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Special Collections project on WWI to be featured on PCN broadcast

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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.

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General Sherman Goes To Philadelphia (Actually Only His Coat Makes the Trip)

SHERMAN-COAT

Walking by Special Collections recently, I noticed that something was missing – General William Tecumseh Sherman’s Civil War frock coat, which had been on exhibit, highly visible from outside Special Collections since 2009. I have a special interest in this garment since it once spent a night in Falvey’s art-history slide collection room, where I worked at the time; it had been returned one evening from the Civil War Museum in Philadelphia and needed to be housed in a secure, temperature-controlled location until Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator Michael Foight could retrieve it the next morning.

James G. Mundy, Jr., Director of Library & Historical Collections, The Union League, and Sherman's frock coat

James G. Mundy, Jr., Director of Library & Historical Collections, The Union League, and Sherman’s frock coat

The coat is now on exhibit at The Union League in Philadelphia as part of its exhibit, “Philadelphia 1864: The Year of Decision.” The coat will return to Special Collections after the exhibit closes.

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Judith Giesberg, PhD

How did this coat, worn by General Sherman (1820-91) on his “March to the Sea,” make its way to the Union League’s Heritage Center exhibit, one might wonder? Judith Giesberg, PhD, professor and graduate program director, Department of History, was instrumental in reminding The Union League of Philadelphia’s Director of Library and Historical Collections, James G. Mundy, Jr., of the coat’s existence although he had known about it previously. Dr. Giesberg had been a member of a Civil War roundtable and also had spoken at The Union League several times, which is how she met Mundy. When she learned about the planned exhibit, she told Mundy about the coat.

“Philadelphia 1864…” is the fourth is a series of such Civil War exhibits: “Philadelphia 1861: A Coming Storm,” “Philadelphia 1862: A City at War,” and “Philadelphia 1863: Turning the Tide” preceded the current exhibit. “Philadelphia 1864: The Year of Decision” focuses on major events, such as – the appointment of Ulysses S. Grant as Lieutenant General of the Union Army, – Grant’s Overland Campaign, – General William Tecumseh Sherman’s march through Georgia, – the election of Abraham Lincoln, – the U.S. Sanitary Commission’s Great Central Fair in Philadelphia, and it “will also draw attention to the growing activities of The Union League.” The exhibit includes over fifty artifacts from The Union League’s collections, the Philadelphia History Museum and other institutions. The exhibit will remain open until February 2015. It is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from three until six p.m. and on the second Saturday of each month from one to four p.m.

 

The Union League of Philadelphia was founded as a men’s club in 1862, the first of several Union Leagues created to support the Union and President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War (1861-65). RS7820_Union League sign(1)The Union League building, listed on the National Historic Register since 1979, was erected in 1865. John Fraser (1825-1906) was the architect of the original building. In 1909 Horace Trumbauer (1868-1938) designed an annex for the Union League at 15th and Samson Streets.


Article and Union League photos by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.

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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.”

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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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Demian Katz receives Lifetime Pop Culture Achievement Award

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Michael Foight (right) presenting the award to Demian Katz (left).

As part of the VuPop Popular Culture and Materials Conference each year, a worthy conference attendee is awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for activities related to the preservation and scholarship of that specific material type. This year’s recipient is Demian Katz, library technology development specialist from Falvey Memorial Library. Demian is one of the world’s foremost acknowledged bibliographers and collectors of print interactive fiction and appreciated by gamebook fans all over the internet for Demian’s Gamebook Web Page, an international reference guide to interactive books, solitaire role-playing, and game-inspired fiction.

Katz recently donated more than 2,500 print game books and other related materials to the Department of Special Collections at the University of California Santa Barbara.  The Demian Katz Gamebook Collection (Mss 294) is now currently open for research using the Online Archive of California primary resource finding aid.

For more information on this year’s VuPop conference, visit here. For more on the interactive fiction genre, visit here.


 

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David Uspal Upholds Library Tradition – Receives the Latest Facultas Award

Uspal & Facultas AwardDavid Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, received the Spring 2014 Facultas Award on May 20 at the annual University Faculty Staff Picnic. Uspal is the seventh Falvey Memorial Library employee to receive the Facultas Award. The late Therese Dougherty received the Fall 1996 Facultas Award, followed by Bente Polites, Special Collections and reference librarian, fall 2004; Phylis Wright, Interlibrary Loan Office, spring 2006; Domenick Liberato, Access and User Assistance, fall 2007; Barbara Quintiliano, Instructional Design Librarian, fall 2008; and Susan Ottignon, research librarian, spring 2012.

The Facultas Award is presented each fall and spring semester by the Faculty Congress to “acknowledge and honor the contributions of staff members of the Villanova community,” “focus attention on the vital, yet often unnoticed, services essential to the smooth and efficient functioning of the Villanova community, especially the academic faculty,” “recognize persons who would not be otherwise recognized …” and “reinforce among our fellow faculty the importance and diversity of staff support work in all areas of the University.” The Facultas Award constitutes a plaque and a Wildcard gift certificate.

This is Uspal’s second University award. The University Staff Council presented a Work Process Improvement (WPI) award to him in spring 2013 for the interactive map of Falvey Memorial Library that he developed.

Uspal says, “I want to thank Villanova University and Falvey Memorial Library for bringing me on board three years ago and the Technology Development team and the Digital Library team for being supportive of our efforts in the realm of Digital Humanities. A big thank you to all the students and faculty for helping us pilot our way through our initial Digital Humanities projects. Finally, a special thanks to Laura Bang, the Digital Scholarship Coordinator for the Aurelius Digital Scholarship initiative, who has masterminded Villanova’s push into the Digital Humanities universe and without whom this award would have been impossible.”

Interim Library Director Darren Poley comments, “David Uspal is a wonderful asset to Falvey. His blend of deep knowledge as an information technologist with an ever cheery disposition and excellent people skills is incredibly rare. We are indeed fortunate to have David in the Library where he works so well with both staff and the patrons we serve.”

Uspal relaxes by reading and playing board and video games/interactive fiction. His interest in interactive fiction is aptly shown by his involvement with VuPop 2, an annual conference which explores pop culture and mass media.

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VuPop 2: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online

VUPOP POSTCARD PRUF

VuPop 2: Interactive Fiction in Print and Online, a conference sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library, takes place in the Library today. VuPop 2 is the second in the series of annual conferences exploring popular culture and mass media.

VuPop begins at 9:30 a.m. with registration and light refreshments and ends at 4:30 p.m. Attendees will be welcomed by David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, and Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator.

Demian Katz

Demian Katz

Demian Katz, library technology development specialist and an avid collector of gamebooks, is presenting “The History of Gamebooks.” His collection is featured in the exhibit, “Interactive Fiction: An exhibit where YOU are the hero,” adjacent to the Speaker’s Corner where the conference is meeting.

The exhibit, curated by Katz, displays six cases of his gamebooks (plus one loaned by Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant). Each case contains one or more informative placards. The gamebooks are divided into categories such as “Choose Your Own Adventure” which, among other works, has Cinderella’s Magic Adventure open to an illustration and text where the reader makes his or her choice of how to continue. The exhibit will remain on display through the summer.

Other cases show collections of “Infocom,” “Multiplayer Gamebooks,” “Fighting Fantasy” (a British game) and “Lone Wolf” which share a case, and “Oddities,” “Role-playing Games” featuring Dungeons & Dragons, and “Tie-Ins.”

VUPOP2-books-onlyIn the morning session, Rebecca Slitt, PhD, will discuss “Viking, Gunslinger and Madam Midshipwoman: Gender and History in Interactive Fiction.” Dr. Slitt, who taught medieval history at several universities, is now the managing editor at Choice of Games.

Laura Bang and Christopher Hallberg, library technology development specialist, are presenting an interactive reading of “Groom of the Tomb,” which will be followed by a catered lunch for conference attendees.

Afternoon speakers are Christopher Liu, Randy Cook, David Perlman, and Tom Rothamel. Christopher Liu’s topic is “On Writing, Interactively.” Liu is the founder of Adventure Cow, a recently created company which publishes interactive novels. Adventure Cow’s first work, Destiny Quest Infinite, will soon be released.

Randy Cook, whose first adventure game was published in the 1990s, still writes the Legendary Journeys Series and software. Cook’s topic is “Let There Be Light (or at least a simulated torch).”

David Perlman, PhD, the president and founder of E4-Eclipse Ethics Foundation, presents “Interactive Fiction: The Use of Two Forms of Pop Culture to Increase Public Bioethics Awareness.” Dr. Perlman is a visiting assistant professor at the University of the Sciences and a senior lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania, both in Philadelphia.

Tom Rothamel, lead developer of the Ren’Py visual novel engine and the host of the largest English language forum dedicated to the creation of these works, has been involved with visual novels for over ten years. His topic is “Visual Novels and Ren’Py.”

The conference ends with a panel discussion and closing remarks followed by an “unofficial Game Night.”


Article by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Exhibit graphics by Joanne Quinn. Demian Katz photo by Alice Bampton .

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Curious about Interactive Fiction, CYOA Books or Gaming? Check out VuPop 2!

CAUTION!

THIS BLOG POSTING IS UNLIKE
any you’ve previously read.
Avoid reading this sequentially.
Rather, begin the first paragraph and continue
till you reach your first decision point.
Then skip to one of the paragraphs indicated,
and discover the result of your choice.
Each decision brings alternate possibilities.
Best wishes on your quest!

From 1979 to 1998, Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) books became so popular among young readers that more than 250 million copies were sold. Each of the series’ 185 titles features an innovative structure, enabling the reader to function as protagonist, choose that character’s actions and, ultimately, determine the story’s direction.

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on gaming, go to Influence on Gaming

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on education, go to Influence on Education

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

VuPop—You, yes YOU alone, may decide VuPop 2’s destiny! Will this conference discuss gaming, scholarly applications of interactive fiction or something unexpected? To impact the fate of VuPop 2, you must be present—in FalveyMonday, June 9, 2014, at 9:00 a.m. and TuesdayJune 10, 2014, at 9:30 a.m.

To register for this free event, click here.

To learn more about this event, click here.

To learn more about VuPop, click here and/or here.

Katz Interview—Demian Katz, library technology development specialist and a VuPop 2 organizer, wishes people knew how much variety exists in role playing games and interactive fiction—from Dungeons and Dragons to Ace of Aces, a flight-simulation book set (see Demian’s Gamebook Web Page). Katz also says the Choose Your Own Adventure publisher is donating a case of books; each VuPop 2 attendee will receive one free CYOA book (while supplies last).

Go on to the next paragraph.

Katz explains that VuPop events attract “people from a variety of places.” This year’s event, for instance, will be shown to interactive-fiction enthusiasts in Great Britain via live video. It will also feature the developer of an open-source computer game engine for building interactive fiction (Ren’Py).

To learn more about this event, go to VuPop

Libraries’ Influence—“The series of interactive ‘game books’ initially had only so-so sales, until some genius in marketing had the idea to ‘seed’ 100,000 books in libraries across the country … Overnight, the books became hugely popular” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

Influence on Gaming—Creators of video games and similar media credit the CYOA book’s structure, which offers the reader several opportunities to decide the story’s direction, as influential in the interactive design of their electronic games. In fact, “Japan’s popular Bishoujo video games, which combine narratives with gameplay, mark the beginning of ‘the trend in modern gaming toward using technology to allow players control over their stories … taking on characteristics of highly detailed Choose Your Own Adventure novels’” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on education, go to Influence on Education

To learn how to receive a free CYOA book, go to Katz Interview—

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

Influence on Education—Educators attribute CYOA books to engaging and motivating reluctant readers. The books’ interactive quality appeals to these novice readers. The books’ interactive design has also been “used specifically in technology lesson plans in elementary, high school and college curricula, as well as in professional development tools” (http://www.cyoa.com/pages/history-of-cyoa).

To learn about CYOA books’ influence on gaming, go to Influence on Gaming

To learn about libraries’ influence on CYOA books, go to Libraries’ Influence

To learn about VuPop, go to VuPop—

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And the winner of our Literary Bracketology contest is…

It was an intense battle last month but Gandalf proved to be too much for the rest of the competition.  This year’s battle proved to be extremely popular with over 300 submissions online and in paper. Thanks to everyone who voted and participated in the contest!

imgresShishav Parajuli was the lucky winner this year out of over 150 entries. As winner of the annual Bracketology showdown, he was awarded a book of his choice from the field of 64.  Shishav, a graduate student majoring in Political Science, decided on the book Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov. (If you’ll recall, Nabokov’s character Lolita lost in the second round!) See you next spring for more literary madness! Hope you play along!


Article by Raamaan McBride, writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team and specialist on the Access Services Team.

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Falvey Scholar program recognizes student accomplishments in research, innovation and creativity

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Interim Library Director Darren G. Poley presents Jerisa Upton with her award.

The annual Falvey Scholars Award—established by Falvey Memorial Library in conjunction with the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and the Honors Program—recognizes and celebrates the academic excellence of some of Villanova’s finest undergraduate scholars. This year’s event, held on Friday April 25, honored six Falvey Scholars under each of the following categories: business, engineering, liberal arts, science, nursing and our new category, social science, which was added given the overwhelming response and volume of excellent candidates in the liberal arts.

Each of the Falvey Scholars presented a 30-minute summary of their winning project and were each presented with the Falvey Scholars Award by our Interim Library Director, Darren Poley.

Falvey is delighted to announce the following undergraduates as the 2014 Falvey Scholars:

Aurora Vandewark (nursing); mentor: Michelle M. Kelly, PhD, CRNP; Project: “Evidence-Based Practices to Reduce Psychosocial Distress Among Parents of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Patients.”

Jerisa Upton (social science); mentor: Maghan Keita, PhD; Project: “Understanding Bureaucratic Politics and the Origins of the Great Leap Forward.”

Mark Bookman (liberal arts); mentors: Maghan Keita, PhD, and Edwin Goff, PhD; Project: “Re-imagining Discourse: Shingon Buddhism and Western Epistemologies.”

Clockwise, from top left: Vandewark, Upton, Bookman, McGrane, Ferguson and Shaik

Clockwise, from top left: Vandewark, Upton, Bookman, McGrane, Ferguson and Shaik

Noor F. Shaik (science); mentor: Dennis D. Wykoff, PhD; Project: “Using Fluorescent Markers in Cells and Flow Cytometry to Measure the Selective Pressures in Yeast.”

Olivia Ferguson (business); mentor: Peter Zaleski, PhD; Project: “Metropolitan Manufacturing Decline, 1980-2005, and Subsequent Effects on Residents.”

Robert McGrane (engineering); mentor: Noelle Comolli, PhD; Title: “Chitosan Thin-Films for Post-Surgical Drug Delivery.”

Falvey Scholars is just one of the many events that comprise the Undergraduate Research Exposition, or EXPO 14: a week-long series of programs that recognize the research undergraduates accomplish throughout the year. Villanova is proud to highlight the contributions of its undergraduate student community!


Article by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication and Service Promotion team and library events and program coordinator for the Scholarly Outreach team. Photos by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team.

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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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Last Modified: May 20, 2014