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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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Homecoming Traditions

Homecoming got its start on college campuses as a fall celebration of the first football game of the season, for which alumni would return to their alma maters. For Villanova, in particular, originated as an annual homecoming known as Alumni Day, which consisted with a football game, dinner, and alumni business meeting. The alumni returning is a long tradition as the alumni association started in 1875.

Homecoming photographs, December 1941

Homecoming really took off as an all campus event around the 1930s. It was not until the 1950s when Homecoming became a multi-day event for the entire Villanova community.

Here are some of the major traditions:

Dorm Decorations

Dorm decorations, 1960

Dorm Decorations, 1960

Dorm, 1950s

Dorm Decorations, 1950s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During Homecoming week the dorms would have a decoration contest for the best decorations. The theme usually surrounded Villanova’s victory on the field.

Bonfire

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Homecoming bonfire was a long-standing Wildcat tradition that kicked off the weekend’s festivities.

Parade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A surprising tradition, certainly not seen today, is the Homecoming parade where prior to the big game Wildcats would have a car parade through campus to the football field. Like the dorm decoration there would be float decoration contests.

Game Day

Kissing booth, 1983

Kissing booth, 1983

Homecoming, 1983

Homecoming, 1983

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, Homecoming revolved around the big football game. Longstanding foes have been Georgetown University and Temple University.

Homecoming Dance

Dance, 1939

Dance, 1939

 

And to cap off the festivities was the annual Homecoming dance.

Homecoming court, 1983

Homecoming court, 1983

Homecoming court, 1990s

Homecoming court, 1990s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many more images of Homecoming can be found in the Digital Library and Villanova University Archives


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Happy Boss’s Day to Bruce Springsteen (Rocking Nova in 1973?)

Bruce Springsteen

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.


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TBT: Brian Westbrook Leaps Into the Villanova Record Books

For our Throwback Thursday, we honor Brian Westbrook ’02. It has been 20 years since Villanova played the above nailbiter against James Madison University, and has also been almost two decades since Villanova legend Brian Westbrook suited up for the Wildcats. Westbrook is arguably one of the most successful players in Villanova history running and catching 9,512 all-purpose yards, an NCAA record.

As a professional, he enjoyed a seven-year stint with the Eagles earning him a spot in the team’s hall of fame.


Elijah McDow is a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences undergraduate student.


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Connelly Center 41 Years Young

40 41 Years of Connelly Center

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of the Connelly Center. Leading up to the anniversary Distinctive Collections was hard at work digitizing photographs of Connelly over the years. While COVID may have dashed in-person celebrations, the University Archives invites you to check out Connelly over the years and celebrate September 21st as the anniversary of the official dedication ceremony.

Connelly Center, March 26th 1979

Connelly Center, March 26th 1979

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the heart of campus, Connelly Center originally opened with a game room, music listening room, ice cream parlor, terrace for entertainment, and lounges. Some of the amenities and look haven’t changed.

 

More photographs of the early days of Connelly Center can be found in the digital library.


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Smashing the Liquor Machine Book Talk

On Tuesday, Sept. 14 at 5 p.m., Dr. Mark Lawrence Schrad will give a book talk on Smashing the Liquor Machine in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner. The event is free and open to the public. All visitors to campus, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear masks inside campus buildings. 

About Mark Schrad, PhD 

Mark Lawrence Schrad is an Associate Professor of Political Science in Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Russian politics and history, post-communist democratization, comparative politics, international law, international organizations, and globalization. 

About Smashing the Liquor Machine: A Global History of Prohibition 

In a new book, Smashing the Liquor Machine (Oxford University Press, 2021), Mark Lawrence Schrad, PhD, offers an international history of alcohol prohibition—redefining it as a progressive, global, pro-justice movement that affected virtually every significant world leader from the 18th through the early 20th centuries.  

Smashing the Liquor Machine offers a wide-ranging, revisionist history of the effort to ban the predatory liquor traffic—and corrects distortions about those who supported Prohibition across the centuries. He examines anti-alcohol movement around the globe through the experiences of pro-temperance leaders like Vladimir Lenin, Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi, and anti-colonial activists across Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. In addition, he places temperance in a global context, showing how the movement often aligned with progressivism, social justice, liberal self-determination, democratic socialism, labor rights, women’s rights, and indigenous rights. 

Smashing the Liquor Machine gives voice to minority and subaltern figures who resisted the global liquor industry, and further highlights that the impulses that led to the temperance movement were far more progressive and variegated than American readers have been led to believe. 

More About Temperance 

If you are interested in learning more about the temperance movement, check out this Special Collections and Digital Library exhibit on the 19th century writings of Samuel Alanson Lane. Lane was a strong supporter of the temperance movement and traveled the country talking at various temperance conventions. The exhibit includes writings from Lane as well as temperance propaganda, advertisements, and pledges.  

Other Books by Mark Lawrence Schrad 

Schrad, M. L. (2014). Vodka politics: Alcohol, autocracy, and the secret history of the Russian state. Oxford University Press. 

Schrad, M. L. (2010). The political power of bad ideas: Networks, institutions, and the global prohibition wave. Oxford University Press. 


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


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Jim Croce ’65 Image Discovered In Digital Library

 

Jim Croce sings to a female student

Jim Croce ’65 sings to a female student

Legendary singer Jim Croce ’65 left his stamp on Villanova and on the music world before his untimely death at age 30. While an undergrad, Croce was a leader of the oldest singing group on campus, The Villanova Singers, who can be heard on campus even now. After graduating, he penned and sang #1 hits, such as “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” and “Time in a Bottle.” He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1990. His music legacy continues, with his songs featured in films and television, including Django Unchained, Logan, X-Men: Days of Future Past, and Stranger Things.

On the 55th anniversary of Croce’s debut album Facets, Falvey is sharing a recently discovered image from his senior yearbook, contained in the University’s Digital Library. Here, Croce, seen lounging in a campus tree and wearing loafers and a sweater, strums his guitar as a co-ed listens on.


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Last Modified: August 27, 2021