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

Springing Forward Towards a Semester Full of Exciting Events!

SPRINGCALENDAR3As Leo Tolstoy wrote in his classic novel Anna Karenina, “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” This spring semester, Falvey Memorial Library’s Scholarly Outreach Team is bringing Tolstoy’s words to life by feverishly planning a bolstering schedule of events.

Students, faculty and staff can expect a plethora of workshops, lectures, open houses, meetings and even leisurely events to take place in Falvey almost every day of the school week! Some highlights include a book signing by Susan Nussbaum, author of this year’s One Book Villanova selection, Good Kings, Bad Kings; two Literary Festival talks, featuring authors David Gilbert and Adelle Waldman; our annual Black History talk; our three Scholarship@Villanova talks featuring Villanova faculty members James W. Wilson, PhD, C. Nataraj, PhD, and Lynne Hartnett, PhD; the annual Pope John Paul II Legacy Lecture featuring former Villanova professor D.C. Schindler, PhD; an Open Mic Poetry Reading; a celebration in honor of Earth Day;  and our 2014 Falvey Scholars Awards presentation and reception. Also, some of our regularly scheduled events include VSB peer-tutoring sessions in the Learning Commons every Tuesday and Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. and the Villanova Electronic Enthusiasts Club (VEEC) meetings on many Friday afternoons throughout the semester. Make sure to stop by the Library to participate in these events!

In addition to the events that the Library plans, Falvey also serves as a host site for events that are organized by other departments and groups from all across campus. Villanova faculty, staff and representatives from official student groups are able to request a space for their event or meeting by filling out the Events Request Form or by directly contacting Regina Duffy, library events and program coordinator. Event locations include the Speakers’ Corner, Learning Commons Rooms on the second floor (204 and 205) and the first-floor lounge.

Article by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication & Service Promotion team and Library Events and Program coordinator.


Falvey Memorial Library 2013 Year in Review

2013 was a busy year for Falvey Memorial Library. We acknowledged successes, celebrated achievements, welcomed new faculty, discussed technology, marveled over dime novels, opened new rooms and even played a little music.  The following is a sample of our year in pictures. Enjoy!


One Book Villanova with Conor Grennan


Emilie Davis Diaries


Celebrating Student Employees


ACRL Award: Joe Lucia accepting the award from Stephen Bell


ACRL Gala Event


Celebrating our Falvey Scholars


VUPop I Organizers and Presenters


Falvey Summer Picnic


Joe Lucia’s Farewell Party


Darren Poley assuming the position of Interim Director


Staff Retreat


Welcoming new faculty


Superfecta: Vuie Award Winners Doreva Belfiore and Katherine Lynch


VUClass with Joanne Quinn


Faculty Forum with Darren Poley and Linda Hauck


Pietro Da Cortona painting restoration


Restoration Crew


Falvey Hall Reading Room reopens


Celebrating Christmas at the Villanova Conference Center with Taras Ortynsky and Barbara Haas

Photographs by Alice Bampton, Luisa Cywinski and Laura Hutelmyer.


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! 




Mannella Distinguished Speaker Leonard Guercio to Screen Two Films on the Italian-American Experience

MANNELLA13-EVITEOn Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 7:00 p.m. filmmaker Leonard Guercio will deliver this year’s Alfred F. Mannella and Rose T. Lauria-Mannella Endowed Distinguished Speaker Series lecture. Guercio has worked as a writer, producer, director and editor in various media—including film, experimental video, television, print, web and music. He currently serves as program and project specialist in the Film and Media Arts department of Temple University’s Center for the Arts.

In addition to the lecture, Guercio will be screening two of his short films. The first is a brief documentary about St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish in South Philadelphia, and the second is an original dramatic short film entitled “Tiramisù” If time permits, a Q&A session with Guercio will follow the talk.

The Mannella Lecture Series began in 1996 and is made possible by the generosity of Villanova University alumnus Alfred S. Mannella, who named the series after his parents. The events in the annual series focus on scholarship and artistic achievement surrounding Italian American history, culture and the immigrant experience.

GUERCIOGuercio shot “Tiramisù” in South Philadelphia almost ten years ago. Privately funded and independently produced, the film has since maintained a long and illustrious screen life that exceeds its humble beginnings. In 2007, Guercio presented the film at the Pesaro International Film Festival in Pesaro, Italy. “Tiramisù” opened a retrospective of New Italian-American Cinema, which included feature films by prominent actors and filmmakers, such as John Turturro, Steve Buscemi and Nancy Savoca. Since then the film has screened in classrooms all over the world, including Beijing and New York.

Shot in an intimate black and white, “Tiramisu” tells a story of love and responsibility through the lives of an Italian-American family and their friends in the community. Remarking on the film’s title, Guercio explains that the Italian word “Tiramisù” translates to English as “lift me up,” a reference to the restorative power of the classic dessert, which is traditionally made with espresso. Guercio’s film, too, enacts a kind of restoration and reframes the Italian-American experience by challenging viewer expectations that may have been shaped by stereotype.

This year’s Mannella Lecture will be held in the Speakers’ Corner of Falvey Memorial Library. The event is free and open to the public and available for ACS credit. Light refreshments will be served.


Faculty Forum #3: Airing views on an Institutional Repository for Villanova Scholarship and Data

The final Faculty Forum in a series of three was held on Nov. 11 in the Connelly Center cinema. The Faculty Forums were co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the Office of Research and Graduate Programs (ORPG). Villanova faculty, researchers and students came to hear panelists discuss “the challenges that researchers now often face in relation to the dissemination and eventual disposition of the products of their scholarship …”

Alfonso (Al) Ortega, PhD, College of Engineering, and associate vice president for research and graduate programs, and the James R. Birle professor of energy technology in the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, welcomed the attendees. Members of the Faculty Forum #3 panel included David Lacy, team leader for Library Technology Development, Falvey Memorial Library; Edward (Ed) Sion, PhD, Dept. of Astrophysics and Planetary Science, professor; A. Maria Toyoda, PhD, Dept. of Political Science and associate dean for Interdisciplinary Studies and Global Initiatives; Aaron Wemhoff, PhD, Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, assistant professor; Ryan P. Jorn, PhD, Dept. of Chemistry, associate professor; Paul Hanouna, PhD, Dept. of Finance, Villanova School of Business (VSB); and Daniel McGee, director, strategic planning and consulting, University Information Technologies (UNIT).

David Lacy

David Lacy

The first panelist, David Lacy, presented the library’s perspective on the creation of an institutional repository “to provide a historical record of Villanova University’s scholarly output.” Lacy reported that Falvey has already begun to create a repository with its Community Bibliography, which is designed to house the entire publications of the University community. He discussed the configuration and workflow of an institutional repository and said, “[Its] ultimate success comes from an institutional mandate.”

Dr. Edward Sion discussed the research database containing the “Catalog of White Dwarf Stars” (a white dwarf is a star that has exhausted its nuclear fuel) and libraries of theoretical models constructed to compare data from Hubble Space Telescope and other orbiting observatories. Dr. Sion created the Catalog with a colleague, George P. McCook, PhD, Dept. of Astronomy and Astrophysics.


A. Maria Toyoda

Dr. A. Maria Toyoda discussed a database, the Quinn-Toyoda CAPITAL, which she and Dennis P. Quinn, PhD, Georgetown University, created. The Quinn-Toyoda CAPITAL is a dataset used in her research on financial openness and political economic issues in East Asia.

The next presenter, Dr. Aaron Wemhoff, showed data from his research in molecular dynamics simulations and the data storage strategies he used at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Dr. Ryan P. Jorn, who joined Villanova’s Dept. of Chemistry in August 2013, discussed his research computational methods and the data generated in his quantitative chemistry studies.

The final researcher to address the need for an institutional repository, Dr. Paul Hanouna, discussed the data he has generated in his financial research and the resources already housed in the VSB Dept. of Finance.

Daniel McGee discussed UNIT’s views on creating an institutional repository for Villanova scholarship and data.

The speakers joined Dr. Ortega and Darren Poley, interim library director, for a lively question and answer session and open discussion with the audience.

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


Cristina Soriano, PhD, Presents Research on Social Networks in Colonial Venezuela

Cristina Soriano, PhD

Cristina Soriano, PhD

This Wednesday, Nov. 20, Cristina Soriano, PhD, holder of the Albert R. LePage Endowed Professorship and assistant professor in the Department of History, will deliver a lecture as part of our ongoing Scholarship@Villanova series. The lecture is entitled “The Revolutionary Contagion: Pamphlets, Rumors, and Conspiracies in Venezuela during the Age of Revolutions,” and explores the many fascinating connections between plebeian literary practices, webs of circulation of information, and the emergence of social networks for political mobilization in colonial Venezuela.

This week’s Dig Deeper material was prepared by Jutta Seibert, librarian and Team Leader for Academic Integration.

Martín Tovar y Tovar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Martín Tovar y Tovar [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Dig Deeper: Revolutionary Movements in Latin America & Revolutionary Print Culture

Falvey Memorial Library has numerous resources related to Dr. Soriano’s research for those who would like to learn more about the revolutionary movements in Latin America and revolutionary print culture.

In El Libro En Circulación: En El Mundo Moderno En España Y Latinoamérica, Dr. Soriano writes about the circulation of books in colonial Venezuela.

Among the more recent books about Latin American revolutionary movements available in the library are—


Falvey also has various related primary sources in translation:

For those who would like to read more about the relationships between print and politics in early modern history, we recommend—

Need to brush up on your knowledge of Venezuela’s history? The Encyclopedia of Latin America History and Culture is a great starting point.

Article by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.


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

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! 




Foto Friday – Guess Who’s Turning 50?



Meeting Pietro da Cortona

Several years ago a colleague offered to show me, an art historian, “a wonderful painting” housed in Falvey Hall. I had never visited the space known as the Old Falvey reading room, but hiking up a dark, narrow flight of steps and through a locked door brought us to in a vast high-ceilinged space filled with utilitarian metal shelves holding the library’s media collection. My guide led me a short distance along the inside wall and proudly pointed to the artwork.

The painting had an impressive size (approximately 12 by 19 feet), but what a disappointment! Hung far above eye level, dark, discolored, damaged and with barely visible contents, this was certainly not the painting I had expected. A placard showed the artist’s name, the painting’s name and the donors’ names: “‘David and Goliath’ by Pietro Berretini de Cortona, 1596 -1669, … Gift of Prince and Princess Alexis Droutzkoy, 1950.” I never suspected I was destined to share the room with that painting, a painting that to my art historian’s eyes appeared to be hopelessly damaged and not worth displaying.

da Cortona wall move

I forgot about “David and Goliath” until library renovations began in 2011. This project required staff members with offices on the second floor to temporarily relocate to the Falvey Hall (Old Falvey) reading room.

And there I worked, month after month, with that huge, dark, ugly travesty of a painting looming at my back. Since I was forced to share its space, I became curious. Who is this artist, Pietro Berretini de Cortona? “Pietro” and “Cortona” seemed familiar, but not the rest of the name as given on the placard. So I consulted a favorite resource, the ULAN (Getty Union List of Artists’ Names) . And there he was: Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669), an Italian Baroque artist and architect whose name I remembered from my days as an art history student and as an instructor. I searched Falvey’s catalog for books about Pietro da Cortona as a painter – nothing! So I pulled out my Baroque art textbook, 17th and 18th Century Art: Baroque Painting, Sculpture, Architecture by Julius S. Held and Donald Posner. Held and Posner say that Cortona is both a great Baroque architect and painter (p.36). And the Cortona paintings illustrated in this text and at several online sites present works that have the soaring spaces, diagonal compositions and rich colors that I have always associated with one style of Baroque art. Villanova’s “David and Goliath,” at least what I could see of it (even using the zoom lens of my camera), exhibited none of these characteristics.

Having satisfied my curiosity about the artist, I decided to check out the rest of the placard. The subject of the painting, David and Goliath, needed no research. The placard did provide a Biblical citation (I Kings 17:57, 18:6) and text, but when I checked I Kings, I did not find the quoted passages. Oops! Someone listed an inaccurate citation, and it has been on exhibit since 1956. That’s embarrassing for a Church-affiliated institution. The story of David and Goliath is actually told in I Samuel 17 and 18.

Who are these donors, Prince and Princess Alexis Droutzkoy, and what is their association with Villanova University? I contacted the campus Art Gallery’s assistant director, Maryanne Erwin (now retired); she had no information available. So I “Googled” them: the prince was a Russian-born, naturalized American citizen who had published American Helicopter Magazine. The princess, his wife, was an American from Georgia. Prince Alexis Droutzkoy died in 2001; the princess, Maria Theresa Droutzkoy, lives in the Bronx. But I still had no information about their connection with the University. And I would later learn that they were not the donors of the painting; they had paid for its conservation.

da Cortona class

Eventually my colleagues and I moved out of the reading room and into our new offices. No longer forced to look at “David and Goliath,” I forgot about it until one day in February 2013. That afternoon, Library Director Joe Lucia told me the painting was being taken down, and he asked me to photograph this event. So I photographed a team of professionals (Atelier Art Services, Inc., of Philadelphia) carefully remove that gigantic painting and rest it against a wall in the reading room. Now I had the opportunity to examine it closely. From the front, it was still dark and, to my eyes, ugly and damaged with visible tears in the canvas, flaking paint and discolored varnish. The back, though, appeared very different: no tears visible and the canvas in excellent condition. (I’d soon learn that the painting had been professionally relined before arriving here; that is, a new canvas backing had been added to stabilize the damaged original.)

A few days after “David and Goliath” had been taken down, Joe Lucia again asked me to photograph a painting-related event. This one, a symposium, involved a number of people, mostly strangers but of great interest to me as an art historian. Conservation experts from the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation, Brian Baade and Kristen deGhetaldi, and two Villanova University professors, Anthony Lagalante, PhD, Dept. of Chemistry, and Amanda Norbutus, PhD, Mendel Science Postdoctoral Fellow, presented their research to various administrators and other personnel. To my astonishment, they concluded that the painting is well worth conservation. Beneath the darkened varnish and modern overpaint (both from a 1950s restoration), much of the original painting remains. Pietro da Cortona, as noted above, is a major figure of the Baroque period, and a few of his works on canvas are in the United States. Despite its current appearance, this painting is indeed a treasure!

Now that conservation has begun, and the reading room is accessible 24/7, I occasionally visit “David and Goliath” (its formal title is “The Triumph of David” and it is listed in the Villanova University Art Collection: A Guide as “The Presentation of David to King Saul After Slaying Goliath”) just to observe the conservators at work and to note the changes in its appearance – nothing dramatic so far! You are welcome to visit the reading room anytime and see for yourself, a rare opportunity to see conservators at work. Or check the live feed video at http://projects.library.villanova.edu/paintingrestoration/live-feed/

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


Dig Deeper: Death and “Everyman” pay a visit to Vasey Theatre


Villanova Theatre’s production of the medieval drama Everyman opens Nov. 12, and offers a contemporary re-imagining of the classic allegorical tale. The production, directed by the Rev. David Cregan, OSA, PhD, features a female actor portraying the lead role of Everyman, and a script translated from Middle English into the current vernacular by Mark J. Costello, an alumnus of the University’s Master of Arts in Theatre program.

Given that several ACS courses have integrated the text of Everyman into their syllabus, Villanova Theatre’s production proves timely as the semester draws to a close and students begin crafting their final papers.

Everyman runs from Nov. 12 to Nov. 24 in Vasey Theatre on Villanova’s main campus.

Research librarian Sarah Wingo compiled this week’s Dig Deeper links. A theatre buff, she looks forward to the modern twist the Villanova production will add to the morality play. Those links can be found below:



Dig Deeper: Everyman

Link to Project Gutenberg text of Everyman. Available in multiple formats including PDF and Kindle versions: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/19481

One of the earliest surviving printed versions of Everyman from 1515, Held at the Bodleian Library and viewable online through EEBO: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1119972

Later 1528 version with woodcut images: https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/1111710#sthash.Pbu4iRR4.dpuf

Everyman a comparative study of texts and sources (BOOK, available in Falvey): https://library.villanova.edu/Find/Record/396360#sthash.pmTeRdNL.dpuf

Article by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Publications team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

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

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! 




Dig Deeper: Dr. Mark Lawrence Schrad discusses Vodka Politics

Mark Lawrence Schrad, PhD

Mark Lawrence Schrad, PhD

This Wednesday, Nov. 13, Mark Lawrence Schrad, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science, will deliver a lecture as part of our ongoing Scholarship@Villanova event series.

Dr. Schrad’s talk is entitled “Understanding Putin’s Russia through the Bottom of the Bottle,” and will analyze alcohol politics as a means for uncovering deep tensions within Russia’s culture and economy. The New York Times published several of Dr. Schrad’s op-eds on this subject, which he investigates in greater detail in his forthcoming book Vodka Politics: Alcohol, Autocracy and the Secret History of the Russian State.

This week’s Dig Deeper material, found below, was compiled by research librarian and liaison to the Department of Political Science, Merrill Stein.

PUTIN-BLOGDig Deeper: Vodka Politics

Article databases/indexes:
Selected, related data, books, encyclopedias:
Selected journals:

Select relevant articles:

Schrad,Mark Lawrence. 2007. “Constitutional Blemishes: American Alcohol Prohibition and Repeal as Policy Punctuation.” Policy Studies Journal 35 (3) (Aug 2007):437-63.

Schrad, Mark L. 2004. “Rag Doll Nations and the Politics of Differentiation on Arbitrary Borders: Karelia and Moldova.” Nationalities Papers 32(2):457-496

The suppression of vodka. (1915). The British Medical Journal, 1(2821), 171-172.

Review of book by Dr. Schrad:  A Review of A contemporary history of alcohol in Russia.

Article by Corey Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

SteinResearch links provided by Merrill Stein, team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science.


« Previous PageNext Page »


Last Modified: November 12, 2013