Today, Falvey Library and the Villanova community celebrate Independence Day. This photo, courtesy of the Digital Library@Villanova University, was taken of Villanova’s Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps, in the 1940s. The University maintains one of about 60 U.S. NROTC units, and “reserve commissions as Ensign or 2nd Lieutenant are awarded upon successful completion of prescribed naval science courses and graduation from the University.”
Celebrating 50 years of Title IX, “the landmark gender equity law passed as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, banning sex discrimination in federally funded education programs,” learn more about Villanova University female athletes past and present. Visit the Villanova Athletics website for more information.
Looking for more information on Villanova athletics? Check out the digital exhibit, “Wildcats Past & Present: Moments from the History of Sports at Villanova,” featuring assorted and unique items representative of the varied sports played at Villanova College, and later Villanova University. The exhibit was curated by Susan Ottignon, former Collections Librarian, with assistance from Laura Bang, former Distinctive Collections Librarian, and Michael Foight, Director of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement. Graphics were designed by Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing.
Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library.
By Ethan Shea
On Thursday, Oct. 28, Mark Zuckerberg made a big announcement. As part of a massive rebranding project, his multibillion dollar company, Facebook, has replaced its ubiquitous name with a new corporate title, Meta. As significant as this may seem, to be honest, I’m not very concerned about the odd names billionaires like Zuckerberg come up with (I’m looking at you too Mr. Musk).
Rather, for this week’s “Cat in the Stax,” I’m going to talk about something just as meta but, in my humble opinion, much more interesting. Today I want to define what it means to be meta by exploring some markedly meta books and movies.
With regard to storytelling, in most cases, audiences are meant to be immersed in the book, movie, or song they’re enjoying. But when something is meta, audiences become aware of the fact that they’re watching or listening to something, and the world of the page or screen reveals itself to be separate from the audience’s world. In summation, art that’s meta is self-referential and examines its own meaning as a work of art.
I’m actually in the middle of reading this novel by Valeria Luiselli right now, and I can’t help but notice the metafiction present throughout the text. The story describes the life of a family traveling from New York City to Arizona to conduct research in the midst of injustices continuously being carried out against child refugees at the southern border of the United States. Throughout the journey, each family member receives a box, their own personal archive, and fills it with items gathered during the voyage or deemed important beforehand.
This is where things get meta. The book itself is separated not only into chapters but boxes. Instead of turning to chapter two as one may do in a more traditional text, readers of Lost Children Archive will encounter “Box 2.” This formative archival work leads readers to contemplate how they and the book itself construct their own archives as well as the implications of going through someone else’s belongings. Although the contents of the archives can technically be watered down to a list of items, the parallels between chapters and boxes prove there’s a lot more to be written about them than a few words.
Christopher Nolan’s film Inception (2010) is a remarkably meta movie. The very premise of its story alludes to its meta status, as much of the film’s plot subtly calls attention to the fact that it’s taking place within a film. Throughout the movie, the goal of the protagonists is to complete “inception,” which is the act of planting an idea into someone’s mind through complex layers of dreams. In order to do this, a group of dream-building-experts enter the mind of their target and get to work.
The construction of the dream, the setting, actors, and events, must all be perfect so the victim doesn’t realize they’re in a dream, just as movies must be crafted so audiences forget what they’re watching isn’t real. This is why Inception is one of the most meta films in recent memory.
For something to be meta, it doesn’t have to be as complex as Inception. In fact, the children’s story Elephant & Piggie: We Are In A Book is extremely meta because the story’s characters, Elephant and Piggie, become conscious of their existence within a book. At first Elephant doesn’t understand how they’re being “read,” but before long, the pair becomes excited about life between the pages. To entertain themselves, Elephant and Piggie make the reader say a funny word… “banana.” Before the inevitable ending of the book, Elephant starts to worry about how their story will conclude, so in a last-ditch effort to extend the time they’re being read, Piggy asks the reader to read the book again.
This children’s story is meta because its entire premise is made possible by calling attention to its form. Here, in a fun and simple way, young readers can begin to understand what it means to be meta and how stories continue to live in the present through the act of reading.
By Jutta Seibert
Newspapers and magazines are popular primary sources for good reasons: many of them have been digitized, they cover most topics and events, and they are continuously published over many years.
Compared to other primary sources, which are preserved in brick and mortar archives and which may only exist in their fragile original format, newspaper and magazine archives are widely available with few hurdles to access. By their very nature they were mass-produced when they were first published, and in many cases have since been converted to microfilm and digital formats.
Identifying suitable newspapers and magazines for a project among the plethora of serial publications would be daunting where it not for specific research tools designed to help with this task.
Newspaper and magazine archives present some unique research challenges, such as locating existing archives or issues and finding access to them through library portals. Falvey’s new research guide Newspapers & Magazines addresses most of these challenges. It offers guidance on how to find a specific newspaper or magazine, how to find a cited article, how to identify newspapers and magazines for a project, and gives advice on how to work with digital and microfilm archives. It also covers Chicago-style citations for news articles. One of the most exciting features of the new guide is an A-Z list of available newspaper and magazine archives.
The Newspapers & Magazines research guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which encourages interested readers to reuse all or part of its contents. Falvey also offers a workshop on research with newspaper and magazine archives, which can be requested through the Library’s website.
We invite you to take a closer look and revisit the guide the next time you are looking for newspaper and magazine archives. The Newspapers & Magazines research guide can be found on the history subject guide on the Library’s website.
Let us know what you think and send us your questions.
Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.
Happy Boss’s Day to the Wildcat supervisors out there, and to one special, non-Villanovan: Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen.
Before he was “Born in the USA” or “Born to Run,” Bruce was born to play at Villanova a whole lot. He rocked the campus three times in 1973 alone! From all accounts, he crooned to mere dozens back then, and the photo above, from the 1974 Belle Aire yearbook, didn’t even caption whether this is actually Springsteen strumming.
The Library staff is divided on the identity of the singer in the photo too.
The hair, beard, silver cross, and guitar model and strap closely match this image, also from 1973.
So what do you think? Did we find a long, lost Springsteen photo or bust out with a basic Bruce-a-like?
While you’re pondering, head over to our Digital Library and check out our other amazing yearbooks from yesteryear.
By Shawn Proctor
Irish runners and Villanova Athletics. For more than five decades, the pairing was synonymous, resulting in medals and championships in the highest levels of collegiate and world track competition.
Yesterday Marcus O’Sullivan ’84, Villanova Men’s Track and Field Coach, and Beaudry Rae Allen ’13 MA, Preservation and Digital Archivist, discussed this era of fleet Irish feet at the talk “Irish Pipeline: Irish Athletics at Villanova,” co-sponsored by the Center for Irish Studies and Falvey Memorial Library.
In all, this pipeline of talent, beginning in 1948, included all 50 states and 715 athletes, and was a benefit to both scholar-athletes and the programs they joined. Dig deeper into this storied tradition with these resources:
- Ian O’Riordan. “How US scholarships won over Irish athletics; For many years the American scholarship trail was signposted as the only way for Irish athletes to succeed in the sport.” The Irish Times. April 27, 2020 Monday. https://advance-lexis-com.ezp1.villanova.edu/api/document?collection=news&id=urn:contentItem:5YS6-4MV1-DYS1-037W-00000-00&context=1516831.
Excerpt: “The Pipeline, as the American scholarship trail was originally known, soon spread far beyond Villanova University, the small rural-like campus 12 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Villanova, however, is where the connection still runs strongest.”
- Christopher Graziano. “Track Record of Excellence: More than ever, Villanova is a destination school for the world’s finest student-athletes in track and field”. Villanova Magazine. Spring 2016. https://www1.villanova.edu/content/dam/villanova/ucomm/documents/VM_Spring2016.pdf.
Excerpt: “Wildcats also have vaulted to glory in global competitions, including at least one Villanova Track and Field Olympian in every Summer Olympics since 1948. Beginning with the 1956 Summer Games…Villanovans have won 11 gold and silver medals in track and field events.”
- “George Guida, 93; Track Star Was Key to ’Nova’s ‘Irish Pipeline.’” Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA), 2015. http://search.ebscohost.com.ezp1.villanova.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsgov&AN=edsgcl.428634855.
- Irish Studies Resource Guide: https://library.villanova.edu/research/subject-guides/global-interdisciplinary-studies/irish-studies.
Many brands have held a place in the media for decades, one of those being Coca-Cola. Take a minute to look at the evolution of Coca-Cola ads over the years. The Grover Cleveland Alexander ad is from May 20th, 1916, while the video is one of Coca-Cola’s most recent ad campaigns from August 2020. The company’s advertisement campaigns have evolved from the traditional “drink Coke because so-and-so is.” The modern-day campaign focuses on drinking Coke because of the values of the company and their desire to ignite change.
To see more classic advertisements, visit Falvey’s digital exhibit, “You Can Learn a Lot from Advertising!”
You can watch the full Coca-Cola advertisement here.
Jenna Newman is a graduate assistant in Falvey Memorial Library and a graduate student in the Communication Department. Current mood: Getting ready to run out and buy a nice, cold Coke on my lunch break.
By Shawn Proctor
Today is 1842 Day, Villanova’s annual day of giving, the 24-hour event that celebrates the people and programs that are making a difference at Villanova and beyond. While there are so many departments that make the University a special place, we hope Villanovans will take this opportunity to make a gift to Falvey Memorial Library this 1842 Day.
Your gift of any amount will go even further this 1842 Day—University Librarian Millicent Gaskell has announced she will match donations to the Library up to $1842!
“A gift to the Library is a gift to the whole University,” Gaskell says. “Those gifts have a lasting impact.”
The 1842 donations will continue to support and preserve the Library’s distinctive collections, including University Archives and rare materials, aiding students and faculty for years to come.
Typically, the Library receives more than half a million visitors. While this year is anything but typical, Jeehyun “Jee” Davis, Associate University Librarian for Collections and Stewardship, says Falvey’s staff have found ways to keep providing services and support throughout the spring and fall semesters. “It is so important for our students and faculty to have access to Falvey’s online and physical collections. That’s why I am so proud of our successful and safe reopening.”
Funds from 2019 allowed the University to purchase equipment and supplies used in the University Archives and Special Collections to clean and maintain valuable materials and books.
Villanova will feature a livestream broadcast highlighting all that makes the University great. Tune in at villanova.edu and catch featured segments on Facebook @VillanovaU. This year, our livestream coverage will feature hosts Keith Jones ’07, Lauren Dugan ’16, and Darryl “D.Rey” Reynolds ’17.
We hope you will support Falvey and help us continue to make a difference. Every gift, of any amount, makes a difference.
Shawn Proctor is a Communication and Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Villanova community in unique ways with the swift shift to online learning; seniors not being able to attend in-person commencement; NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament cancelled; our faculty and students in the Nursing School called into service; the campus closed; the uncertainty of what fall 2020 will look like; and the ever-growing disruptions to our personal lives.
The University Archives, in partnership with Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest, invites you to contribute your recollections of how you are experiencing the ongoing situation around COVID-19 to the archives’ collection.
The project is meant to capture the stories and thoughts so future researchers and community members can look back to know and understand what this period was like for those who lived through it. The project is also an opportunity to share in the experience and your memories matter, so your experiences are an important part of our shared Villanova history.
How to participate
We invite you to submit your experience to the University Archives where the materials will be preserved and made publicly available for future research. The submission form can be found here.
And all members of the community– students, faculty, staff, and alumni– are welcome to submit:
- stories of their experience
- social media posts
- video or audio recording
- digital artwork
How you submit your thoughts and experiences is up to you! For instance, you can write in the form of a journal entry, save your social media posts, take photos and/or videos of life as you see it, or create multimedia works of digital storytelling.
Also, you may submit as many times as you’d like. Share your experience once or monthly!
If you have any questions about the form or the project please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you to Jason Steinhauer, Director of Lepage Center, for spearheading the collaboration. Thank you to Mark Hewlett and Kaitlin Gottuso in assisting with review. And many thanks to the our Falvey colleagues’ David Uspal and Joanne Quinn for form set-up and graphics.
This recording is of curators Beaudry Rae Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist, and Emma Poley, Theatre MA ’21, prepping materials for the new Spring Exhibit, “Be Not Afraid of Greatness: Celebrating the History of Villanova Theatre.” Before exhibit material is put on display Beaudry and Emma organize and arrange material beforehand to determine how the narrative should be displayed, where the exhibit text should be placed, and what items look best for each case. To make sure sizing is right, they use a cut-out template to outline the space available.