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Alumni Authors’ Panel: Highlighting Literary Achievement

Villanova University is pleased to welcome back alumni this weekend for the 2015 reunion! The reunion, which is celebrated on campus from Thursday, June 4th, through Sunday, June 7th, will feature a wide array of lively events, activities and workshops in honor of the return of our former wildcats to campus. Falvey Memorial Library will be the site of many of these events, including a panel discussion featuring three alumni authors who will discuss their personal experiences in the creation of one of their published and/or performed intellectual pieces of work. The panel discussion, which is free and open to the public, will take place Friday, June 5, at 10:00 a.m. in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner.


Harvey, Hollinger and Burke

Alumni panelists will include Sean P. Harvey ’00 CLAS on his book The Native Tongues: Colonialism and Race from Encounter to the Reservation; Judy Lee Burke ’75 CLAS on her book Blackrock; and playwright Michael Hollinger ’89 CLAS on Under the Skin. Each panelist will have the opportunity to talk about their individual creative process and the critical reception of their work. The panel will be moderated by Darren G. Poley, Scholarly Outreach team leader and theology librarian. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions at the event as well.

Sean P. Harvey will talk about his book, The Native Tongues: Colonialism and Race from Encounter to the Reservation, which discusses the complex history of the communication (or miscommunication) between white Europeans and Native American people in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Judy Lee Burke will discuss the creation of her book, Blackrock, which is a suspense thriller that follows a female protagonist as she re-embarks on her former career as an architectural designer and gets much more than she bargained for. Playwright Michael Hollinger will discuss Under the Skin, which takes us into the life of a dying man and details the difficult relationship that he with his daughter. Both Harvey and Burke’s books have been published; however, a printed version of Hollinger’s play is still in the process of being created. The play premiered at the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia in January, 2015. Join us as we delve deeper into learning about the writing and publishing process with our authors!

In addition to the panel, Falvey has also mounted a window display on the first floor to further highlight the accomplishments of our alumni authors. In the display, all three of the panelists have been featured along with approximately thirty other alumni authors whom Falvey would like to recognize for their literary achievements. It is our hope to include these and all of Villanova’s alumni authors into our Community Bibliography, which is an open citation repository that houses a list of the published works of the members of the Villanova University community. Any individual associated with Villanova who would like to be featured in our Community Bibliography project should contact communitybibliography@villanova.edu for more details.

Article by Regina Duffy, writer for the Communication & Service Promotion team and Library Events and Program manager. News From Falvey Winter 2008 - Gina McFadden


The Best of The Highlighter: I’ve clicked “find it.” What do I do next?



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OK, Monday – Let’s Do This!



If you’re coming to Falvey this summer, here’s all you need to know to get you through the week!

Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June. – Al Bernstein

This week’s hours:

Monday – Thursday, June 1 – 4: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday, June 5: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Saturday, June 6: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

This week’s events:

Thursday, June, 4:

Linked Open Data, Session 1: Introduction to RDF. Room 204. 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.


Friday June, 5:

A Russian Downton Abbey: A Countess, A Great Estate, and the Russian Revolution. Room 204, 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Alumni Authors’ Panel Discussion. Speakers’ Corner. 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

VUAA Volunteer Seminar. Room 205. 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Bleeding Pixels: Violent Video Games and Real-World Violence. Room 205. 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Creating the Business Model for the Parish of the 21st Century. Room 204. 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

On the Move: Preparing for Villanova’s 2016 Reclassification and Re-ranking. Speakers’ Corner. 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

In Transition: Tony Chennault. Room 204. 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Why Orange Really is the New Black: A Look inside the American Prison System. Room 205. 3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.


p&P keepsakeMovie News:

If you’re a Jane Austen fan, then you’ve probably seen all the various film adaptions of her novel Pride & Prejudice, but, have you seen the Pride & Prejudice Keepsake Edition? Just think, this gives you an excuse to watch the 1995 BBC version again! It has 4 never-before-seen special features! (I promise to return it before this blog goes live on 6/1.)


On beyond searching: Google I/O highlights

If you’re an Android and/or a Google user (and who isn’t!), you may be interested in highlights from the Google I/O Developer Summit that occurred Thursday in San Francisco. While no major product announcements were forthcoming, it’s clear that Google sees itself as much more than just a search engine and is becoming more about connectivity and enhanced devices. The two things we found most interesting were the Google Photo app, which provides free and unlimited storage for photos. Sure, it duplicates other services offered by Apple, Amazon and Microsoft among others, but when you take as many pictures as we do, more is more!

The other thing is that the Google attendees drank over 1,500 gallons of coffee while at the Summit! Gee, that’s almost as much as Falvey’s librarians can put away! :-)  photo BurningCoffee.gif
And depending on how long this link stays live, you may be able to still watch the Summit for yourself here.




John Nash

News of the tragic accidental death of Princeton University mathematician John Nash and his wife, Alicia marred Memorial Day weekend. The brilliant theorist and innovator overcame a lifetime of adversity and mental illness to win a Nobel Prize for game theories that contribute to fields beyond mathematics, such as economics and politics. Our librarians can help you find resources to explore aspects of Nash’s work more thoroughly, or borrow A Beautiful Mind, the Oscar-winning film about his life that made him a household name. (P.S. wear your seatbelt.)


You’ll be cooler in summer! Think of all the stuff you’ll learn… :-)


I’ll finally see a summer breeze, blow away a winter storm.
And find out what happens to solid water when it gets warm!
And I can’t wait to see, what my buddies all think of me.
Just imagine how much cooler I’ll be in summer!


‘Caturday: Welcoming Alumni Wildcats!

Looking back at the year 1951, the Alumni Reunion was filled with seriousness, decorum, and…pretzels? Do you know these gentlemen? Are they officers of the Villanova Alumni Association or the Editors of the Villanova Alumnus? Is that man peeking through from the back an early example of photobombing? They’re having fun, that’s for sure!

We look forward to seeing our Alumni Wildcats next week, from June 4 – 7 for Alumni Reunion Weekend!

Villanova Alumnus 1951 Villanova Alumnus Officers 1951
Villanova Alumnus editorial staff

Images courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library.

‘Caturday post by Luisa Cywinski, writer, Communication & Service Promotion team, and team leader, Access Services team.


Foto Friday: New Bloom


There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted.

Henri Matisse

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

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Millicent Gaskell Begins as Villanova University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library

Millicent Gaskell Appointed Villanova University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University has announced the appointment of Millicent Gaskell as University Librarian and Director of the Falvey Memorial Library, effective May 29, 2015. This key appointment, the result of an extensive national search, will enable Villanova to build upon Falvey Memorial Library’s impressive legacy as a cornerstone of learning at the University.

Millicent GaskellMs. Gaskell comes to Villanova with broad experience in both higher education and the private sector. For the past 10 years, she held a number of leadership roles at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Most recently, Ms. Gaskell served as Department Head of Collections Strategy and Management, with oversight of collection development, analysis, acquisitions and metadata and had responsibility for MIT’s $10M collections budget and a 36-member staff. She was honored twice at MIT for outstanding communication and collaboration, as well as for innovation and creativity.

“We are pleased to welcome Millicent Gaskell to Villanova University and to this important position at Falvey Memorial Library,” said the Rev. Kail C. Ellis, OSA, PhD, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Ms. Gaskell brings to Villanova a thorough knowledge of current and future technological trends impacting library and information services, as well as extensive experience in implementing digital content management initiatives.”

Falvey Memorial Library plays a central role in ensuring the interdependence of teaching, research and scholarship at Villanova. As University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library, Ms. Gaskell will oversee a facility that supports research and scholarly activities for faculty and students. Its collections include 1.68 million items with 551,236 stack items, 35,297 electronic journals, and 3,596 print journals.  In addition, its digital library initiative assembles, presents and preserves digital collections that support the teaching and research of the campus and the global community of scholars. Gaskell will oversee a staff of 50 employees at Falvey Memorial Library, including the University Archivist and software development programmers.

“The academic library of the future should be creative and agile as pedagogy continues to evolve,” said Gaskell. “The academic library needs to ensure the long-term preservation of scholarship. We should lead not only in preserving collections, but also in improving the discoverability of these collections. Libraries must engage with faculty, students, and administrators to ensure that the community has the information resources, services, spaces, and tools required in a rapidly changing educational environment.”

Prior to her tenure at MIT, Ms. Gaskell served as Librarian, Senior Librarian and then Manager of Information Services during a 10-year career at QVC. Previously, as Environmental Information Specialist at the South Jersey Environmental Information Center, she built the only public environmental collection and research service in New Jersey.  Gaskell earlier served as Paralibrarian for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP. Gaskell earned a Master’s of Science in Information Science and Technology from Drexel University and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English and Comparative Literature from Ursinus College.

“Ms. Gaskell’s unique background and expertise will allow Villanova to not only build upon the Library’s national recognition by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Award for Excellence 2013, but also to successfully position the institution for the future,” Fr. Ellis added.

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University’s six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.

Article written by Jonathan Gust, Director of Media Relations.

Jonathan Gust
Director of Media Relations
Villanova University
(610) 519-5152



Thank you to our Interim Director, Bob DeVos

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.

It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

Gratitude makes sense of our past,

brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”

— Melody Beattie


Falvey Memorial Library sends warm thanks to our interim director, Robert DeVos, PhD, associate vice president for instructional analysis, professor, mathematics and statistics, who has served in the interim capacity since July, 2014. Bob’s wealth of knowledge and long history at Villanova University (he will celebrate his golden anniversary here in 2017,) was well utilized over the academic year as he gamely tackled the myriad of challenges and joys that being a library director can bring.  His time and dedication to the library over the past academic year was much appreciated. Our new director, Millicent Gaskell, begins at Villanova tomorrow.


The Best of the Highlighter: Discover Falvey’s Many Study Spaces


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A Brief Look at Italian and English Renaissance Drama

Did yesterday’s blog post about Renaissance Faires whet your appetite for Renaissance Drama? Look no further than this thoughtfully assembled blog by Sarah Wingo, Subject Librarian for English Literature and Theatre.

When you hear the word Renaissance you may think of Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or you may think of Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare. In both cases you’d be right, but you may not be aware that you’re thinking of two fairy distinct (though overlapping) time periods. The European or Italian Renaissance spanned the 14th to the 17th century beginning nearly a century before the Renaissance would truly gain momentum in England in the late 15th century and extend to beginning of the 17th century.

The Renaissance period in Italy and England were both characterized by a “revival of the arts and high culture under the influence of classical models” (OED), but each also had traditions and art forms distinctly their own.

One area in which Italian arts and English arts diverged was theatre.

Taglia Cantoni and Fracasso

Two Pantaloons Dancing. Bello Sguardo, Couiello. Dances of Sfessania (Balli di Sfessania 1621) series by Jacques Callot, 1592 – 1635.

In Italy a form of theatre known as commedia dell’arte[i] was popularized between 1575 and1650. Performed in open spaces and at fair grounds commedia dell’arte was largely improvised versions of familiar tropes. Commedia stories relied upon stock characters which were divided into 3 categories the lovers, the masters, and the servants, with distinctive characters belonging to each category such as Pantalone a greedy Venetian merchant. These characters were easily recognized by their distinctive clothing and the masks that they wore, thus allowing audiences to immediately identify heroes and villains within any story being told.[ii]

Most people will be more familiar with the theatre of the English Renaissance due to the enduring popularity of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s earliest plays were likely performed in the mid-1580s. From 1594 onwards his works were performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a company of players of which he was part owner, who later became The King’s Men after being awarded a Royal Patent by King James I in 1603.

Shakespeare is the most well-known playwright from the English Renaissance at least in part due to the fact that more of his plays survive, thanks to their publication in the First Folio in 1623, than do the plays of most other playwrights from that era. Because plays were considered common entertainment rather than high art plays were not regularly published[iii], in fact of the 36 plays published in the Shakespeare’s First Folio only 16 existed in published form prior to the printing of the folio meaning that a full 20 of Shakespeare’s plays including Macbeth, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night would be unknown to us were it not for the printing of the First Folio. Likewise of the thousands of plays produced by numerous playwrights throughout the English Renaissance only a small percentage survive to this day.

Swan Theatre

The Swan Theatre: Arnoldus Buchelius (Aernout van Buchel) (1565-1641), after a drawing of Johannes de Witt (1566-1622). Utrecht, University Library, Ms. 842, fol. 132r.

Although there were some indoor performance spaces such as those at court and Blackfriars most theatres including The Globe where Shakespeare’s plays were performed from 1599 until it burnt down in 1613, were rounded open air structures with seating around the walls of the building and cheaper standing space in the center around the stage as can be seen in this image of The Swan Theatre, a contemporary of The Globe.

Theatre companies functioned as repertory, with a rotation of plays in performance, rarely performing the same play two days in a row. Theatre companies were also comprised entirely of men, female characters famously being played by “boy actors,” though the term “boy” may be misleading as it is believed that while the female roles were played by young men, they were not as was once believe played by children.

One reason that theatre from this period is so important is that it is really the first time that the Western World begins to see secular theatre performed in much the same way that modern theatre is performed today. The plays themselves also being very recognizable as modern theatre in stark contrast the highly stylized and religious liturgical dramas and morality plays which preceded the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. [iv]

[i] Katritzky, M A. The Art of Commedia: A Study in the Commedia Dell’Arte 1560-1620 With Special Reference to the Visual Records. Amsterdam ; New York: Rodopi, 2006.

[ii] Read more about Commedia dell’arte at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

[iii] For more information about printing and publishing of plays during the English Renaissance see : Jowett, John. Shakespeare and Text. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007

[iv] Andrew Gurr has written prolifically on the topic of English Renaissance drama, and his books The Shakespearean stage, 1574-1642 and Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London would be of particular interest to anyone wishing to learn more on this subject.


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


There are Faires and There are Fairs

The ferris wheel at the Devon Horse Show & Country Fair.

At this time of year it seems like a festival, fair(e), or fling is around every corner. They might have games, rides, petting zoos, vendors, food, farm shows, competitions, musical performances, comedians, dancing, hay rides, fire engine rides, the list goes on! If you’re staying in the area this summer, why not visit one of the fairs and experience some local color?

The first-ever Philadelphia Renaissance Faire (Philly Ren Faire) was held last weekend in the Chamounix section of Fairmount Park. Celebrities, like Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, known for his role in the TV series Game of Thrones, was at the Philly Ren Faire to play the role of King Thor. The faire also featured the usual comedians, musicians, and costumed faire-goers.

philly ren faire photos






The Philly Ren Faire should not be confused with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire (PA Ren Faire), which takes place every year from August – October in Mount Hope, PA. The PA Ren Faire will also have a Celtic Fling & Highland Games in late June, if you’re interested in that sort of thing.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of a Renaissance Faire, it is loosely based on the historical Renaissance period during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I in England, but it often features the Spanish Moors, pirates, Medieval characters, Vikings, wizards, elves, and more recently, cosplay.

The smaller fairs or festivals are often organized by a local township or fire company, like the Goshen Country Fair or the Malvern Fire Company Fair. The Brandywine Strawberry Festival is more than just strawberry pie tastings and as a bonus, the Coatesville Youth Initiative benefits from the proceeds. The Devon Horse Show & Country Fair has been held annually since the 1890’s. This year it starts on May 21.

I don’t know about you, but one thing I always look forward to is fair(e) food, which is very similar to boardwalk food. Corn dog? Yes, sirree! Funnel cake? Bring on the powdered sugar! Scotch eggs? With Branston pickle or mustard, please! Giant turkey leg? Hand it over!

scotch eggsFor some reason, the Philly Ren Faire didn’t have Scotch eggs available. Shocking, I know. Not to be cheated out of this delicacy, I decided to make them at home. It was my first venture into the realm of deep fried food. I followed Jamie Oliver’s recipe, but failed to keep an eye on the temperature of the oil and they came out a bit on the dark side (okay, they were burnt). However,  I was undaunted by the initial failure. Worried that the insides were not cooked due to my immediate retrieval of the eggs from the boiling oil, I placed them in the oven, preheated to 400, for about 15 minutes.

To my great surprise, they turned out pretty well. They weren’t just edible, they were delicious. (I make this assessment with all humility.) Feeling rather delighted that I was able to rescue the Scotch eggs from doom, I ventured forth into the territory of turkey legs. These, too, came out rather well. I followed the Pioneer Woman’s blog instructions for brining the turkey legs, or as she calls them, Caveman Pops, and then followed the Paleo Cupboard recipe for seasoning and roasting them.

turkey legs Do you have a “faire food” recipe you’d like to share? Feel free to add it to the comments section below. Or tell us about a fair(e) or festival you attended!

If you’re interested in learning more about Renaissance Drama, look for the related blog post tomorrow, May 26, written by Sarah Wingo, subject librarian for English Literature and Theatre.

Written by Luisa Cywinski, writer for the Communication & Service Promotion team, and team leader, Access Services team.



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Last Modified: May 25, 2015