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Global Smackdown: Yemen

“I want to focus on two perspectives of the situation in Yemen that really indicate a shift in the way that, not just America, but other countries are starting to think about how they do foreign policy.”

This week on Dr. Tim Horner’s Global Smackdown he looks at Yemen’s Houthi rebels recent attack on a civilian plane in Saudi Arabia. Horner takes this event and places it into a larger conversation about the evolution and development of foreign policy. He does this by juxtaposing two perspectives on the situation in Yemen.

The whole Global Smackdown for Monday, Feb. 12, is available via Zoom here.

Where in the world are we?


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!

Seal of the President of the United StatesFrom 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 Literary Friendships on Valentine’s Day

Samwise Gamgee and Frodo Baggins. Photo credited to New Line Cinema/WingNut Films.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Wildcats! Instead of swooning over the classic literary romances, this blog celebrates the other relationship we rely on—friendship. Commemorating confidants, Falvey Memorial Library staff shared their favorite novel(s) that spotlight friendship. So, find a comfy spot, grab some coffee (and chocolate), and check out one (or a few) of the recommendations below!

David Burke, Metadata Librarian: “The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien celebrates the friendship between Sam and Frodo.”

Sarah Wingo, Liaison Librarian for English Lit, Theatre, & Romance Languages: “Sam’s friendship to Frodo in The Lord of the Rings trilogy is for me one of the most beautiful friendships in literature. One of the only things I was annoyed with in the movies is Sam abandoning Frodo on the steps of Cirith Ungol, because Sam WOULD NEVER! They get separated in the books, but Sam does not leave Frodo.”

Jeannine Ahern, Finance/Administration Specialist: “I really enjoyed Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah.”

Roberta Pierce, Access & Collections Coordinator: “Firefly Lane—The Netflix adaption is really good.”

Regina Duffy, Communication and Marketing Program Manager: “Becoming by Michelle Obama. I thought it was a really compelling memoir. Michelle talks a lot about the importance of being able to lean on friends in tough times and making sure to keep space for them in her life, even when she thought she was too busy. Being that person of support for your friends is important as well.”

Luisa Cywinski, Director of Access Services: “I’d like to recommend The Help by Kathryn Stockett. The complicated friendship between exploited Black maids and a privileged White woman came across as honest and didn’t lead to a ‘happy ending,’ but instead highlighted the importance of talking about and exposing racism.”

Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager:Small Spaces by Katherine Arden is a middle grade horror story that brings together three children who are not friends when the story starts, but are bonded through their experiences of trying to survive a magical curse and animated scarecrows.”

Darren Poley, Associate Director of Research Services: “True Friendship: Where Virtue Become Happiness by John Cuddeback; Tolkien and C.S. Lewis: The Gift of Friendship by Colin Duriez; Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh; The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos; The Song of Ronald by an unknown author, translated by Dorothy L. Sayers; The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle; The Adventures of Tintin by Georges Remi; Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen; and The David Story: A Translation with Commentary of 1 and 2 Samuel by Robert Alter.”

Linda Hauck, Business Librarian: “The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes and The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer.”

Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing: “Life is good!: Lessons in Joyful Living written by Trixie Koontz. Donna Chadderton sat in the desk next to mine for years when we both worked in Access Services. We talked about interlibrary loan and how much we hated troubleshooting the public computers. But most of all, we traded stories about our golden retrievers. At the time, our family had Duffy, and she and Ron, Professor Emeritus in Villanova’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, had Buddy. When Duffy passed away, she gave me a beautiful little gift book entitled Life is good!: Lessons in Joyful Living written by Trixie Koontz (a golden herself, owned by author Dean Koontz—who I suspect also may have had a hand in writing the book). The book was a treasured token of our friendship, and since Donna retired, I often think of her great dog training advice, her devotion to the Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue (DVGRR), and the many, many conversations we had about our fluffy BFFs.”

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 




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Foto Friday: Just the Beginning

We’re continuing our lineup of virtual events for the spring semester, and we can’t wait to have you join us! Three exciting event series kicked off this week: the 2021 Villanova University Literary Festival, Falvey Fridays, and Researcher’s Toolbox.

Check out some screenshots below and see how you can join these exciting ACS-approved events!

The 2021 Villanova University Literary Festival kicked off with Brenda Shaughnessy on Thursday, Feb. 11. Shaughnessy read multiple poems to an engaged audience comprised of 98 Villanovans. Next up on the Literary Festival Lineup is Bryan Washington on Thursday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. Register here.

Falvey Fridays evite


Sarah Wipperman, Scholarly Communications Librarian, led the first of six Falvey Friday workshops today at 11 a.m. Wipperman discussed the basics of copyright and how to reuse content responsibly. Drawn from our popular brown bag lunch sessions, each Falvey Friday workshop will provide new and exciting information on research methods, tools, and pedagogies for researchers of all levels. During the next workshop, Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian, will discuss “Bringing Historical Maps into GIS” on Friday, Feb. 26, at 11 a.m. Register here. View more information on all six Falvey Friday sessions here

Researchers Toolbox Workshop with Jutta Seibert


Jutta Seibert, Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement, led a workshop session entitled “Newspapers and Magazines” today at 3 p.m. as part of the Research’s Toolbox event series. The workshop took a look at the discovery of national and international news publications covering daily news, as well as texts aimed at specific interest groups. Seibert guided audience members in locating a cited source, determining the availability of news sources in the local collection, and citing news sources. Seibert will led another session focusing on newspapers and magazines on Wednesday, March 24, at 4 p.m. Register here.

For a detailed listing of upcoming events, visit the Falvey Memorial Library events page.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 





Douglass Day: Transcribe-a-thon Featuring Mary Church Terrell

By Kallie Stahl 

Born enslaved, abolitionist leader Fredrick Douglass never knew his exact birthdate, so he chose to celebrate every year on Valentine’s Day. After Douglass’ death in 1895, many people, including Mary Church Terrell, (an activist, educator, and author), began honoring his legacy, celebrating “Douglass Day” every Feb. 14. What began as a recognition and remembrance of Douglass’ memory and life of activism grew into a “collective act of radical love for Black history.” In the 1920s, Dr. Carter G. Woodson expanded Douglass Day to a week-long celebration of Black history, and in the 1960s student groups turned Woodson’s week-long commemoration into a monthly celebration—”Black History Month.”

A more recently developed Douglass Day celebration is an annual Transcribe-a-thon when historical documents are read to commemorate and preserve Black history. “Transcriptions improve search, readability, and access to handwritten and typed documents for everyone.” Join fellow Villanovans at the University’s Transcribe-a-thon on Friday, Feb. 12, at noon. In addition to transcribing the papers of Mary Church Terrell, Dr. Charlene Sinclair, founding director of the Center for Race, Religion, and Economic Democracy and the program coordinator for the Interfaith Organizing Initiative, will also be presenting. Join the virtual event here.

Looking for more Douglass Day events? Join By the People (Library of Congress) for transcriptions of Terrell’s papers on Friday, Feb. 12 and Sunday, Feb. 14. View the full schedule of events here. For more information on Mary Church Terrell, check out former graduate assistant Daniella Snyder’s blog post.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 




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TBT: Valentine’s Day Letters

Valentine’s Day is only four days away and whether you are choosing to celebrate with a significant other, your gals (Galentine’s Day is just as important as a day!), or other loved ones, it might look a little different this year. Less fancy dinners and more cozy movie nights and take-out!

For this week’s TBT, here’s a picture of the 1904 February edition cover of Comfort, an Augusta, Maine publication calling itself “the key to happiness and success in over a million and a quarter homes.” 

No matter where you are or how far apart, Valentine’s Day is a great day to remind your loved ones how much you care for them with a letter (or a text or phone call)!

Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department.


‘Cat in the Stax: Villanova Theatre Presents Songs for a New World

Villanova Theatre is back with their recorded spring production of Songs for a New World with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown, directed by alumna Kara Scaramazza ’18. She is joined by a stellar creative team, including Music Director and Professor Peter A. Hilliard, Director of Photography Taj Rauch, Scenic Designer Asaki Kuruma ’20, Costume Designer Janus Stefanowicz, Lighting Designer Jerold R. Forsyth, Sound Designer Michael Kiley, Props Designer Sharri Jerue, and Dramaturg Matthew Reddin. 

Songs for a New World is more of a song cycle than a traditional musical, making it adaptable to today’s virtual climate. The entire show was rehearsed and filmed in isolation, except for the final number, filmed on stage of Villanova’s Topper Theatre in the new John and Joan Mullen Center for the Performing Arts.

When watching the performance, I was struck by the dedication and talent of the artists. Live theatre and film are not the same at all and require different skill sets, yet the cast of Songs for a New World went above and beyond to give a high quality performance. Despite not having a stage and set to perform on, the performers used their environments in creative ways to bring a new perspective to the songs in the show.

The beginning of the show emphasizes the isolation that many of us are feeling during the pandemic as the performers are seen together on Zoom and concludes with everyone together on stage. The show takes the viewer on a journey from isolation to togetherness. 

During the Songs for a New World Speaker’s Night Scaramazza shared, “The end of the show is meant to feel like actual connection. While there is no physical touching, the goal is to make it feel like a big warm hug of people being together in a time when it is difficult to be together and creating art when art is more difficult.”

Songs for a New World tells the story of 16 different characters and situations through a wide variety of song genres from pop to gospel to jazz. Ultimately, it was the perfect production for Villanova Theatre to take on as we all enter into a new world.

Tickets are available for $10 here until Sunday, Feb. 14. Visit Villanova Theatre’s website for dramaturgical resources or to watch the Songs for a New World Speaker’s Night.

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Join us for the Spring 2021 Digital Seeds Lectures

This spring Falvey Memorial Library’s Digital Scholarship Program will be offering two lectures in its Digital Seeds Speaker Series. Check out the details below and be sure to REGISTER in advance! Once registered, you will be sent a link to the event.

Julia Lewandoski headshot

“Mapping Indigenous Landowners in 19th-Century Los Angeles: Historicizing GIS and the Public Land Survey System“

Julia Lewandoski, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of History, California State University San Marcos

Thursday, February 18, 4:00-5:00 pm


After the 1848 U.S. conquest of Mexican California, the federal government negotiated, but declined to ratify treaties with Indigenous peoples in California. Tongva, Tataviam, and Chumash peoples around Los Angeles turned to property ownership to keep communities intact and in important places for decades, generating local property maps of their lands.

This project uses ArcGIS to locate, layer, and analyze property maps of Indigenous land in southern California. These local property maps show theJulia Lewandoski Digital map persistent existence of important Indigenous places. They also challenge understandings of the Public Land Survey System (PLSS) as a visual project that replaced Indigenous geographies with rationalized settler space. Indigenous properties and landscapes are clearly visible on historic maps, and in the patterns of the present-day PLSS. Their presence raises questions for GIS practitioners about the tensions between social and mathematical frameworks for locating peoples and places.

Julia Lewandoski is a historian of early North America and is an Assistant Professor at California State University, San Marcos. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow in History and the Digital Humanities at the University of Southern California. She received her PhD in History with a designated emphasis in Science and Technology Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in August 2019. Her dissertation was awarded the 2019 prize by the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR). Her current book project explores how small Indigenous nations across North America exploited imperial transitions to defend land as property in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. She is also at work on a digital companion to the book project, using GIS to examine how Indigenous property has been mapped and measured. Website:

This event is ACS- approved and is co-sponsored by Villanova’s Department of History, the Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest, and Falvey Memorial Library.


Ted Underwood headshot

“Libraries of Babel: An Expansive Future for the Humanities”

Ted Underwood, Professor in the School of Information Sciences and Department of English, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign

Thursday, March 11, 4:00-5:00pm


The last twelve months have not been kind to optimists. It may sound especially implausible to predict a bright future for the humanities right now, since enrollment and hiring are down in many disciplines. But, as paradoxical as it sounds, we are living in an age of unprecedented opportunity for the study of culture and history. Some of the opportunities are well publicized: for instance, digital libraries have opened up fundamental new research questions for literary scholars. I’ll give examples of that work, but the broader point of this talk is to propose that we’re living through a digital transformation that will matter for everyone, not just for academic researchers. In making it possible to explore culture as a latent space—a space of possibility—machine learning facilitates a kind of creative play that is akin to rigorous self-understanding. This is good news for the humanities, although our disciplinary institutions are admittedly struggling to seize the opportunity.

Ted Underwood is a professor in the School of Information Sciences at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and holds an appointment with the Department of English in the College ofTed Underwood's book, Horizons Liberal Arts and Sciences. After writing two books that describe eighteenth- and nineteenth-century literature using familiar critical methods, he turned to new research opportunities created by large digital libraries. Since that time, his research has explored literary patterns that become visible across long timelines, when we consider hundreds or thousands of books at once. He recently used machine learning, for instance, to trace the consolidation of detective fiction and science fiction as distinct genres, and to describe the shifting assumptions about gender revealed in literary characterization from 1780 to the present. He has authored three books about literary history, Distant Horizons (The University of Chicago Press Books, 2019), Why Literary Periods Mattered: Historical Contrast and the Prestige of English Studies(Stanford University Press, 2013), and The Work of the Sun: Literature, Science and Political Economy 1760-1860 (New York: Palgrave, 2005). Website:

This event is ACS- approved and is sponsored by Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library.


If you are interested in learning more about Falvey Memorial  Library’s spring events line-up, please see our events page for an up-to-date listing:



Researcher’s Toolbox: Newspapers and Magazines

Newspapers and magazines are widely used to gauge public attitudes and awareness. These workshops will take a close look at the discovery of national and international news publications. They will cover daily news as well as magazines and newspapers aimed at specific interest groups. Mundane but critical tasks such as locating a cited source, determining the availability of news sources in the local collection, and citing news sources will be addressed as well. Special attention will be paid to digital archives and some of the challenges and opportunities they present.

Join Jutta Seibert, history librarian, for two workshops on newspapers and magazines: Friday, Feb. 12, at 3 p.m. and Wednesday, March 24, at 4 p.m. Both 60-minute workshops are ACS approved.

Please REGISTER HERE for the Feb. 12 workshop. Once registered, you will be sent a link to this event.

Please REGISTER HERE for the March 24 workshop. Once registered, you will be sent a link to this event.


DOUBLE Global Smackdown: Russia, the ICC, & Israel/Palestine

  • Posted by: Jenna Newman
  • Posted Date: February 8, 2021
  • Filed Under: Library News

The snow last week threw us off our routine a bit of Global Smackdown Mondays, but now we are back! To kick-off the semester, we’re doing a DOUBLE Global Smackdown recap.

“Now this has sparked protests all over Russia, not just Moscow. This is something quite novel and we may be on the precipice of something new.”

Last week on the Global Smackdown, Dr. Tim Horner breaks down the new protests springing up across Russia, triggered by the return and arrest of Navalny to Russia. Horner emphasizes the rising social justice concerns in Russia and how young people are responding on modern social media platforms like TikTok. 

The whole Global Smackdown for Monday, Feb. 1, is available via Zoom here.

Where in the world are we?

map depicting Russia

“The International Criminal Court made a ruling this week that has rattled a lot of cages and is potentially a big move for the ICC.”

The ICC ruled, when looking at the conflict between Palestine and Israel, that if you call yourself a state and act like a state to the ICC, then they have territorial jurisdiction to treat you like a state. Horner goes on to discuss the United States concerns about this ruling, especially in regards to sovereignty. 

The whole Global Smackdown for Monday, Feb. 8, is available via Zoom here.

Where in the world are we?



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Last Modified: February 8, 2021