"Go Cats Go" – Moments from the History of Athletics at Villanova University on Display
By Alice Bampton
Six display cases of Villanova University athletic memorabilia, covering decades of athletic history, will be featured on Falvey’s first floor until mid-November. In her “Curator’s Welcome,” Laura Bang, Digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, says, “Athletics have been a part of Villanova life since its earliest days… As the College [Villanova became a university in 1953] matured, so too did the athletic component.”
Although Villanova University was founded in 1842, the earliest objects in this exhibit date from the 1890s: team photographs and an 1892 volume, Forty-Ninth Annual Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Villanova College… The catalog is opened to show “Villanova Athletic Association.” Bang says this publication “marks the first appearance of the Villanova Athletic Association.”
Scrapbooks of news clippings, programs for athletic events, media guides for women’s teams, caps, buttons, photographs, Belle Air yearbooks, a letterman’s jacket and much more invite perusal. There is even a partially inflated football (courtesy of Roman Catholic High School) from a 1922 City Championship game between Villanova College and the High School. Villanova lost that contest, 9 to 13!
Although Special Collections sponsors the exhibit, considerable material comes from the University Archives. The University Archives reside in Falvey; the archivist is the Rev. Dennis Gallagher, OSA, PhD.
Laura Bang installed the exhibit with assistance from Michael Foight, Special Collections and Digital Library coordinator. Joanne Quinn, Falvey’s design specialist, created the exhibit’s signs, including the banner on the library’s home page.
Photo by Alice Bampton; Banner by Joanne Quinn
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