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Weekend Recs: Nostalgia

By Jenna Renaud

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Memorial Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Jenna, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

The end of the semester is upon us and the only thing standing between us and summer is a couple of exams and final papers. For many people, this time of year is a nostalgic one. Maybe you’re a senior and thinking back over your four years at Villanova and all the memories. Or maybe your nostalgic for your childhood home, knowing going back home for the summer will bring back a flood of memories. No matter what the reason, sometimes it’s just fun to take a stroll down memory lane. Keep reading for some ways you can play into that nostalgic feeling this weekend. 

If you have 2 minutes… read this article about what nostalgia actually is and the impact it can have on us and our mood.  

If you have 10 minutes… and are near Falvey, stop by between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to grab some baseball-themed treats, destress from finals, and reminisce on the school year with your friends.  

If you have 30 minutes… and want to go way back, spend some time digitally flipping through old Belle Air yearbooks, available in Falvey’s digital collection.  

If you have 1 hour and 28 minutes… watch the new Netflix documentary “White Hot: The Rise & Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch” that does a deep dive into the company’s exclusionary marketing and discriminatory hiring practices. Just thinking about the documentary, I instantly get transported back to wandering the mall with friends in middle school and coming across the strong scent of their store. 

If you have 8 hours… and a lot of papers to write, visit your favorite study spot in Falvey. The semester is coming to a close and though it may not seem like it now, you may miss grabbing a coffee from Holy Grounds and having a productive study session this summer!


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

 


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Women’s History Month – Transcribing 19th-Century Friendship Letters

By Anamartha Hinojosa 

Letter, To: “My Dear Sarah,” June 29, 1818.

Transcribing letters from archives can transport you to the not-so-distant past. Although society inevitably changes, the continuity of human experiences remains. I learned this while working with Spanish letters from the Barry-Hayes papers in Villanova’s Digital Library. As a native Spanish speaker, I jumped at the opportunity to translate nineteenth-century letters that had gone unnoticed. Together with Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Librarian/ Archivist, and Micaela Miralles-Bianconi, a history graduate from the class of 2021, we were able to transcribe and translate letters received by Philadelphian Sarah Barry Hayes (1798-1821), who was the great-niece of Commodore John Barry (1745-1803). Most of the Spanish letters Sarah received were love letters written by Joseph Moran, who was from Cuba. The letters contained remarks of youthful affection, yearning caused by long distance, and even jealousy at times; all of which sound so relatable. This project shed light on both the Latinx presence in the Northeast and the development of an intercultural relationship, as well as the ordinary life of a young socialite in the 1800s.

Once the Spanish letters were finished, I was introduced to another important person in Sarah’s life, her dearest friend Harriet Cottringer (1799-1865). It appears that Harriet and Sarah became close friends in Philadelphia and remained friends after Harriet moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Bridget Cullen Cottringer (Harriet’s mother) decided to open a boarding school in Alexandria with her five daughters (Caroline, Harriet, Ann, Cornelia, and Betsy) after her husband, Garrett Cottringer (1759-1816), passed away. It was truly incredible to see these women take matters into their own hands and succeed on their own. In a letter to Sarah, Harriet wrote, “I would not exchange situations with the happiest bride in the world, and I am convinced I am happier than many of them although I labour for my daily bread” (vudl:161670).

The letters Harriet wrote to Sarah were my favorite to transcribe because it was like opening a chat between two best friends frozen in time. Although we only have one side of the conversation, its vivid content nevertheless provides a descriptive account of their friendship. Harriet and Sarah discuss what any twenty-year-old would with their best friend: their day-to-day, fun activities, meeting up with friends, attending parties, boys, gossip, and of course, how much they mean to each other.

My favorite part of transcribing letters is researching the people mentioned in them. Thankfully, Harriet talks about a lot of people in her letters to Sarah. Sometimes it is easy to identify the person – through a Google search or websites like Find a Grave – when Harriet writes details such as their full name, where they are from, or who are their acquaintances. It is also helpful that Harriet and Sarah associate with well-known families like the Lee’s (as in Robert E. Lee). Notably, Harriet and her sisters are mentioned several times in the diary of Charles Francis Adams, the son of President John Quincy Adams. However, sometimes we are not as lucky and cannot identify the individual when only a first name or last name is given; even more so when Harriet and Sarah began writing names in code. It seems that they came up with code names while they were visiting each other. The code names appear to be for men because they say, “Wax came to Exeter…we have seen him several times, he looks quite well,” “Chicken is also a constant visitor, he inquires constantly if we have heard from our friends in Philadelphia,” and “Sponge joined us…he has his right arm in a sling” (vudl:161775). Although it is frustrating that we may never know who they were talking about, I find it so amusing to visualize Harriet and Sarah laughing while using these code names.

It is evident through Harriet’s letters that Harriet and Sarah had a beautiful friendship. Their constant letters attest that they were each other’s best friend and confidant. In one letter Harriet wrote, “I cherish you in my heart and look forward to a happier day when we shall again be united in that friendship which has subsisted between us so long and which I hope will continue to the end of our lives. In your next letter I shall expect a minute detail of every thing relating to you and your family” (vudl:161540). They also deeply cared for one another. On one occasion there was a rumor going around in Philadelphia that Harriet was engaged to a Mr. Morgan, so Harriet wrote to Sarah, “I must employ you as a friend to contradict it most positively whenever you hear it mentioned, for I assure it is entirely false” (vudl:161660). Sadly, this friendship was cut short because Sarah died at the age of 23 in 1821. But her memory lived on because Harriet was married in 1824 and named one of her daughters Sarah Hayes Brent (1830-1862) in honor of her dear friend.

For more on the Spanish love letters, check out Rebecca Oviedo’s Archival Outlook article: https://mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=715946. The letters referenced above can all be found in Series VII: Sarah Barry Hayes in the Digital Library.

 


Anamartha Hinojosa is an M.A. student in History at Villanova University. 

 

 


 


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Villanova Featured on Irish National Website

By Rebecca Oviedo

Front pages of newspapers, The Irish Press, The Gaelic American, and The Clan-na-Gael Journal (Digital Library@Villanova University)

 

Villanova University’s well-known connections to Ireland, Irish and Irish American history, and the Irish diaspora has recently led to an invitation to share more about those connections and our collections on Century Ireland, a website hosted by RTÉ, Ireland’s national television and radio broadcaster.

The featured article is distinguished as being the first in a new series on “Global Archives,” which will highlight the rich historical collections available to researchers of the Irish Revolution in archives around the world.

Read the full article here: https://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/global-archives-villanova-university.

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


 


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New Year, New Status

By Rebecca Oviedo

Every year since 2019 we have delighted in reviewing our Distinctive Collections for new titles entering the public domain to scan and bring to you in our Digital Library each new year. For 20 years prior to 2019, new items to the public domain were restricted due to a copyright extension enacted in 1998. Laura Bang wrote an excellent review and round-up of further reading on the blog in December 2019.

This year we’re adding two works that have been included in two of our online exhibits but could not previously be shared in full due to copyright. Alright, well one exhibit is brand new this year, so it didn’t have to wait very long!

Joining nine other titles already in the public domain by Villanova alumnus, poet, and author Thomas Augustine Daly is A Little Book of American Humorous Verse, published in Philadelphia in 1926. Dedicated “to all lovers of the laughing muse,” T.A. Daly has compiled a selection of light verse by American authors ranging from the well-known and enduring Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, to his own friends and contemporaries Christopher Morley, Joyce Kilmer, and of course, himself.

Coming soon is our brand new exhibit, “That Fairyland of Ice”: Polar Exploration in Mind and Memory, which includes Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s 1926 The Adventure of Wrangel Island, from the James Wheeler collection. This copy is inscribed by Stefansson himself to his friend Henry Grier Bryant (1859-1932), a fellow explorer and writer from Philadelphia. Stefansson was a prolific author with 12 other books in the Wheeler collection, many of them also signed copies.

Of course 2022 also brings new additions to our Dime Novel and Popular Literature collection including these newspapers from 1926: a September issue of Chicago’s Blade and Ledger and a May 21st issue of The Cleveland News. Well into Prohibition, catching my eye in this latter issue is an advertisement for Pabst-ett, “the new finer food that’s more than cheese” from Pabst Brewing Company and an article on the front page reporting on the perjury trial of a Broadway theater producer’s “bathtub party” allegedly at which “pretty Joyce Hawley, Broadway model, ‘entirely undressed,’ splashed merrily in a bathtub of bubbling champagne while a score of men drank from the contents of the tub.”  !!!

Other major titles freely available this year include A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh and Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. This past December, The Public Domain Review did a festive advent-style calendar in anticipation of new items in the public domain for 2022. Here’s to a new year!

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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Photo Friday: Villanova Winters Through the Years

By Ethan Shea

"Campus Snow Scene: Alumni Hall"

Photograph of a snowy Alumni Hall (c. 1899 – 1903)

"Campus Snow Scene"

Campus snow scene (c. 1920s)

"Photograph Campus Alumni Hall Winter Scene circa 1920s"

Alumni Hall in the winter (c. 1920s)

"Campus View Snow Scene - Dougherty Hall"

Photograph of a snow-clad Dougherty Hall (1960)

"Campus Snow Scene with view of St. Thomas of Villanova Church and St. Rita's Hall"

Campus snow scene with view of St. Thomas of Villanova Church and St. Ritas Hall (c. 1970s)

If warm weather is preventing you from getting into the holiday spirit, Falvey Memorial Library is here to help! Our Digital Library curates countless collections, including the photographs above, creating windows to the past. These images date back to the 19th century and allow us to reminisce on times when our campus was covered in the snow we all (okay, maybe not everyone) know and love. Whether you’re looking forward to winter weather or hoping for continued warmth, here at Falvey, we hope you enjoy the holidays and have a relaxing winter break!


Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Happy Holidays from the Archives

Villanova Monthly Cover

The Villanova Monthly, Vol. 4. No. 8, December 1896

As the question, “what are you doing for break?” begins to spread over the land and deep sighs hoping for finals to end, the University Archives extends a Happy Holidays to all the Villanova students, staff, and faculty this year. Here is a past glance of the December 1896 Villanova Monthly (precursor to The Villanovan).

 

Christmas Time Poem by John Whelan

The poem is written by John I. Whelan, a 1895 graduate and 1894-5 school year recipient of Gold Medals for Logic, English Literature, & Chemistry.


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New Digital Collection: Irish International Exhibition, 1907

We recently digitized a collection of colorful postcards and other ephemeral materials related to the Irish International Exhibition held in Dublin, 1907. These items are part of a larger collection of Irish postage stamps and postcards given to Falvey Memorial Library by Johan Albert Norstedt (1937-2020). View the items in our Digital Library HERE.

The Irish International Exhibition was a world’s fair held in Herbert Park, in the Ballsbridge neighborhood of Dublin from May to October, 1907. It was typical of expositions of the time which were meant to promote industry, arts, and manufacturing and to stimulate trade and commerce. Featured buildings included a Grand Central Palace, the Fine Art Gallery, the Palace of Industries, the Palace of Mechanical Arts, a Canadian Pavilion, and a Concert Hall and Bandstand. A program for the exhibition details the buildings and features, which also included “an extensive lake with picturesque bridges and islands, … a Water Chute, Rivers of Ireland, Switchback Railway, Helter Skelter Lighthouse, Shooting Galleries, and Somali Village” as “some of the numerous Side-Shows which afford amusement to visitors.” The Somali Village was an ethnological exposition or a “human zoo” and a quite literal display of British imperialism.

 

This is a welcome new addition to our Digital Library where you can also find the full 204-page Official Catalogue for the exhibition in the Joseph McGarrity Collection as well as many references and reactions in our extensive newspaper holdings. One such article appears in The Gaelic American, a newspaper published in New York City devoted to the cause of Irish independence from British rule. The cartoon titled “Irish Anti-National Exhibition 1907” and the article headline says it all: “The International Exhibition Fraud: British Show in Dublin a Mere Loyalist Demonstration – Chief Manufactures on Exhibition are Loyalty, British Officials, Soldiers, and Castle Hacks.”

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Thanksgiving Hop

Thanksgiving Hop

In continuation of exploring traditions of the past, the University Archives highlights Villanova’s penchant for a good party with the Thanksgiving Hop.

1927 Yearbook description of Thanksgiving Hop

1927 Belle Air Yearbook

Thanksgiving break has always gotten students excited for a study break and return home to see family and friends. In the 1920s, before students made their trek home for Thanksgiving, the Senior class would host a Thanksgiving Hop, later known as the Thanksgiving Dance, for all the students. The night would be filled with dancing, live music, and good food to send off students. The Hop appeared as a co-ed dance and lasted with different incarnations into the 1950s.


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International Students’ Day

Happy International Students’ Day! International students attending Villanova is as old as the institution itself, as we remember it was Irish Augustinians’ who founded the College. Not only were Irish the first international students to attend but also Spanish, Cuban, and Puerto Rican students. As you can see in the 1870-1871 list of students.

More history on the earliest students and campus life can be found in Distinctive Collections’ Annual Catalogue collection available in the digital library.

International Students’ Day originates from students’ resistance in the streets of Prague against Nazi occupation on November 17, 1939.  Nazis arrested 1,200 students from Czech universities and sent them to concentration camps and shut down all Czech colleges and universities. The resistance inspired the establishment of an anti-Nazi students coalition. In 1941, November 17 was declared International Students Day by the International Students Council in London, which became the  foundation for the International Union of Students. Today, International Students’ Day has evolved beyond observance of student activism, but a celebration the cultural diversity that international students bring to their universities.

 

 


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Distinctive Collections’ Eerie Exhibit: Halloween Selfie Stations

Photo of a selfie station featuring an image from a Villanova Theatre production (1960).

Image courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library.


Happy Halloween, Wildcats! This week, stop by Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner to check out an eerie exhibit! Visit the selfie station backdrops to snap a spooky photo. The selfie station features large backdrop images from the Villanova University Digital Library. Patrons can take a selfie with a scary shot from a Villanova Theatre Production in 1960 as well as a fun Halloween image from the Joseph McGarrity Collection. Special thanks to the Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement team for making these images available.

Along with your selfie, please take a Halloween treat to enjoy on your way out of the Library! As a friendly reminder, eating is only permitted in Holy Grounds.


 

Kelly McMahon ’22 CLAS is a student employee in the Communication and Marketing department at Falvey Memorial Library.


 

 


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Last Modified: October 26, 2021