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New digital mini exhibit highlighting women’s suffrage materials

Header for a special supplement on women’s suffrage in the May 1, 1915 issue of the Ardmore Chronicle.

In honor of Women’s History Month and the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, we’ve created a digital mini exhibit featuring some of our women’s suffrage materials from Falvey’s Distinctive Collections.

We have two items from the National American Woman Suffrage Association — the published proceedings of their 25th annual convention in 1893 and a program for the 48th annual convention in 1916.

Program, Forty-eighth Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, New Nixon Theatre, Thursday, Sept. 7, 1916.

Beyond that, we have several articles and advertisements from national and local print media outlets from the early 20th century.

Anderson, James. “The Forty-Year Fight for Suffrage.” Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper, 20 Jul. 1918, pp. 87, 89.


Advertisement for Shredded Wheat. The Fra: A Journal of Affirmation, Jul. 1913, rear cover.

These materials were originally pulled for a pop-up exhibit to complement the Lepage Center’s “Revising History: Women’s Suffrage” panel discussion that had to be canceled this month. We are thrilled that we can still share these materials digitally.

View our women’s suffrage mini exhibit online here.


Recognize the Work of Villanova Seniors: Falvey Scholar Award Nominations Are Still Being Accepted

The 2019 Falvey Scholar Award Winners.

There’s still time to nominate Villanova seniors for Falvey Scholar Awards! Awards are given each spring to individual or group projects of seniors who have completed exemplary scholarship.

Although all University events are canceled for the remainder of the spring semester, the committee will highlight the 2020 award winners in an alternative format. The deadline for faculty nominations has been extended until Friday, April 3.

Please contact for additional information. Faculty can nominate seniors here. Once nominated, students will be asked to apply in order to be considered for the award using a link on the same page.

View past winner entries in the Villanova University Digital Library.

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





Get crafty with our collections

Coloring pages!

We’ve created coloring page versions of several of the illustrations from our collections for the #ColorOurCollections campaign over the past four years. You’ll find fantastic beasts, fashionable ladies, and more to color. The Comfort Year-Round compilation sounds especially nice right now.

If you’re looking for some more advanced crafting, try our WWI Paper Toys. These pages were printed in the Chicago Ledger and the Public Ledger during the First World War. The toys range from simple paper dolls to more complex vehicles of war, including tanks, airplanes, and submarines. You can watch a timelapse video of Chris Hallberg, Library Technology Developer, assembling an ambulance below.

You’ll find all of these in our Paper Crafts collection in the Digital Library! If you do any coloring or assemble any WWI toys, we’d love to see your creations. Tag us on Twitter (@VillanovaDigLib) or Instagram (@villanovalibrary).

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TBT: Irish Bards

Photo of the book "Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards" by Joseph C. Walker (1818).

Photo courtesy of Villanova University’s Digital Library.

Still celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? Check out Cormac Common and other Historical Memoirs of the Irish Bards by Joseph C. Walker (1818) on Villanova University’s Digital Library.

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





TBT: Manifold Blessings

Photo courtesy of Villanova University Digital Library

“Never has America had greater occasion for Thanksgiving than today. Think of the manifold blessings for which we should be profoundly grateful…”

Leslie’s illustrated weekly newspaper, v. 127, no. 3298, November 23, 1918, details the ending of World War I. View the full newspaper on Villanova University’s Digital Library.

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


A mini-podcast of Halloween treats!

Happy Halloween! We have a short podcast of Halloween treats, featuring poems and a story from our Digital Library.

“All-Hallowe’en” by Thomas Dickson Finletter, in Pennsylvania’s Verse, p. 109.

“Under the Trysting Tree” in The New York family story paper, v. XXIII, no. 1151, Saturday, October 26, 1895, p. 8.

“The Uninvited Hallowe’en Guest: A Mysterious Fatality” by Lydia M. Dunham O’Neil, in Comfort, v. XXIV, no. 12, October 1912, p. 2,4.

This podcast featured the voice talents of Emma Poley, Demian Katz, and Caroline Sipio. The audio was edited and produced by Gabriella Bernocco, and executive produced by Laura Bang.


Finding Villanova Theses and Dissertations – A new guide

photo of books

Photo by Jan Mellström on Unsplash.

Are you looking for a Villanova thesis or dissertation? You’ve come to the right place! Falvey Memorial Library has been collecting masters theses and doctoral dissertations written by Villanova students since 1920!

However, they’re not always so easy to find…

  • Some dissertations and theses are held in print on library shelves, although they’re housed in a locked area and must be retrieved by Access Services staff.
  • Others are online, some of which are in the Villanova Digital Library and others of which are accessible via ProQuest.
  • A portion of the print copies housed in Falvey are represented in the online library catalog, while others are not.
  • We also hold undergraduate honors theses from the most recent 20 years, and a small number of other undergraduate theses, in our online collections.

It’s confusing.

To facilitate access to these Villanova-authored materials, we have created a quick guide to finding dissertations and theses at Falvey Memorial Library, organized by school/college and by year of publication. You can access the guide here ( Follow the steps described, and you’ll be blissfully reading that thesis in no time.

If you need more help finding dissertations or theses, please contact your friendly librarian. We are always happy to help!


Susan Turkel headshot

Susan Turkel, MA, MLS, is the Social Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.


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.



Map Quest

In my quest for “complex” items from our Distinctive Collections to add to Villanova University’s Digital Library (see: Scanning a Panoramic Sketch) I was drawn to the many beautiful hand-colored maps in The John F. Smith, III, and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection. While a few unframed maps and prints were already added to the Digital Library, the majority of the collection holdings to date are custom framed and previously unscanned (See: The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection: A Recent Addition to Special Collections). Making use of past exhibition posters, I was able to utilize the large poster boards to remove or minimize the reflective glare from the framed glass to digitally capture these wonderful and unique images.

Pair of maps depicting the surface of the moon, based upon the models of Johannes Hevelius and Giovanni Battista Riccioli.

There are currently 62 items from the collection now in our Digital Library, 35 items are currently on display at Picotte Hall at Dundale, and we are expecting another installment of items for donation from the Smiths this summer. In addition to the items in the Digital Library, Distinctive Collections Librarian Laura Bang is developing a web exhibit for the collection, featuring Mr. Smith’s personal reflections on each map. We are excited to highlight and provide access in a myriad of ways to these historic documents as part of our academic mission.

This 18th century map of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York features an elaborate cartouche showing William Penn trading with natives, local flora and fauna, and a wild turkey. This Smith map is especially fine with ornate and expert hand-coloring, compared with another example, below, in our Special Collections.



















Selections from this collection were also previously on display in Around the World: Selections from the Smith Antique Map Collection, an exhibit on the first floor of Falvey Memorial Library in Spring 2018. Alongside these selections were other map and cartographic items from Special Collections, including a curious dissected map – an early precursor to the modern jigsaw puzzle! This item had also not yet been digitized, so I enlisted my colleagues to help assemble the pieces in preparation for digitizing.

Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist, and Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian, practice their geography skills.  

Some of the earliest surviving dissected maps were sold in London in the 1760s by mapmaker John Spilsbury. Originally a method of teaching geography to the children of the aristocracy, puzzle maps became more accessible to a broader range of clientele as new methods of manufacturing made the process cheaper. Our example came in a wooden box, with a handwritten inscription on the bottom: “with dear Papa’s best love and wishes, December 31st 1849.”

We did it! After successfully completing the (educational and entertaining!) puzzle, here is the finished product – which you can see dissected and undissected –  in the Digital Library: Map of Asia, by James Wyld.

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Scanning a Panoramic Sketch




Recently added to the Digital Library is a unique item from the James D. Reap, Jr. World War II Collection. The item is a 16 ½ foot panorama sketch of Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, drawn by Reap over the course of two weeks in 1945, while stationed on the USS Proteus in Tokyo Bay after the end of the war.

James Domenico Reap, Jr. was born on February 25, 1923. Originally from Berwick, PA, he attended Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, and the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Villanova University. Reap enlisted in the Navy in November 1943. He was assigned to the USS Proteus, a submarine tender, as a radar and communications technician. The Proteus arrived at Yokosuka Naval Base in August of 1945, where it was anchored near the USS Missouri for the formal signing of Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945.

The sketch consists of 9 separate drawings taped together to form one long panoramic view. Each drawing (except one) is dated in the lower right corner: September 20, 1945 A.M.; September 20, 1945 P.M.; September 28, 1945 P.M.; September 29, 1945 P.M.; September 30, 1945; September 30, 1945; No Date; October 2, 1945; October 4, 1945. The final sketch is signed on the verso.

In order to digitally capture such a large artifact, each section was scanned as a separate file and then manually stitched together in Adobe Photoshop. A few inches of extra overlap on the edges of each image helped to ensure a good match. Pairing the images together at the taped seams further aided in the creation of a cohesive image. Even if the item could be scanned as a single image, the resolution and quality would not be great enough. Scanning multiple images and stitching them together preserves the details and archival quality of the image.

Reap also sketched a view of Mt. Fuji, on August 29, 1945. This sketch is stored with the panoramic image in our Special Collections, but appears to be meant as a separate entity.

View of Fujiyama, Elevation 12390 Feet.

Selected items from this collection have already previously been scanned. As Distinctive Collections Coordinator, part of my job includes daily oversight and supervision of the Digitization Lab, and “complex digitization as needed.” I will be adding more complex items from this collection and others in the future. Stay tuned!

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Last Modified: May 2, 2019