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Coming soon to a public domain near you!

A fun thing to do on New Year’s Day (after a good night’s rest…! 🥳😄) is to see what new stuff is now freely available in the public domain! 2019 saw the first batch of new stuff to enter the U.S. public domain in over 20 years and I’m excited to see more stuff entering the public domain in 2020. On January 1, 2020, most* works published in the U.S. in 1924 will enter the public domain.

If you are not a copyright nerd and/or public domain enthusiast, the public domain is made up of works (books, movies, music, etc.) that are not protected by copyright or other intellectual property laws and are therefore free for anyone to use or reuse. This means that you can build upon these freely available works to create new works. For example, Disney has made tons of movies based on materials in the public domain, especially fairy tales. (On the flip side, Disney has also been heavily involved in lobbying for copyright extensions to make sure that their works are protected for as long as possible.)

Lifehacker has noted a few of the highlights from 1924 that will be entering the public domain, including the Buster Keaton silent movie Sherlock Jr., George Gershwin’s musical score for Rhapsody in Blue, and Agatha Christie’s book Poirot Investigates. Here in Falvey’s Distinctive Collections, we’ve got 93 books in our catalog that will potentially be entering the public domain next year. We’ve always got a lot in our scanning queue, but we’ll make sure to get a few shorter issues of 1924 popular literature periodicals up in early January to celebrate their entry into the public domain!

*U.S. Copyright law is complicated, so you should always double-check the status of works! In particular, audio recordings are governed by an entirely separate set of copyright laws.

Bake a cake to celebrate new stuff in the public domain! This issue of The People’s Home Journal entered the public domain this year. The People’s Home Journal, v. XXXVIII, no. 4, April, 1923.

Further Reading:

Bacon, Thomas. “Characters That Should Be Public Domain (If It Wasn’t For Disney).” ScreenRant. 25 August 2019.

Middleton, Theodora. “Do bad things happen when works enter the Public Domain?” Open Knowledge Foundation Blog. 8 October 2012.

Redmond, Sean. “U.S. Copyright History 1923–1964.” The New York Public Library. 31 May 2019.

“Why the Public Domain Matters.” Duke University School of Law, Center for the Study of the Public Domain. 2019.

And finally, if you’ll be in Washington, D.C., on January 30, 2020, you can attend a Public Domain Day party hosted at the American University Washington College of Law.

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WWI at Sea

We recently digitized the Photograph collection of Walter Timothy, Jr., an African American from Philadelphia who served in the United States Navy from 1911 to 1919. The collection consists of photos mainly from Timothy’s years in the Navy, but includes a few earlier photos as well.

Walter Timothy, Jr., was born on November 12, 1894 to Walter Timothy, Sr., and Rosa Timothy. The collection includes 2 photos of Timothy Jr. as a 16-month-old toddler. A few other uncaptioned portraits may depict family members.

The bulk of the photos document Timothy’s time as an enlisted sailor in the United States Navy. Timothy enlisted in April 1911 and was honorably discharged in February 1919. While in the Navy, he served as a mess attendant and cook on several different ships. (The U.S. armed services were racially segregated until the latter half of the 20th century, with African Americans often relegated to support roles, such as stewards and mess workers.) The ships on which Timothy served were primarily assigned to convoy duties.

Photos of Navy life include several of Timothy’s shipmates, some in silly poses. There are also numerous photos of different kinds of ships, including several in “dazzle camouflage,” a technique in which ships were painted in bold geometric patterns in order to make them more difficult targets. Airships, airplanes, and submarines are depicted a few times as well. There are also a few photos of shipboard pets or mascots, including a cat, a dog, and a goat.

After the war, Timothy worked as a letter carrier. He married Laura Christine Ford in the 1920s and they do not appear to have had any children. Timothy died in May 1985.

Further reading:

A Short History on Segregation in the Navy: From the War of 1812 through World War II, U.S. Naval Institute blog, February 26, 2019.

General Mess Manual and Cook Book, U.S. Navy, 1902.

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The Shelf List, November 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

Map of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, including Lakes Erie, Ontario, and part of Huron.

La Pensilvania, la Nuova York, il Jersey Settentrio:le, con la parte occidentale del Connecticut, Massachuset-s-bay e l’Irochesia / Antonio Zatta.

Art Curiosa Collection

Ballou, Maturin M. 1820-1895. Ballou’s Pictorial. Boston, Mass.: M.M. Ballou, 1855.

The Boy’s Own Paper. London: Boy’s Own Paper Office, 1967.

The Evening Fire-side, or Weekly Intelligence in the Civil, Natural, Moral, Literary and Religious Worlds. Philadelphia: Joseph Rakestraw, 1804.

Every Saturday. Boston: Houghton.

Gleason, Frederick, and Maturin M. Ballou. Gleason’s Pictorial. Boston, Mass.: F. Gleason, 1852.

The Graphic: An Illustrated Weekly Magazine. London: Edward Joseph Mansfield, 1869.

The Household. Brattleboro, Vt.: Geo. E. Crowell, 1868.

The Illustrated London News. London: Illustrated London News, 1842.

Judge. New York: Judge Publishing Company.

New Buffalo Bill Weekly. New York: Street & Smith. (issues added)

The Odd Fellow. Boston: H.B. Skinner & Co., 1845.

Our Continent. Philadelphia: Our Continent Publishing Co, 1882.

Paterson, Alexander D. The Anglo American. New York: E.L. Garvin & Co., 1843.

Portland Transcript. Portland [Me.]: Gould & Elwell, 1846. (issues added)


Augustiniana Collection

Sheng Ko: Cantica Sacra : Collecta Et Ad Usum Sinensium Accommodata a P.A.G. Missionario Augustiniano in Vicariato De Chang-teh (Hu-nan). [S.l.: s.n.], 1927.


Early American Imprints

The American Weekly Messenger or Register of State Papers, History and Politics. Philadelphia: Printed for John Conrad, 1814.

Forney, John W. 1817-1881. The Press. Philadelphia [Pa.]: J.W. Forney, 1857.

Orsini, abbé 1802-1875., and J. Sadlier. Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God: With the History of the Devotion to Her; Completed By the Traditions of the East, the Writings of the Fathers, and the Private History of the Jews. New York; Boston; Montreal: D. & J. Sadlier & Co., 1854.


The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection

Chatelain, Henri Abraham. Carte De L’Asie Inferieure Selon Les Auteurs Anciens, Enrichie De Remarques Historiques Sur Les Changemens Qui Y Sont Arrivez. [Amsterdam?]: [s.n.], 1721.

Chatelain, Henri Abraham. Nouvelle Carte D’Ecosse: Ou L’on Fait Observer L’etat De La Noblesse; Les Villes, Et Les Bourgs Qui Deputent Au Parlement, Et Diverses Autres Remarques Propres a Conduire a L’inteligence De L’histoire De Ce Royaume. [Amsterdam]: [s.n.], 1719.

Münster, Sebastian. Africa Mit Seinen Besundern Laendern, Thieren, Und Wunderbarlichen Dingen. [Basel]: [Sebastian Henricpetri], 1588.

Ortelius, Abraham. Senensis Ditionis, Accvrata Descrip.: Corsica ; Marcha Anconae, Olim Picenvm. 1572.

Phillips, R. Sir, and Josiah Neele. A Map of the Country From Rariton River in East Jersey, to Elk Head in Maryland: Shewing the Several Operations of the American & British Armies, in 1776 & 1777. [London?]: Published Nov. 1, 1806, by Richard Phillips, New Bridge Street, 1806.

Zatta, Antonio. Il Maryland, Il Jersey Meridionale, La Delaware, E La Parte Orientales Della Virginia, E Carolina Settentrionale. [Venice]: [A. Zatta], 1785.

Zatta, Antonio. La Pensilvania, La Nuova York, Il Jersey Settentrio: Le, Con La Parte Occidentale Del Connecticut, Massachuset-s-bay E L’Irochesia. [Venice]: [A. Zatta], 1785.


If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


The Shelf List, October 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

17th-century map of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Terra Nova ac maris tractus circa Novam Franciam, Angliam, Belgium, Venezuelam, Novam Andalusiam, Guianam, et Brasiliam / F. de Wit.

Art Curiosa Collection

Cook, David C. The Boys’ World. Elgin, Ill. ; Chicago: D.C. Cook Pub. Co., 1902.

The Daily Cleveland Herald. Cleveland [Ohio]: Fairbanks, Benedict & Co, 1853.

Irons, Archie C., Old Sleuth, and Spencer Dair. The Boy Rifles, Or, The Underground Camp. Cleveland: Arthur Westbrook Company, 1912.

Postage Stamps of Ireland. Dublin: Republic of Ireland, 1922-2018.

Young Broadbrim Weekly. New York, N.Y.: Street & Smith, 1903. [20 issues added]


Early American Imprints

Rutland Herald. Rutland, Vt.: William Fay, 1823.


The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection

Blair, John, and Thomas Kitchin. The East Indies: Including More Particularly the British Dominions On the Continent of India. [London]: [s.n.], 1773.

Blaeu, Willem Janszoon. Americae Nova Tabula. [S.l.]: [s.n.], 1642.

Jefferys, Thomas. The Island of Cuba With Part of the Bahama Banks & the Martyrs. London: Printed for Robt. Sayer, Map & Printseller, No. 53, in Fleet Street, 1775.

Jefferys, Thomas, and Robert Baker. Antigua Surveyed By Robert Baker, Surveyor General of That Island. “Improved edition 1810.”. London: Laurie & Whittle, 53 Fleet Street, 1810.

L’Isle, Guillaume de. Carte De France: Dressée Pour L’usage Du Roy. Paris: Chez l’auteur sur le quai de l’Horloge, 1721.

La Pérouse, Jean-François de Galaup. Carte Particuliere De La Côte Du Nord-ouest De L’Amérique Reconnue Par Les Frégates Françaises La Boussole Et L’Astrolabe En 1786. London: G.G. & J. Robinson, Paternoster Row, 1798.

Wit, Frederik de. Terra Nova Ac Maris Tractus Circa Novam Franciam, Angliam, Belgium, Venezuelam, Novam Andalusiam, Guianam, Et Brasiliam. t’Amsterdam: Gedruckt by Fredrick de Wit in de Kalverstraet, 1675.


Villanova Collection

Millares Vázquez, Manuel., and Nacho C. Beiro. 21 Años: (novela). Edición non venal. [Boiro]: A.C. Barbantia, 2018.


If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


Halloween tricks and treats with Distinctive Collections staff

Distinctive Collections staff hosted a Halloween Open House yesterday, with spooky treasures on display in the Rare Book Room and treats in Room 206 across the hall. Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian, and Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Coordinator, welcomed visitors in the Rare Book Room while Beaudry Rae Allen, Preservation & Digital Archivist, dished up treats in Room 206. Our featured treat was a Prohibition-era mocktail called the St. Augustine. We also had people point out spooky spots on a campus map. It was a spooktacular event! (Click the images below to see them larger.)

Halloween event sign next to the door.

The entrance to the Rare Book Room.

Two students looking at material in cases.

We had spooky treasures on display in cases and on a table in the Rare Book Room.

Four people looking at books on a table.

Three students looking at books on a table.

Meanwhile, across the hall in Room 206, we had lots of treats.

Beaudry served up our featured treat, the St. Augustine mocktail (vanilla ice cream, vanilla and strawberry syrups, and club soda).

Visitors added stickers to a map of Villanova to mark haunted spots on campus.

The map with spooky spots. Beware!

Library staff in costumes, left to right: Chris Hallberg, Sarah Wingo, Kallie Stahl, Laura Bang, Rebecca Oviedo, Beaudry Rae Allen, Shawn Proctor.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by! You can find many of the materials that were on display in the Rare Book Room in our Digital Library.

Photos in this post were taken by Laura Bang, Annabelle Humiston, Rebecca Oviedo, and Daniella Snyder.

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A mini-podcast of Halloween treats!

Happy Halloween! We have a short podcast of Halloween treats, featuring poems and a story from our Digital Library.

“All-Hallowe’en” by Thomas Dickson Finletter, in Pennsylvania’s Verse, p. 109.

“Under the Trysting Tree” in The New York family story paper, v. XXIII, no. 1151, Saturday, October 26, 1895, p. 8.

“The Uninvited Hallowe’en Guest: A Mysterious Fatality” by Lydia M. Dunham O’Neil, in Comfort, v. XXIV, no. 12, October 1912, p. 2,4.

This podcast featured the voice talents of Emma Poley, Demian Katz, and Caroline Sipio. The audio was edited and produced by Gabriella Bernocco, and executive produced by Laura Bang.


The Shelf List, September 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

An illustration of a man handing a piece of paper to another man over a ledger book.

An original illustration by H. R. Grissinger.

Art Curiosa Collection

All Around Weekly. New York: Frank Tousey. [2 issues added]

Carleton, L. C. The Hunter Scouts, Or, The Bride of the Valley. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Chicago Ledger. Chicago [Ill.]: A.J. Boyer. [5 issues added]

The Dollar Newspaper. Philadelphia [Pa.]: A.H. Simmons, 1843.

The Ladies’ Visitor, and Drawing-room Companion. New-York [N.Y.]: Curtis and Co.

Saturday Night. Philadelphia, Pa.: Davis & Elverson, 1865. [1 issue added]

Street and Smith’s New York Weekly. New York, N.Y.: Street and Smith, 1861. [3 issues added]


Augustiniana Collection

Back, Siegfried. Von Der Liebe Verwundet: Anna Katharina Emmerick : (1774-1824). Würzburg: Augustinus-Verlag, 1955.


Early American Imprints

Greeley, Horace. New-York Daily Tribune. New-York [N.Y.]: Greeley & McElrath, 1842.

The Pennsylvanian. Philadelphia [Pa.]: Mifflin & Parry, 1832.

Relf, Samuel. Relfs Philadelphia Gazette, and Daily Advertiser. Philadelphia [Pa.]: Samuel Relf, 1803.

Skinner, Samuel Haviland., Joseph Whilden, and Ebenezer Smith Thomas. City Gazette and Commercial Daily Advertiser. Charleston [S.C.]: E.S. Thomas, 1840.


The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection

Blaeu, Willem Janszoon. Macedonia Epirus Et Achaia. [Amsterdam]: [Iean & Corneille Blaeu], 1640.

Laet, Joannes de. Maiores Minoresque Insulae Hispaniola, Cuba, Lucaiae Et Caribes. [Leiden]: [Joannes de Laet], 1630.

Lewis, Samuel, et al. The State of Pennsylvania: Reduced With Permission From Reading Howell’s Map. [Philadelphia]: [Mathew Carey], 1795.

Lodge, John. An Accurate Map of the Island of St. Christophers, From an Acutal Survey: Shewing the Parishes, Churches, and Rivers; Also the Bays, Rocks, Shoals, and Soundings That Surround the Whole. London: Publish’d as the Act directs 30th March 1782 by J. Bew, Pater Noster Row, 1782.

Martin, David. The State of Pennsylvania: From the Latest Surveys. [New York]: Published by J. Reid, 1796.

Milton, Thomas., James Rentone, James Mynde, and Samuel Harding. A Plan of the City and Harbour of Havana: Situated On the Island of Cuba in 23d: 10m. Nth. Latitude & in 292d: 15m Longitude From the Meridian of Teneriff. [London: Sold by S. Harding … R. Amey … W .H. Toms, 1739.

Mitchell, S. Augustus 1792-1868., and W. H. Gamble. County Map of the State of Pennsylvania. [Philadelphia]: [W.H. Gamble], 1871.

Robert de Vaugondy, Didier. Carte Des Parties Nord Et Ouest De L’Amérique Dressée D’apres Les Relations Les Plus Authentiques Par M … En 1764: Nouvelle Édition Réduite. [Paris]: [s.n.], 1772.

Verdun de la Crenne, Jean René-Antoine, Jean-Charles de Borda, Alexandre Guy Pingré, and active 1775-1799 Petit. Carte Réduite D’une Partie De L’Océan Atlantique Ou Occidental… Paris, 1775.


Manuscripts Collection

Grissinger, H. R. Lot of 3 Original Illustrations for the Saturday Blade. [1923].


If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


New Exhibit — “Scraps for Keeps”: Scrapbooks and Photo Albums from Distinctive Collections

Exhibit sign featuring a decorative scrapbook cover with the title.

Our latest exhibit, “Scraps for Keeps”: Scrapbooks and Photo Albums from Distinctive Collections, is now on display on the 1st floor of Falvey Library. Scrapbooks have been a popular way of saving and organizing information and memories since the 19th century. This exhibit presents a selection of some of the many types of scrapbooks and photo albums from Falvey’s Distinctive Collections. There are seven sections organized around different themes: Making of a Scrapbook, Mark Twain’s Patented Scrap Book System, Cultural Memory, Family & Friends, Travel & Tourism, On the Job, and School Days.

Photo of an upright exhibit case with two shelves filled with materials.

This exhibit was curated by me, Laura Bang (Distinctive Collections Librarian). Scrapbooks and photo albums are some of my favorite types of materials in our collections because they tell the personal stories of ordinary people. I love to page through what people took the time to save in albums and see what traces of their lives remain in what they left behind.

To hear more about my love for scrapbooks, join me for a curator’s chat on Wednesday, October 2 at 11:00am in Speakers’ Corner.

The exhibit will be on view through February 2020, and a digital version is forthcoming as well.

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European views and portraits by Esther Borough Johnson

Earlier this year, we acquired an album of sketches by English artist Esther Borough Johnson. The album has been digitized so you can peruse it at your leisure. The album depicts various places in England, Italy, France, and other European countries. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is probably the most widely-recognized landmark in the album.

Drawing of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

Pisa, Italy. [7, recto]

Some drawings are labeled with the name of the place depicted, but many are not. Many of the drawings are undated as well, but the dates noted in the album include 1921 and 1922.

Sketch of a courtyard with a woman leaning over a well.

Sketch of a courtyard in Majorca (Mallorca). [5, recto]

The drawings are mainly done in graphite, although some have had color added. Many of the sketches are unfinished, likely quick drawings in situ that may have been used later as references for completed works. In addition to cityscapes, Esther drew a number of street scenes and portraits.

A beach scene at Honfleur (France). [13, recto]

Esther’s art provides an intimate glimpse into several European locations in the early 1920s with an eye for more than just the typical tourist scenes. The art has been assembled into a larger album, but many of the works are done on smaller pieces of paper. It is easy to imagine Esther pulling out a small sketchbook whenever a particular scene caught her eye.

Two sketches of Bruges (Belgium), another unidentified city street, and some chickens. [41, recto]

The complete album of Esther’s sketches can be viewed in our Digital Library. Elsewhere online, you can view three examples of Esther’s finished paintings at ArtUK. ArtUK also has a portrait of Esther painted by her husband Ernest Borough Johnson. The Suffolk Artists website has a brief biography of Esther.



The Shelf List, August 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

Photo of a map of Port au Prince.

Le Port au Prince dans l’isle de St. Domingue (1764) by Jacques Bellin.

Art Curiosa Collection

Leslie, Frank. Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner. New York: [Mrs. Frank Leslie, etc.], 1865. [New issues added.]

Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper. New York [N.Y.]: Leslie-Judge Co., 1914. [New issues added.]

Lot of Newspapers Published December 8, 1941.

Munro, Norman L. Golden Hours. New York, N.Y.: Norman L. Munro. [New issues added.]

Portland Eclectic and Northern Home. Portland, Me.: S.T. Pickard & Co.

Portland Tribune. Portland [Me.]: [s.n].

The Saturday Evening Post. Philadelphia [Pa.]: Samuel D. Patterson & Co.

Stoddart’s Review. Philadelphia: J. M. Stoddart & Co.


Early American Imprints

The Lehigh Register. Allentown, Pa.: Augustus L. Ruhe.

Paterson Daily Guardian. Paterson, N.J.: Van Derhoven & Irish, 1864.


The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection

Aa, Pieter van der. La Grande Tartarie, Suivant Les Nouvelles Observations De Messrs. De L’Académie Royale De Sciences, Etc.: Augmentés De Nouveau. A Leide: Chez Pierre vander Aa, 1729.

Bellin, Jacques Nicolas. L’empire De La Chine: Pour Servir a L’histoire Générale Des Voyages. s.l: s.n., 1748.

Bellin, Jacques Nicolas. Le Port Au Prince Dans L’isle De St. Domingue. [Paris]: [s.n.], 1764.

Buchon, J. A. C. 1791-1846. Carte Geographique, Statistique Et Historique De La Pensylvanie.

Diderot, Denis. Astronomie. Paris: Briasson, 1751.

Jefferys, Thomas. A Plan of the Harbour of Chebucto and Town of Halifax. [London]: [Gentleman’s Magazine], 1750.

Keulen, Johannes van. Nieuwe Paskaert Van De Kust Van Hollandt Tussen Texel Ende Maes, Waer in Vertoont Wert Alle Syn Diepten En Droochten. Als Mede Hoe Haer De Landen Vertoonen Vytter Zee: Seer Naeukeurigh Opgestelt. t’ Amsterdam: by Johannes van Keulen, boeckverkoper ande Oostsyde vande Nieubrugh, inde gekroonde lootsman, 1697.

Levasseur, V. Amérique Méridionale. A Paris: Chez A. Combette, Editeur, rue St. Jacques, No. 41, 1847.

Levasseur, V. Amérique Septentrionale. Paris: A. Combette, 1845.

Mercator, Gerhard, and Hendrik Hondius. Hungaria. [Amsterdam?]: [Henricus Hondius?], 1623.

Sayer, Robert. A Plan of Fort St. Louis Harbor On the South Side of Hispaniola. London: Printed for Robert Sayer…, 1788.


If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


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Last Modified: August 30, 2019

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