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New Year, New Status

By Rebecca Oviedo

Every year since 2019 we have delighted in reviewing our Distinctive Collections for new titles entering the public domain to scan and bring to you in our Digital Library each new year. For 20 years prior to 2019, new items to the public domain were restricted due to a copyright extension enacted in 1998. Laura Bang wrote an excellent review and round-up of further reading on the blog in December 2019.

This year we’re adding two works that have been included in two of our online exhibits but could not previously be shared in full due to copyright. Alright, well one exhibit is brand new this year, so it didn’t have to wait very long!

Joining nine other titles already in the public domain by Villanova alumnus, poet, and author Thomas Augustine Daly is A Little Book of American Humorous Verse, published in Philadelphia in 1926. Dedicated “to all lovers of the laughing muse,” T.A. Daly has compiled a selection of light verse by American authors ranging from the well-known and enduring Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, to his own friends and contemporaries Christopher Morley, Joyce Kilmer, and of course, himself.

Coming soon is our brand new exhibit, “That Fairyland of Ice”: Polar Exploration in Mind and Memory, which includes Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s 1926 The Adventure of Wrangel Island, from the James Wheeler collection. This copy is inscribed by Stefansson himself to his friend Henry Grier Bryant (1859-1932), a fellow explorer and writer from Philadelphia. Stefansson was a prolific author with 12 other books in the Wheeler collection, many of them also signed copies.

Of course 2022 also brings new additions to our Dime Novel and Popular Literature collection including these newspapers from 1926: a September issue of Chicago’s Blade and Ledger and a May 21st issue of The Cleveland News. Well into Prohibition, catching my eye in this latter issue is an advertisement for Pabst-ett, “the new finer food that’s more than cheese” from Pabst Brewing Company and an article on the front page reporting on the perjury trial of a Broadway theater producer’s “bathtub party” allegedly at which “pretty Joyce Hawley, Broadway model, ‘entirely undressed,’ splashed merrily in a bathtub of bubbling champagne while a score of men drank from the contents of the tub.”  !!!

Other major titles freely available this year include A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. This past December, The Public Domain Review did a festive advent-style calendar in anticipation of new items in the public domain for 2022. Here’s to a new year!

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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New Digital Collection: Irish International Exhibition, 1907

We recently digitized a collection of colorful postcards and other ephemeral materials related to the Irish International Exhibition held in Dublin, 1907. These items are part of a larger collection of Irish postage stamps and postcards given to Falvey Memorial Library by Johan Albert Norstedt (1937-2020). View the items in our Digital Library HERE.

The Irish International Exhibition was a world’s fair held in Herbert Park, in the Ballsbridge neighborhood of Dublin from May to October, 1907. It was typical of expositions of the time which were meant to promote industry, arts, and manufacturing and to stimulate trade and commerce. Featured buildings included a Grand Central Palace, the Fine Art Gallery, the Palace of Industries, the Palace of Mechanical Arts, a Canadian Pavilion, and a Concert Hall and Bandstand. A program for the exhibition details the buildings and features, which also included “an extensive lake with picturesque bridges and islands, … a Water Chute, Rivers of Ireland, Switchback Railway, Helter Skelter Lighthouse, Shooting Galleries, and Somali Village” as “some of the numerous Side-Shows which afford amusement to visitors.” The Somali Village was an ethnological exposition or a “human zoo” and a quite literal display of British imperialism.

 

This is a welcome new addition to our Digital Library where you can also find the full 204-page Official Catalogue for the exhibition in the Joseph McGarrity Collection as well as many references and reactions in our extensive newspaper holdings. One such article appears in The Gaelic American, a newspaper published in New York City devoted to the cause of Irish independence from British rule. The cartoon titled “Irish Anti-National Exhibition 1907” and the article headline says it all: “The International Exhibition Fraud: British Show in Dublin a Mere Loyalist Demonstration – Chief Manufactures on Exhibition are Loyalty, British Officials, Soldiers, and Castle Hacks.”

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.


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New Online Exhibit – “Rediscovering T. A. Daly: Immigrant Voices in Poetry”

Our latest online exhibit, “Rediscovering T. A. Daly: Immigrant Voices in Poetry,” is now available, just as April’s National Poetry Month draws to a close. The exhibit explores the life and works of Thomas Augustine Daly (1871-1948), a native and lifelong Philadelphian; an Irish-American and a Catholic; a journalist, poet, and prolific author; and an early Villanova University alumnus.

This exhibit brings together newly digitized materials from Falvey Memorial Library’s collections, including Daly’s notebooks from his Villanova days (1880-1887), a scrapbook documenting his early career, and the majority of his published books.

These items are also available in the Digital Library, while the exhibit provides context around the poetry—written mainly in Italian-American and Irish-American dialect—for which he was best known. His collective works give us glimpses into his own life deeply rooted in Philadelphia’s Irish and Catholic communities, with his poetry strongly themed around a broader American identity through the everyday characters he created.

Visit the online exhibit here: https://exhibits.library.villanova.edu/t-a-daly.

Thomas A. Daly (with wife and children)

Photograph, Thomas A. Daly (with wife and children), c. 1910. Villanova Photograph Collection. Villanova University Archives, Villanova University. Thomas Daly and Ann “Nannie” Barrett had eight children: Leonard (b. 1897), John (b. 1899), Tom Jr. (b. 1901), Anne (Nancy) Elizabeth (b. 1903), Stephen (b. 1904), Brenda (1907-1914), Frederic (b. 1908), and Frances Joan (b. 1914).

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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In Praise of Scrapple

In honor of National Poetry Month, I thought I would share this poem by Philadelphia poet and Villanova alumnus Thomas Augustine Daly (1871-1948). The poem appears in McAroni Ballads and Other Verses (1919), newly digitized in our Digital Library along with unique items from Distinctive Collections. A full digital exhibit exploring T. A. Daly will launch later this week. In the meantime, here follows a taste of that “frosty morning dish that Philadelphians sing, and outlanders jest about” (Daly, Herself and the Houseful, p. 107):

In Praise of Scrapple

Out upon your gibes ironic!
You who’ve never known the tonic
Toothsomeness of savory scrapple
Dare to judge it? Well, I never!
When no morsel of it ever
Greased your graceless Adam’s apple.

When the northwest wind is blowing,
Sharp enough for frost or snowing,
And the days of muggy weather
Have departed altogether,
All our husbandmen are getting
Butcher knives laid out for whetting,
And some morning with the dawn
Comes the porcine slaughter on.
Let’s not morbidly be dealing
With the scuffling and the squealing,
But, the gruesome parts deleting,
Get us to the joys of eating.
Well, then, when hog-killing’s through
This is what the housewives do:

Clean a pig’s head, nicely, neatly,
Boil till meat leaves bones completely.
When it’s cold remove all greases,
Chop meat into little pieces;
Put the liquor and the meat
Back again upon the heat
Slowly stirring cornmeal in
Till it is no longer thin.
Pepper, salt, and sage they bring
For its proper seasoning.
When the mess is thick and hot
It is lifted from the pot,
Poured then into pans to mold
And so left until it’s cold.
So ends Chapter I.
The sequel
Is a breakfast without equal!

Come! it is a nippy morning,
Frost lace, the panes adorning,
Takes the sun from many angles
And the windows glow with spangles.
From the kitchen range are rising
Odors richly appetizing;

Paradise is in the skillet,
For the scrapple slices fill it,
And each flour-encrusted piece
Smiling in its fragrant grease
Takes a coat of golden tan
From the ardor of the pan.
Crisp and brown the outer crust, oh!
Food to rouse the gourmand’s gusto
From your platter gives you greeting;
Truly this is royal eating!

Out upon your gibes ironic!
You who’ve never known the tonic
Toothsomeness of savory scrapple
Dare to judge it? Well, I never!
When no morsel of it ever
Greased your graceless Adam’s apple.

– T. A. Daly.

 

Image from Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper via The Encyclopedia of Philadelphia


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From the Archives: Digitized Primary Sources on the 1918 Flu Pandemic

By Rebecca Oviedo

Preserved in Villanova University Archives and now available in the Digital Library are dozens of first-hand accounts and records from women religious of Philadelphia who volunteered to nurse the sick during the 1918-1919 “Spanish Influenza.” The accounts were solicited and collected by Rev. Francis E. Tourscher, O.S.A., who quickly took up the timely task to “assemble facts while they are still a living memory” and compiled that research as Work of the Sisters during the epidemic of influenza, October, 1918 / Philadelphia : American Catholic Historical Society, 1919.

Now we are making the original experiences and recollections written by the Sisters available online. Rev. Tourscher served as University Librarian from 1923-1939, and his papers are part of the Falvey Memorial Library records. His aim in gathering these facts was “to record the experiences and impressions of the Sisters, and incidentally to record their personal observations of the symptoms of the disease and conditions existing during the epidemic in private homes and hospitals.”

Senior Elizabeth Lyons works in the library as a Collections & Stewardship Technician in the scan lab and was eager to digitize the papers. “These papers were a crucial part of my research into volunteering efforts during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic in Philadelphia. They offered a unique insight into what it was like at the hospitals in Philadelphia. There weren’t a lot of personal accounts of what it was like to live through this period of time, so these offered a really unique perspective. I love working in the library and getting to interact with all sorts of historical documents. It’s really exciting to see what sorts of things have been preserved and what life was like back then! A lot of my fellow history majors were jealous that I get to keep working with primary sources like this, since most archives are closed right now.”

Further access to the manuscripts is provided through careful transcription of each handwritten document. Briana Felice is pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is completing an internship at Falvey Memorial Library. She has been transcribing the Sisters’ recollections into machine-readable format (Microsoft Word document and PDF) where they are available alongside the digitized item in the Digital Library. This added process ensures that the papers are more easily accessible and findable for users when performing keyword searches. She observes, “With everything going on with the looming pandemic, these letters are very timely. It shows that history really does repeat itself. Hopefully, we can learn a little something from the past.”

Just as scholars today are examining these records of the past, we anticipate that future scholars, staff and students may wish to know and understand what it was like for the Villanova community living through the current COVID-19 pandemic. We invite you to submit your own story and be a part of history: https://library.villanova.edu/about-falvey/coronavirus/submit-your-story

 

 

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Transcribing History in the Digital Library

By Rebecca Oviedo

 

Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement is pleased to share a new guide on finding, using, and doing transcriptions in our collections. This resource, Transcribing History in Villanova University’s Digital Library, includes examples of some transcriptions of note, an explanation of how to search and access transcriptions in the Digital Library, and an invitation to join us in transcribing history yourself!

The guide also includes several links and examples for teaching and learning online with primary sources. Especially now, when physical access to archival collections has been limited, the Digital Library provides access to thousands of digitized materials from Villanova University’s Special Collections and University Archives as well as dozens of digital donor and partner institutions. One of the goals of the Digital Library is to transcribe these handwritten documents so that they are more easily searchable and accessible to the public.

 

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Honors Program Senior Theses – Now Online!

By Rebecca Oviedo

Each year theses submitted by Villanova’s undergraduate Honors Program graduating class are added to the Villanova Digital Collection in Falvey’s Digital Library. This research becomes part of the permanent records of the University, kept by Villanova University Archives.

These capstone theses represent the culmination of Villanova students’ academic experience and are valuable records of the community’s scholarly output. They also capture the intellectual trends and contemporary issues that were important to students at a particular point in time.

The theses of this year’s senior class of 2020 are no different. The most current pressing issue of systemic racism is discussed across topics centered on education, voting rights, and access to birth control. Vaccines (and the anti-vaccination movement) are studied through the academic lenses of students from the Department of Biology, the Department of Theology and Religious Studies, and the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. There are submissions in creative writing, and extensive reports on research conducted in campus labs. Several essays touch upon ethics in medicine and public health, and more than one address gender bias and depictions in sports and the media. One Wildcat hypothesized on “Quantifying Jay Wright’s Greatness.”

At the conclusion of this most unusual academic year, each and every Wildcat can be proud of their academic achievements.

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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100 Seasons of Villanova Basketball Now Available in the Digital Library

By Rebecca Oviedo

This past year, in celebration of Villanova’s 100 seasons of men’s basketball, and in partnership with the Department of Athletics’ External Operations Unit, Falvey Memorial Library’s Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement has added a significant contribution of basketball-related images and content to the Villanova Digital Library. The items from University Archives include nearly 400 photographs and negatives, and more than 60 additional items, such as media guides, schedules, tickets, and scorebooks.

Since 1920, Villanova Basketball has produced three NCAA national championships and a rich history of outstanding players and coaches. Search and view images of such iconic Wildcats and future NBA stars as Paul Arizin, Larry Hennessy, Bob Schafer, and George Raveling under coach Alex Severance; Wali Jones, Hubie White, Jim Washington, Bill Melchionni, Howard Porter, Chris Ford and Tom Ingelsby from the Jack Kraft era; and, of course, selected images from Rollie Massimino’s 1985 NCAA championship team. One of the most photographed: legendary longtime athletic trainer John “Jake” Nevin.

Negative, Basketball (Jake Nevin/ Trainer and Howard Porter), 1970.

The process to convert these analog materials to a digital environment involved many hands and multiple steps.

The work began last summer, with the help of Erik Sherwood, Laura Davis, and Jessica Leventry, three Penn State students participating in the Villanova Athletic Department summer internship program with Assistant Athletic Director/Marketing Jacob Whitten’s team. The students spent two weeks in University Archives transcribing data from University Negatives Collection envelopes housing the negatives and entering the information into a spreadsheet to be incorporated into University Archives and Digital Library databases. They recorded such metadata as box and folder numbers, names, dates, subject headings, and descriptions for each negative.

Laura Davis carefully examines a negative.

Villanova College Basketball Facts, 30th Season, 1949-1950.

In September of the fall semester, several undergraduate Collections & Stewardship Technicians began scanning the items using the library’s Indus Color Book Scanner and a recently added Epson 12000XL Photo Scanner. These students, trained in appropriate collections care and proper handling techniques for rare materials, included Bernadette Goratowski, Martin Han, Courtney Schultz, and Erin Warren. After scanning materials, the students performed several post-processing steps, including rotating, cropping, and tonal adjustment of the digital images. They logged and tracked their work in the same spreadsheet started by the summer interns. Images were then uploaded to a library server to await further description and metadata by Distinctive Collections staff.

Items were scanned through March 2020, when campus was closed due to the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, and sadly the remainder of Villanova’s 100th season of basketball was cancelled. As much of the world’s workforce transitioned online, I continued my work of describing and entering metadata, now from home, a task that surely could not have been completed had it not been for the careful work of our student employees and interns this past year.

Some images still require additional identification and description. I tried to identify players and add subject headings as best I could, and the media guides proved invaluable for this. If you can identify or date any images lacking this information, please email archives@villanova.edu. We have scanned selected images from the University Negatives Collection through 1974, and there are still several hundred images that have not yet been digitized. The collection spans the 1930s to 1985. If you have a favorite past player, let us know by email or in the comments below.


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 


 


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Digital Library Discoveries: The 1918 Flu Pandemic

With the world currently battling a new global pandemic of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19, many news sources are looking back at the 1918-1919 worldwide influenza pandemic commonly known as the Spanish flu. An estimated 500 million people, or one-third of the world’s population, became infected with the virus and the number of deaths is estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 deaths occurring in the United States.

While researching one of our newest Digital Library collections from partner organization The Museum of Nursing History, I came across a featured article in Columbia University’s School of Nursing Alumnae newsletter highlighting Ada Mutch and her experience in 1918.

Philadelphia in particular had “the highest, most rapidly accumulating death toll” in the country. With many doctors, nurses, and medical staff serving overseas in World War I, it was left to nursing students and lay people to step in and help tend to the sick. In Bryn Mawr, the local hospital was overwhelmed with patients and an emergency hospital was opened in the old, vacant Lancaster Inn. At thirteen years old, future World War II army nurse Ada Mutch and her sister volunteered as kitchen help preparing food and serving meals to the doctors, nurses, and staff. They helped to prepare visitors by dressing them in protective gowns and masks and escorting them to see their ill family members. Amazingly, none of the Mutch family became ill.

Ardmore Chronicle – Volume XXIX, No. 55 [57 sic], Saturday, November 2, 1918.

Towards the end of October 1918 the Board of Health for the state of Pennsylvania began to gradually lift quarantines and reopen public places. In our Digital Library, an article in the November 2nd issue of the Ardmore Chronicle reports, “after four weeks the influenza ban which has kept the lid upon virtually every form of activity in the community outside of those connected with the most stringent needs of the people and Government, will be lifted tomorrow in Lower Merion, when the churches will be permitted to resume services. Monday the schools will again hold daily sessions, and Tuesday saloons, theatres, poolrooms, dance halls and other public places will be allowed to open.” Still, the Acting Commissioner of Health, Dr. Benjamin Franklin Royer warned, “great care should be practiced at the time of removing restrictions.”

While we are currently practicing “social distancing” here in Pennsylvania in 2020, Falvey’s Digital Library is always open and awaiting your discovery!


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New Digital Library Resource: WWII Army Nurse Records

Last week we shared some highlights from a recently digitized collection (See: New Digital Partnership: Museum of Nursing History), and we’ve just added some additional items – the scrapbook and papers of World War II Army Nurse Jessie Margaret Ada Mutch (1905-2012).

 

Women in Uniform (The New York Times Magazine, January 24, 1943); from Scrapbook (Part 2).

Ada Mutch was born February 2, 1905 in Scotland and emigrated to the U.S. in 1912 with her parents and siblings. Reverend Andrew Mutch, her father, was Pastor of the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. Ms. Mutch was educated at The Baldwin School and then earned her Nursing Degree at the Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital School in New York. In World War II she enlisted in the U.S. Army Nurse Corps earning the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She served from 1942-1946 and distinguished herself in the European Theater of Operations. She then returned to Columbia-Presbyterian to pursue her career in nursing, along with a master’s degree in 1948. She held a dual position as Assistant Director of Nursing and Assistant Professor of Nursing at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. In 1955 she became the Director of Nursing at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania until her retirement in 1970. She was active for many years as a volunteer for ElderNet, and died on January 27, 2012, one week before her 107th birthday.

Items in this collection include a large scrapbook compiled during her time serving in the U.S. Army Nurse Corp, as well as various materials relating to her career in the army and as a nurse. The disbound scrapbook is on brittle paper and very fragile in nature. Digitization serves as a preservation strategy by creating a surrogate version of the item that allows for immediate access. We are proud to partner with the Museum of Nursing History to digitize the history of this important profession.

 

Most of the scrapbook appears to be from her time in France and contains many French theater programs and souvenirs, photographs, maps, correspondence, newspaper and newsletter clippings and full articles, and several United States government publications from the War Department. Ada Mutch served overseas for three years and two months during World War II. Initially she was a 1st Lieutenant and Assistant Chief Nurse in England; and subsequently became director of the Nursing Section, Northern Ireland Base Section. She later acted in this capacity in France, in the Brittany Base Section, and then in the Burgundy Bay Section, concluding her service in Europe as Director of the Nursing Service in the 807th Hospital Center.

Photograph and map, the “Palace” Hotel, Vittel, France, where the 807th Hospital Center was stationed, April 20 – July 17, 1945.

We were able to scan only a portion of this collection before the temporary closure of campus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are eager to return to campus and share the remainder of this exceptional scrapbook and additional items from Ms. Mutch’s collection – as soon as it is safe!


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Last Modified: April 16, 2020