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Distinctive Collections: The Smallest Item

What is the smallest item in your collection?

While our Distinctive Collections have many small and fascinating items (a Sumerian clay tablet, a miniature edition of Shakespeare’s plays), the smallest item has to be this tiny seed pod amazingly filled with even tinier carved ivory animals. This item belongs to the James D. Reap, Jr. World War II Collection, which coincidentally also houses one of the largest items from Distinctive Collections (see: Scanning a Panoramic Sketch).

 

The little red seed comes from the red sandalwood tree, common in India and other tropic areas. Sometimes called the Red Lucky Seed, Circassian Seed, Jumbi-Bead, or magic charm bean, the hollow seeds filled with carved ivory animals (usually elephants) were likely sold or distributed as souvenirs that would bring good luck with each animal inside. This seed, like a fancy perfume bottle, has a carved stopper on top that fits just right. Inside easily and comfortably fits thirteen paper-thin little animals. The animals are intricately carved and some are quite recognizable. There is a camel and a giraffe, an elephant, and other four-legged creatures. Each one is only about 4 mm tall (the giraffe is 6 mm tall) and the seed with stopper measures 8 mm wide and 12 mm height.

We are not sure where Reap acquired it, but it was certainly while overseas between 1944-1946. After enlisting in the Navy in November 1943 and training at Bainbridge, MD and Fort Lauderdale, FL, he was then ordered to San Diego to join the Japanese invasion force. The USS White Marsh took Reap to Pearl Harbor, HI, where he was assigned to the USS Proteus, a submarine tender, as a radar and communications technician. He was stationed at various times at: Guam; Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands; Japan; and Panama. After the war, Reap was honorably discharged from Naval service on April 6, 1946.

Earlier this summer we had a chance to revisit this collection with James D. Reap, Jr.’s son and great-granddaughter during their visit to campus. They fondly remembered the little “ivory zoo” and son James J. Reap recalled his father proudly rolling out the sketch of Yokosuka Naval Base in his basement to show family and friends. The family is happy that the collection is now being preserved with Villanova University’s Distinctive Collections, and excited to see items shared online in the Digital Library.

 

James J. Reap, ’69 and his granddaughter, Abby, pose with items from the James D. Reap, Jr. World War II Collection.

 


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FotoFriday: Honoring One of Villanova’s Bravest

Photo of Bernie Mason

Happy Independence Weekend to Bernie Mason ’95 CLAS (he turned 99 years old in May) who served in World War II with the legendary Ghost Army before becoming a successful commercial artist!


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University Archives Acquisition: Ann Marie Cammarota Research Records

Pages from the archives

The University Archives recently acquired the research materials compiled by alumnus Ann Marie Cammarota for her 1985 Master Thesis, Consideration of the American Press Coverage of the Cuban Political Situation from 1952 to 1958 and its Influence of the United States Foreign Policy. Cammarota’s thesis investigated if American press coverage of Batista’s government influenced the State Department’s policies at the time. The papers include declassified memoranda from the State Department regarding Cuban activities between 1957 and 1958. The documents reveal the State Department’s growing apprehension surrounding escalating violence and the United States’ international reputation.

After completing her Masters in 1985, Cammarota continued her studies at Temple University for a PhD in History. She has been an instructor Neuman College, St. Joseph’s University, and Rosemont College. In addition to teaching, she has published a book, Pavements in the Garden: The Suburbanization of Southern New Jersey, Adjacent to the City of Philadelphia, 1769 to Present, which is also available in our general stacks.

The University Archives is excited for the new addition to the collections because the documents serve as significant primary sources for US-Cuban relations as well as highlight the work of our former students. The documents have been added to VUA 32 Alumni Records and available for research.


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‘Caturday: There’s a chapel in the pines…waiting for us, around the bend…

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We suppose we could have gone with These Boots Are Made for Walking as a suitable lyrical caption for this 50-year old photo of a lovesick Wildcat couple gazing across a snowy Mendel Field.

But it’s Valentine’s Weekend and we’re in the mood for love!

So instead, we’re going to imagine that it’s the other #1 hit from February 1966 – Lou Christie’s Lightin’ Strikes – that’s the soundtrack in the heads of these cooing ‘Cats. Admittedly, its lyrics are primarily about a guy not quite ready to settle down, but there really is a chapel there! And it is just around the bend from these two and surrounded by what probably is a dozen pines or so.

We just have to head to the Digital Library’s helpful  Arboreana to make sure.  🙂

Scanned from the 1966 Belle Air.


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Reunion Weekend FAQs: Falvey Alumni Questions

WILDCAT QUESTION MARK2Other than where are the restrooms (through the lounge doors, to your left) and when is Holy Grounds open (a bit trickier during summer months – check their website), here are the questions most often asked by visiting alumni!

Am I able to look at past issues of The Villanovan?

Yes! The collected issues of the Villanovan and the Villanova Monthly are available here. Issues are fully searchable from the Library Catalog and are in pdf format for easy reading, printing and downloading.

Search the fulltext in the Digital Library search box or in the library Search tab.  Selected content is available to the Villanova Community members from 1995-current in the Lexis-Nexis database.

Print copies of articles published since 1995 can be requested at the front desk.  When requesting an issue, please use the call number LD4834 .S75V (Garey Hall).

Falvey has an index, in excel format, to assist in finding specific articles published in the Villanovan from 1992 through 2006.

 

Can I look at old Belle Air yearbooks?

Yes! These are not digitized, but the library does has paper format only of the yearbooks available for browsing during library hours. Check our home page for hours – which do often vary during this time of year.

Here is the following information on the title and holdings:

Title: Belle-air. Publisher: [Villanova, Pa. : Villanova College, 1922- . Call Number: LD4834 .S75

Available Volume  Holdings: 1922, 1924-1941, 1943-2004, 2006- to present. Ask at Circulation for the specific volume.

 

Am I still entitled to use the library as an alumni?

Yes! VU alumni are eligible for a free courtesy membership that allows borrowing privileges and on-site access to most of our online databases. To apply, simply come to the Falvey circulation desk with a photo ID.  Check out the  ‘Alumni — Courtesy Membership’ and ‘Courtesy Member Borrowing’ pages for more information:

Villanova Alumni and Residents of Radnor or Lower Merion townships may apply annually for borrowing privileges and on site access to subscription databases. There is no membership fee for these privileges.

Villanova University Catalogs

Are you on social media?

Yes! We are on social media! Follow both the main library and the digital library on a wide selection of platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, GoodReads, Google+ and Pinterest! Or, get a great sampling of all of them on our new Rebelmouse account.

 


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Last Modified: June 5, 2014