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Meet Kelly Forst, Scholarly-Outreach Graduate Assistant

ForstKelly Forst ’13 LAS, from Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J., is the Scholarly Outreach team’s graduate assistant for this academic year. Forst earned her bachelor’s degree in communication with a business minor from Villanova in 2013. She is enrolled in the graduate communication program and expects to graduate in May 2014 with a Master of Arts degree and a certificate in mediated communication.

Forst began working as a graduate assistant in August, reporting to Library Events and Program Coordinator Regina (Gina) Duffy, but has also worked as a tutor in the Writing Center during her junior and senior years, so she has worked in Falvey for three years.

“After graduation, I hope to gain experience in integrated marketing communication by working in a digital media agency. There’s so much about the communication field I enjoy, so working at an integrated agency will allow me to do a bit of everything, from public relations to social media, market research and strategic media planning. I’m also tossing around the idea of going back to school down the road to earn a PhD in new media studies and communication,” she says.

As the Scholarly Outreach team’s graduate assistant, Forst helps coordinate and manage events in the Library. She is responsible for organizing the undergraduate student workers, maintaining procedure manuals and documents, assisting in communication promotions as needed, writing and editing communication materials and reporting event statistics.

Her hobbies are music (playing the piano and the trumpet), volleyball, travelling, cooking, baking, reading dystopian novels and staying active.

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


Aurelius Digital Humanities Launch Ardmore Project Website

Icon-edThe Ardmore Project, an Aurelius Digital Humanities initiative, launched its website on March 11. Craig Bailey, PhD, associate professor of history, conceived of the Ardmore Project for his Social History and Community Research class, a junior-year research seminar.

Dr. Bailey’s students collected and analyzed data from primary and secondary sources to create a profile of a local community in the early 20th century: Villanova’s neighboring town of Ardmore, in this case. One goal of their research was to produce a website featuring profiles of some notable community members and an interactive map of Ardmore.

To accomplish this goal, Dr. Bailey collaborated with Falvey staff members Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, to create the site.

Bang describes the project as the first completed project for Aurelius. She notes that this is only the first phase and that subsequent classes will be able to add layers to the preexisting data and interactive map.

Uspal explains the technology behind the project as follows: Using image mapping, Uspal’s goal was to teach the students HTML, digital scanning and how to build a website. Of the 11 students who participated in the project, none had HTML experience or appreciable experience with scanning items and website creation. However, as the students became comfortable with the technology, they became more innovative.

A map of Ardmore, Pa. from the mid - 1920's.

A map of Ardmore, Pa. from the mid-1920s.

Dr. Bailey received his inspiration for the course in 2012 when he recognized his students’ need for greater experience using primary sources. At the time, Dr. Bailey’s research for the Friends of Linwood Park had impressed him with the rich source of material available. He decided to shift his focus to mid-1920s Ardmore, Pennsylvania, and engage his students in this real-world research opportunity.


Dr. Bailey demonstrates the interactive map.

Each student was responsible for charting 200 individuals and writing a biography for one resident. The students also researched one organization, in this case the Ardmore YMCA. To do their research, the class used the Main Line Atlas from 1860-1926, census returns, the Ardmore Chronicle from 1904, the Philadelphia Inquirer and probate records. Dr. Bailey noted that a lot of advance preparation went into making the project a success. For instance, he visited Norristown ahead of time to confirm that wills could be found before sending students to do their research.

Ardmore Chronicle

Masthead from the Ardmore Chronicle. Click to link to copies in Falvey’s Digital Library.

The Ardmore project proved to be a valuable experience for the students. Besides being introduced to multiple ways of finding primary sources, the students learned practical things, such as how to talk in a professional manner; how to manage their time; how to do research when book bags, pens, etc. are banned from the archives; and how to solve problems as a group. Dr. Bailey noted that instead of the project being a “cloistered” one, it brought students out into the surrounding communities and allowed them to make valuable connections.

Article by Laura Hutelmyer, photography coordinator for the Communication and Service Promotion team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management.

Photographs by Alice Bampton

Images courtesy of the Digital Library



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VuClass II Workshops: “Introduction to Genealogy” and “Knitting 101”

Falvey Memorial Library will be offering two free workshops on Friday, March 7 as part of the VuClass series of events!VUCLASS-LOGO-2

Ruth Martin, PhD, Heritage Report, will be leading an “Introduction to Genealogy” workshop in the Griffin Room on the first floor from 9:00-11:30 a.m. Later that day, Annie Brogan, MLIS, college librarian, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, will be teaching a “Knitting 101″ workshop from 2:00-4:30 p.m. in the Speakers’ Corner on the first floor. Both classes are free to attend; however, the instructor of the knitting class, Annie Brogan, urges attendees to bring supplies to her class in the afternoon and recommends worsted weight wool or wool blend yarn and size 7 or 8 needles. (Please note: if you don’t have these items on-hand, beginner packages that attendees may keep will be available for $4.00).

Dave Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, spearheaded the planning of the workshops. As Falvey prepares to sponsor this second set of workshops in the VuClass series, Uspal says, “VuClass is our experimental program where we offer classes and lectures to the library community free of charge. With an eye on open libraries and open access, the purpose of the experiment is to see if we’re able to offer interesting and quality lectures and classes to the public without a paywall or barrier between knowledge and accessibility. The program intentionally has a wide variety of subjects as we try to cover the knowledge and talent of the community and offer a spectrum of interesting subjects.” All are welcome to register for the VuClass II workshops!

Regina Duffy, library events and program coordinator for the scholarly outreach team, recently interviewed both VuClass II workshop leaders, Ruth Martin and Annie Brogan.

Interview with Ruth Martin

Ruth MartinRD-Could we have a little bit of background information about you?

RM-I have a BA in History and a PhD in Sociology. I taught college for many years and then left to start a business, Heritage Reports, researching and writing full-length, illustrated family histories for my clients. I’m also an intern this semester with the Villanova Digital Library.

RD-Can you tell us what first got you interested in the study Genealogy?

RM -Like most, I first became interested through exploring my own family’s history. For years, we had many unanswered questions about our family history. Over the last ten years, the availability of digitized material online has allowed us to answer many of those questions, and raised new ones—hence, my interest in Villanova’s Digital Library project.

RD-What do you hope for attendees to learn at the Genealogy workshop?

RM -I would like them to leave with an understanding of the logic of genealogical research and also with a good understanding of how to conduct that research online and how to locate the additional resources they will need as their research progresses. Attendees will have the opportunity during the workshop to apply these tools to their own family trees.

RD-Do you think that there are any helpful (and free) tools that could aid to those beginning to study their family lineage?

RM -Quite a few, some of which we will address in the workshop. FamilySearch.org is an excellent resource with many freely accessible digitized documents (although some search results will lead to for-pay sites). The library edition of Ancestry.com is available for use without a fee in many libraries (including Villanova’s). HeritageQuest.com is available for use at many public libraries (and users with a public library card can sometimes access it from home). Local historical societies and vital records offices are also important sources of genealogical data and users can usually gain access for free or for a nominal fee.

RD-What are your other areas of interest besides Genealogy?

RM-We recently moved into a new home, so unpacking is my other main interest at the moment.  I also enjoy running and inline skating (in the alternate universe where it is warm and there is no snow).

Interview with Annie Brogan

Annie Brogan-1RD- Could we have a little bit of background information about you?

AB- I’m a librarian of the Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

RD- Can you tell us what got you interested in knitting?

AB- I’m not terribly crafty, despite wanting to be crafty. I’ve tried many things, and this was the one that happened to stick, mostly because I was pretty good at it right away. Ha!

RD-How did you learn to knit? Was it easy for you to master the art of knitting?

 AB-I learned to knit at my local yarn store, Loop, which is the greatest. I took to it relatively easily, but I would not say I’m a master, although I do love to knit complicated lace patterns.

RD-What do you hope for attendees to learn at the knitting workshop?

AB- This is truly a beginners’ workshop. I want attendees to feel confident with the basics—casting on, knitting, and purling—and leave with the ability to make themselves a scarf, or at least a potholder!

RD-Do you think that there are any good tutorials out there that could help beginner knitters?

AB-There are so many great tutorials to choose from on You Tube. The one resource I go back to again and again, though, is knittinghelp.com, which has videos for English and continental knitters. I’m a continental knitter, which I think is much easier.

RD-What are your other areas of interest besides knitting?

AB-I am a certified yoga instructor and teach a weekly vinyasa class as well as practice yoga as much as possible. I read constantly, which I suppose is no surprise, being a librarian. I also have a rescue mutt named Scarlet who I like to show off as much as possible.


Please join Ruth and Annie this Friday for our VuClass II workshops! Registration is capped at 30 for the genealogy session and 20 for the knitting session, so register now at http://vustuff.org/vustuff/vuclass2!


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The Violent and the Fallen: a Reading from James Matthew Wilson

WILSON-BOOKThis Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 2:30 p.m. Falvey Memorial Library will be hosting a poetry reading and Scholarship@Villanova lecture featuring James Matthew Wilson, PhD, an assistant professor of literature in the Department of Humanities and Augustinian Traditions. Dr. Wilson will be reading poems from The Violent and the Fallen, his forthcoming chapbook soon to be published through Finishing Line Press. The Violent and the Fallen delves deep into the lives of poetic speakers across the open expanses of Midwestern America and features an array of characters as seemingly disparate as bankers, lifeguards and alcoholic balloon vendors, each in search of redemption in the face of violence and desire. The reading will be held in room 205 and begins at 2:30 pm.

Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre, has compiled the following Dig Deeper links for this exciting event, including several poems written by Dr. Wilson:

Dig Deeper:

Dr. Wilson has made available several of his papers and articles through academia.com

He is a regular contributor to Front Porch Republic

His poem Living Together, from the journal Per Contra

Another poem, entitled A Note for Ecclesiastes

Many of Dr. Wilson’s articles are available through Falvey Memorial Library databases

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.

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

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! 




Falvey Celebrates Black History Month 2014


Please join us in Falvey Memorial Library this week as we observe Black History Month. On Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 2:30 p.m. in Speakers’ Corner, Thomas Mogan, PhD, director, Office of Student Development and adjunct professor in the Department of History will present a talk titled “The Black Oral History Project: Confronting Our Past to Inform Our Future.”

Dr. Mogan will discuss the research efforts that led to the creation of Black Villanova: An Oral History, one of Falvey Memorial Library’s online exhibits, which examines the history of the African American student experience at Villanova University throughout the years spanning from approximately 1950-1985.

Alice Bampton, senior writer and visuals specialist, Communication and Service Promotion team, recently interviewed Dr. Mogan about the project:

AB: How did you get interested in the Black Villanova Oral History Project?

TM: I have always had a keen interest in the history of the civil rights movement, and this led me to pursue graduate work in history. I was conducting research for a seminar paper on the integration of African American athletes at Villanova, and I met with Dr. Ed Collymore, former executive director of Multicultural Affairs at Villanova and a former student-athlete. He shared with me some fascinating stories about what it was like to be an African American student-athlete at Villanova during the 1950s, and that set me on my journey to learn more. I knew that he was part of a much larger story that needed to be told.

Tom Mogan, PhD

Tom Mogan, PhD

AB: Who decided to involve the Falvey Digital Library?

TM: As part of my training to be a historian, I knew that it was good practice to make your research accessible to the public. So, as I began to conduct the interviews, I knew immediately that I wanted to share these interviews with the Villanova community. I approached Joe Lucia, former director of Falvey Memorial Library, with the idea, and he was very eager to support me in this endeavor. David Uspal [senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications] has also provided invaluable assistance in developing the oral history project’s website.

AB: What are your plans for the future of this project?

TM: I hope to continue to add to the collection by conducting more interviews. I have added a news feature to the site so I hope to keep it updated and fresh so that people have a reason to return to the site.

AB: Are there plans to publish your research (beyond the dissertation)?

TM: I have spoken with several journals about publishing an article based on this research, and I will be working on submitting those by the early summer. I hope to one day publish this work as a book.

AB: How did you select the subjects for the interviews?

TM: As a starting point, I sent an invitation letter to several African American alumni whom I knew were leaders within the Black Student League in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Two alums in particular, Ted Freeman and Napoleon Andrews, responded quickly and enthusiastically agreed to help me find African American alumni who might be willing to share their stories. This project would not have happened without the support of these two gentlemen. I have only interviewed one woman to date so I would like to include more about the African American woman’s experience at Villanova.

AB: Any additional information/comments that you would like to share?

TM: This project has been one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in my life. In support of this project, I worked with the Alumni Association to sponsor a reunion for African American alumni during Homecoming 2012. We were able to welcome back over 40 African American alumni, some of whom had not been back to campus in over 40 years. This project has helped to begin the healing process for many black alums, and for that I am very pleased. I also hope that this project will allow Villanova to learn from our past as we continue to address issues of diversity and inclusion on our campus today.

David Uspal, Falvey’s senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications, was the library’s main point person for the project as he helped with the very difficult technical aspects of mounting the exhibit. On behalf of Uspal, his colleague Laura Bang, digital and special collections curatorial assistant and digital humanities coordinator at Falvey, says, “The Black Villanova project is a great addition to the library’s digital projects. Dr. Mogan’s interviews bring to life important perspectives on the Villanova experience for African Americans.” Work on this project will continue as it is an evolving historical record. Dr. Mogan, the project coordinator, invites additional participants in this project as he wants to include their stories in the rich heritage of African American history at Villanova University.

Farah Jasmine Griffin, PhD

Farah Jasmine Griffin, PhD

In addition to Dr. Mogan’s Black Oral History talk on Feb. 18, Falvey will also co-sponsor the Annual Black History Month talk along with the Africana Studies Program. On Thursday, Feb. 20, at 4:00 p.m. in room 204, join us as Farah Jasmine Griffin, PhD, William B. Ransford professor of English and comparative literature and African-American studies, Columbia University presents the Annual Black History Month talk as part of Africana Studies’ Spring Lecture series. Make sure to check out these great events!

Regina-edIntroduction written by Regina Duffy, writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team and library events and program coordinator.

imagesInterview by Alice Bampton, digital image specialist and senior writer on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Black Oral History Project graphics by Joanne Quinn.



Theology/Humanities Majors! Get to know your (interim) subject librarian

Alex Williams theology liaisonAlexander (Alex) Williams, a recent graduate of Drexel University iSchool recently joined Falvey Memorial Library as the temporary theology/humanities librarian. Williams received his MSLIS (Master of Science in Library & Information Sciences) degree in Dec. 2013. While in graduate school he held an internship in Falvey’s Academic Integration team from Jan. to July 2013.

Williams, a native of Rhode Island, earned a master’s degree in English literature from Villanova in 2011. While attending Villanova, he worked in Access Services. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English literature and religious studies from Stonehill College, Easton, Mass. At Stonehill, Williams worked as a circulation aide in the library, an early indication of his future interests.

When asked what made him decide to become a librarian, Williams said, “Until quite recently I never realized that my work history was comprised primarily of library support-staff positions. … There was this impulse to both consume and to be physically near books and information …” He believes working with “research support through email and chat [helps] me understand how the methods of information seeking have recently changed, as well as ground my theory in practice.”

He is currently reading August: Osage County by Tracy Letts and The Dispossessed: An Ambiguous Utopia by Ursula K. LeGuin. His hobbies include “running, cooking, reconnecting with nature, playing the guitar, writing and reading (of course).” He loves animals of all kinds. His research interests are varied. “Just about anything could set me off in one direction or another.”

Williams says, “It is an honor and a pleasure to take on the role of theology/humanities librarian at Falvey Memorial Library while Darren Poley serves as interim director. I have the very good fortune to work with such an insightful and creative library staff once again and very much look forward to building relationships with our distinguished theology and humanities faculties.”

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



Meet the Conservator: Kristin deGhetaldi

DeGhetaldi profileKristin deGhetaldi, a native of Santa Cruz, Calif., is leading the group working to conserve the huge painting attributed to Pietro da Cortona, “The Triumph of David,” which hung in the Reading Room of Falvey Hall from 1956 until 2013. The painting was taken down and removed from its frame in 2013 and currently rests against the end wall of the Reading Room where it is being conserved in public view.

DeGhetaldi has an undergraduate degree from Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa, where she majored in chemistry. How did a chemistry major make such a huge step, from science to the visual arts, this writer wondered. So I asked deGhetaldi, “What inspired you to become a conservator?”

Her answer: “Going abroad. I … was encouraged by my mentor to NOT focus on the sciences during my semester abroad. When I returned to the States I realized that I had a passion for the arts as well as science and then tried to figure out how I could use both skill sets. Obviously seeing conservators at work in Italy and England also contributed to my decision to pursue a career in conservation.”

My next question: “What training is required? Do you need to have artistic talent?” DeGhetaldi’s answer, “You really need to have a ‘three-legged stool’ approach to academics: studio art, science and art history. … Color matching is perhaps one of the more important skills that a painting conservator needs to have in order to address issues associated with loss compensation. You don’t need to paint like Leonardo da Vinci, but you do need to have an optimal level of hand skills. … Today … most students pursue a master’s degree in art conservation after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in art history, studio art, the sciences or other related fields. In order to be accepted into a graduate degree program in the United States students must satisfy extensive course requirements (e.g. organic chemistry, art history/anthropology courses, a studio art portfolio, etc.) and complete a certain number of hours serving as a volunteer/intern in a cultural institution or private studio. This pre-program experience often takes additional time beyond completion of an undergraduate degree.” For more information about art conservation see art conservation. To learn more about graduate programs in the discipline visit graduate programs.

Both terms, conservation and restoration, have been used in reference to the current treatment of “The Triumph of David.” I asked deGhetaldi to explain which term is correct and why. She says, “… In the United States we now use the terms ‘conservation’ and ‘preservation’ when describing up-to-date, ethical methods of treatment … Although you will still hear a conservator use the term ‘restoration,’ it is mostly due to the fact that the general public is more familiar with this phrase … The term ‘restoration’ is now typically associated with antiquated practices or even unethical treatment approaches. Restorers do not document what they use or do to an artwork; conservators on the other hand fully document everything and use only stable, reversible materials that are appropriate for the artwork.”

When asked if she had any surprises in the conservation of the Cortona painting so far, deGhetaldi says, “I think the most gratifying ‘surprise’ has been the recovery of the original brilliant colors that have been obscured and hidden beneath layers of varnish and overpaint for so many years.” (The painting was restored in 1956, and since then the varnish has darkened so much that very little of the original colors were visible; figures were barely visible.) Given the size of this painting (approximately twelve by nineteen feet), a logical inquiry was “Is this the largest painting on which you have worked?” And her reply is, “Yes, I believe it is … although a couple of paintings that I helped treat during an internship at the J. Paul Getty Museum come very close. …”

DeGhetaldi earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in conservation from the Studio Arts Center International, Florence, Italy. She has a Master of Science degree from the Winterthur/University of Delaware program in Conservation and she completed a three year Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Painting Conservation at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., where she worked on Old Master paintings. DeGhetaldi has also worked at the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Calif.; and Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence, R.I.

She is currently enrolled in the doctoral program at Winterthur/University of Delaware. Her dissertation topic is “Novel Analytical Methods Used to Explore the Evolution from Egg to Oil Paints in Quattrocento Italy.”

Vistors are welcome to watch the conservator and interns at work. If you cannot visit campus see the live video. For more information about the project go to painting restoration.

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



Stephanie Bragg and Chris Michael – New Hires

Falvey’s Access Services team has new part-time temporary employees: Stephanie Bragg and Christopher (Chris) Michael. They assist in stacks management with Philip Mairs and Barbara Haas. Stephanie and Chris “also work at the service desk to relieve other permanent staff who have taken on additional responsibilities during Phylis Wright’s leave of absence. We are fortunate to have their experienced assistance in Access Services,” says Luisa Cywinski, Access Services team leader.

Bragg profileStephanie Bragg, temporary Access Services specialist, is an Ardmore native. She has as associate’s degree in early childhood education from Delaware County Community College, a bachelor’s degree in history from Cabrini College, and a master’s degree in library and information science from Drexel University.

In addition to working at Falvey, Bragg works at a doctor’s office and at Tredyffrin Public Library. She enjoys reading and going to the movies “when I have the time!” she says.

Chris MichaelChristopher (Chris) Michael, also an Access Services specialist, is from Broomall. A graduate of Ursinus College with a bachelor’s degree in English and history, Michael holds a master of library and information science degree with a concentration in archives from Drexel University. Michael worked in the Drexel Law Library before coming to Falvey.

His interests are records and information management, history, baseball, film, writing and exercise.


Evangelii Gaudium Readings: A Conversation Series on the Catholic Church and the World

DIANE-POPE2TEFalvey Memorial Library and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be presenting a three part series of conversations inspired by Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). In this 47,560 word document, which is written in a highly accessible style, Pope Francis encourages the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization and also points out new paths for the Church’s journey in the years to come.

But what exactly is an “apostolic exhortation?” According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, it is a morally persuasive and significant expression of the magisterium, or teaching authority of the Church. Exhortations are quite influential because they are frequently the product of consensus. An exhortation can also be the base for further study and for special norms putting its teaching into effect, but it is neither legislative nor does it define church doctrine (MORRISEY, F. G. “Apostolic Exhortation.” New Catholic Encyclopedia. 2nd ed. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 2003. 585-586. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 28 Jan. 2014.).

On Wednesday, Feb. 5, at 6:00 p.m. in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner, Bernie Prusak, PhD, Sue Toton, PhD, and Jim Wetzel, PhD, will facilitate the first discussion of the Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel) will explore the theme, “I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel), which entails a discussion of the role of the Church in the world today, where it is headed, and what it means to be poor and evangelical.

The second discussion, hosted by Mary Hirschfeld, PhD, Robert DeFina, PhD, and Gerald Beyer, PhD, takes place on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 6:00 p.m. in Room 205 of Falvey and will explore the theme, “The worship of the golden calf has returned” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel). This discussion will address whether the socioeconomic system is unjust and promotes a “throw-away culture” and will also consider the idea that capitalism can be consistent with social justice.

The final discussion, led by Rebecca Winer, PhD, Hibba Abugideiri, PhD, Crystal Lucky, PhD, and Charlie Cherry, PhD, occurs on Tuesday, March 25, at 6:00 p.m. in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner and will explore how “We can learn so much from one another” (Pope Francis, The Joy of the Gospel). This final installment will focus on world peace through interfaith understanding and our duties towards other in promoting this understanding.

Dig Deeper: Want to Learn More about Pope Francis I?

o-POPE-ROLLING-STONE-570Pope Francis (born: Jorge Mario Bergoglio), who named himself in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, has taken the world by storm. Friendlier in demeanor and less conservative than his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who was the first pope to resign in almost 600 years, Pope Francis’ humility, compassion, and peaceful smile have charmed Catholics and non-Catholics alike. It’s not surprising he was named TIME’s “Person of the Year” for 2013 or that he’s been depicted in graffiti as the SuperPope on a street in Rome. As of this week, he’ll also be the first Pope to grace the cover of Rolling Stone. You can connect with him on Facebook and even follow him on Twitter! Clearly, Pope Francis is inspiring us on all fronts with messages that are truly universal. Some of his past tweets have included: “Let us pray for peace, and let us bring it about, starting in our own homes!” and “To be saints is not a privilege for the few, but a vocation for everyone.”

Here are a few resources that will help you learn more about the man:

·     Francis: Man of Prayer

This book describes the life of the new pope, from his beginnings as the child of Italian immigrants to becoming the first Jesuit pope and first pope from the Americas.

·     Francis: Pope of a New World

Written by a major Vatican reporter, this easy-to-read book contains all the essential information on Pope Francis as well as new impressions and insights on his character as well as his early days in office.

·     Francis, A New World Pope

A survey of Pope Francis’s journey to the papacy, his beliefs and writings, his character, and the new challenges he will face as Pope, which include church governance, consumerism, evangelization, tending to the poor, and much more.

·     Pope Francis on the Open Directory Project

The Open Directory Project is the largest directory of the web. Check out this page for a list of links about Pope Francis such as news and opinion, stories, commentaries, photographs, and more.

·     Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio – Holy Father

The Vatican’s official website devoted to all things Pope Francis.

·     Pope Francis’ Channel on YouTube

This series is co-sponsored by Falvey Memorial Library and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and is free and open to the public.

Alex Williams theology liaisonAlexander Williams, ’11 MA, MS 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.

Photo of Pope Francis by Diane Brocchi, Special Events Coordinator, College of Arts & Sciences

Our Dig Deeper series features curated links to Falvey Memorial Library resources that 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: Novelist David Gilbert on Being a Father and a Son

David Gilbert authorThe 16th Annual Villanova Literary Festival opens this Thursday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. with fiction writer David Gilbert, who will be reading excerpts from his acclaimed novel & Sons. Mr. Gilbert’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GQ, and Bomb. His newest novel tells a sprawling tale of fathers and sons featuring two generations of writers and artists in orbit of a reclusive, Salinger-esque novelist named A.N. Dyer. A reception and book signing will follow the reading, along with the opportunity to meet Mr. Gilbert.

In preparation for the reading, we’ve compiled a list of resources to help our readers better understand the work of this fascinating young novelist.

Dig Deeper

In this Fresh Air interview, Terry Gross asks Mr. Gilbert about his life and upbringing as a way of better understanding the characters in & Sons. The author remarks upon his writing process, the difficulty of finding a voice and subject matter as a young writer, and the role Central Park played in the upbringing of an affluent Manhattan kid during the 1970’s and 80’s.

Speaking with Jonathan Lee at Guernica, Mr. Gilbert dives deeper into the nuts and bolts of & Sons, speaking on the novel’s tone, characters and form. In describing his decision to invent the entire fictional oeuvre of his character A.N. Dyer, Gilbert remarks that: “Since this is a book about books, and writing, I wanted it to contain every other kind of book within its pages. To have the satire, and to have the family drama, and suddenly have an Alice Munro style short story pop up. There’s even a bit of science fiction in there. I was just trying to throw between those covers as much as possible in terms of what a book can do.”

Book critic for The New Yorker James Wood reviews & Sons, describing Mr. Gilbert’s prose as “crisp, witty, and rightly weighted,” but questioning the sprawling, meandering nature of his narrative.

Emma Brockes praises the ambition and narration of & Sons in this article at the Guardian. She also calls attention to one of the novel’s strongest sentences, and Mr. Gilbert’s favorite: “Fathers start as gods and end as myths and in between whatever human form they take can be calamitous for their sons.”

2014-01-29 14.53.13Article by Corey Waite Arnold, writer and intern on the Communication and Service Promotion team. Arnold is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.

Our new Dig Deeper series features curated links to Falvey Memorial Library resources that 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! 



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Last Modified: January 30, 2014