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Browse Over 100 Publications by VU Alumni in the Community Bibliography

  • Posted by: Stephen Spatz
  • Posted Date: June 10, 2017
  • Filed Under: Library News

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Falvey Memorial Library’s Community Bibliography is an open repository of the entire published output of the Villanova University community, an extensive database which offers a detailed view of our proud scholarly heritage from the historical publications of the 19th Century to the cutting edge research of today. This bird’s-eye view of our institution’s intellectual output includes records of over 100 books and papers that have been published by Villanova alumni over the years, a rich variety of writings that includes military memoirs, business trainers, horror fiction, cookbooks, travel diaries, plays, and on and on.  As you celebrate with Villanova graduates and families this weekend, take a look at this fascinating list of the diverse works published by generations of graduates of Villanova University:



Stephen Spatz is a research support librarian who maintains the Community Bibliography. Contact information:, 610-519-7508, office-room 235.



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Oíche Cois Tine – Two Nights Beside The Fire: A Window Into The Rich Literary World of Dr. Douglas Hyde, and A Musical Voyage to Irish Newfoundland

PORTAL_CEILIDuring the 1980s the Philadelphia Ceili Group hosted a cultural evenings series under the title “Oíche Cois Tine”, Gaelic for “Night Beside the Fire”. These events celebrated a wide range of Irish culture: music and dance performances by prominent Irish and Irish-American artists, demonstrations of uniquely Irish musical instruments such as the uilleann pipes, and lectures on topics such as Irish literature, history, travel, and the Irish-American experience. This week we added two new recordings of academic lectures from this series to the Philadelphia Ceili Group collection of Villanova University’s Digital Library. These items, freely available for streaming and download, highlight the amazing breadth of materials on Irish history and culture present in the Ceili Group collection and augment in sound the huge array of Irish textual and visual materials in other areas of the Digital Library.

“Irish Songs and Singers of Newfoundland”, 1982.

This lecture from the Spring of 1982 features the renowned folklorist and scholar Dr. Kenneth Goldstein, presenting on his adventures visiting with musicians and archiving Irish folk music in Newfoundland, Canada. Kenny Goldstein was a hugely influential figure in Irish folk music, having collected and published thousands of folksongs across several continents. He was also instrumental to the success of the Philadelphia Ceili Group’s activities in past decades, as attested to in this tribute to him from the 1996 Festival Program.

If you want to hear some incredible stories and some unique takes on some well-known Irish tunes, have a listen to Dr. Goldstein’s fascinating exploration of the music of a lesser-known corner of the Irish diaspora.

“The Importance of Douglas Hyde to the Irish Literary Renaissance”, March 12, 1982.

This lecture from 1982 features an extended discussion by the late Dr. Lester I. Conner, a Professor of English at Chestnut Hill
College from 1962-1990, on the unique contributions of Douglas Hyde to the Gaelic revival of the late-nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries. His contributions, according to Dr. Conner, to the reestablishment of the Irish language as a living tongue,
the formation of a de-anglicized Irish identity, Irish nationalism, and especially the Irish literary renaissance, cannot be overestimated. Dr. Conner illuminates the literary world of Douglas Hyde with spark and enthusiasm, and brings to life the voices of famous contemporaries such as Lady Gregory and W. B. Yeats in an engaging presentation packed with quotes and anecdotes.

This new addition to the Philadelphia Ceili Group collection is also a perfect entry point to the study of Dr. Hyde’s influence in the scores of primary documents available throughout the Digital Library. If you’re interested in exploring further, try this list of documents concerning Douglas Hyde.


Stay tuned for more links to recordings from the Oíche Cois Tine series!


New PCG Set by Irish Music Pioneers Michael Tubridy and James Keane

PORTAL_CEILI1For aficionados and scholars of Irish traditional music, and all who’d like to know more or just take a moment to enjoy some incredible music, here is the latest set to be included in the Philadelphia Ceili Group collection of the Digital Library at Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University:

“Michael Tubridy and James Keane”, October 12, 2013.

This is a two hour performance put on at the Irish Center at the Commodore Barry Club in Philadelphia, on October 12, 2013, by Michael Tubridy (flute) and James Keane (button accordion), two pioneers of 20th century Irish traditional music. Having played together and apart for decades in several of the most influential groups in Irish music, including The Castle Ceili Band, Fingal, and The Chieftains, Tubridy and Keane rejoined each other after 50 years to enjoy some tunes and reminisce about the early days of the Irish traditional music renaissance of the 1960’s and ’70’s.

This humorous introduction by Michael Tubridy to the tune “McKenna’s Reel” (aka “Lucky in Love”) is a perfect entry point:

10 The Humours Of Ballyconnell – The Sailor on the Rock – Lucky in Love (McKenna’s Reel)


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Sean-nós singing in the Digital Library

Philadelphia Ceili GroupSean-nós (Irish for “the old way”) is a traditional style of unaccompanied singing native to Ireland. The Philadelphia Ceili Group audio collection in the Villanova University Digital Library contains a wealth of information and beautifully performed examples of this interesting and unique element of Irish culture.

Here is an introductory explanation of the craft by Irish musician and musicologist Mick Moloney, from an Irish Songs Workshop at the 3rd Annual Irish Traditional Music, Song and Dance Festival, held in Philadelphia in September 1977:

Mick Moloney, Johnny Moynihan, and Andy O’Brien are just a few of the prominent Irish artists who can be heard on recordings in the Philadelphia Ceili Group collection singing songs in the Sean-nós style. Try searching the Digital Library by subject on the term Sean-nós, and you will find a wealth of significant tracks available for streaming.

For a real treat, check out this incredible concert-length performance by traditional Irish singer Paddy Phelan, recorded at an event sponsored by the Philadelphia Ceili Group on March 6, 1992:



New Ceili Group Collection: Uilleann Pipes Workshop

The uilleann pipes are an incredible piece of Irish heritage. This unique wind instrument, a close cousin of the Scottish bagpipes but powered by a bellows rather than the breath, makes a distinctive and awesome sound that to many is the essence of Irish music. The uilleann pipes also have colored the fabric of Irish-American cultural history, as the modern pipes were developed here in southeast PA in the late nineteenth century by Irish immigrants the Taylor brothers. pipes

The Philadelphia Ceili Group archive contains some incredible recordings of modern-day pipers explaining the history, technique and construction of the instrument and playing traditional piping tunes. Check out expert pipers Tim Britton and Al Purcell as they entertain and educate in this new digital library collection:

Uilleann Pipes Workshop, recorded live in Philadelphia at the 1979 Philadelphia Ceili Group Music and Dance Festival.



Irish Cultural Series Lecture Events in the Digital Library

In addition to the hours and hours of great Irish traditional music recordings in the Philadelphia Ceili Group collection, it has recently become apparent that PORTAL_CEILIthe collection also includes some incredibly compelling audio documents of cultural lecture events from years past by top scholars in Irish Studies. Check out these recordings from 1979 events sponsored by the Ceili Group:



“The Irish in Philadelphia”, a lecture by Dr. Dennis J. Clark.


“Passing the Time in Ballymenone”, a lecture by Dr. Henry Glassie.


“Irish Literary Tradition”, a lecture by Dr. Thomas Kinsella.


“Celtic Epic Poems, Heroic Cycles”, a lecture by Dr. Ann T. Matonis.


More to come as digitization progresses!


Dig Deeper: The Ramones

Guest blogger,  Rohanah Spatz-Mallory



On July 11, the last original member of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, passed away of bile duct cancer. Born Thomas Erdelyi in Budapest, Hungary, in 1949, he moved to Forest Hills, Queens, at the age of four and went on to found one of the most popular and enduring rock bands of all time. The death of Tommy Ramone, the last surviving original member of the Ramones, marks the end of an era. The other three died recently: Joey in 2001 of lymphoma, Dee Dee in 2002 of a drug overdose and Johnny in 2004 of prostate cancer. The sad occasion of Tommy Ramone’s death is extremely significant to a certain large group of people, young and old: Punks.

Some have recently said that the Ramones are now finally dead—gone but not forgotten. Others, such as Legs McNeil, a close friend of the Ramones as well as other punk artists and bands of the original punk era, such as Iggy Pop and the UK group The Sex Pistols, think that the Ramones have been gone for a long time, citing their supposed artistic demise in the late 1980s. Even still, the Ramones were arguably the most influential punk band ever. They pioneered the simple, fast punk sound that many know and love.


The Ramones are still a fairly popular group with lots of people today, including the original punk rockers of the Ramones’ generation as well as a new generation of kids and young adults that like the punk style and music of the Ramones. As the past few weeks have gone by, many people have talked to me about Tommy Ramone’s death both on social media and in person. The day after he passed away I wore a Ramones shirt, and people of a wide range of ages complimented the shirt, asked if it was to remember Tommy, or said they loved the Ramones and were very surprised when they heard the news.

As a huge fan of the Ramones’ style, attitudes and music, I felt slightly upset about this death although I can’t really say why. There will always be easy access to Ramones music, and there are pictures, videos and interviews of them. I can say, as a young fan of the Ramones, I am disappointed that there is no way to ever see them. Of course there wasn’t any way to see them before Tommy’s death, but this just seals in the thought that the band all together is completely gone. Something about it just doesn’t feel the same, knowing that you’re listening to music where all four founding members of the band are not alive.

Dig Deeper:

People all over the world will always recognize the influence that The Ramones had on music and society. You can dig deeper into punk music and its cultural impact with these great resources from the Falvey collection:

For popular histories of punk rock that cover the Ramones, try these:

England’s dreaming : anarchy, Sex Pistols, punk rock, and beyond, by Jon Savage

Break all rules! : punk rock and the making of a style, by Tricia Henry


Here are a couple of region-specific histories:

Grinding California : culture and corporeality in American skate punk, by Konstantin Butz

It makes you want to spit! : the definitive guide to punk in Northern Ireland, 1977-1982, by Sean O’Neill and Guy Trelford


And finally, two more scholarly treatments of punk rock culture:

Punk rockers’ revolution : a pedagogy of race, class, and gender, by Curry Malott and Milagros Peña

Lipstick traces : a secret history of the twentieth century, by Griel Marcus



A Challenge to Irish Music Aficionados

Calling all Irish music enthusiasts, here is a challenge for you!

PORTAL_CEILIThe archive of traditional Irish music in the Philadelphia Ceili Group collection in Villanova University’s Digital Library is growing steadily, now featuring over 200 recordings of Irish jigs, reels, and other tunes from performances at the annual Philadelphia Ceili Group Traditional Irish Music and Dance Festival.

Growing alongside this list is….the list of unidentified titles. Listen to this excerpt of a 1977 performance by the group DeDanann, in which the title is obscured:

“We’re going to start with two jigs, the first is called ‘The Munster Buttermilk’, and the second is called….” (Huh?!)

Kudos to anyone who can discern the title of the second jig!

Even better, if you are able to listen to that jig and identify the tune by ear, here is a further challenge for you….

Check out this search of the Digital Library.

All of these recordings contain pieces unidentified by their performers. Can you help to name these tunes?

Please send any information to Thank you!


Dig Deeper: 50 years with the Beatles

It was 50 years ago this winter that the Beatles brought their synergistic mix of rock and roll, whitewash respectability and cynical working-class edge to America and touched off a revolution in music and youth culture that continues to reverberate to this day.

Now is the perfect time to dig deeper into the history of the Fab Four, and Falvey Memorial Library provides access to a wide range of entry points of various types into research of their incredible music and cultural impact, including chronological biographies, musicological and critical works and publication and song indexes.

If your interest is piqued by commemoration of their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, or images of Shea Stadium, the Cavern, the rooftop or Abbey Road, consider checking out some of the following resources.

Dig Deeper


Can’t Buy Me Love: The Beatles, Britain, And America, by Jonathan Gould

This recent chronological biography centers on musicology and historical context. Other biographies that focus more on the lives and careers of the Beatles are available through EZ-Borrow:

The Beatles, by Hunter Davies (1968)

Shout! : The Beatles in Their Generation, by Philip Norman (1981)


We own several works that offer academic treatment of the Beatles, musicological, sociological, historical:

The Cambridge Companion To The Beatles

Features lots of musicological reverie and ample discussion of the Beatles in their cultural context.

Artificial Paradise: The Dark Side Of The Beatles’ Utopian Dream, by Kevin Fourier

Seeks to demonstrate that the Beatles’ history parallels the rise and fall of 1960’s “utopian dreams.”

Tomorrow Never Knows : Rock And Psychedelics In The 1960s, by Nicholas Knowles Bromell

Uses the Beatles as a springboard into a sociological study of ‘60’s drug culture.

The Beatles: Untold Tales, by Howard A. DeWitt

Reads like a conference proceeding, covers obscure topics such as the place of the pub in the development of Lennon’s craft and the role of Brian Epstein’s brother, Clive.


Revolution In The Head: The Beatles’ Records And The Sixties, by Ian McDonald

Tell Me Why : A Beatles Commentary, by Tim Riley

These two works contain song-by-song analyses of the entire Beatles catalog, with much historical context and musicological interpretation–and much author opinion to boot.

Here, There & Everywhere : The First International Beatles Bibliography, 1962-1982, by Carol D. Terry.

A sprawling bibliography of press coverage, reviews, books and other Beatles resources through the years.

Additionally, for an exhaustive annotated chronology of the Beatles in the studio, check E-ZBorrow for The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970, by Mark Lewisohn.

The extent of writings on the Beatles is practically limitless, and one source tends to lead into another: for instance, my desire for more context to enrich the dryness of the Lewisohn book pointed me in the direction of recording engineer Geoff Emerick’s fascinating memoir (Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles).

stephen-spatz-aeb-thumbnailIf this golden anniversary year finds you seeking to study up on the Beatles, Falvey can start you on the path. Let me know if I can be of assistance:

Our Dig Deeper series features curated links to Falvey Memorial Library resources that allow you to enhance your knowledge and enjoyment of seasonal occasions and events held here at the Library. Don’t hesitate to ‘ask us!’ if you’d like to take the excavation even further. And visit our Events listings for more exciting upcoming speakers, lectures and workshops!



Digital Library Expands Into Audio With Philadelphia Ceili Group Collection

The Digital Library has recently joined in partnership with the Philadelphia Ceili Group to digitize and make freely available the content of a unique collection. For the first time in the history of the digital library project at Falvey Memorial Library, users will be able to hear as well as view and read digital library content, as the digitized field recordings of the Ceili Society’s annual Traditional Irish Music and Dance Festival come online.

Years ago the Ceili Group elected to deposit with our special collections department their festival recordings archive: nine boxes containing 339 cassette tapes and 53 VHS tapes, encompassing 20 years of main stage performances as well as other events such as workshops and lectures. Falvey special collections already held other materials central to study of the Irish-American experience, most notably the McGarrity Collection, so the Ceili Group collection was a welcome addition.

Unfortunately, at the time the library did not own the hardware necessary to make the recordings available to our users, and so this rich collection acted as more of a deposit, preserved in storage but never accessed in the 20+ years it has been with us. Now, thanks to both the digital revolution and the extended capacity of VuDL, Falvey Library’s homegrown open source digital library software, to handle a variety of new formats, including mp3 and WAV audio files, recordings from the Philadelphia Ceili Group’s audio collection are now for the first time becoming accessible by the general public.

Analog to Digital

Converting the analog source materials to digital form is a multi-step process, requiring certain special pieces of equipment as well as attention to standards of digital audio preservation and access. The basic transfer routine we currently employ proceeds thus: the analog source (a cassette tape), is played on a Tascam 202MKV cassette deck, output to and converted to a digital signal by an M-Audio Fast Track Pro digital audio interface, and then relayed to a 2 GHz Intel Core MacBook Pro laptop, where the unaltered digital signal is captured in an Audacity project. This Audacity project is subsequently used as the basis for all of our preservation- and access-quality audio files.

There are two essential variables to consider in capturing a digital audio signal from an analog source: sample rate and bit-depth. Sample rate refers to the number of times per second the amplitude of an audio signal is measured, and bit-depth refers to the number of points measured each time a sample is taken. For example, CD-quality digital audio is captured at a sample rate of 44.1 KHz (or 44,100 samples per second) and a bit-depth of 16-bit (or 16 measurements per sample); originally established as a compromise between adequate sound quality and relatively modest file sizes, CD audio is generally considered too low a standard for archival preservation. With the aid of some guiding documents, including the Council on Library and Information Resources publication The State of Recorded Sound Preservation in the United States, and a document from the Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois entitled Guidelines For The Creation Of Digital Collections: Digitization Best Practices for Audio, we settled on a standard for this and future digital library audio preservation masters of a 96 KHz sample rate at a 24-bit depth.

Next to consider are the file formats used for both preserving the audio documents and for providing users with convenient access to them. The high-quality digital audio signals captured in Audacity are exported as-is to WAV files, the “lossless” (retaining both the original sample rate and bit-depth) format chosen for our preservation-quality digital documents. These files are unedited segments, each an entire cassette side in length. After the preservation level WAV file is created and stored, a copy is made of the original Audacity file and used as a template to edit the content into individual song-unit tracks. These tracks are then exported both as lossless WAV files and as compressed mp3 files. In the interest of conserving precious disk space for the entire digital library, we’ve been mounting and making publicly available only the access-quality mp3 files–not an accurate enough reproduction of the original source material to suffice as a preservation format, but more than adequate for a pleasurable and informative listening experience.

The Collection

And what’s available so far? The first phase of the Philadelphia Ceili Group digitization project currently consists of five sets of music from the group’s annual music and dance festival from 1996. Although just a tiny subset of the entire archive (our current holdings of which cover every festival from 1977 to 1996; the Ceili Group also has the recordings from 1996 to the present at the ready), even these few sets are rich in excellent selections spanning a wide range of tones, performers, instruments and styles. Check out an original tune by renowned balladeer Andy Irvine entiled “Brackagh Hill”, the centuries-old lament “Farewell to Music” performed by harpist Ellen Tepper, and this set of jigs by the band Craobh Rua. The individual tunes are edited such that any relevant stage announcements are included in the track, in most cases making it possible for the listener to learn a little about the history of what they’re hearing (as well as making it quite a bit easier to gather metadata for inclusion in digital library records!); also available within each set is an mp3 file of the set in its entirety, allowing listeners to experience the sequence of tracks from start to finish without having to click on each individual song.

The Villanova Digital Library’s partnership with the Philadelphia Ceili Group is a fantastic boon for Irish Studies scholars and Irish music enthusiasts alike. Piloting the inclusion of audio collections in the digital library with these unique resources makes perfect sense for a special collections department already so rich in Irish Studies materials, and Falvey Library and the Irish Studies Program on campus will be celebrating this milestone together on March 22nd at 5pm in the Speakers’ Corner area of the library with a festive commemoration ceremony featuring live music and dancing, poetry and song, lectures, refreshments, and general gaiety. All are welcome to come by and celebrate with us!


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Last Modified: March 19, 2012

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