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From the Archives: Robert Langran papers

Robert Langran with Women's tennis team

                               Robert Langran with VU Women’s Tennis, undated

The University Archives is excited to announce a newly available collection of papers from former faculty and tennis coach Robert Langran. Langran spent his entire career at Villanova University, where he taught and researched in Political Science from 1959 to 2015. Langran taught civil rights, the study of the Supreme Court, constitutional law, women’s studies, and peace studies. While at Villanova University, Langran chaired the Political Science Department from 1968 to 1978 and from 2008 to 2009. He chaired the committee that devised the University Senate and was the first chair of the Faculty Congress. He was awarded the Best Advisor Award (2001), Faculty Service Award (1997), several Political Science Department Best Teacher Award, and Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching (1972). In 1967, Langran revitalized Men’s Tennis, which had be absent from Villanova for twenty-five years. A year later he was approached by a group of young women wanting to create a tennis team and Langran helped form the first Villanova women’s tennis team and be their head coach for the next twenty-five years.

 

Robert Langran with VU athletics

                                        Robert Langran with VU Athletics

Langran’s family recently donated his tennis files to the University Archives, which includes scorecards and rosters from the Men’s and Women’s tennis teams from 1969 to 2013. As a lifelong VU Wildcats fan, the collection also includes a scrapbook of basketball and football tickets, programs, and season schedules. Langran left a indelible mark on the Villanova community and excited to have early tennis history available in the archives. Contact the University Archives at archives@villanova.edu to view the collection.


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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 Exhibit: “That Fairyland of Ice”: Polar Exploration in Mind and Memory

Falvey Memorial Library is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibit, both in the Library’s first floor display cases and online.

“That Fairyland of Ice”: Polar Exploration in Mind and Memory highlights the generous donation of a collection of books and items about the Arctic and Antarctic recently given to the Library’s Distinctive Collections by Dr. James Wheeler. “In organizing this exhibit, we really wanted to share the depth and range of this new collection,” says Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian and co-curator of the exhibit. “It was also important that we make connections with our other collections materials as well as current issues affecting the polar regions today such as global warming and climate change. These connections really enhance the relevancy of this collection.”

“The title reflects these themes of ‘imagining’ and ‘remembering’ that are present throughout the exhibit,” says Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Archivist and the other co-curator. “Many of the items on display are published narrative memoirs of expedition journeys written for general audiences.” From the exhibit introduction:

While these explorative voyages were scientific in nature, the books satisfied public fascination with the polar regions by visualizing previously unknown territories through word and image. But even as explorers filled in and corrected maps and myths, we continue to imagine and construct—from works of pure fiction to conjectures of lost expeditions. And as we read about “that fairyland of ice” we watch it slowly disappear as dire warnings about climate change threaten what we have come to know of the Arctic and Antarctic—once again to mind and memory.

The online exhibit contains additional materials beyond what is on display in the Library. “We are physically limited by what will actually fit in the cases,” says Oviedo, “and we can only show one page of a book at a time, for example, whereas online we can show several pages or even an entire book if we want.” Links to items that have been fully digitized in Villanova’s Digital Library are included when applicable. The online exhibit includes additional section headings as well as a Q & A with Dr. James Wheeler about collecting and acquiring the eclectic collection that now bears his name.

The exhibit was curated by Oviedo and Bang. Graphics created by Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication and Marketing. Photos courtesy of Kallie Stahl, Communication and Marketing Specialist.


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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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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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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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Welcome to Falvey: Emily Poteat Joins Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement

“I’m very happy to be working with Distinctive Collections and Irish Studies. With this graduate assistantship, I feel like I’m getting the best of both worlds.”

Emily Poteat recently joined the Falvey Memorial Library staff as graduate assistant for Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement and Villanova’s Irish Studies Program. Working primarily with the Irish American Collection in Distinctive Collections, Poteat has discovered many voices of Irish-Americans living in the early 20th century and has begun transcribing their stories. She is currently examining a travel diary by Joseph McGarrity.

“He [McGarrity] brings so much nuance to his diary. I’ve read works by him for an audience and this diary is clearly just for him because he’s not taking care with his handwriting, its very scrawly. In some instances, he may have been writing while traveling the Irish countryside because there’d be a mark across the entire page where the pen just dragged. Delving into the history of Ireland, its really interesting to hear that perspective from an Irish-American who was so involved in Irish Republican activities.”

Another project Poteat has been working on is Mary Linehan’s Irish-American Poetry Commonplace Book. “We couldn’t tell which poems were written by Mary and which poems were commonplace. The only two we were able to identify as not penned by Mary was a poem about Mary Queen of Scots and a newspaper clipping that Mary had cut out and pasted onto a page of her book. It has been very interesting hearing the voices of different people and getting a small glimpse into their lives.”

Graduating from Elon University with a BA in history and minors in political science and German studies, Poteat has conducted a variety of archival research throughout her undergraduate career. Working as a intern with The MacArthur Memorial, she researched the Korean War and worked alongside their archival and curatorial department doing exhibition research where she had the opportunity to transcribe General Douglas MacArthur’s communique’. “The end result of that project was a research paper focusing on journalism during the Interwar period and how MacArthur’s communique’ was discussed throughout WWI and WWII.”

Her senior thesis focused on British identity at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Indian Rebellion of 1857: She examined cartoons of both events published in Punch Magazine, analyzing aspects of British identity that were put on display for the public. For another project, she traced the history of the Red Army Faction (the Baader–Meinhof Group) and documented its transition from student-led operation to German militant organization.

A graduate student in the Department of History at Villanova University, Poteat plans to continue her study in modern German. Fluent in the language, she will focus her research on Nazi propaganda. “I want to focus on Volksgemeinschaft (people’s community) and examine the ways propaganda emerged and how it was distributed and communicated to the German public. I’m hoping to continue exploring geo-politics between Russia and the United States with the atomic bomb during the Cold War.”

In her free time, Poteat enjoys watercolor painting, copperplate calligraphy, and modern script calligraphy. She is looking forward to transcribing meeting minutes of the Irish Republican committees and societies in the United States. “I have a passion for special collections and archives. [This job] is a joy…This is always what I dreamed of doing.”

Follow Poteat’s work on the Falvey Library blog:


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

 

 


 


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From the Archives: AIDS Awareness Week

AIDS Ribbon Illustration, 1995

In continuation of presenting traditions of the past, the University Archives draws attention to Villanova’s AIDS Awareness Week held in the early 1990s. June as Pride Month is a celebration of the progress of LGBTQIA+ community and the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies a time of reflection of forty years ago when the world started to live through another epidemic that suffered from rampant misinformation and government inaction. Just like with COVID-19, health inequities and social injustices, stigma, fear and bigotry around HIV/AIDS fueled the spread and destruction of so many lives. AIDS remains decades on an unspoken epidemic, but is so clearly entrenched in our history and its affects reverberate through the LGBTQIA+ community and beyond.

Through articles from the Villanovan, the University Archives highlights how Villanova community responded to the AIDS crisis. Villanova established an AIDS task force in the 1980s as the virus was gaining media traction. Into the late eighties, lectures and panel discussions would be sponsored by student organizations or departments on campus about the virus and transmission. Though, through perceived lack of interest and advocacy, the task force faded away by the end of the eighties. The necessity to address the crisis really emerged in the early 1990s and the task force was reorganized in 1992 (Compitiello, 1992). By the early 1990s, AIDS cases had peaked and college campus across the nation were faced with the reality of positive cases on campus (CDC, 2001).

In 1991, the University started AIDS Awareness day, which expanded into AIDS Awareness Week in 1993. Awareness Week included invited speakers, panel discussions, student performances, masses, and vigils. The main goals were,

Raise awareness about the impact of HIV/AIDS; to offer HIV/AIDS educational programs during the week; to create an opportunity for spiritual reflection on the impact of HIV/AIDS upon the University community at the beginning of the Lenten season; to provide members of the University community with opportunities for reconciliation and for consideration of their own personal outreach in the context of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and to raise money for local HIV/AIDS care advocates and provider (Lee, 1994).

Panel discussions and lectures would cover questions related to AIDS in relation to discrimination, health care, and how perception is affected by the Church and what is the Church’s response to HIV/AIDS.

One of the most longstanding traditions has been selected panels of the Names Projects AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at the Connelly Center (which continued in to the 2000s).

In 1994, Villanova started to contribute to the quilting project. Here are images from the “Have a Heart” Quilting Bee campaign in 1995. Students could help with quilting and banner making at St.Mary’s Library.

For more information on the AIDS Awareness events on campus, visit the Villanovan in the Digital Library: https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:183783

 

 


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Welcome Back, Brood X Cicadas—Looking Back to Past Emergences

Image of a Brood X cicada in Washington DC in May 2004. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA.

A Brood X cicada in Washington DC in May 2004. Photograph: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA.

The television show Friends and Bennifer (the moniker used to refer to Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck’s relationship) aren’t the only things returning after 17 years.

The Brood X-cicadas, also known as the Great Eastern Brood, are reemerging on the east coast after spending almost two decades underground. Look for these crimson-eyed insects in a geographical range stretching from Tennessee to New York. Once above ground, “the male cicadas will emit a mating song by flexing a drumlike organ called a tymbal.” While the chorus of singing cicadas (imagine a very loud buzz, buzz, buzzzzz!) can be somewhat distracting, the concert won’t last long as the insects die four to six weeks after emerging.

Although the bugs are 1-2 inches in length, they are harmless to humans and animals. Brood X is also typically harmless to gardens, too.

There’s very little evidence that cicadas do any damage at all. Bugs will quickly move to the trees where they mate and lay eggs,” said Paula Shrewsbury, Associate Professor in the University of Maryland’s Department of Entomology. “Cicadas can benefit gardens. When the insects emerge from the soil, they create holes that increase aeration and water penetration. Over the cicada life cycle, exoskeletons and dying adults will fall to the ground, breaking down into organic matter and nutrients that feed the soil.” Refrain from using insecticides and leave Brood X exoskeletons and bodies where they are. For additional information on the cicadas, visit the library website.

The last time Brood X emerged, the world looked a bit different from today. We take a look at U.S. highlights from the year 2004, then milestones from Villanova history each time the cicadas returned, all of the way back to 1885!

U.S. Events in 2004:

  • The 2004 Summer Olympics took place in Athens, Greece.
  • The Statue of Liberty reopened to the public.
  • Facebook launched as a social networking site only open to students from Harvard in February by Mark Zuckerberg with his college roommates and fellow students Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes.
  • Ken Jennings won over 2.5 million dollars on Jeopardy.
  • Google introduced the free email service Gmail.
  • The Nintendo DS, the best selling handheld game console of all time, was released in North America.
  • Shrek 2 was the most popular film.
  • NASA’s MER-A (Spirit) and MER-B (Opportunity) spacecrafts landed on the surface of Mars.
  • “Social media” was added to new English words and terms.
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was the most popular fiction book.

    Image of "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown.

    “The Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown.

  • American Idol (Fox) was the top TV show.
  • The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series, the Tampa Bay Lightning clinched the Stanley Cup, and the Detroit Pistons won the NBA Championship.
  • Popular Musicians included Blink-182, Green Day, Usher, Snow Patrol, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, Ciara, 3 Doors Down, R.E.M., Avril Lavigne, and Beyonce.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King won an Oscar for Best Picture. Peter Jackson (The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) won an Oscar for Best Director.
  • Top-grossing Broadway shows included Wicked, The Lion King, The Producers, Mamma Mia!, Hairspray, 42nd Street, Movin’ Out, Beauty and the Beast, The Boy from Oz, and Phantom of the Opera.
  • Fashion trends included hoop earrings, suede boots, leather wristbands, skinny scarves with polka dots, two-tone sunglasses, and fur ski boots.
  • Arrested Development (Fox) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and Sopranos (HBO) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Kelsey Grammer (Frasier) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Sarah Jessica Parker (Sex and the City) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
  • At the 46th annual Grammy Awards, the American rock band Evanescence won a Grammy for Best New Artist. Record of the year “Clocks,” Coldplay; Album of the year: “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” OutKast; Song of the year: “Beautiful,” Linda Perry (Christina Aguilera); “Dance With My Father,” Richard Marx and Luther Vandross (Luther Vandross). *

Image of Brood-X cicadas on Villanova's campus.

Here’s a cicada-eyed view of Villanova history, capturing the many changes of the University every 17-year cycle back to the 19th century.

A view of the St. Thomas of Villanova Church from a 1929 Belle Air yearbook

A view of the St. Thomas of Villanova Church from a 1929 Belle Air yearbook.

  • 1885—The cicadas’ glimpse the construction of the Villanova Church, ultimately completed in 1887.
  • 1902—The insects marvel at the newly completed Main College Hall, now called Tolentine Hall.
  • 1919—Normal life, full-time students, and Brood X return to Villanova after World War I.
  • 1936—The cicadas’ cheer on the new Villanova Track and Field coach James “Jumbo” Elliot and groove to Jan Garber, violinist and jazz bandleader, when he plays on campus (one of many big-name bands of the era to do so).
  • 1953—Villanova welcomes the permanent arrival of women on a full-time basis on main campus with the opening of the College of Nursing as an autonomous unit.
  • 1970—Villanova celebrates Earth Day for the first time, helping to ensure a more sustainable world for cicadas, and other creatures. Mohammed Ali, heavyweight boxing champion, also visits campus.
  • 1987—Faculty and students debate academic freedom on campus after a papal schema by Pope John Paul II is issued.
  • 2004—The University welcomes the inaugural class of doctoral students beginning the new PhD in Nursing program at Villanova.**

* 2004 fun facts and trivia retrieved from Hobby Lark.

** Historical information retrieved from the Villanova University Archives, courtesy of Beaudry Rae Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist. For more Villanova history, visit Distinctive Collections. Welcome back, Brood X! There’s been a lot of transformation to Villanova University—including two more NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championships!


Shawn ProctorArticle by Kallie Stahl ’17 MA, Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library and Shawn Proctor, MFA, Communications and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.

 


 

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Last Modified: June 3, 2021