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New exhibit on Villanova’s V-12 Navy College Training Program now on view in Vasey Hall

A new exhibit is now on view at the Prince Family Veterans Resource Center in Vasey Hall. The exhibit, titled The V-12 Navy College Training Program: Villanova During World War II, showcases materials related to the V-12 training program hosted by Villanova College from 1943 to 1946.

During the second World War, Villanova’s student population significantly decreased, as numerous young men joined the armed forces. At this time, the US Navy selected Villanova, along with other institutions of higher learning, to house the V-12 Navy College Training Program. This program aimed to quickly increase the number of commissioned officers through an accelerated course of study that combined academic coursework and military training. During the years when the program was offered at Villanova, most of the college’s students were enrolled in it.

Case 1 from the new exhibit on the V-12 program at Villanova. Photo by Shawn Proctor, MFA, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.

Case 1 from the new exhibit on the V-12 program at Villanova. Photo by Shawn Proctor, MFA, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.

The exhibit features reproductions of photographs, drawn from our digitized collections, that depict V-12 students training and studying. The exhibit also includes three letters written by Villanova V-12 graduate James D. Reap, Jr. to his parents during and after his participation in the training program. In his letters, Reap recounts his experience as a V-12 student and how it positively affected his career trajectory. In a letter dated February 5, 1944, Reap writes that other enlisted men “kind of respect us boys from the V-12 Unit.” The digitized letters and their full transcripts are also available through the Villanova Digital Library, along with other digitized materials from the James D. Reap, Jr. Collection. Paired with the letters is a US Navy hat worn by Reap while he participated in the Pacific Theater of World War II. (He served as a radar and communications technician aboard the USS Proteus, which was anchored near the USS Missouri when the Japanese surrender was formally signed in 1945.) Lastly, the exhibit features the 1944 and 1945 Belle Air Villanova yearbooks, which provide further information about the curriculum and leadership of the V-12 program.

Case 2 from the new exhibit on the V-12 program at Villanova. Photo by Shawn Proctor, MFA, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.

Case 2 from the new exhibit on the V-12 program at Villanova. Photo by Shawn Proctor, MFA, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.

These materials come together to highlight the experiences of V-12 students and how their time at Villanova prepared them for leadership roles in the Navy, during one of the most critical moments in world history. You may view the exhibit, The V-12 Navy College Training Program: Villanova During World War II, during the spring and summer 2024 semesters at the Prince Family Veterans Resource Center in Vasey Hall!

If you are interested in additional projects that celebrate and preserve the legacies of Villanova veterans, make sure to also visit Honoring the Fallen: An Interactive Memorial Map, a Geographic Information System (GIS) map that shows where Villanova veterans died in service, as well as The Voices of Villanova’s Veterans oral history site, which includes interviews with Villanova veterans.


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Richard T. Schulze Congressional Papers Open For Research

Distinctive Collections is pleased to announce the Richard T. Schulze congressional papers are available and open for research.

 

Richard Taylor “Dick” Schulze, a Republican politician, served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Pennsylvania’s 5th congressional district, incorporating the counties of Delaware, Montgomery, and Chester, from 1975 to 1993. Spanning from 1974 to 1992, the collection consists of materials related to his congressional career including correspondence, public relations speeches and press releases, administrative files, legislative files, constituent files, campaign materials, and photographs.

 

Schulze was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Haverford High School in 1948. He attended the University of Houston, Villanova University, and Temple University. He served in the U.S. Army for two years during the Korean War. Before his time in the United States Congress, Schulze was a small businessman for twenty-five years, operating an electrical appliance business in Paoli, Pennsylvania. He was active in civic and community affairs, as well as in Republican politics in Pennsylvania, and served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1969 to 1974.

 

During his career in the U.S. House of Representatives, Schulze rose to serve as a top-ranking member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and as the senior Republican member on the Subcommittee on Oversight. He also served on the Trade, Social Security, and Select Revenue Subcommittees, the Armed Services Committee and Banking. The bulk of Schulze’s sponsored and cosponsored legislation was related to Taxation as well as Foreign Trade and International Finance. Much of the papers focus on topics such as trade, social security, health, oversight, and tax policy.

 

The papers were originally deposited with the Chester County Historical Society and transferred to Villanova University. Villanova also holds the recently acquired senatorial papers of Patrick J. Toomey. Additionally, Distinctive Collections maintains the personal papers of Lawrence M. O’Rourke, a newspaper columnist and reporter who covered the White House, Congress and national politics for forty years.

 

To make an appointment to view the collection please email dcde@villanova.edu. The finding aid is available to review online here to guide your research request.

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Archivist at Falvey Library.

 



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Geography Awareness Week: The First Statistical Atlas

If you’ve been following Falvey Library’s social media, blog, and in-person events this week you already know all about Geography Awareness Week. On Tuesday, we hosted an open house featuring some highlights from The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection and other map holdings from Distinctive Collections. Visitors especially enjoyed browsing through several nineteenth-century grade school geography books. In case you missed it, many maps can be found online in the Digital Library. Here is one of my favorites:

 

Walker’s Statistical Atlas of the United States: Based on the Results of the Ninth Census 1870 with Contributions from Many Eminent Men of Science and Several Departments of the Government.

See the full atlas in the Digital Library here: https://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:611320

Geological Map of the United States, 1874.

 

Published in 1874 and compiled by Francis A. Walker, the superintendent of the 1870 census, this is the first statistical atlas – that is, the first national atlas that took data from the United States census and published visualizations in the form of maps and charts. (Hint: take note and check out the Falvey Data Visualization Competition!)

Part I of the atlas shows maps of the physical features of the U.S., including geological formations, woodlands, river systems, rain-fall, and temperature. Parts II and III feature thematic maps and graphs of “Population, Social and Industrial Statistics” and “Vital Statistics.” There are maps showing the Black population, the population of those with “foreign parentage,” wealth, debt, birth rates, death by specific diseases, and so much more.

In a section titled, “The Progress of the Nation,” several maps show the density of general population (ahem, “excluding Indians not Taxed”) in a series of maps from 1790 to 1870. The 1870 map includes the addition of Native American reservations to the map.

 

Inspired by Merril Stein’s recent demo of PolicyMap, an online GIS data mapping and analytics tool, here is a demographic map showing the population density in the United States in 2020 (the source is the 2020 census).

 

PolicyMap. (n.d.). Number of people per square mile in 2020 [Map based on data from Census: US Bureau of the Census, 2000 Longform]. Retrieved November 16, 2023, from http://www.policymap.com.

Learn more about statistical atlases and the U.S. Census Bureau here: https://www.census.gov/history/www/programs/geography/statistical_atlases.html

 


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

 


 


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Over the Garden Wall and the McLoughlin Brothers

Episode two: “Hard Times at the Huskin’ Bee,” Cartoon Network, original air date November 3, 2014.

Fall, with all its gloomy skies yet cozy days, is known as time for a rewatch for fans of the cartoon, Over the Garden Wall. Since 2014 and with each passing year the cartoon has garnered new fans of all ages. The richness in storytelling interweaving childhood hurt, fear, insecurity, and sense of adventure against the backdrop of the unknown. The story draws on folk and fairy tale conventions and forms a story where the tone seems familiar yet unrecognizable at the same time that seems to keep audiences captivated. Adventure Time storyboard artist, Patrick McHale, created the ten-part Cartoon Network miniseries which draws inspiration from Dante’s Inferno, nineteenth to early-twentieth century Halloween cards, lithography, 1930s animation linework, the illustrations of John Tenniel, a 1890 board game called Game of Frog Pondfolk art, early twentieth century American music, and, for those in the know, McLoughlin Brothers children’s books.

Distinctive Collections has a small collection of McLoughlin Brothers Inc. children’s books in our Dime Novel and Popular Literature collections. McLoughlin Brothers Inc. produced children books, board games, puzzles, and paper toys between 1858 and 1920. The artwork was considered vibrant for the time as the company pioneered color printing technologies for children’s books with chromolithographs and photo engravings. The company specialized in retelling of classic stories for children. Their success and influence went hand in hand with the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries growth of children’s literature, also known as the Golden Age of Children’s Literature. Even many of the earliest board games in America were produced by McLoughlin Brothers, though, in 1920, the company’s board games were sold to Milton Bradley & Company. Today, the American Antiquarian Society holds one of the largest collections of McLoughlin Brothers archives including over 1,700 toy books, games, paper toys, publishers’ catalogs, and original art work. But you can view Distinctive Collections’ small collection in the Digital Library and/or in person in our reading room.

 

The cartoon pays homage to the McLoughlin Brothers in subtle ways as many believe in the opening credits the two boys playing with the steamboat in the creek to be the McLoughlin brothers. In the episode, “Lullaby in Frogland,” the steamboat Wirt, Greg, and Beatrice sneak on board is called the “McLoughlin Bros” steamboat. Throughout the episodes it’s easy to see the influence from color palette and style to characters.

         Two boys playing at a stream with a toy steamboat.       The back of a steamboat with the McLoughlin Bros name

Episode six: “Lullaby in Frogland,” Cartoon Network, original air date November 6, 2014

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60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

…Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children…
“I Have a Dream” by Martin Luther King Jr., August 28th, 1963

Center for Peace and Justice

In honor of the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Falvey Library and Center for Peace and Justice Education have come together to present an area to reflect and celebrate the historic day. By the Center for Peace and Justice Education today, there will be images from Villanova University’s Distinctive Collections of Martin Luther King Jr from the 1960s. Of particular note, there is a pennant passed out during the March on Washington day that is currently housed at in Distinctive Collections at Falvey Library. On display are other images of King at other protests and his visit to Villanova in 1965.

We Shall Overcome. I Marched for Equality in the Freedom Parade. Pennant distributed to attendees on August 28th, 1963.

We Shall Overcome. I Marched for Equality in the Freedom Parade. Pennant distributed to attendees on August 28th, 1963. Distinctive Collections, Falvey Library.

The March on Washington, also known as the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a massive protest march on August 28th, 1963, when over 250,000 people gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  The event aimed to draw attention to continuing challenges and inequalities faced by African Americans. Other speakers included A. Phillip Randolph, the march director and founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Roy Wilkins, the NAACP’s executive secretary; Walter Reuther, president of the United Auto Workers; and John Lewis, led the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee.

Even sixty years later the march and MLK’s words still resonate today just as injustice and white supremacy evolves over time and the fight for equality continues for social justice, voting rights, education, and criminal reform.

–Villanova’s Connection to the “I Have a Dream” Speech–

King’s physical speech was originally in possession of Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame player and coach George Raveling, who came in receipt of the artifact while volunteering at the 1963 March on Washington. Villanova University became the speech’s steward and has entered into a long-term loan agreement with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to display it.


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New Exhibit: Smith Map Collection in Old Falvey


Say goodbye to the empty walls in Old Falvey! Falvey Library’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement has newly installed a selection of maps from the John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection in the study space of Old Falvey’s second floor between the Dugan Polk Family Reading Room and the CAVE. This transformation could not have been possible without the help of Villanova’s Office of Facilities Management, Falvey’s Finance & Administration staff, and especially Jennie Castillo, Curator of the University Art Collection & Gallery Director for all their help with every step of the installation.

 

2nd Floor, Old Falvey: Before!

The sixteen maps on view all show early views of the Americas printed before 1800. Perhaps even more so than providing direction, charting a course, or sharing “new discoveries” in an “Age of Exploration,” maps of the Americas by European cartographers from the 16th through the 18th centuries were about exhibiting political power and control. The acts of claiming and naming, and dividing the land is drawn up on these maps by Dutch, English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German mapmakers.

I selected and wrote accompanying interpretive labels for each of the maps. Thank you also to DCDE staff Meg Piorko, Beaudry Allen, and Michael Foight for their feedback and contributions to the labels; and to John F. Smith, III who provided the basis of the content through the online exhibit,
Projecting the World: An Audio Tour of the John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection.

See the full transformation and spend some time reading the maps and the labels next time you pass through the space!

 


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

 


 


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From the Archives: TBT Commencement

Congratulations to the Class of 2023. In honor of this weekend’s commencement is a #TBT of commencement ceremonies of years past.

And did you know former U.S. President Grover Cleveland received an honorary degree at Villanova?

 

More commencement and student life photographs can be in found in the Distinctive Collections Digital Library.

 


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From the Archives: Happy Mother’s Day to All Moms

For all the mothers and the mothers-at-heart, thank you for your care and kindness. Happy Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is an unlikely popular tradition of Villanova history. From the early 1900s, Mothers were invited on campus to celebrate Mother’s Day with their child. The day’s events would include tree-planting ceremony, corsage giving, mass, luncheon, games, and entertainment. Mother’s Day activities were incorporated into Junior Week festivities which began in 1935. By the 1950s, more than 400 Mothers and Grandmothers would visit marking it as one of the largest events each year. Parents Weekend overtime replaced Mother’s Day traditions. Though having Mothers partake in Junior celebrations bolstered the idea of Villanova’s community representing families of students too.

 

 

 

 

 

An especially long-standing tradition, that started long before it was incorporated with Mother’s Day activities, was the Junior tree-planting ceremony. The tree-planting ceremony was considered the class tree, a precursor to more elaborate class gifts. Typically, the event was held after Mass and students would walk in a parade to plant the tree. With time, the tradition evolved to include Mothers participating in the planting ceremony.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More about Mother’s Day and Junior Week can be found in Blazers and Class Rings digital exhibit and Digital Library.


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The Printed Image: Max Aub’s ‘Juego de Cartas’

For this installment of The Printed Image, I’m taking a departure from book-related items in Distinctive Collections to highlight a unique set of playing cards. Titled Juego de Cartas, the cards include the typical suits of hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades, but the back of each card also includes a note written from one character to another, related to the mysterious life and death of Máximo Ballestros.

The cards are the creation of Max Aub, a Mexican-Spanish experimental novelist, playwright, poet, and critic. Born in Paris in 1903, Aub’s family emigrated to Spain during World War I and became Spanish citizens. At the onset of World War II, Aub was forced into exile and settled in Mexico, joining other Spanish exiles, and where the majority of his professional writing took place.

Card box for Max Aub's Juego de Cartas.

Card box for ‘Juego de Cartas.’

The Three of Clubs drawing from Max Aub's Juego de Cartas.

The Three of Clubs card drawing and text.

Text from the Three of Clubs card from Max Aub's Juego de Cartas.

As stated in the rules on the back of the card box, a set of cards are dealt to the game players, each one taking turns reading the note on their card. Players then take turns pulling and reading cards from the remaining deck until it is finished, the winner being the one who can guess the identity of Máximo Ballesteros.

The drawings on the cards are attributed to Jusep Torres Campalans, who was the subject of a fictitious biography that Aub wrote in 1958, so we may surmise that Aub himself drew the cards. The drawings veer close to abstraction, but still recall the iconic nature of playing cards as we know them today. The drawings also include other symbols and characters, such as cups and swords, which recall the iconography of tarot cards. These attributes, along with their larger size (4.25 x 6.75 inches each), help in creating a dual meaning for the cards.

Text from the King of Spades card from Max Aub's Juego de Cartas.

Text and drawing for the King of Spades card.

The King of Spades card drawing from Max Aub's Juego de Cartas.
The Ace of Hearts card drawing from Max Aub's Juego de Cartas.

The Ace of Hearts.

Only a couple of Aub’s works have been translated into English, and Juego de Cartas still remains only available in the original Spanish and French text. But even if the language proves to be a barrier to some, the deck still stands as a remarkable object, presenting a unique example of story deconstruction, where the act of reading becomes both a game and a storytelling device itself.

Juego de Cartas is available to view in Falvey Library’s Rare Book Room by appointment only.


Mike Sgier is a Distinctive Collections Coordinator at Falvey Library.

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Curious Cat: National Library Week

By Anna Jankowski, Ethan Shea, and Annie Stockmal

"Curious Cat Banner"

Happy Thursday, Wildcats! This installment of the Curious Cat is especially important because it’s National Library Week! To celebrate the occasion, we asked some Falvey patrons why they love the Library. Keep reading to see the responses we received, and be sure to watch the accompanying Reel on Instagram!

"Curious Cat 4/26 (1)"

“I love old book stacks. I just love walking into random parts of the Library and sifting through old books that smell old. It’s really weird, but there’s so many little things you can find that are so interesting.”

— Satrant Bains ’25

“I’d say overall it’s just the atmosphere. I usually like to come and just sit and do some work.”

— Aliana Rojas ’25

"Curious Cat 4/26 (2)"

“My favorite part of the Library is the Reading Room. I just really like how it’s always bright in there, and I work best in the quiet.”

— Maddie McClay ’23

“I like Holy Grounds because I feel like I need a little stimulation when I’m doing my work.”

— Ashley Mulhare ’23

"Curious Cat 4/26 (3)"

“I like coming and people watching and doing work.”

— Christian Badalamenti ’24

“I’d say my favorite part is this room in particular [Falvey 205].”

— Mac Clark ’24

“My favorite part of the Library is the Reading Room with all of its windows. Sometimes I can watch the sunset there.”

— Julia Barclay ’25

“I agree with the Reading Room, and to elaborate on that, I like the peace and quiet.”

— Peter McSherey ’25


Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS is a Senior Communication Major from just outside Baltimore who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey.

 

 

 

 

Headshot of Ethan SheaEthan Shea is a second-year graduate student in the English Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.

 

 

 

 

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant in Falvey Library. 

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Last Modified: April 27, 2023

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