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From the Archives: Year in Review

New Material

2019 has been a busy year for the University Archives! The University Archives acquired over 100 linear feet of new collection material from campus departments like Nursing, Engineering, Alumni Office, Theater, and many others. The new material has not only helped the collections grow in size but has added a wealth of new information and artifacts. And for the first time, the archives has made a concerted effort to expand the scope of collecting to include born-digital materials.

 

 

2019 was also the year more material was digitized and published on the Villanova Digital Library. Programs, posters, photographs, and negatives from commencement, basketball, and the Theatre department were added to the digital library.

Negative, Basketball (Alexander G. Severance (Coach) & Team), 1946.

Negative, Basketball (Alexander G. Severance (Coach) & Team), 1946.

 


2019 Exhibits

Nova Stories: Campus Life from the 1960s

In the Spring, the archives launched a digital exhibit showcasing a selection of University Archives material highlighting the traditions and changes on campus in the 1960s.

 

Case display

Case display of Special Olympic artifacts

In celebration of Villanova’s Special Olympics Fall Festival, held November 1-3, 2019, a small exhibit about Special Olympics at Villanova University was put on display. Special Olympics events on campus has a long history starting in 1979 to now being known as the largest annual student-run Special Olympics event today. Photographs,


Building New Ideas

Our collections cover many areas of Villanova: administration, planning, events, and university periodical publications. But we want to work more closely with campus and student communities to develop more inclusive collections. One of the first steps this year was start outreach efforts to engage with student organizations because not only do these organizations produce material that document the activities, interests, and social climate of our campus, but it is an opportunity to engage with students about the importance of the archives. One of the projects to come out of it was the creation of a zine that would outline what is an university archives, how to do research, and how to contact us. Library Ambassadors from Office of Intercultural Affairs, Sidney Holmes and Colette Termaat, helped out by passing out the zines to student organizations during the Fall Semester.

The cover of "Villanova University Archives" Zine Volume 1, Issue 1Zine page requesting student life records with text bubbles.The inaugural issue was illustrated by:

Beaudry Rae Allen, Digital & Preservation Archivist

Shawn Proctor, Communications & Marketing Program Manager

Mike Sgier, Access & Collections Coordinator

Scott Barnebey

The zine has been such a great outreach tool that a few student organizations have donated material to the archives. Look out for the second issue in 2020!

 

 


None of this could have been done without the student support the archives has had this year. Many students lent their voices to recording Villanovan articles for the digital exhibit. Most importantly, student assistants were on hand for collection pick-ups, rehousing projects, and exhibit work that has helped shape the archives to becoming a more active and accessible area for our community.

Student moving a cart of archival material

Emma Poley, MA ’21. Assisting in a pick-up

Student working at desk

Erin Warren, ’21. Rehousing 4×5 negatives

 

The University Archives looks forward to 2020 with new exhibits, new collections, and many more new projects!

 

 


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The Shelf List, December 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

[Home Rule] / Published by Thos. Agnew & Sons, 1882.

Art Curiosa Collection

Helmbold, George. The Tickler. Philadelphia [Pa.]: G. Helmbold, 1807.

Leslie, Frank, and Frank Leslie. Frank Leslie’s Chimney Corner. New York: [Mrs. Frank Leslie, etc.], 1865. [issues added]

The Novel Mart. Baltimore, Md.: Robert Burns.

The Sunday School Advocate. New York: Published for the Sunday School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church by G. Lane & L. Scott.

Sunday Times & Noah’s Weekly Messenger. New York [N.Y.]: F.A. Bonnard.

 

The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection

Bellin, Jacques Nicolas. Carte De L’isle De La Grenade, Pour Servir À L’histoire Générale Des Voyages. [Paris]: [s.n.], 1758.

Bellin, Jacques Nicolas. Carte De L’isle De Sainte Lucie: Pour Servir À L’Histoire Générale Des Voyages. [Paris]: [s.n.], 1758.

Bellin, Jacques Nicolas. Carte Des Isles Des Vierges. [Paris]: [s.n.], 1764.

Blome, Richard, Francis Lamb, and Nicolas Sanson. A General Mapp of the Kingdom of Spaine. London: Richard Blome, 1670.

Bonne, Rigobert, and Pietro Scattaglia. Isle De La Martinique: Isles De La Guadeloupe, De Marie, Galante, De La Désirade, Et Celles Des Saintes. [Paris]: [s.n.], 1771.

Braun, Georg, and Frans Hogenberg. Santander. [Cologne]: [s.n.], 1620.

Cantelli, Giacomo. Penisola Dell India Di Qua Dal Gange: Et Isole Intorno Ad Essa Adiacenti, Descritta, Et Accresciuta Di Nuoue, E Uarie Notizie. Rome: Giacomo Cantelli da Vignola, 1683.

A Chart of North and South America: Including the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, With the Nearest Coasts of Europe, Africa and Asia. London: Robt. Sayer and J. Bennett, 1775.

Entick, John. A New & Accurate Map of the Seat of the Late War in the West Indies: With a Plan of the City and Harbour of Havannah. [London?]: [Edward and Charles Dilly?], 1763.

Jefferys, Thomas. Grenada Divided Into Its Parishes. London: Laurie & Whittle, 1794.

Jefferys, Thomas. A Map of the Most Inhabited Part of New England: Containing the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire, With the Colonies of Connecticut and Rhode Island, Divided Into Counties and Townships: The Whole Composed From Actual Surveys and Its Situation Adjusted By Astronomical Observations. [Northern Section]. [London]: [Sayer and Bennett], 1776.

Mitchell, S. Augustus and W. H. Gamble. County Map of the State of Pennsylvania: With Inset Maps of Harrisburg, Williamsport, Erie, and Scranton. [Philadelphia]: [W.H. Gamble], 1873.

Pennsylvania From Space. Rockville, Md.: M-Sat, 1998.

Robert de Vaugondy, Gilles, and C. Haussard. Partie De L’Amerique Septentrionale: Qui Comprend Le Cours De L’Ohio, La Nlle. Angleterre, La Nlle York, Le New Jersey, La Pensylvanie, Le Maryland, La Virginie, La Caroline. [Paris]: [s.n.], 1755.

Sanson, Nicolas. Brtiannicæ [sic] Insulæ: In Quibus Albium Sive Britannia Maior Iuernia Sive Britannia Minor Tum Et Orcades, Ebudes, Ca’ssiterides. A Paris: Chez M. Tavernier graveur & imprimeur du Roy pour les cartes geographiques et aut[r]es tailles douces et a present chez Pierre Mariette, rue St. Iacques a l’Esperance, Avec privillege du Roy, 1641.

The United States and Its New Possessions: Puerto Rico, Cuba, Hawaii, Philippine Islands, and Alaska, With General Maps of Europe, Asia, Africa and Pan-America. Boston: Published by the National Publishing Company, 1900.

Wells, J. Phelps & Ensign’s Travellers’ Guide and Map of the United States: Containing the Roads, Distances, Steam Boat and Canal Routes &c. New York: T. & E.H. Ensign, 1844.

 

Maps, Images, and Graphics Collection

[Home Rule]. London: Published Thos. Agnew & Sons, 1882.

 

If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


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Coming soon to a public domain near you!

A fun thing to do on New Year’s Day (after a good night’s rest…! 🥳😄) is to see what new stuff is now freely available in the public domain! 2019 saw the first batch of new stuff to enter the U.S. public domain in over 20 years and I’m excited to see more stuff entering the public domain in 2020. On January 1, 2020, most* works published in the U.S. in 1924 will enter the public domain.

If you are not a copyright nerd and/or public domain enthusiast, the public domain is made up of works (books, movies, music, etc.) that are not protected by copyright or other intellectual property laws and are therefore free for anyone to use or reuse. This means that you can build upon these freely available works to create new works. For example, Disney has made tons of movies based on materials in the public domain, especially fairy tales. (On the flip side, Disney has also been heavily involved in lobbying for copyright extensions to make sure that their works are protected for as long as possible.)

Lifehacker has noted a few of the highlights from 1924 that will be entering the public domain, including the Buster Keaton silent movie Sherlock Jr., George Gershwin’s musical score for Rhapsody in Blue, and Agatha Christie’s book Poirot Investigates. Here in Falvey’s Distinctive Collections, we’ve got 93 books in our catalog that will potentially be entering the public domain next year. We’ve always got a lot in our scanning queue, but we’ll make sure to get a few shorter issues of 1924 popular literature periodicals up in early January to celebrate their entry into the public domain!

*U.S. Copyright law is complicated, so you should always double-check the status of works! In particular, audio recordings are governed by an entirely separate set of copyright laws.

Bake a cake to celebrate new stuff in the public domain! This issue of The People’s Home Journal entered the public domain this year. The People’s Home Journal, v. XXXVIII, no. 4, April, 1923.

Further Reading:

Bacon, Thomas. “Characters That Should Be Public Domain (If It Wasn’t For Disney).” ScreenRant. 25 August 2019.

Middleton, Theodora. “Do bad things happen when works enter the Public Domain?” Open Knowledge Foundation Blog. 8 October 2012.

Redmond, Sean. “U.S. Copyright History 1923–1964.” The New York Public Library. 31 May 2019.

“Why the Public Domain Matters.” Duke University School of Law, Center for the Study of the Public Domain. 2019.

And finally, if you’ll be in Washington, D.C., on January 30, 2020, you can attend a Public Domain Day party hosted at the American University Washington College of Law.


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WWI at Sea

We recently digitized the Photograph collection of Walter Timothy, Jr., an African American from Philadelphia who served in the United States Navy from 1911 to 1919. The collection consists of photos mainly from Timothy’s years in the Navy, but includes a few earlier photos as well.

Walter Timothy, Jr., was born on November 12, 1894 to Walter Timothy, Sr., and Rosa Timothy. The collection includes 2 photos of Timothy Jr. as a 16-month-old toddler. A few other uncaptioned portraits may depict family members.

The bulk of the photos document Timothy’s time as an enlisted sailor in the United States Navy. Timothy enlisted in April 1911 and was honorably discharged in February 1919. While in the Navy, he served as a mess attendant and cook on several different ships. (The U.S. armed services were racially segregated until the latter half of the 20th century, with African Americans often relegated to support roles, such as stewards and mess workers.) The ships on which Timothy served were primarily assigned to convoy duties.

Photos of Navy life include several of Timothy’s shipmates, some in silly poses. There are also numerous photos of different kinds of ships, including several in “dazzle camouflage,” a technique in which ships were painted in bold geometric patterns in order to make them more difficult targets. Airships, airplanes, and submarines are depicted a few times as well. There are also a few photos of shipboard pets or mascots, including a cat, a dog, and a goat.

After the war, Timothy worked as a letter carrier. He married Laura Christine Ford in the 1920s and they do not appear to have had any children. Timothy died in May 1985.

Further reading:

A Short History on Segregation in the Navy: From the War of 1812 through World War II, U.S. Naval Institute blog, February 26, 2019. https://www.navalhistory.org/2019/02/26/a-short-history-on-segregation-in-the-navy-from-the-war-of-1812-through-world-war-ii

General Mess Manual and Cook Book, U.S. Navy, 1902. https://www.history.navy.mil/research/library/online-reading-room/title-list-alphabetically/g/general-mess-manual-and-cook-book.html


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Distinctive Collections – Preserving our most valued past

By Nathaniel Haeberle-Gosweiler

Villanova University has a lot of history. However, some students and patrons are not aware just how much history is kept by the office of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement (DCDE) at Falvey Memorial Library. Located on the second floor of the library, DCDE archives and displays books, articles, and artifacts that preserve and maintain history and cultural heritage.

Many people would be surprised what is available to view upon appointment, leading to experiences that Michael Foight, Director of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement, says are critical for Villanova’s globally-minded students.

“The experience of touching an item that is hundreds if not thousands of years old can change a person’s life. It creates an appreciation of the ephemeral nature of our digital lives. Often it leads to students thinking about how to preserve their communication, whether that be emails or even tweets, for their children and generations to come,” he explains.

Maintaining this collection, containing thousands of historically valuable and culturally important materials, is just one more way Falvey Memorial Library provides a valuable context to academic research.

“For faculty, being able to talk about the history of printing calls to mind the period in which those people were teaching. For example, being able to peruse the first edition of St. Augustine’s The Confessions can lend students increased historical sensitivity when they are reading the book. Teachers making assignments with those artifacts, including transcribing or translating documents, gives back to the greater historical culture,” Michael Foight adds.


Here are some of the notable inclusions of the collections from DCDE, many of which might just surprise you!


What’s the oldest item in the Distinctive Collections?

cunniform tabletA Sumerian clay cuneiform tablet, est. 2000 B.C.E., detailing the taxes paid on a cow!

 

What are the most requested items in Distinctive Collections?

Sherman's legendary frock

Special Collections:

  • William T. Sherman’s frock coat from 1864 (pictured above)
  • Gregor Mendel’s Experiments on Plant Hybridization paper
  • Codex Atlanticus / Leonardo da Vinci (facsimile)
  • John Maynard Keynes’sThe economic consequences of the peace

    Reap Collection:
     
  • Commemorative Box with Sake cup—Celebrating the Invasion of Nanking, China–Seabag

    University Archives Collections:
  • Belle Air yearbooks
  • Commencement Programs
  • Villanovan issues

Nate GosweilerNathaniel Haeberle-Gosweiler is a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Department at Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in Communication at Villanova University.


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The Shelf List, November 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

Map of Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey, including Lakes Erie, Ontario, and part of Huron.

La Pensilvania, la Nuova York, il Jersey Settentrio:le, con la parte occidentale del Connecticut, Massachuset-s-bay e l’Irochesia / Antonio Zatta.

Art Curiosa Collection

Ballou, Maturin M. 1820-1895. Ballou’s Pictorial. Boston, Mass.: M.M. Ballou, 1855.

The Boy’s Own Paper. London: Boy’s Own Paper Office, 1967.

The Evening Fire-side, or Weekly Intelligence in the Civil, Natural, Moral, Literary and Religious Worlds. Philadelphia: Joseph Rakestraw, 1804.

Every Saturday. Boston: Houghton.

Gleason, Frederick, and Maturin M. Ballou. Gleason’s Pictorial. Boston, Mass.: F. Gleason, 1852.

The Graphic: An Illustrated Weekly Magazine. London: Edward Joseph Mansfield, 1869.

The Household. Brattleboro, Vt.: Geo. E. Crowell, 1868.

The Illustrated London News. London: Illustrated London News, 1842.

Judge. New York: Judge Publishing Company.

New Buffalo Bill Weekly. New York: Street & Smith. (issues added)

The Odd Fellow. Boston: H.B. Skinner & Co., 1845.

Our Continent. Philadelphia: Our Continent Publishing Co, 1882.

Paterson, Alexander D. The Anglo American. New York: E.L. Garvin & Co., 1843.

Portland Transcript. Portland [Me.]: Gould & Elwell, 1846. (issues added)

 

Augustiniana Collection

Sheng Ko: Cantica Sacra : Collecta Et Ad Usum Sinensium Accommodata a P.A.G. Missionario Augustiniano in Vicariato De Chang-teh (Hu-nan). [S.l.: s.n.], 1927.

 

Early American Imprints

The American Weekly Messenger or Register of State Papers, History and Politics. Philadelphia: Printed for John Conrad, 1814.

Forney, John W. 1817-1881. The Press. Philadelphia [Pa.]: J.W. Forney, 1857.

Orsini, abbé 1802-1875., and J. Sadlier. Life of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God: With the History of the Devotion to Her; Completed By the Traditions of the East, the Writings of the Fathers, and the Private History of the Jews. New York; Boston; Montreal: D. & J. Sadlier & Co., 1854.

 

The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection

Chatelain, Henri Abraham. Carte De L’Asie Inferieure Selon Les Auteurs Anciens, Enrichie De Remarques Historiques Sur Les Changemens Qui Y Sont Arrivez. [Amsterdam?]: [s.n.], 1721.

Chatelain, Henri Abraham. Nouvelle Carte D’Ecosse: Ou L’on Fait Observer L’etat De La Noblesse; Les Villes, Et Les Bourgs Qui Deputent Au Parlement, Et Diverses Autres Remarques Propres a Conduire a L’inteligence De L’histoire De Ce Royaume. [Amsterdam]: [s.n.], 1719.

Münster, Sebastian. Africa Mit Seinen Besundern Laendern, Thieren, Und Wunderbarlichen Dingen. [Basel]: [Sebastian Henricpetri], 1588.

Ortelius, Abraham. Senensis Ditionis, Accvrata Descrip.: Corsica ; Marcha Anconae, Olim Picenvm. 1572.

Phillips, R. Sir, and Josiah Neele. A Map of the Country From Rariton River in East Jersey, to Elk Head in Maryland: Shewing the Several Operations of the American & British Armies, in 1776 & 1777. [London?]: Published Nov. 1, 1806, by Richard Phillips, New Bridge Street, 1806.

Zatta, Antonio. Il Maryland, Il Jersey Meridionale, La Delaware, E La Parte Orientales Della Virginia, E Carolina Settentrionale. [Venice]: [A. Zatta], 1785.

Zatta, Antonio. La Pensilvania, La Nuova York, Il Jersey Settentrio: Le, Con La Parte Occidentale Del Connecticut, Massachuset-s-bay E L’Irochesia. [Venice]: [A. Zatta], 1785.

 

If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


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“Revising the Cold War”: Selections from Distinctive Collections

This Wednesday we will be joining The Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest for the next event in their six-part series on “Revisionist History”: Revising the Cold War. Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Coordinator, and Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian, will be there before the start of the event with some selections from Special Collections to whet your appetite and help get the conversation going. Our Distinctive Collections have plenty of primary sources to offer different perspectives, contemporary insight, and aid “revisionist history.”  Here is a sneak peak of just a few of the items we will be bringing:

 

 

These striking illustrations from popular weekly magazine Collier’s, August 5, 1950 issue depict a burning New York City under nuclear attack. The imagined scenario ran in the article titled, “Hiroshima, U.S.A.: Can Anything be Done About It?,” written by John Lear. The first page of the article explains “the story of this story”:

For five years now the world has lived with the dreadful knowledge that atomic warfare is possible. Since last September, when the President announced publicly that the Russians too had produced an atomic explosion, this nation has lived face to face with the terrifying realization that an attack with atomic weapons could be made against us. But, until now, no responsible voice has evaluated the problem constructively, in words everybody can understand. This article performs that service. Collier’s gives it more than customary space in the conviction that, when the danger is delineated and the means to combat it effectively is made clear, democracy will have an infinitely stronger chance to survive.

The article appeared almost exactly 5 years after the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. Though imaginary, the images and data are still arresting. Today, with advanced technology, computer simulation and interactive maps, users can view the frightening effects of nuclear detonation with panelist Alex Wellerstein’s NukeMap.

 

We’ll also have on hand this 1984 publication, “Watermelons Not War: A Support Book for Parenting in the Nuclear Age.” Published by the Nuclear Education Project (NEP), a group of five women who came together shortly after the accident at Three Mile Island in 1979. Concerned about parenting in a nuclear age, they developed this guide to help parents and others develop a sense of hope and “find ways to answer our children’s soul-shaking questions about the world.”

 

 

Our final sneak-peak is the January 1959 cover of Bohemia magazine, the first of a three-part special “Edicion de la Libertad” (Liberty Issue) published in Havana after the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. A portrait of Fidel Castro accompanies the headline “Honor and Glory to the National Hero” – the first time he was called a hero in any Cuban print media. The three issues together represent a turning point in Cuban history and for the publication as well – Bohemia, a popular weekly journal, was founded in 1908 and is still published today. One million copies of this landmark issue were printed to meet expected demand. With 210 pages, it is filled with graphic images of bloodied corpses and bodies of the dead at the hands of Batista’s regime. The stark images stand out between the advertisements for alcohol, tires, cigarettes, and face cream.[1]

 

“Revising the Cold War” will take place Wednesday evening, November 6, in Driscoll Auditorium. We’ll be there at 6 pm! The event starts at 7 pm. For panelists and more information: https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/lepage/events/revisionist_history.html 

 

[1]Special Collections holds three issues of Bohemia magazine published in Havana, Cuba in January 1959 upon the occasion of the victory of the revolution. Bound presentation volume of Jose Bustamente with title, date, and “Jose Bustamente” on front cover. All issues of Bohemia published between 1910 and 2013 have been digitized and are available on line through The Digital Library of the Caribbean. See also: Richard Denis, “UNA REVISTA AL SERVICIO DE LA NACIÓN: BOHEMIA AND THE EVOLUTION OF CUBAN JOURNALISM (1908-1960)” MA diss., University of Florida, 2016. Retrieved from https://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0050550/00001. And Yoani Sanchez, “Bohemia, Latin America’s Oldest Magazine, Destroyed by Censorship,” HuffPost, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/latin-americas-oldest-mag_b_831747. Accessed November 5, 2019.


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Now Digitized!

Over ten years ago, Distinctive Collections posted a blog post, “THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY…,” about the many materials that are too difficult to digitize. Michael Foight, Director of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement, described how the unique Special Collections materials sometimes are too fragile or too tightly bound to be properly scanned. Another complication brought to light is how complex materials once digitized can lose its context with each other. For example, digitizing scrapbooks with many components are digitized individually may lose the interrelationships between each other and the scrapbook as a whole.  These obstacles highlight how the argument for “digitize everything” is not so simple or easy. But with the years of upgrades to the Villanova Digital Library we are able to revisit the scrapbooks that could not originally be digitized!

A page from the O'Reilly scrapbook. Includes envelopes sent to O'Reilly.A page of O'Reilly Scrapbook. Includes newspaper articles and envelopes.

Robert Maitland O’Reilly Congratulatory Letters Scrapbook

The Robert Maitland O’Reilly Congratulatory Letters Scrapbook, was mentioned as one such scrapbook that could not be digitized, with over a hundred letters in their original envelopes and many loose newspaper clippings. The scrapbook is a compilation of personal and professional congratulatory correspondence upon his appointment as Surgeon General. The letters and telegrams come from across the globe. As mentioned, the complexity and amount of loose material would be very difficult to scan and retain connection. Today, the digital library allows for pagination for the scrapbook and complex digital objects to be individually scanned yet retain connection as one entire entity in the digital library.

Though the digital library infrastructure did not solve all the problems of digitization. What remained a huge obstacle was the format itself. Over the years the binding of the scrapbook had deteriorated making the pages brittle, so each page had to be handled carefully to not exasperate the pages crumbling in scanning. Even the letters themselves were quite fragile.  Letters were made of different kinds of paper making some delicate or hard to remove from the envelopes. Each letter had to be opened carefully and set down with bone folder creasers so the letters could be open just enough without too much pressure to be scanned without ripping the paper.

A page of the O'Reilly Scrapbook with a letter pulled out.      A letter tightly folded.

 

The entire process was done a couple hours each week and done over the span of eight months. Evoking Edgar Albert Guest’s poem,”It Couldn’t Be Done,” the scrapbook is done and can be viewed in the digital library.

So who is Robert Maitland O’Reilly?

Robert Maitland O’Reilly (January 14, 1845 – November 3, 1912) was the 20th Surgeon General of the United States Army, serving from September 7, 1902 to January 14, 1909. O’Reilly was born in Philadelphia and studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania when the Civil War broke out. In August 1862, he was appointed as a medical cadet and served in several army hospitals, including Cuyler General Hospital in Philadelphia, a hospital in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and in the office of the medical director of the Army. After the war, O’Reilly return to University of Pennsylvania to finish his studies.  Upon graduation, O’Reilly continued working in the military and was chief surgeon for several units during the Spanish-American War. In addition, O’Reilly held appointments as a physician in the White House during both of President Grover Cleveland’s administrations.

In 1902, O’Reilly was appointed as Surgeon General of the United States Army and he and his administration made significant improvements to the army medical corps and medical research within the Army.

The scrapbook is also on display now in the exhibit, “Scraps for Keeps,” currently open to the public on the first floor of Falvey Library. His personal correspondence is also discoverable in our digital library and his other personal papers can be physically accessed through the American Catholic Historical Society:

O’Reilly, Robert M. Papers, 1864-1916 (MC 34), Philadelphia Archdiocesan Historical Research Center.


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Halloween tricks and treats with Distinctive Collections staff

Distinctive Collections staff hosted a Halloween Open House yesterday, with spooky treasures on display in the Rare Book Room and treats in Room 206 across the hall. Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian, and Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Coordinator, welcomed visitors in the Rare Book Room while Beaudry Rae Allen, Preservation & Digital Archivist, dished up treats in Room 206. Our featured treat was a Prohibition-era mocktail called the St. Augustine. We also had people point out spooky spots on a campus map. It was a spooktacular event! (Click the images below to see them larger.)

Halloween event sign next to the door.

The entrance to the Rare Book Room.

Two students looking at material in cases.

We had spooky treasures on display in cases and on a table in the Rare Book Room.

Four people looking at books on a table.

Three students looking at books on a table.

Meanwhile, across the hall in Room 206, we had lots of treats.

Beaudry served up our featured treat, the St. Augustine mocktail (vanilla ice cream, vanilla and strawberry syrups, and club soda).

Visitors added stickers to a map of Villanova to mark haunted spots on campus.

The map with spooky spots. Beware!

Library staff in costumes, left to right: Chris Hallberg, Sarah Wingo, Kallie Stahl, Laura Bang, Rebecca Oviedo, Beaudry Rae Allen, Shawn Proctor.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by! You can find many of the materials that were on display in the Rare Book Room in our Digital Library.

Photos in this post were taken by Laura Bang, Annabelle Humiston, Rebecca Oviedo, and Daniella Snyder.


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“Revising the Civil War”: A Distinctive Collections Subject Guide

U.S. Army frock coat of Major General Sherman, 1864.

 

This week brings the next event in The Albert Lepage Center for History in the Public Interest at Villanova University’s six-part series on “Revisionist History”: Revising the Civil War. The series brings together national and local experts to explore how today’s events compel us to re-examine critical periods in American and global history. Lepage Center director Jason Steinhauer says the goal of the series “is to show how revision is critical to all historical scholarship, and how new events and new sources continually challenge us to re-think what we know about the past.”

Here at Falvey Memorial Library we are continually bringing new sources and new scholarship to our community. We digitize new items each week for the Digital Library from our own Distinctive Collections as well as partner institutions. We want to share our enthusiasm for “Revisionist History” and this week’s event by inviting you to dig into some of our Civil War-era sources.

One of our most prominent items is the U.S. army frock coat of General William Tecumseh Sherman, on (mostly) permanent display in our Special Collections Rare Book Room. The coat is an eye-catching treasure, and it can easily be used to open a dialogue on how we remember and learn about the Civil War. It is relevant to the discussion of what has been traditionally collected, or not collected, by libraries, archives, and museums, as well as the recent debates surrounding public monuments of Confederate generals. Who have been the writers and preservers of history? What were their motives? Sherman’s coat has been part of our collection for nearly 100 years. In more recent years, part of our mission has included an ongoing effort to identify and acquire materials that relate to under-represented groups in order to diversify the collection and share a more inclusive history.

Here are some additional Digital Library sources from 19th-century America and the Civil War:

 

Sherman Thackara Collection

The coat is part of this collection, donated by the family of General Sherman’s daughter Eleanor, who lived in Rosemont and attended St. Thomas of Villanova church. The correspondence in this collection contains courtship letters exchanged between Eleanor Sherman and Alexander M. Thackara, and letters from Eleanor to her father, frequently referencing public events and personalities, as well as many local individuals, events, and institutions of Philadelphia and the Main Line in the 1880’s and 1890’s. A unique part of the collection is A. M. Thackara’s correspondence, photographs, and memorabilia relating to his years at Annapolis up until his marriage. Here can be found an unusual first-hand picture of Navy life in the post-Civil War period.

Dime Novel and Popular Literature Collection

This unique and distinct category of literature was the main popular reading matter for average readers, both adult and juvenile, during the Civil War and up through the early 20th century. Separate from strictly “news”-oriented newspapers of the day, these materials were created for and read by a mass audience and can be a useful source reflective of the cultural outlook of the period. Here is a search of “Civil War and Dime Novel” in the Digital Library.

Newspaper Collection

This collection contains hundreds of national and regional newspaper titles. Some of the more relevant titles for this time period with more than one issue include: New-York Weekly Tribune (New York, select issues from 1852); The Citizen (Irish newspaper published in New York, issues date between 1854-1856); Olive Branch (Doyletown, Norristown, 1842-1859); National Defender (Norristown, Pa, issues currently range from 1856-1876, with current ongoing digitization of later years); I.C.B.U. Journal (Philadelphia, Irish Catholic Benevolent Union, issues range from 1883-1900); Weekly Wayne Gazette from one of our newest digital partnerships (Wayne, issues from 1871-1872); and of course our own college newspaper The Villanovan begins in 1893.

Humbert Collection

This is the personal paper collection of Augustus Humbert which includes correspondence and orders related to the hunt for the assassin of President Lincoln – John Wilkes Booth – and the failed assassin of Secretary of State Seward – Lewis Payne; Confederate States of America currency; and his Pennsylvania Officer’s State Militia certificate.

John F. Ballier Papers

This collection from the German Society of Pennsylvania includes the Scrapbook of John F. Ballier, circa 1831-1889.  It includes numerous documents from Ballier’s service in the Civil War, including correspondence, military orders and newspaper clippings, as well as memorabilia going back to his apprenticeship as a baker in Aurich (Vaihingen), Wurttemberg, and related to his activities in Philadelphia during the rest of his life, including significant German-American festivities such as the Humboldt centennial in 1869, the Friedensfest in 1871, and the unveiling of the Schiller statue in Fairmount Park in 1886. Included is a manuscript note in the hand of Abraham Lincoln, dated 25 March 1863, addressed to Pennsylvania Governor A. G. Curtin, concerning Ballier’s being allowed to resume his commission.  Also includes an early day edition of the newspaper – Evening Star – April 15, 1865, prior to the announcement of the assassination of Lincoln.

William C. White Letters

William C. White was an Irish Catholic Union soldier from Philadelphia. White began his Civil War service as a volunteer with the 69th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers on August 19, 1861 and served in some of the bloodiest and most important battles of the War – Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. This collection contains letters from White to his parents in Philadelphia, recounting his experiences during the war.

Robert M. O’Reilly Papers

Robert Maitland O’Reilly (1845-1912) was the 20th Surgeon General of the United States Army serving from September 7, 1902 to January 14, 1909. O’Reilly served a long military medical career beginning as a medical cadet in August 1862 during the Civil War. This collection includes correspondence, military paperwork, personal papers, and ephemera. The majority of the collection is correspondence between O’Reilly and his family and friends, the bulk being letters sent to his mother, Ellen O’Reilly, and his sister Mary O’Reilly between 1864 and 1900. The letters that O’Reilly sent in 1864 document his service during the Civil War when he was stationed in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Autographs of C.S.A. prisoners taken during the Civil War and held at Johnsons Island.

This manuscript contains signatures of American Confederate prisoners of war held at the Johnson’s Island prison in Lake Erie. It is part of a collection of papers of Eleanor C. Donnelly, 1838-1917, a figure on the Philadelphia literary scene. She was known as “The Poet of the Pure Soul” and was a contributor to numerous Catholic magazines and newspapers.

Candle-lightin’ time / by Paul Laurence Dunbar; illustrated with photographs by the Hampton Institute Camera Club and decorations by Margaret Armstrong

Paul Laurence Dunbar was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1872 to parents who had been enslaved in Kentucky. He became one of the first influential black poets in American literature and was internationally acclaimed for his dialectic verse. Included in this volume is the poem, “When Dey Listed Colored Soldiers,” with photographs accompanying each page of poetry.

 

“Revising the Civil War” will take place Wednesday evening, October 30 at 7-8:30 p.m. in Driscoll Auditorium. For panelists and more information: https://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/artsci/lepage/events/revisionist_history.html

Stay tuned for our next post on “Revising the Cold War” and come see our table at that event for some selected sources from Distinctive Collections!


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Last Modified: October 29, 2019