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Holiday Short Reads for Travelers

By Merrill Stein


Sometimes we need background information for a speech or project. Maybe we need to become familiar with a subject before seeking in-depth, scholarly information. Sometimes, we just need Very Short Introductions (Oxford University Press). That’s where Oxford University Press’ VSI database can help.

Over 600 concise, printed, 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.  Everything from Autism to Warfare. Log in for a quick read over the holiday.

Although the introductions are short, the scholarship and authority behind them is not. Noted authors in many fields have contributed to these short successful volumes about the world’s knowledge. 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.

For instance, want to know something about your favorite Starbucks? “It based its trademarked name and logo on a character from a nineteenth-century American novel that is in the public domain and thus no longer protected by any intellectual property: “Starbuck” was the first mate on the whaling ship Pequod in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. The “faux-talian” names that Starbucks gives its sweetened drinks (“Fizzio” and “Frappuccino”) also are trademarked.” – from Intellectual property: a very short introduction

You can also create a personal profile that lets you save and annotate VSI content. So, you can set up a reading list, take notes as you read, and, when it’s time to revise, go straight to the right content, and see your notes again.

Newest Additions

The latest editions in our collection are below Click the authors’ names to find their other, more detailed, publications:

Coffee-Long Stories

Falvey has other shorts as well. Try a short story.

Need some help?  There’s always the Short Story Index (EBSCO).

Short stories can provide a hint of other places. Henry James said, “It should be a little gem of bright, quick, vivid form.”  The Library has online and print short stories under many subjects, languages and translations – for example, Short stories, Irish., Short stories, Latin American.,  Short stories, American., Short stories, Ukrainian > Translations into English., Short stories, African > Translations into English.,  Short stories, Arabic > Translations into English. Better yet, suggest a quality story you have read and want Falvey to consider acquiring.

No Time? No Problem!

Need something even  shorter?  Try the many forms of poetry in the Falvey catalog.  Remember, poetry is “The Rhymical Creation of Beauty” – Edgar Allan Poe.



Merrill Stein is Social Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.


Resource Highlights for South Asian Research tools


By Merrill Stein

The Times of India (1838–2010) (ProQuest Historical Newspapers), reported by some, as the world’s most widely circulated English daily newspaper, was founded in 1838 to serve British residents of West India. This subscription provides access to all available issues of The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce (1838–1859), The Bombay Times and Standard (1860–1861), and The Times of India (1861–2010).

Researchers can use the historical newspaper in studying topics, such as colonialism and post-colonialism, nationalism, biography, British and world history, class and gender issues, business, international relations, comparative religion, international economics, terrorism, cultural studies, and communication. Additionally, coverage of sports, the growing Indian film industry, and other stories of everyday life are available.

The resource is complimented by Falvey Library’s access to India, Raj and Empire (Adam Matthew Digital) manuscript collection (1615-1947) and the current The Times of India news subscription.

For a research example from the Times of India (1838–2010) (ProQuest Historical Newspapers), try examining the 1857 Sepoy Mutinies or “disaffection,” that lead to the last the Mughal Emperor being deposed and direct governance of India by the British. View events as they occurred and in retrospect at 100 and 150 years later.

The Times of India (1838–2010) (ProQuest Historical Newspapers)  and the India, Raj and Empire (Adam Matthew Digital) are available on Falvey Library’s Databases A-Z list.  All versions of the Times of India can also be found by searching Falvey Library’s Journal and Article Finder.


""Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.






International Women’s Day 2021

By Merrill Stein

“… distinguished for insight into human nature, remarkable for independence and courageous self-assertion, devoted to the welfare of her race …”

The quote above, a possible aspiration for women as well as world leaders today, was part of Frederick Douglass’ 1883 eulogy for Sojourner Truth (Russell, D., Black Genius and the American Experience, rev. ed. 2009, p. 419). May it also be a reminder to give thought today to the many struggles and achievements of women world guides, leaders, and innovators. Expand awareness and gain inspiration from the assortment of links below.

Poster from Womens Liberation Workshop in London - Stevenson, Prudence (Wiki Commons)

Poster from Womens Liberation Workshop in London – Stevenson, Prudence (Wiki Commons)

UN Women is pleased to invite you to the United Nations’ observance of International Women’s Day 2021. The theme is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world on the way to the Generation Equality Forum.” Here are some links to use as launching off points to learn more about women’s leadership and achievements:

Sample some motivating videos from Falvey Library’s Academic Video Online – AVON (Alexander Street Press) database. Not sure what to try, see poet Amanda Gorman as she prepares for election day or view videos relevant to Women’s History Month: Celebrating Artists Who Are Women.

Ready to dig deeper? Jump into our subject guides, which will lead you to even more curated resources!

Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.






Presidents Day Resources from Falvey, and Beyond

By Merrill Stein

Happy Presidents Day!

Today we celebrate George Washington’s 289th birthday, which has come to be known as Presidents Day due to its positioning between Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. To celebrate the history of this important American office, visit these resources, many of which are provided by Falvey Memorial Library, and learn more about the 46 Presidents of the United States, from Washington to Joe Biden!

From U.S. National Archives and Records Administration:

National Constitution Center

Featured Presidents’ Day Information from

From UC Santa Barbara:

American presidency project  – Documents related to the study of the American Presidency, including public papers, annual messages to Congress, inaugural addresses, radio addresses, acceptance speeches, presidential candidates debates, party platforms, elections data, and an audio/video archive.

Selected resources at Falvey:

America: History and Life (EBSCO)

American History Collection (Rotunda – University of Virginia Press)  – authoritative print editions of the papers of major figures of the early republic
American History, 1493-1945 (Adam Matthew Digital)

HeinOnline – visit the U.S. Presidential Library and U.S. Presidential Impeachment Library resources (HeinOnline is available courtesy of the Charles Widger School of Law)

Roper Center for Public Opinion Research (iPOLL)  –  Elections and Presidents Collection

Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

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Celebrating Black Women’s Voices with Seeking Peace Podcast Series

By Merrill Stein

Visit the Seeking Peace: stories of women peace builders podcast series  during Black History Month to spend some time listening to podcasts, featuring women’s voices from around the world addressing struggles for peace and security, including Opal Tometi, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Nobel prize laureates, legislators, journalists and other human rights advocates from all walks of life.

The podcasts are part of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) , a resource celebrating its tenth anniversary. The Institute also features original research publications, the Global Women, Peace and Security Index, the U.S. Women Peace and Security Index, a multimedia section and a host of other resources promoting women as critical to achieving sustainable peace.

More information about women peacebuilders and the Institute can also be read in Telling stories of women peacebuilders in the midst of a pandemic and viewed at

A link to the Institute’s global index is available on the Falvey Library’s homepage, Databases A-Z list.


Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.


Resource Highlight: Policy Map – The Name Says It All

By Merrill Stein

The Villanova community now has access to PolicyMap, an online tool for mapping and analyzing US national data on a wide variety of topics including education, income, employment, public health, crime, housing, and transit. Time series data is available from 2000 to the present.

Researchers can conduct demographic and socioeconomic analyses on a variety of geographic levels, from the national level to the neighborhood census block group as well as custom regions.

Some practical uses for PolicyMap include identifying vulnerable populations, examining social determinants of health, studying turnout rate in recent elections, viewing the number of intensive care unit beds, and evaluating Census response indicators by block groups.

Check out some of PolicyMap’s other features:

Access to PolicyMap is available via the Library’s Databases A-Z list and the Library catalog.

Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.





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Digital National Security Archive Provides a Resource for Primary Declassified Government Documents

  • Posted by: Merrill Stein
  • Posted Date: May 4, 2020
  • Filed Under: Library News

By Merrill Stein

Named an “Outstanding Academic Title” by Choice Magazine, Digital National Security Archive (ProQuest), the publishing arm of the Association of College and Research Libraries, features over 50 collections of declassified government documents not presently available on the National Security Archive website.

Documents are digitized from microfiche and include White House communications, meeting notes, memos, and confidential letters, as well as chronologies and bibliographies. Topics covered include national security, human rights, nuclear proliferation, Korea, Vietnam, Latin America, and the spread of international communism. Coverage extends from the middle of the 20th century to the present.

Access to this archive is available via the Library’s Databases A-Z list and the catalog.


Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.






Empire, an Adam Matthew Digital Collection

By Merrill Stein

Empire (Adam Matthew Digital) is a collection of full-text primary documents spanning five centuries, from 1492 to 1962, structured in five thematic sections: Cultural Contacts; Empire Writing and the Literature of Empire; The Visible Empire, Religion and Empire and Race; and Class, Colonialism, Imperialism.

Included are manuscripts, along with printed and visual source materials for the study of ‘Empire’ and its theories, practices and consequences. Material is accompanied by scholarly essays, chronology links shared with a unique Global Commodities collection, brief biographies, external links, interactive maps, and some secondary source documents up to 2007.

Empire (Adam Matthew Digital) is part of a collection of over sixty Adam Matthew Digital projects. look for these other collections on the Falvey Library list of databases or at AM Explorer (Adam Matthew Digital).


Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.





Dig Deeper: The 2020 Census

By Merrill Stein

Information about the U.S. Census can be obtained at Beginning on March 12, 2020, you’ll be invited to respond to the 2020 Census. You can return to to complete your questionnaire. To help you answer the census, the US Census Bureau provides translated web pages and guides in 59 non-English languages, including American Sign Language, as well as guides in braille and large print.

Be counted — Join the conversation!

  • By phone: Get assistance or respond by phone, starting March 9.
  • Online: Respond online at, starting March 12.
  • By mail: Households will receive a paper questionnaire April 8–16.
  • At home: Census takers will visit households in person, beginning May 13.

What is the importance of census data? The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding, and provide data that will impact communities for the next decade.

Shape your future, impact your community. The results of the 2020 Census will help determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funding flow into communities every year for the next decade. That funding shapes many different aspects of every community, no matter the size, no matter the location.

Regional Census centers are available to help. Contact your regional census center to speak with U.S. Census Bureau staff in your area. Regional staff can help you verify the identity of a local census taker or connect you with your partnership specialist.

Want to dig deeper?

Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.






Access the U.S. Presidential Impeachment Library, Courtesy of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law


Photo by Michael on Unsplash.


Did you know? HeinOnline, a robust legal database, now offers a new collection: U.S. Presidential Impeachment Library.

The collection, organized based on the four affected Presidents, brings together a variety of documents, both contemporaneous and asynchronous to each President’s impeachment. It presents a snapshot of the political climate as each impeachment played out as well as the long view history has taken of each proceeding.

Accessible from the Falvey Library homepage

Subscription is courtesy of the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law.

Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.




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Last Modified: January 22, 2020

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