey comparison shows.


For what purposes did students visit the library?
Students, especially the graduate population, still visit Falvey to check out or borrow books and study or work alone. In 2013, 72% of undergraduates and 37% of graduate students sometimes visit to work in groups. Also in 2013, 35% of undergraduate respondents used the Writing Center, 15% of undergraduates respondents used the Math Learning Resource Center, and 7% or undergraduates used Learning Support Services. About 17% of respondents also attend lecture/events (see chart below).


Rating resources used – undergraduates
In 2013, 35% of undergraduates used subject databases daily, weekly and monthly. Twenty-four percent of undergraduate students used electronic journals/electronic periodicals and the online catalog at least daily, weekly and monthly. E-books were used daily, weekly or monthly 28% of the time, and print books were used by the same measure 18% of the time. Undergraduate responses also indicated 31% of students used research librarian services daily, weekly and monthly, and 23% responded as using the Information/Circulation Desk services daily, weekly and monthly. Undergraduates continue to rate many of those resources favorably, as well (see charts below).


Rating resources used – graduate students
In 2013, approximately 60% of graduate students used electronic journals/electronic periodicals and the online catalog at least daily, weekly and monthly, and 65% used subject databases just as frequently. E-books were used daily, weekly or monthly 22% of the time, and print books were used at the same rate 42% of the time. Nearly 40% of graduate students used the Information/Circulation Desk services daily, weekly and monthly. Thirty-seven percent (37%) of graduate students also made use of research librarian services daily, weekly and monthly. Graduate students also continue to rate many of the resources as adequate, approaching very adequate (see charts following).



Assessment of staff and services
Students even more strongly agree, as compared with our 2011 survey, that many of the library staff and services are very good. Librarians remain approachable, courteous, helpful and accessible. In many cases, graduate students agree more so. However, there is always room for some improvement. While satisfaction with tools such as scanners increased, students expressed only moderate satisfaction with the amount of space available for quiet, individual study (see charts following).


Receiving information
Falvey patrons responded that email remains the single best tool for conveying information about the Library although Facebook followers are on the rise.




E-book preferences
Most students still prefer print books for both course-related and leisure reading.

Comments noted
We also appreciate all those students who took time to write responses. Graphs are nice but there’s gold in those comments. Students enjoy the new Learning Commons areas, wishing only that “… it all looked like the 2nd floor (Learning Services floor).” Many graduate students asked, “Graduate Student Quiet Study Area!” and “When is the graduate student lounge coming?!?!” We can now answer this request with a new study lounge for graduate students in the liberal arts and sciences, in Falvey Hall.

However, our work is still not done. Several pages of requests and comments accompanied our survey.

Hours of operation generated a numerous comments: “While the library has many benefits, the area where it needs the most improvement and the aspect that I feel strongly about is the hours of operation.” “24 HOUR LIBRARY, I think this is necessary, at least just keeping the whole first floor (including printers and computers and tables open for students to use 24 hours, rather than just the 24 hour lounge)…”

Many comments involved having more efficient study space. Some freshman and sophomores expressed this sentiment in such comments as, “Sometimes the library is so full of people even if the area is quiet, … the lack of power outlets sometimes prevents me from using my computer when I would like to … There need to be more tables. Better lighting on the 3rd and 4th floors … a little updating would be great! Otherwise, the people are helpful and it is always quiet! … Honestly, during any sort of “crunch” time (finals, midterms, etc.) the library is completely swamped …”

Several comments referred to printing challenges: “We should be able to print to the printers wirelessly from our laptops. … have the print center re-installed in the library instead of having one print center at Bartley … I used Falvey’s iPrint center all of the time and now that it is gone, I use Falvey half as much as I did before.”

Temperature still remains a challenge, commented on by both graduate students and undergraduates. It’s not just the engineering students who noticed that “… it is FREEZING on the upper floors … All the time, both during winter and during summer, library is cold and they set the interior temperature to colder than normal room temperature …”


So, as we enter the heart of a new decade, we thank all of you for caring and sharing. We hope that future efforts will enable Falvey to continue our quest to meet and compete with the best of libraries. Have a great semester and new year!

SteinMerrill Stein is team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science. Other members of the Assessment team include Dennis Lambert, Kathleen O’Connor, Susan Ottignon and Barbara Quintiliano. 

Window display design and photograph by Joanne Quinn, team leader for Communication & Service Promotion.


Past Masters: The World’s Greatest Thinkers at Your Fingertips

As we make our way into finals week, some of you may be getting more intimate with Falvey’s lounge in Holy Grounds, Falvey Hall’s reading room or the new Student Lounge for graduate students in the liberal arts and sciences, all of which are open 24/7. As you plug in, charge up, and tune in to finals mode, you should know that, if the worst should happen – if you forget to checkout a book – resources from the library are available to you even when our doors are closed.

Past Masters is a massive digital collection of published and unpublished works, articles, essays, letters, reviews and more from some of the world’s greatest thinkers. In addition to classical, medieval, continental, British and American philosophy, you can find electronic editions of works in religious studies, political thought, sociology, the history of science, economics and the classics. Past Masters also offers The English Letters Collection, which consists of letters, notebooks diaries and memoirs of everyone from Austen to Yeats, and The Women Writers Collection: primary works, letters, journals and notebooks of de Beauvoir, Bronte, Shelley, Wollstonecraft and other famous women writers.

You can find Past Masters on our Database A-Z list, or through the philosophy, theology/religious studies, English, classical studies, and Augustine and Culture seminar subject guides.

(Images from Past Masters)

(Images from Past Masters)

Test your knowledge: How many of these authors do you recognize? (See below for answer key.)

Need to locate a passage from Augustine’s Confessions? Or trace the use of a single word throughout Aristotle’s entire works? Past Masters allows full-text searching by term, author, title and subject. Texts are available to you in in Latin, French, German, Danish, English and in authoritative English translation. Many works in the collection even feature hyperlinked endnotes and pop-up annotations, so you don’t have to flip back and forth through any dense books in print. You can even get a citation in plain text, or export it to your RefWorks or EndNote account.

Encountering a problem with Past Masters? Have a question or comment? Feel free to contact the Library by phone at (610) 519-4270 or by text at (610) 816-6222, or email me personally at alexander.williams@villanova.edu.


Author Portrait Answers

From left to right and top to bottom: W.B. Yeats, Mary Wollstonecraft, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Adam Smith, Katherine Mansfield, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Lady Mary Wortley Montagu.

Alexander 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.


Give the Gift of Shakespeare

A friend recently asked me if I could recommend any “good and accessible” books about Shakespeare as he was interested in learning more on the subject. Shortly thereafter one of my colleagues mentioned that such a topic might make a nice blog post for those in search of holiday gifts for the Shakespeare fan in their life, and thus this post was born.

Just to provide a little of my own background on this subject area: Prior to earning my library-science degree, I completed my M.A. in English at the University of Birmingham’s Shakespeare Institute in Stratford upon Avon. This by no means makes me an expert; in fact, the further I go in my education the more I realize there is to be learned. That said, I have had a fair bit of experience with the subject matter, and so with your indulgence I will offer up some of my personal favorites.

These recommendations, books I have read and enjoyed, I believe will delight the Shakespeare aficionado in your life.

Shakespeare by BrysonShakespeare: The World Stage, by Bill Bryson

With probably one of the most accessible books on the topic, Bryson is a prolific writer whose work I have always enjoyed.

A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599, by James Shapiro

Covering the year in which the Globe Theatre was erected and Hamlet was written, this book by Shapiro is both well-researched and engaging.

Shakespeare by ShapiroContested Will: Who Wrote Shakespeare? By James Shapiro

Also by Shapiro this book is an absorbing read for anyone interested in the authorship question.

Shakespeare For All Time, by Stanley Wells

Taking a look at his life and legacy, this is a lovely book by one of the foremost Shakespeare scholars in the world.


Is It True What They Say About Shakespeare? By Stanley Wells

Shakespeare by WellsFor something a bit lighter, this fun little book takes a look at many common assumptions and myths about Shakespeare, in quick and easy to read entries.                 

The Rough Guide to Shakespeare, by Andrew Dickson

Containing synopses, scene breakdowns, reviews and criticism of Shakespeare’s plays and poems, this is a great resource for any fan of the bard.

Shakespeare & Text, by John Jowett

If you or someone you know is interested in how books were printed and sold in Shakespeare’s day, and you’re up for a slightly more challenging read, this is a great book.

Sarah WingoSarah Wingo is the team leader for the Humanities II team and the subject librarian for English and theater.




Sacred and Secular: Christmas in Special Collections

“Christmas in Special Collections,” the newest presentation by Falvey’s Special Collections staff, invites your perusal on the Library’s first floor. Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant curated the exhibit with the aid of Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator; Demian Katz, library technology development specialist; and Ruth Martin, a volunteer intern in Falvey’s Digital Library. Joanne Quinn, design specialist, created the graphics for this display.

“Christmas in Special Collections” fills six cases. Materials are drawn from Special Collections holdings, and the exhibit contains a wide variety of works, religious and secular, all related to Christmas. Publication dates range from 1773 through the 1970s.

For this writer, the most unexpected part of the display is a book by Richard E. Byrd, Into the Home of the Blizzard, New York, 1928; a 1929 Christmas card from Commander Richard E. Byrd and the Byrd Aviation Associates and a 1928 letter on Byrd Antarctic Expedition letterhead to Mr. Dwight P. Robinson from H. H. Railey, conveying Commander Byrd’s “wishes for a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.” One wonders how these objects arrived in Special Collections.

Two early periodicals for children—St. Nicholas: Scribner’s Illustrated Magazine for Girls and Boys, December 1876, and Boys’ and Girls’ Weekly Catholic Magazine, published in Philadelphia in 1846—provide an interesting look at 19th century children’s literature.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, The Lepracaun: Cartoon Monthly, Christmas Number, 1906, published in Dublin, is one of a number of publications from Ireland. This issue is open to an advertisement for Kennedy’s Bread and on the facing page, a lepracaun holding a card wishing “MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL.”

Christmas Books: Tales and Sketches, 1894, by Charles Dickens, and Washington Irving’s The Old English Christmas, 1900, present old-fashioned Christmas stories.
CANDLEThe most visually appealing part of the exhibit (at least for this writer) is the case containing the Missale Romanum; The Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry, Prince of France; The Prayer Book of Michelino da Besozzo; The Christmas Sky by Franklyn Mansfield Branlay and Blair Lent; and The Christmas Book of Legends and Stories by Elva S. Smith. Each of these books is opened to show beautiful illustrations of the Christmas story.

The Missale Romanum is a Roman Catholic missal printed in Antwerp, Belgium, in 1773. The book is opened to a full-page hand-colored illustration of the Nativity and on the facing page a colorfully decorated page with part of the “Proper Mass” for the first Sunday of Advent. The Missale contains the official texts for the Roman Rite mass.

Two books in the same case are facsimiles, that is, modern exact copies of much older illuminated manuscripts. (An illuminated manuscript is a hand-written and hand-illustrated book or scroll.) The Belles Heures of Jean, Duke of Berry, Prince of France, was illuminated (illustrated) by the Limbourg brothers at the turn of the 15th century for the Duke of Berry. A book of hours is a book of Christian devotions for a lay person, the most popular type of devotional book in the Late Middle Ages. The other facsimile is the Prayer Book of Michelino da Besozzo; the original was illuminated by an Italian artist, Michelino da Besozzo, c. 1420. Look carefully at these two small books; the illuminations are incredibly detailed.

In the same case is The Christmas Sky, 1966, by Franklyn Mansfield Branlay and Blair Lent. It is open to the text of Luke 2:1-7 and a color woodcut print of Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem. Also in this case is The Christmas Book of Legends and Stories, 1944, by Elva S. Smith. This is open to a two-page illustration of the Annunciation to the Shepherds and the artist has included a fascinating variety of animals, not just the traditional sheep, but also a bear, a lion and a wolf.

The exhibit is well worth viewing, for its religious content, for the colorful art and for the wide variety of books on display—only a small part of the treasures housed in Special Collections.

Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Publications Team.


Over Six Million Images for You to Use: ARTstor and AP Images

imagesAre you giving a presentation or writing a paper that would benefit from including images? Rather than Googling, why not investigate Falvey’s two image databases, ARTstor and AP Images (Associated Press Images). In both of these collections you will find high quality, properly identified images.

ARTstor is a digital library containing over 1.6 million images that go beyond the traditional arts – painting, sculpture, graphics and architecture. ARTstor also contains images in the humanities and sciences: music, photography, literature, world history, American studies, Asian studies, classical studies, Medieval studies, Renaissance studies, literature and more.

ARTstor can be found in Falvey’s Databases A-Z or you can go directly to ARTstor. Although anyone can log on to ARTstor from Falvey, registered users with valid Villanova University e-mail addresses are allowed additional privileges: they can save image groups, create shared folders, add notes to images and download the offline viewer. Once you have an account, you can access ARTstor from outside the Library or from a mobile device.artstor-mobile3

You can search for images using a keyword or by an advanced search of such terms as creator, culture, subject, title, geography, a date range or other features. Once you’ve located an image, you can pan or zoom in on the image to look at details. And, of particular interest to art history students, you can even make flashcards for studying. The other image database to which Falvey subscribes is AP Images (listed in Databases A-Z as Associated Press Images).

AP Images contains over 4.6 million photographs dating back to the 1800s, more than 4,500 hours of audio files from the 1920s forward and news stories from 1997 forward. AP Images can be searched by keywords, dates, people’s names, events, locations, photographers and more. Materials found in AP Images are considered primary sources and according to AP Images, the Associated Press “is the most credible source for non-biased reporting.” The database also contains a comprehensive, easily understood “AP Images Quick Reference Guide,” which not only provides thorough information about searching for images and viewing them but also has an appendix that lists topics and their contents.

Screen Shot 2013-12-10 at 12.03.21 PM

While both of these databases are easy to use, if you need help using them or finding specific images, please contact Jutta Seibert, Academic Integration team leader and liaison to the Dept. of History, 610-519-7876, room 228, or any of Falvey’s research support librarians.

Photos by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Publications Team.


Dig Deeper: Nelson Mandela

MandelaBookWith Nelson Mandela’s death and his elevation into the pantheon of historical luminaries, “He no longer belongs to us – he belongs to the ages” (Barack Obama, NPR, 12/5/2013) it is easy to lose sight of the chilling history of the struggle against apartheid. Before Mandela became an icon of world peace and reconciliation – in 1993 he was awarded the Nobel peace prize together with Willem de Klerk -, he fought along with many others against the oppressive white South African regime and he paid for it with twenty-seven years of prison. When Mandela was liberated in 1990, celebrities from all the corner of the world flocked to South Africa for a chance to meet with him. His post-apartheid commitment to reconciliation stands in stark contrast to the violence and injustice of apartheid which shaped Mandela’s life and his country. Falvey Memorial Library has an array of resources that shed light on apartheid, Boer history, the African National Congress (ANC) and Mandela’s life.

Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom , as well as many of his speeches and addresses, are available in the library’s print collection. Find them through an author search for Nelson Mandela in the library’s catalog. A subject search for his name leads the interested reader to a long list of secondary literature about his life and struggle. For a quick introduction to apartheid, consult one of the library’s online subject encyclopedias, such as The New Encyclopedia of Africa, The Human Rights Encyclopedia [or the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas.

RESIZEsouthafricaThe library’s archival collections give the interested reader access to historical news sources, both national and international. Start with the New York Times, America’s newspaper of record, to find the first mention of Nelson Mandela’s name in August 1952 in an article that reports on his arrest: “South Africa seizes non-white leaders.” The Page View option makes it possible to see the front page of the same issue. A quick look at the lead articles of that day, among them “$1,200,000,000 atom plant to be built in Southern Ohio,” puts the article in context. We can also compare coverage in the New York Times with that in the Washington Post. The complete archives of both newspapers are available online.

The Daily Reports of the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS, 1974-1996) database makes international opinions of events in South Africa available to U.S. readers in translation. FBIS is a U.S. government foreign news reporting and translation service. Among the South African news sources featured in FBIS are The Star (Johannesburg), UMTATA Capital Radio, South Africa’s first independent radio station, The Sunday Times (Johannesburg), and the Sowetan, one of the liberation struggle newspapers. Reports about the release of Mandela from prison are grouped together in the FBIS database under the Events tab which features pre-selected news stories on important historical events.

To gain a broader picture of events in South Africa, the reader can browse content from individual news sources, such as the Sowetan, by typing the name of the source into the search field. And don’t forget, FBIS also includes transcripts of speeches and interviews.

Last but not least, Mandela, Tambo, and the African National Congress: The Struggle against Apartheid, 1948-1990 : A Documentary Survey includes a wide range of primary sources covering over forty years.  Documents range from Mandela’s 1951 presidential address to the ANC Youth League, to his court room testimony, to interviews with fellow prisoners and the Harare Declaration (1989). Questions? Contact us and we will help you to navigate the library’s print and online collections.

imgresLinks prepared by Jutta Seibert, team leader for Academic Integration and subject librarian for History.


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! 




Library displays rare Mendeliana at University Mendel Medal Awards

mendelAnyone associated with Villanova University knows the special status that 19th century Augustinian friar and scientist Gregor Mendel holds on our campus. Most of us have either walked the shiny corridors of Mendel Science Center, relaxed or eaten a hoagie on Mendel Field during first-year orientation or admired the seven foot bronze statue of the “father of modern genetics” that stands behind the Library. Most notably, the University awards the Mendel Medal each year to outstanding contemporary scientists in recognition of their scientific accomplishments and religious convictions.

This year, Villanova’s Mendel Medal recognizes Sylvester “Jim” Gates, PhD, for his groundbreaking work in supersymmetry, supergravity and string theory, as well as for his advocacy for science and science education. Dr. Gates visited Villanova on Nov. 15 as part of a two-day event culminating in a dinner and lecture by Gates in the Connelly Center. As in years past, the Library played a special role in welcoming the esteemed guest to the event by providing display support and rare Mendeliana for all attendees to view during the celebration.

According to Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator, the items chosen for display were two volumes that represented two of Mendel’s first attempts to explain plant hybridization, which are the basis of modern genetics.

The first of the items is

Mendel, Gregor Johann.  Versuche über Pflanzen-Hybriden. Vorgelegt in den Sitzungen vom 8. Februar und 8. März 1865.  Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereines in Brünn, Band IV, Heft 1 (1865): 3-47.  Brünn: Verlag des Vereines, 1866.

Foight explains the volume’s historical significance. Gregor Mendel’s experiments with hybridization of pea plants were conducted in the garden at the Augustinian Monastery in Brünn, Austria. Mendel reported these experiments in two lectures, which he read before the Natural Sciences Society of Brünn on Feb. 8 and March 8, 1865. The manuscript was published in the Society’s Proceedings in 1866. An English translation, “Experiments in Plant Hybridisation”, was first published in the Journal of the Royal Horticultural Society, London, 26, 1901, p.1-32.

The second volume,

Mendel, Gregor Johann.  Über einige aus künstlicher Befruchtung gewonnenen Hieracium-Bastarde. Mitgeteilt in der Sitzung vom 9. Juni 1869. Verhandlungen des naturforschenden Vereines in Brünn, Band VIII, Heft 1 (1869): 26-31.  Brünn: Burkart, 1870.,

is Mendel’s paper on the results of his experiments with hawkweed hybrids as read to the members of the Natural Sciences Society in Brünn on June 9, 1869, and published in the Society’s 1869 Proceedings. An English translation, “On Hieracium-Hybrids Obtained by Artificial Fertilisation,” was first published in William Bateson’s Mendel’s Principles of Heredity,” Cambridge, 1902.

Both volumes were presented to Villanova University by the Augustinians of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova on January 23, 1999, and have since been displayed regularly at the Mendel Medal event. Lorraine McCorkle, graphic designer for University Communications, prepares the Mendeliana for display each year.

Dig Deeper: If you knew SUSY …

While a primer or even a rudimentary understanding of supersymmetry—aka “SUSY,” the field in which Dr. Gates excels—may be beyond the scope of this article, our Science Librarian Alfred Fry was able to locate a fascinating lineup of videos featuring Dr. Gates, as well as several other links discussing quantum field theory.

Like all our librarians, Fry is available to patrons as a gateway to further resources and help is as close as a click away.

A 10-minute lesson in supersymmetryIn two new videos, Fermilab physicist Don Lincoln explains the what and the why of supersymmetry.

Supersymmetry  From CERN: Supersymmetry predicts a partner particle for each particle in the Standard Model, to help explain why particles have mass.

What is supersymmetry? In less than 100 seconds, Helen Heath explains why SUSY is so beautiful.

Series of lectures on supersymmetry given by Jim Gates at the African Summer Theory Institute in 2004  and other videos featuring the Mendel Medal recipient’s work available on YouTube.

Article by Joanne Quinn, team leader for Communication and Service Promotion.

UnknownLinks prepared by Alfred Fry, Science & Engineering Librarian

Our new 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! 




What Did President Lincoln Have To Do with Thanksgiving?

imageThe 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address—Nov. 19, 2013—has deservedly received a great deal of attention. That indelible speech reveals not only the humble heart of an influential leader but also his vision of what our country was and could become. Yet 2013 also marks another sesquicentennial: President Lincoln’s Oct. 3, 1863 proclamation “to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving,” making Thanksgiving a national holiday.

Americans did celebrate Thanksgiving prior to Lincoln’s proclamation, but each state chose its own date for this day of gratitude. In fact, President Washington had issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation of his own on Oct. 3, 1789—exactly 74 years before Lincoln’s—that “the People of these States … may then all unite in rendering unto [God] our sincere and humble thanks.”

But Lincoln’s proclamation established Thanksgiving as an occasion for the entire nation to give thanks together, on the same day:

“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

Our first Republican president contributed his proclamation two years into the Civil War, three months after the Battle of Gettysburg and just weeks before delivering his Gettysburg Address. President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation serves as an example of his efforts to unite the people of our nation.

Gerald Dierkes is an information services specialist for the Information and Research Assistance team, senior copyeditor for the Communication and Service Promotion team, and a liaison to the Department of Theater.


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Last Modified: November 28, 2013