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Content Roundup – Third Week – February 2019

Irish Fireside, v.6, no. 147, April 10, 1886

Newly digitized this week are a number of story paper issues from the Joseph McGarrity Collection as well as a two Dime Novels and other periodicals containing serial fiction.

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

Mad Anthony’s captain / by Ned Buntline
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550659]

The masked hunter / by Capt. Frederick Whittake
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550843]

Periodicals

Chicago Ledger, v. XXVII, no. 11, Saturday, March 11, 1899

Chicago Ledger (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550295]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550315]

Grit (Story Section), v. 38, no. 42, Story Section no. 1340, September 19, 1920.

Grit (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550017]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550639]

Selection, p. 4, The illustrated police news, law courts and weekly record, v. 18, no. 448, May 27, 1875

Police News (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550085]

Joseph McGarrity Collection

Newspapers

Irish Fireside, v.6, no. 144, March 20, 1886

Irish Fireside (11 issues added, 1886)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:542168]


“The Man Who Saved The Betsy Ross House”

Imagine you’ve come across a box or a forgotten drawer stuffed with photographs, old programs, or tickets from a time you do not want to forget. Maybe you go out to the store and buy an album with blank pages, colorful papers and embellishments, and then get to work with some scissors and glue. Today scrapbooking is a thriving hobby and industry with millions of products sold to help you preserve your memories. Scrapbooking is not a new phenomenon however, and before these modern conveniences were available it would not have been uncommon practice to reuse or repurpose an old unwanted book.[i]

One unique example from Villanova’s Distinctive Collections has just recently been scanned and is now available in our Digital Library. In this case, the book was not entirely unwanted – the compiler did save a good portion of the book, but cut out the middle section, inserted yet another book, and pasted over other pages to create an entirely new book “for keeps.” A handwritten “Note” on the front flyleaf explains the author’s discovery of forgotten documents and prints in a cupboard when preparing for a move.


“This book in store among forgotten lore, came to life once more.

It might have been consigned to the scrap heap – I chose to use it for my scraps for keeps.” (Front flyleaf 2, recto).

 

The book, a 1910 edition of the Register of Members of “one of Massachusetts honored societies – The Sons of the American Revolution” was probably chosen for its handsome blue binding with gold gilt (which the scrapbook author extra-embellished with a handmade clasp attachment), but also for its patriotic association.

The author of this scrapbook is Charles William Smith (1843 – 1934). We know from the many newspaper clippings he compiled here, that he was born in New Haven, CT, came to Philadelphia as a coal merchant, and was a member of the Union League, the Sons of the American Revolution, the Masonic Lodge, many other patriotic societies, and evidently how he most wished to be remembered – “the man who saved the Betsy Ross House.” A clipping near the end of the book suggests Smith’s motive in this scrapbook’s creation. A poem written by Smith, published in The Frankford Gazette, April 11, 1924, begins:

 

My dear Patriotic friend

Way back in the year 1892

I would not now mention my act

That happened then—not even to you,

I am prompted to do so however—I am told

There is some person this late day,

trying to rob me of my just dues[ii]

 

Indeed, the person most credited for saving the Betsy Ross House is Charles W. Weisgerber. You won’t find much about Charles William Smith.[iii] This is not for a lack of trying on his part. It seems that for several years on Smith’s birthday, or even Flag Day, the Philadelphia newspapers would reprint Smith’s story.[iv] In one case, Smith published a thank you to the Editor the next day.[v] As he tells it, Smith heard in 1892 that the house was to be torn down to build a factory. He then “awakened the interest of patriotic men and women,” raising money to eventually buy the house in 1905 by selling ten cent subscriptions to 1,040,270 persons. These certificates were sold through the American Flag House and Betsy Ross Memorial Association, of which both Smith and Weisgerber were founding members. But who had the initial idea to save the house? Did Betsy Ross even live at 239 Arch Street? Did she really sew the first flag? The legitimacy of Betsy’s story and the house has long been questioned. And this scrapbook is Charles William Smith’s personal attempt to stamp out any doubt of the answers to all three questions.

 

[Parry Scrapbook, 8-9]

Smith has gathered various publications in the form of newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and books. They are joined with signed letters, sworn statements and endorsements by historians, Betsy’s descendants, President Warren G. Harding, and even notarized documents.[vi] Some of the items may seem disparate, but to Smith they may all share a patriotic meaning, and an intent to authenticate his claims.

The assemblage of the scrapbook begins with the SAR Register book, which remains intact up until the List of Members. This is where Smith’s scrapbook begins. After eleven pages, a second book is inserted, Betsy Ross and the United States Flag, A Paper Read Before the Bucks County Historical Society, 1909, by Oliver Randolph Parry. This portion of the scrapbook is scanned open as two-page spreads, with page numbers identifying the published book as “Parry, #”, and the scrapbook pages within as [Parry Scrapbook, #]. When the Parry book ends, the Scrapbook pages of the outer book resume, and then we have the remainder of the SAR Register book preserved. The final pages contain some inserts of personal documents: Smith’s membership to The Historical Society of Pennsylvania (January 24, 1898); his acceptance degree as a Master Mason of St. Alban Lodge #529 (May 6, 1886); and membership to the Athletic Club of the Schuylkill Navy (November 12, 1892). Within these pages are also bits of wood from Valley Forge National Historic Park and Independence Hall; with mention of a gavel made of wood from the floorboards of the Betsy Ross House. There is correspondence with O.H. Oldroyd, collector and historian of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia. And there is of course the use of red, white, and blue colors throughout, and the lyrics and music sheet for The Star-Spangled Banner.

 

[Parry Scrapbook, 16-17]

By making this scrapbook, Smith has attempted to give permanence to these items by pasting them down and preserving them for posterity. The scrapbook has been in Villanova’s collection since 1956, when it was donated by an alum, Dr. Edward A. Mallon. The connection between Smith and Mallon (if there is one) is unclear, and how it came to be in Mallon’s possession is a current mystery.

I have missed Smith’s February 7th birthday by more than a week with this blog post, but he probably wouldn’t mind seeing his name in print once more anyway: Today, Charles William Smith, “the man who saved the Betsy Ross House,” would have been 176 years old.

 


[i] “As one scrapbook maker whose family was busy cutting and pasting papers in 1873 explained, they were not ‘using up good printed books’… rather “there is nothing in them that we want, and so we propose putting in something, rather than have them stand idle…. Some of them are old school-books, not much worn, but out of date. Almost every library has some useless books.” See “Writing and recording with scrapbooks,” Ellen Gruber Garvey, OUPblog, https://blog.oup.com/2012/05/writing-recording-with-scrapbooks-history/.

[ii] Page 229.

[iii] See newspaper columnist, James Smart’s history of the Betsy Ross House: http://www.jamessmartsphiladelphia.com/betsy-s-house.html.

[iv] Clippings in this scrapbook date from 1922-1924.

[v] Scrapbook, 2.

[vi] The Harding letter is a copy only, [Parry Scrapbook, 12-13].


Content Roundup – Third Week – February 2019

Orlando Chester, or, The young hunter of Virginia : a tale of colonial times / by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.,

This week consider the following newly digitized materials: notable are a number of Dime Novels and story paper issues, and the first of the SOAR (Scholarship Open Access Reserve Fund) collection of articles.

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

Orlando Chester, or, The young hunter of Virginia : a tale of colonial times / by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.,
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:549618]

The secrets of the coast : a legend of the land and ocean / by Sylvanus Cobb, Jr.
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:549919]

Periodicals

Chicago Ledger, v. XXVII, no. 7, Saturday, February 11, 1899

Chicago Ledger (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550275]

Grit (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:549989]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550619]

The illustrated police news, law courts and weekly record, v. 17, no. 438, March 18, 1875

Police News (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550045]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550065]

Saturday Night (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:549672]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:549684]

Villanova Digital Collection

Scholarship Open Access Reserve Fund (SOAR) Collection (3 articles added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550947]


#ColorOurCollections 2019 Round-up

Last week was the 2019 round of #ColorOurCollections (hosted by the New York Academy of Medicine Library), when cultural heritage institutions make available coloring pages of their materials. The official #ColorOurCollections week may be over, but of course you can still color whenever the mood strikes you! You’ll find all our coloring books in the Digital Library collection Paper Crafts.

Here are some masterpieces from this year’s #ColorOurCollections week:

“Irish Fireside” colored by Laura Bang (Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist).

 

“The Gentlewoman (May 1916)” colored by Beaudry Allen (Preservation & Digital Archivist).

 

“The Gentlewoman (March 1916)” colored by Rebecca Oviedo (Distinctive Collections Coordinator).

 

“Should a Girl Propose?” colored by Rebecca Oviedo (Distinctive Collections Coordinator).

 

“Coca-Cola ad” colored by Liz Alix (Falvey friend).

 

“Should a Girl Propose?” colored by Liz Alix (Falvey friend).

 

 


Content Roundup – First and Second weeks – February 2019

Book of startling information.

This week we conclude the digitization of the “Guide to Catholic Literature” and add a volume to the Catholic Periodical Index to those available for scholarly use. As well this week also features more Dime Novels and story paper issues – including two titles from the rare “Multum in Parvo Library” donated to the collection from the State of Nebraska. Finally take a look at a set of 6 stereograms featuring photographs of now-Villanova Inn (then know as the Montrose Mansion).

Catholic Library Association

[iii] p., The Catholic periodical index, 1934-1938

Catholic Periodical Index, 1934-1938
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:546892]

The Guide to Catholic Literature volume seven: 1960-1963
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:548141]

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

Beadle’s Frontier Series (4 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:474437]

Non-Fiction

The old conductor’s story : a thrilling narrative / by John Habberton

Multum in Parvo Library (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550128]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550144]

Periodicals

The illustrated police news, law courts and weekly record, v. 13, no. 336, April 3, 1873

Illustrated Police News (1 issue)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:548042]

Chicago Ledger, v. XXXV, no. 37, Saturday, September 14, 1907

Chicago Ledger (4 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545912]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:549591]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:549551]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:549571]

Grit (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545631]

The National Police Gazette, v. LIV, no. 614, Saturday, June 22, 1889

Police Gazette (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545959]

Saturday Night (3 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:548006]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:548018]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:548030]

Joseph McGarrity Collection

Newspapers

Irish Fireside (6 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:542168]

Villanova Digital Library

Photographs and Illustrations

Stereogram set, Villanova Inn (Montrose Mansion) 1930
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:550456]


Content Roundup – Fourth Week – January 2019

Scrapbook, compiled by Charles William Smith

Clear skies and warmer weather mean it is time to look at the latest digitized content. Noteworthy this week are ten more issues of the Irish story paper the “Irish Fireside”, other newly available (due to the extension of the public domain to 1923) issues of story papers, and a scrapbook documenting the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia as a historic site by one of the early curator’s Charles William Smith; included in this scrapbook are bits of wood from Independence Hall as well as postcards and documents!

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

The panther demon, or, The scourge of the Iroquois / by Lewis Vincent
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:546499]

Periodicals

Chicago Ledger, v. LI, no. 24, Saturday, June 16, 1923

Chicago Ledger (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:546000]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:546032]

[145] p., Golden Days : for Boys and Girls, v. I, no. 10, May 8, 1880

Golden Days (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:544318]

Grit (Story Section), v. 34, no. 36, Story Section no. 1125, August 6, 1916

Grit (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:546064]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545603]

16 p., The illustrated police news, law courts and weekly record, v. 58, no. 1498, July 6, 1895

Illustrated Police News (1 issue + 1 clipping added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545932]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545953]

People’s Home Journal (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545876]

Joseph McGarrity Collection

Newspapers

[433] p., Irish Fireside, v.5, no. 132, December 30, 1885

Irish Fireside (10 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:542168]

Pennsylvaniana

Scrapbook, compiled by Charles William Smith, documenting his involvement in recognizing the Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia as a historic site
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:546317]


Party like it’s 1923!

Two young boys playing in a body of water.

These boys are excited to frolic their way into the public domain! (From the cover of Grit (Story Section), August 26, 1923.)

You may have seen a bunch of articles around the beginning of the year eagerly talking about new things that entered the public domain on January 1st, such as this one from The Public Domain Review or this one from Smithsonian Magazine. The Atlantic was so excited about new stuff entering the public domain that they published an article about it all the way back in April 2018.

We joined in the celebrations by scanning a few items published in 1923 over the past couple of weeks. Here they are:

Celtic wonder tales / re-told by Ella Young ; with decorations by Maud Gonne.

Chicago Ledger, v. LI, no. 6, Saturday, February 10, 1923.

Chicago Ledger, v. LI, no. 24, Saturday, June 16, 1923.

Grit (Story Section), v. 41, no. 39, Story Section no. 1493, August 26, 1923.

These are just a few things that we moved to the top of our scanning queue to celebrate their freedom, but of course we have many more titles published in 1923 that can now be digitized when we have time. And we’re already looking forward to scanning titles from 1924 next year!

The first page of the story "The Earth-Shapers" with a decorative illustration of a black dragon and a white dragon at the top.

The opening page of Ella Young’s Celtic Wonder Tales.


Content Roundup – Third Week – January 2019

Spplement, “Thomas Davis”, Irish Fireside, v.5, no. 122, October 21, 1885

As the winter winds blow and the ice makes travel treacherous, consider reading and reviewing some of the materials newly digitized this week! Highlights include a photograph of Martin Luther King, Jr. and more American and Irish story paper issues and dime novels. Stay warm!

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

Wild Tom of Wyoming / by R. L. Wheeler
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545760]

Periodicals

Chicago Ledger, v. XXXV, no. 29, Saturday, July 20, 1907

Chicago Ledger (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545659]

Golden Days : for Boys and Girls, v. I, no. 9, May 1, 1880

Golden Days (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:543823]

Grit (Story Section), v. XXXIII, no. 7, Story Section no. 1044, January 17, 191

Grit (3 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545519]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545547]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545575]

New York Weekly, October 13, 1873

New York Weekly (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:544016]

The Portland transcript, v. X, no. 1, April 18, 1846

Portland Transcript (index + 3 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545681]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545689]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545701]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545713]

Saturday Night, v. VI, no. 42, Saturday July 10, 1869

Saturday Night (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545987]

Joseph McGarrity Collection

Newspapers

Irish Fireside, v.5, no. 122, October 21, 1885

Irish Fireside (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:544930]

Villanova Digital Collection

Photographs and illustrations

Photograph, Martin Luther King Jr. Speech at Villanova University [Restricted to the Campus Community]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545727]


Content Roundup – Second Week – January 2019

As the semester starts next week, we welcome back returning students! Newly digitized this week are a set of story paper issues and two dime novels. More new content to come in the following weeks!

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

Snake-eye : a tale of the Revolution / by W. J. Hamilton
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:536316]

Big-hearted Joe : an Indian tale / by J. Springer
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:531123]

Periodicals

Chicago Ledger, v. XXXV, no. 27, Saturday, July 6, 1907

Chicago Ledger (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:543972]

Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, v. XX, no. 508, February 20, 1875

Chimney Corner (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:536171]

Golden Days : for Boys and Girls, v. I, no. 8, April 24, 1880

Golden Days (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:543803]

Grit (Story Section), v. XXXII, no. 52, Story Section no. 1036, November 22, 1914

Grit Story Section (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:545491]

Street and Smith’s New York Weekly : a journal of useful knowledge, romance, amusement, & c. , v. XXVIII, no. 43, September 1, 1873

New York Weekly (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:544004]


Content Roundup – First Week – January 2019

Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, v. XVI, no. 391, November 23, 1872

Happy New Year and salutations of the season to all! This multi-week content roundup covers the end of December and this first week of January 2019. A host of new story-paper and newspaper issues are available, as well as two additional volumes from the Independence Seaport Museum’s Philadelphia Maritime Exchange Collection. Other highlights include the Belle Air from 1948 and Villanova Commencement Programs from 1901 through 1919.

Dime Novel and Popular Literature

Fiction

The Dairyman’s daughter : a narrative of facts / by Rev. Legh Richmond
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:537936]

Ursula’s girlhood
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:540278]

The mystery of a Turkish bath / by “Rita.”
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:535999]

Cavalry Jack; or, The scout at Shiloh / by Col. Ralph Fenton
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:537012]

Mad Mike : or, The death shot / by L. Augustus Jones
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:538696]

Periodicals

The People’s Home Journal, v. XXIV, no. 9, September 1909

People’s Home Journal (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:543896]

Street and Smith’s New York Weekly : a journal of useful knowledge, romance, amusement, & c. , v. XXVIII, no. 38, July 28, 1873

New York Weekly (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:544040]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:543992]

Chicago Ledger, v. XXXV, no. 23, Saturday, June 8, 1907

Chicago Ledger (2 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:541884]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:543952]

[33] p., Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner, v. XVI, no. 393, December 7, 1872

Chimney Corner (26 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:331826]

[97] p., Golden Days : for Boys and Girls, v. I, no. 7, April 17, 1880

Golden Days (2 issues added):
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:543763]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:543783]

The Soldiers’ and sailors’ half dime magazine, v. 2, no. 6, 1868

The Soldiers’ and sailors’ half dime magazine (1 issue added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:536972]

Independence Seaport Museum

Philadelphia Maritime Exchange Collection

p. 1, Arrivals Foreign and Coastwise, Volume 1, April 1, 1875 – October 12, 1875

Series 1: Volumes containing information on Arrivals and Clearances (v.1 and v.3 added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:544340]
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:544957]

Montgomery County Historical Society

National Defender (33 issues added)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:465299]

Villanova Digital Collection

Commencement

Villanova Commencement Programs (19 programs added, 1901-1919)
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Collection/vudl:523674]

Yearbooks

[2] p., Belle Air

Belle Air, 1948
[https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:544052]


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Last Modified: January 4, 2019