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“Very Short Introductions”: Concise Information, Perfect for the Train Ride Home

GIRL TRAIN trThis time of year, every minute counts – especially with finals less than two weeks after we return from Thanksgiving holiday – hashtag: for real, dude! Fortunately, the Library has resources designed to pack a lot of information into a little bit of time. So instead of perusing Buzzfeed on the train ride home, buzz through one or two Very Short Introductions to get a head start on crunch time!

Sometimes we need background information for a speech or project. Maybe, we need to become more familiar with a subject before seeking more, in-depth, scholarly information. Sometimes, we just need a very short introduction. That’s where Oxford University Press’s “Very Short Introductions,” published since 1995, can help. Over 200 of these concise, pithy “pocket-portable introductory lectures” (Guardian Review) covering such topics as archaeology, arts & architecture, biography, business & management, economics & finance history, language & linguistics, law, literature, mathematics & sciences, medicine & health, music, sociology, philosophy, politics, psychology & neuroscience, religion & bibles and the social sciences can be found at Falvey.

merrillepost2

Noted authors in many fields have contributed to these short successful volumes about the world. This series has spawned literary events and lectures on both sides of the Atlantic. So, are you game? Just seeking leadership, or logic? Seeking the more spiritual leadership? Try short introductions to the New TestamentAugustine, or IslamKant, you say? We’ve got that too. Everything from the mystical to the mind bending, consciousness to Christian ethics, from American politics to chaos theory, from relativity to Tocqueville. And we’d bet nine of out ten of you would want to shorten statistics!

However, as a prominent reviewer described one of the series titles “The brevity of this volume is both its strength and its weakness.” Judge for yourself. Find out more about “Very Short Introductions” (VSI) at You Tube. Or learn more from one of the VSI study guides at Oxford University Press.  Better yet, check one out at Falvey.

SteinMerrill Stein is team leader of the Assessment team and liaison to the Department of Political Science.

 

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The Economics of the Great War

The economic challenges wrought by the First World War were many and wide ranging, if not structurally lasting, spanning agriculture, employment and labor, manufacturing, transportation, trade and public finance. Scholarship on these topics is robust, presented in several formats, and written from various national viewpoints and scholarly approaches.

Christy, Howard Chandler, 1873-1952. Fight or buy bonds : Third Liberty Loan.. Boston, Mass.. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc325/. Accessed November 18, 2014.

For interesting artifacts highlighting the role the liberty and victory bonds played in financing the war in the United States, see the University of Texas Digital Collection of posters or the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs. If you prefer an auditory approach, you can check out the sheet music for jingles written to encourage sales for the Library of Congress.

An example of a primary source in our collection is a book by John Maynard Keynes. Keyes is an important macroeconomic theorist who was in attendance at the Paris Peace conference, and argued against harsh reparations in the Economic Consequences of Peace, which is available as an open source ebook on Project Gutenberg or – for those who long for the tactile pleasures of the printed page – in our Special Collections.

Remember the glad of libertyLeading economic scholars are in the process of compiling a collection of essays on the economics of the Great War for its centennial. To date, the VOX:  WWI site has articles on how economic factors influenced the outcome of the war, opining that the economic policies that worked  during the war lead to later policy missteps, exploring the fallout the economic crisis of 1907 had on the initiation of hostilities in 1914 and measuring the economic cost of the war for Great  Britain. A nice succinct summary of the economic history of WWI is posted by Hugh Rockoff al leading economic historian on the Economic History Associations’s website.

Airplane, Possibly World War I Fighter Plane, 1916. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction Number LC-D418-407 DLC.

For an understanding of how industry ramped up during the First World War to manufacture needed munitions, trucks, and tanks and planes for the Allied forces, turn to the War Industries Board publication, American Industry in War. Another insider perspective is provided by Grosvenor B. Clarkson, a civilian member of the Council of National Defense, in the book Industrial  America in the World War:  The Strategy Behind the Line, 1917-1918. If you prefer historical perspective, pick up Conner’s  The National War Labor Board: Stability, Social Justice and the Voluntary State in WWI or  Cuff’s The War Industries Board:  Business Government Relations During WWI.

Any examination of the role of labor in the United States has to include readings from Marxist historian Philip Foner. Volume 7 of his History of the Labor Movement in the United States covers Labor and World War I, 1914-1918. For a counterpoint read Larson’s Labor and Foreign Policy:  Gompers, the AFL and the First World War, 1914-1918  Army, Industry and Labor in Germany: 1914-1918 by Feldman provides insight into the labor and industrial policies of the enemy. For an interesting thematic discussion of the labor and home fronts around the globe see Civilians in a World at War by Proctor.

To find additional resource on economic aspects of WWI, search our catalog, Historical Abstracts, American History & Life and EconLit.


Images used in order of display:

Christy, Howard Chandler, 1873-1952. Fight or buy bonds : Third Liberty Loan.. Boston, Mass.. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc325/. Accessed November 18, 2014.

United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Publicity Bureau. Remember! the flag of liberty, support it! : buy U.S. government bonds, 3rd. Liberty Loan.. New York. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29409/. Accessed November 18, 2014.

Airplane, Possibly World War I Fighter Plane, 1916. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. Reproduction Number LC-D418-407 DLC.


RS4522_FML164_LindaHauck_003_EDITResources selected by Linda Hauck, subject librarian for business.

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The Highlighter: Use the Catalog’s Filters to Quickly Find Journals

HIGHLIGHTER-PRO

Use the catalog’s filters to quickly find every journal of a particular topic, genre or language in Falvey’s collection. This video shows how to perform this advanced searching technique.

(Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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Upcoming Chicago-Style Workshops

chicago-manual-of-stylesmallAre you confused by the different formats required by Chicago-style for footnotes and bibliographies? Are you unsure about how and when to use “ibid.”? – Answers to your questions are just around the corner.

Come to Falvey Memorial Library for a quick introduction to Chicago-style rules for footnotes and bibliography. Sessions will be held in Falvey 204 in the second-floor Learning Commons. For more information, contact history liaison librarian Jutta Seibert (jutta.seibert@villanova.edu).

Wednesday, Nov. 19—4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Thursday, Dec. 4—4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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Fall Workshop Series: Digital Humanities (Resources Galore!)

This semester, Falvey Memorial Library presented a fall workshop series on Digital Humanities, organized by Laura Bang.  Laura works in Special and Digital Collections and she is actively involved in the Philadelphia Digital Humanities community.

The fantastically informative workshops provided an introduction to DH techniques and applications and took place in Falvey on various Saturdays from 9AM to noon. Since we were provided with tons and tons of resources, I’d be glad to share some with you! For an overview of the individual workshops and the projects/softwares explored, keep scrolling.

September 6: Intro to Digital Humanities 

dirtOur five-session workshop began with an introductory lecture by Mitch Fraas, the Schoenberg Scholar-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries. As you might guess, we talked about the most popular question on the block: what are digital humanities? As this intro lecture proved, the best way to figure it out is to jump into one of the many projects you can find online. Definition by application! Fraas provided tons of resources; here are some excellent places to start.

Voyant-tools.org
viraltexts.org
historyharvest.unl.edu
earlynovels.org
mappingbooks.blogspot.com
http://vpcp.chass.ncsu.edu/
http://dirtdirectory.org *Reading about these tools will really give you a good sense of the applications of DH.

 

September 20: Coding Basics

The second workshop was a fun and approachable introduction to coding by Kate Lynch. We used Processing, which is not only a programming language, but also a development environment with an enormous online community. The software is free to download and open source. The Processing site is loaded with beginner tutorials.

I pointillized ‘Lil Bub! On the left behind the kitty, you can see the Processing window and code.

DH Bub 2

October 4: Audio Editing

audacity-windowsWorkshop number three covered basic audio editing. We played around with Audacity, a free, open source audio recording and editing software. You can download it right from the Audacity page. You can find plenty of royalty free sounds and tracks on the web for your projects on websites like freesound.org. The Audacity page also has plenty of tutorials, but I find YouTube tutorials are the most helpful for software training. Search “Audacity” and you are sure to find hundreds!

 

October 25: WordPress as a Content Management System

wordpress-logo-stacked-rgb
The fourth workshop explored WordPress as a content management system. WordPress.com, as you might already know, allows you to create a free blog, but it is not highly customizable. Based on your wants and needs, it might be perfect for you. However, if you’re looking for a software script to create a website, check out WordPress.org. According to the About page,

WordPress started as just a blogging system, but has evolved to be used as full content management system and so much more through the thousands of plugins and widgets and themes, WordPress is limited only by your imagination. (And tech chops.)

To get started with the WordPress software you’ll need a web host, but the software itself is free and open source.

 

November 8: Mapping/GIS

DH MappingThe fifth and final workshop introduced basic data mapping and visualization. Using CartoDB and openly available data sets from OpenDataPhilly, we learned how to import and create tables and how to customize maps based on those tables.

Sarah Cordivano, the workshop instructor, enthusiastically expressed the importance of projects such as OpenDataPhilly, a resource that

“…is based on the idea that providing free and easy access to data information encourages better and more transparent government and a more engaged and knowledgeable citizenry… By connecting people with data, we’re hoping to encourage users to take the data and transform it into creative applications, projects, and visualizations that demonstrate the power that data can have in understanding and shaping our communities.”

For more information on OpenDataPhilly, visit the About Us page.

 


Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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The Great War: Expressions of Remembrance

The Great War: Expressions of Remembrance

 Who's AbsentA hundred years ago, what would be at least 12,000 miles of trenches were just getting started, and half of these trenches would be on the Western Front. Soldiers were just settling in and the German/Austrian invasion of Polish territory was just beginning. The links that follow are a brief smattering of international expressions of remembrance starting with remembering the world as well as the war.

Falvey Memorial Library is participating in Home Before the Leaves Fall, a multi-institutional project. The UK Telegraph encourages us to do more to remember and asks, What if Archduke Franz Ferdinand had lived? The Royal British Legion asks us to remember the story of the poppy. McMaster University has a special online exhibition of WWI Trench Maps and Aerial Photographs. Special poster exhibits can be seen at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Library of CongressThe International Encyclopedia of the First World War, from the Freie Universität Berlin, is a work in progress and speaks to the fact that “Imperialism shaped almost every facet of international politics from 1898 to 1914.”

France RemembersFrance remembers the first soldiers killed in WWI.

The Paths of Memory project will take several years to complete. The places of memory selected have one trait in common: they are all situated within the present-day frontiers of countries of the six institutions partnering on the project.

Western FrontA hundred years ago the war on the Western Front was just beginning. Today Germany is still burying Eastern Front dead. Germany recently opened its last big war cemetery in Russia, “marking the culmination of a huge effort to recover Wehrmacht soldiers killed on its Eastern Front in World War II.” In August, Russia opened an exhibition of Moscow’s life during WWI entitled “Moscow in the Years of World War One.”

For a bit of nostalgia where it all seems quite clear that it’s all just a little bit of history repeating, try these “History Repeating” lyrics.


Stein

Article and resources prepared by Merrill Stein, liaison librarian for geography and political science.

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The Highlighter: Use the Catalog’s Filters to Quickly Find Videos

HIGHLIGHTER-PRO

Use the catalog’s filters to quickly find every video of a particular topic, genre or language in Falvey’s collection. This video shows how to perform this advanced searching technique.  (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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Tiger in the Stacks (and a really good earworm)

TigerStax

I’m Michelle Callaghan, a first-year graduate student at Villanova University. This is our new column, “‘Cat in the Stacks.” I’m the ‘cat. Falvey Memorial Library is the stacks. I’ll be posting about living that scholarly life, from research to study habits to embracing your inner-geek, and how the library community might aid you in all of it.


Rising up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances

The time has come. Fall break has come and gone and Halloween is well behind us. It’s proposal time. It’s research time. It’s time for the endless revving and the uphill running to the finish line.

Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a cat and her will to survive

At this point, you have probably glanced at your syllabi. You know what’s coming. You maybe even have a vague idea and a starting point. Procrastinate no longer—it’s time to craft those vague ideas into actionable research questions.

So many times it happens too fast
You trade your passion for glory

As a colleague of mine at a youth theater camp used to say to hesitant young actors, it’s time to “jump out of the plane.” Gone is the time for hesitation! Leap and fall! In research, just as in acting, half-acted ideas are useless—go big or go home.

“But I don’t want to. I don’t even know where to begin,” you say. That’s because you’re a perfectionist. Do you have a brain? Of course you do! Then you have ideas. If you’re waiting around for your ideas to autonomously reach a point of clarity in your brain, stop. Real thinking comes when you start writing, when you start producing. I’m not a gambling lady, but I would bet that any so-called concrete ideas you start out with will hit the cutting room floor come final editing.

Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

So leave those doubts behind and get to work.

IT’S TIME! FOR! ACTION!

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the thrill of the fight
Rising up to the challenge of our rival

DRAMATIC BUILD-UP! Sit down in your thinking chair and think, think, think (all you 90s kids better get that reference).BluesClues

EXPLOSIONS! Use some subject guides.Explosions

SLOW MOTION TRAINING MONTAGES! Go see some librarians.Rocky

And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watching us all with the eye…

Tiger with Papers

…of the tiger.

And, uh, hand things in on time, too. Kind of important.

 Now go get ‘em.


Article by Michelle Callaghan, graduate assistant on the Communication and Service Promotion team. She is currently pursuing her MA in English at Villanova University.

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Test drive the African American Periodicals, 1825-1995 Collection

Black Panther cover, 1/4/1969

Black Panther cover, 1/4/1969

While mainstream newspapers and magazines are fairly well-represented in the library’s digital collections, minority publications are generally difficult to find in digital and print formats. The wildly popular African American Newspapers: The 19th Century collection from Accessible Archives, which includes the Christian Recorder, is a notable exception. Current news archives such as Lexis-Nexis Academic and ABI/INFORM include a sprinkling of minority news sources, but these are difficult to isolate and coverage is limited. Ethnic NewsWatch, a Proquest collection of minority news outlets, includes a number of important African American newspapers and magazines such as the Chicago DefenderEssence, the Philadelphia TribunePride, and Black Renaissance, but as with most other current newspaper archives, coverage goes only back to the early nineties.

African American Periodicals, 1825-1995 is a small boutique collection of often hard to find African American magazines and newsletters. Villanova University faculty and students currently have trial access to this collection through November 28. According to Readex, the collection is based on James P. Dansky’s African American Newspapers and Periodicals: A National Bibliography. This claim could lead to unrealistic expectations as Danksy identified 6,562 individual titles compared to the 172 titles included in the Readex collection. The content of the collection was in fact determined by the holdings of the Wisconsin Historical Society. With only 172 titles and over sixty percent of these represented with less than ten issues, the collection represents but a small segment of the rich African American periodicals world.

beauty-trade

Beauty Trade, 4/1/1960

Nevertheless, the collection has its merits. It includes periodicals published in the twentieth century which are generally hard to find in digital collections as a result of copyright restrictions. Students and faculty alike will appreciate access to primary sources which reflect unique African American perspectives on the civil rights and black power movements. The collection includes the Black Panther (1967-1975), the organ of the Black Panther party. There are noticeable gaps in the online collection and the lack of color digitization is unfortunate. On the other hand, the option to download a complete issue, as long as it does not exceed 75 pages, will be much appreciated by readers who prefer browsing to searching. Other noteworthy titles in the collection are the Black Worker (1929-1968), the official organ of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the African Repository (1825-1892), which was published by the American Colonization Society. Titles such as Beauty Trade (1954-1978) and the music magazine Soul (1966-1976) make for interesting insights into African American popular culture. It is unfortunate that only the first ten years of Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races, the official organ of the NAACP, are included in the collection.

The trial will be running until November 28. Feel free to share the link with other Villanova University faculty and students and let us know what you think.

Trial access: 
African American Periodicals, 1825-1995
African American Periodicals Fact Sheet
African American Periodicals Title List


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

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The Highlighter: Use the Catalog’s Filters to Quickly Find Books

HIGHLIGHTER-PRO

Use the catalog’s filters to quickly find every book of a particular topic, genre or language. This video shows how to perform this advanced searching technique. (Enable Closed Captioning for silent viewing):

For additional “How to” videos, click the “Help” button on Falvey’s homepage.

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Last Modified: November 4, 2014