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Happy Bard-day to you, Happy Bard-day to you! Happy Birthday dear William…

This year Shakespeare turns 450, and people will be celebrating all around the globe from Shakespeare’s hometown of Stratford upon Avon (where the tradition of celebrating his birthday goes back over 200 years) to Paris to right here in Falvey Memorial Library.

evCelebrate Shakespeare:

This year Falvey is providing several opportunities for those interested to celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday. First, visit the Shakespeare display up on Falvey’s 4th floor, near the Shakespeare collection, and view items on display from Falvey’s Special Collections. Second, participate in our Shakespeare scavenger hunt for a chance to win a Shakespeare duck. Rules of participation and clues for the scavenger hunt can be found at the 4th floor display. Last, but certainly not least, join us in the Falvey Hall Reading Room on April 23 at 6 p.m. to celebrate with the Villanova Department of English, ACS, and the Library. There will be games, prizes, skits performed by students, and birthday cake!

About Shakespeare:

Although the exact date of Shakespeare’s birth is unknown, the baptismal register from Holy Trinity Church in Stratford upon Avon shows that he was baptized on April 26, 1564, and his birthday is traditionally celebrated on April 23 (St. George’s Day). For detailed information about Shakespeare’s baptismal record, see this video from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Holy Trinity’s records also mark Shakespeare’s burial, on April 25, 1616. If you’re interested in learning more about Shakespeare, his early life and his family, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has a wonderful collection of videos and many other resources that may be of interest to you.

Shakespeare’s Legacy:

Shakespeare wrote 38 plays (some in collaboration with other playwrights), 154 sonnets and two narrative poems. Love them or hate them, Shakespeare’s stories have endured the test of time and continue to inspire people. Of course, many direct adaptations of Shakespeare exist in popular culture, such as Franco Zeffirelli’s 1968 “Romeo and Juliet,” Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet” or “Henry V,” and countless others.

In addition to adaptations that use Shakespeare’s original language, a multitude of films borrow Shakespeare’s stories and superimpose modern language, different cultures, and different time periods. Such films include “West Side Story,” 1961 (“Romeo and Juliet”); Akira Kurosawa’s “Ran,” 1985 (“King Lear”); “Ten Things I Hate About You,” 1999 (“Taming of The Shrew”); “She’s The Man,” 2006 (“Twelfth Night”); “Forbidden Planet,” 1956 (“The Tempest”); “O,” 2001 (“Othello”); “Get Over It,” 2001 (“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”); “Scotland PA,” 2001 (“Macbeth”); and many more. You can browse a full list of Shakespeare films held at Falvey Memorial Library right here.

Shakespeare was inspiring artists long before film was even invented. When you visit the Shakespeare display currently on Falvey Memorial Library’s fourth floor, you will notice one or more of the twelve large sized prints which have been placed around the Shakespeare section. These prints are from volume 1 of The American edition of Boydell’s illustrations of the dramatic works of Shakespeare, by the most eminent artists of Great Britain. Published in 1791 and again in 1805, this collection of prints is bound in a large-format book known as an elephant folio due to its large size (22 by 28 inches). Original prints from the first editions of the book now go for $300-$950 each and are beautifully detailed depictions of scenes from Shakespeare’s plays. The prints hanging in the Library are copies, but the actual book the images were scanned from is held in Falvey’s Special Collections, and anyone is welcome to make an appointment to see it.




Foto Friday: Chinese New Year – celebrating the year of the horse


Happy Chinese New Year!

People born during the years 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 or 2014 are born during the year of the horse. These people are known to be active, energetic and quick-witted. They are also most comfortable in a crowd.

Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Publications Team and Special Acquisitions Coordinator in Resource Management


New Digital Library Front End

Digital Library HomeThe Falvey Memorial Library is pleased to announce the launch of our new Digital Library interface.

The new interface features a JavaScript-only page zoom, faster hierarchical browsing, and enhanced searching that includes both item and collection descriptions in the results.

The public front end is built on VuFind 2.0, which has not yet been officially released, but is available for testing here. The backend is running the latest beta version of VuDL (release spring 2013), which has been re-architected to use a Fedora-Commons repository.

A more detailed article describing the new Fedora-Commons data model and Solr integration is forthcoming.

For now, we encourage you to explore this new site, and to provide any feedback to us directly.


Help Us Test a New Scanner

A new high-end scanner on the first floor has been installed on a trial basis.  We invite students, staff, faculty and visitors to help us test it out. The large flatbed (book edge) scanner and accompanying PC with touch screen interface are easy to use.  The software can even convert text to audio. You’ll find the trial scanner near the public print station on the first floor of the Library. Feedback forms are available. Give it a try and tell us what you think!


Elsevier Journal Boycott Takes Center Stage with Scholars

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, “A protest against Elsevier, the world’s largest scientific journal publisher, is rapidly gaining momentum since it began as an irate blog post at the end of January. By Tuesday evening, about 2,400 scholars had put their names to an online pledge not to publish or do any editorial work for the company’s journals, including refereeing papers.” Scientists too are putting their name to the protest. One blogger on MetaFilter informed readers that “The Cost of Knowledge lets scientists register their support for a boycott of all Elsevier journals for their support of SOPA, PIPA and the Research Works Act. It appears the boycott was inspired by Field’s medalist Tim Gowers’ recent comments describing his personal boycott of Elsevier journals.” What are your opinions about the journal boycott? How about the recent efforts to impose restrictions on internet sites by way of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA)? Tell us what you think.


New Scanners On Trial – Feedback Needed

Two high-end scanners have been installed on a trial basis and we invite students, staff, faculty, and visitors to help us test them. We have a large flatbed scanner and an overhead scanner. They are both located between the Circulation desk & the public printer on the first floor of the library. Feedback forms are available at the scanning stations. Give them a try and tell us what you think!


David Uspal is New Web Specialist for Library and Scholarly Applications

David Uspal recently joined Falvey as Web Specialist for Library and Scholarly Applications. Joe Lucia, University Librarian, commented,dave-uspal “Dave brings many exciting skills to the library, and he will be working to advance our open source applications on all fronts in the months ahead.”

Dave works with the Technology Development team to update library web sites and to add new resources.

A native of Reading (Pa.), Dave has a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a minor in management information systems from The Pennsylvania State University and two master’s degrees from Penn State, Great Valley in software engineering and systems engineering.

His hobbies are board gaming and his two house rabbits. Dave noted that he tried doing home repairs over the summer but decided this wasn’t a hobby he is likely to pursue.

Article and photograph by Alice Bampton


Feedback Friday: The Last Page


“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page

and feel as if you’ve lost a friend.”

-Paul Sweeney

Is this how you feel when you finish reading a great novel?  A popular trilogy? Your calculus textbook? Tell us about your recent encounter with a good book!


Feedback Friday: Mac or PC?

imac_transparencycomputer_monitorIt’s a commonly held image that “cool” people prefer Macs while “conservative” types prefer PCs. Do you agree with this assumption? Which would you rather use at school? If you could buy any computer for personal, academic, and business use, which one would you buy and why?

Tell us in the comments!


Feedback Friday: What does “Home! Sweet Home!” mean to you?

home_sweet_home_-_project_gutenberg_etext_215661According to L. Frank Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, “No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.” The holidays are right around the corner and almost everyone is thinking about going home. Whether you’re taking a plane, train or automobile, it won’t be long before you’re walking through that familiar front door. What do you look forward to most when you think of home?

Share your “going home” story. Tell us in the Comments!

Image of sheet music for “Home! Sweet Home!” words by H.R. Bishop, courtesy of Project Gutenberg


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Last Modified: December 11, 2009