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From the Archives: DCDE Adds New Public User Interface for Finding Aids

By Beaudry Rae Allen

Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement is proud to announce our finding aids are now publicly available and searchable through our VuFind catalog and a public user interface through ArchivesSpace. ArchivesSpace is discovery portal for archival and other unique materials at Villanova University.

This means greater access to our collections, especially for the University Archives, which has not had any detailed content information made public before. As of today, Special Collections’ finding aids for manuscript collections and all the Villanova Presidents’ papers from 1870s to 1980s are publicly accessible. In addition, some finding aids will have links to digitized content in our digital library.

Over the course of the next year, expect to see more University Archives finding aids from other areas of the University published.

ArchivesSpace, new public user interface

ArchivesSpace, new public user interface

The new public interface for finding aids will allow you to search by repositories, collections, subjects, record type, keywords, and dates. However, it is important to note that once you find what you are looking for, you will need to email archives@villanova.edu to request access or get more information about the collection.

These access points are critical to the library’s mission of discovery and access to resources. Searchable finding aids will allow researchers find more of our primary source material holdings and conduct more thorough research with our materials.

What are Finding Aids?

Finding aids are descriptive tools that provide information about the archival documents held in a collection. Researchers use finding aids to help determine whether a collection of archival materials contains the documents, photographs, etc. that they might need to consult for their research project.

A finding aid typically consists of contextual and structural information about an archival collection. This includes information about the collection, such as acquisition and processing; provenance, including administrative history or biographical note; scope of the collection, including size, subjects, media; organization, and arrangement; and an inventory of the items or folder titles.

Guide to James D. Reap World War II collection

Guide to James D. Reap World War II collection

A long time coming

Getting the finding aids online has been a two-year endeavor. Special Collections had finding aids in HTML and PDF formats on its website, but not integrated with the Library catalog system, and University Archives had some partial inventories in a content management system called Archivist Toolkit or in Microsoft Word documents, but nothing comprehensively organized and described, all of which has made access to our information disjointed and incomplete.

The first step was implementing a new content management system, ArchivesSpace, and migrating inventories from the previous system and converting the HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Word documents into XML to be imported into ArchivesSpace.

The new system allowed description to more nuanced and structured in a way for easier user navigation. Moreover, the migration required a lot of clean up of data and standardizing description. Our student assistants, Kamryn Dow and Emma Poley, assisted in cleaning up our metadata.

We also received help from Access Coordinators Mike Sgier and Gerald Dierkes, who are cleaning up the component unique identifiers and folder locations of the University Archives collections. While metadata clean-up has been in process, Library IT Developer Geoff Scholl helped set up the ArchivesSpace public interface for the finding aids, and Library IT Director Demian Katz integrated ArchivesSpace with Vufind.

Catalog list of finding aids

VuFind catalog list of finding aids

This project is just a step in the continued work of DCDE to enhance access to our collections.

 


Beaudry Rae Allen is Preservation and Digital Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.


 


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100 Seasons of Villanova Basketball Now Available in the Digital Library

By Rebecca Oviedo

This past year, in celebration of Villanova’s 100 seasons of men’s basketball, and in partnership with the Department of Athletics’ External Operations Unit, Falvey Memorial Library’s Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement has added a significant contribution of basketball-related images and content to the Villanova Digital Library. The items from University Archives include nearly 400 photographs and negatives, and more than 60 additional items, such as media guides, schedules, tickets, and scorebooks.

Since 1920, Villanova Basketball has produced three NCAA national championships and a rich history of outstanding players and coaches. Search and view images of such iconic Wildcats and future NBA stars as Paul Arizin, Larry Hennessy, Bob Schafer, and George Raveling under coach Alex Severance; Wali Jones, Hubie White, Jim Washington, Bill Melchionni, Howard Porter, Chris Ford and Tom Ingelsby from the Jack Kraft era; and, of course, selected images from Rollie Massimino’s 1985 NCAA championship team. One of the most photographed: legendary longtime athletic trainer John “Jake” Nevin.

Negative, Basketball (Jake Nevin/ Trainer and Howard Porter), 1970.

The process to convert these analog materials to a digital environment involved many hands and multiple steps.

The work began last summer, with the help of Erik Sherwood, Laura Davis, and Jessica Leventry, three Penn State students participating in the Villanova Athletic Department summer internship program with Assistant Athletic Director/Marketing Jacob Whitten’s team. The students spent two weeks in University Archives transcribing data from University Negatives Collection envelopes housing the negatives and entering the information into a spreadsheet to be incorporated into University Archives and Digital Library databases. They recorded such metadata as box and folder numbers, names, dates, subject headings, and descriptions for each negative.

Laura Davis carefully examines a negative.

Villanova College Basketball Facts, 30th Season, 1949-1950.

In September of the fall semester, several undergraduate Collections & Stewardship Technicians began scanning the items using the library’s Indus Color Book Scanner and a recently added Epson 12000XL Photo Scanner. These students, trained in appropriate collections care and proper handling techniques for rare materials, included Bernadette Goratowski, Martin Han, Courtney Schultz, and Erin Warren. After scanning materials, the students performed several post-processing steps, including rotating, cropping, and tonal adjustment of the digital images. They logged and tracked their work in the same spreadsheet started by the summer interns. Images were then uploaded to a library server to await further description and metadata by Distinctive Collections staff.

Items were scanned through March 2020, when campus was closed due to the growing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, and sadly the remainder of Villanova’s 100th season of basketball was cancelled. As much of the world’s workforce transitioned online, I continued my work of describing and entering metadata, now from home, a task that surely could not have been completed had it not been for the careful work of our student employees and interns this past year.

Some images still require additional identification and description. I tried to identify players and add subject headings as best I could, and the media guides proved invaluable for this. If you can identify or date any images lacking this information, please email archives@villanova.edu. We have scanned selected images from the University Negatives Collection through 1974, and there are still several hundred images that have not yet been digitized. The collection spans the 1930s to 1985. If you have a favorite past player, let us know by email or in the comments below.


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

 

 

 


 


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From the University Archives: Celebrate History of Villanova Theatre

By Beaudry Rae Allen

Dramatic Hall, circa 1890s

Dramatic Hall, circa 1890s

 

“…but be not afraid of greatness: Some are born great, others achieve greatness. And others have greatness thrust upon them.”—Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act 2 Scene 5

 

Distinctive Collections invites you with a backstage pass to celebrate 150 years of Villanova Theatre with the new digital exhibit “Be Not Afraid of Greatness: Celebrating the History of Villanova Theatre.”

Inspired by the prevalence of Shakespeare in the production history of the Theatre Department, the lines are meant to evoke the profound yet humble legacy of Villanova Theatre, from its earliest days to capturing the essence of what the department is all about: enriching the campus culture and striving for greatness one performance at a time.

Very few may know, but the first appearances of theatre on campus started in 1870, and with this exhibit the University Archives seeks to evoke a sense of celebration of Villanova’s rich history and achievements spanning 150 years.

Take a step inside and explore the many different eras of theatre groups on campus and moments that have helped shape what the graduate program is today.  The exhibit includes many programs and posters from early performances as well as photographs of students in rehearsals from the University Archives. In addition, the exhibit includes special photographs taken by Robert LeBlanc, First Year Experience Librarian, of theater students from fall 2019 and images of costumes on loan from the Villanova Theatre Department.

Rehearsals for Piper-Heidsieck '98, 1950

Rehearsals for Piper-Heidsieck ’98, 1950

Curated by Beaudry Rae Allen and Emma Poley ’21, Villanova Theatre Graduate Student, the digital exhibit is just a snapshot of the physical exhibit that opened March 12, 2020.

 

Poster of Turf and Tinsel Club production, circa 1940s

Poster of Turf and Tinsel Club production, circa 1940s

 

When the University reopens, the main physical exhibit will remain on display.

 


Beaudry Rae Allen is Preservation and Digital Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 


 


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From the Archives: 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, Distinctive Collections is excited to announce a mini digital exhibit, “Earth Week at Villanova,” describing how Villanova University participated in the first Earth Day and other activities on campus to advocate for environmental changes over the years. Villanova University hosted a week of activities during the first Earth Week celebrations that were held in 1970.

"Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute" Owl Cartoon

“Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” Owl Cartoon 1971

Villanovan, Vol. 47, No. 12, December 8, 1971.

Of particular note, the exhibit includes a recorded interview with the organizers of the March 2019 Climate Strike on campus. All the material presented are from the University Archives and curated by Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist.


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From the Archives: Work From Home Edition

Work from Home | LoFi Study

University Archives Zine: Download Me!

illustration of office

Illustration of my home office

What’s it like for an archivist to work from home? Just like many Villanovans, I’ve been working from home, which offers unique challenges as a majority of my work requires working with materials from the archives. The separation to resources has been an adjustment, but with my favorite coffee, my dog cuddled up with me, and chilled out Lo Fi music, I can focus a lot my time to making information more accessible to public. That usually entails:

– Data clean-up to publish more information and/or digital images in the digital library

-Respond to reference questions

-Work on digital exhibits

-Work on new projects

Like a million other things that have changed, the Spring zine issue is now digital. Typically, our zine runs a limited print to be disseminated to student groups, visitors, and classes. While the issues normally center around the archives, this issue acknowledges the *gestures around* events around us. This issue includes illustrations by Mike Sgier, Access Services Coordinator, and Shawn Proctor, Communications and Marketing Program Manager.

 


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A Celebration of Spring

💐 Our latest digital mini exhibit, “A Celebration of Spring,” is just what it sounds like — a selection of lots of flowery images, as well as some bunnies, and even a bit of Irish music. 🎶 We hope this brings you some joy! 💝

Cover, The People’s Home Journal, May 1907.


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The Shelf List, February 2020

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.

Selection from Happiness: Thoughts of great minds concerning true happiness.

Art Curiosa Collection

Baedeker, Karl. Palestine and Syria With the Chief Routes Through Mesopotamia and Babylonia: Handbook for Travellers. 4th ed., remodelled and augm. Leipzig: Karl Baedeker, Publisher, 1906.

Carleton, L. C. Bullet Head, Or, The Indian Trailer. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Carleton, L. C. Turkey-Foot, Or, The Chief’s Revenge. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Chisholm Is Tops for America. 1972.

Coys, Michael. [Shirley Chisholm At South Miami Jr. Dade College, February 24, 1972]. 1972.

Hooght, Everardus van der, Henry Jacob, and Judah d’ Allemand. Sefer ʻEśrim Ṿe-ʼarbaʻah =: Biblia Hebraica : Versibus, Capitibus Et Sectionibus Interstincta ; Notisque Masoretarum Keri Et Chetib, Instructa ; Ad Editionem Hooghtianam Accuratissime Adornata. Londini: Typis et sumptibus Samuelis Bagster, 1823.

Lamorie, Louis. The Death Rangers: A Tale of the Tankawana Valley in 1730. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Marryat, Frederick. The Sea King: By Captain Marryat. New York: F.M. Lupton, 1893.

The Story of Robin Hood. [New York]: McLoughlin Bro’s New York., 1889.

 

Early American Imprints

Merzbacher, Leo. Seder Tefilah: The Order of Prayer for Divine Service. New York: Thalmessinger & Cahn…, 1864.

 

James Wheeler Collection

Adams, Harry. Beyond the Barrier With Byrd: An Authentic Story of the Byrd Antarctic Exploring Expedition. Chicago: M.A. Donohue & Company, 1932.

Amundsen, Roald. Roald Amundsen–my Life As an Explorer. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1927.

Amundsen, Roald. The South Pole: An Account of the Norwegian Antarctic Expedition in the “Fram,” 1910-1912. London : New York: John Murray ; Lee Keedick…, 1925.

Amundsen, Roald, and Geir O. Kløver. The South Pole Expedition, 1910-1912. 1. edition june 2010. Oslo: The Fram Museum, 2010.

Bellinsgauzen, Faddeĭ Faddeevich, and Frank Debenham. The Voyage of Captain Bellingshausen to the Antarctic Seas 1819-1821: Translated From the Russian. London: Printed for the Hakluyt Society, 1945.

Bull, H. J. The Cruise of the “Antarctic” to the South Polar Regions. London ; New York: Edward Arnold, 1896.

Byrd, Richard Evelyn. Alone. New York: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 1938. [2nd copy added]

Byrd, Richard Evelyn. Discovery: The Story of the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1935.

Byrd, Richard Evelyn, and Laurence McKinley Gould. Little America: Aerial Exploration in the Antarctic, the Flight to the South Pole. New York ; London: G.P. Putnam’s sons, 1930.

Cherry-Garrard, Apsley, Robert Falcon Scott, and Edward Wilson. The Worst Journey in the World: Antarctic, 1910-1913. Constable & Co.: London, 1922.

Cook, Frederick Albert. Through the First Antarctic Night, 1898-1899: A Narrative of the Voyage of the “Belgica” Among Newly Discovered Lands and Over an Unknown Sea About the South Pole. New York: Doubleday & McClure Co., 1900.

Gould, Laurence McKinley. Cold: The Record of an Antarctic Sledge Journey. New York: Brewer, Warren & Putnam, 1931.

Henry, Thomas R. The White Continent: The Story of Antarctica. New York: William Sloane Associates, 1950.

Mawson, Douglas. The Home of the Blizzard: Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914. Philadelphia : London: J.B. Lippincott Company ; William Heinemann, 1914.

Mill, Hugh Robert. The Life of Sir Ernest Shackleton, C.V.O., O.B.E.(Mil.), LL.D. London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1923.

Nordenskjöld, Otto, and Johan Gunnar Andersson. Antarctica: Or, Two Years Amongst the Ice of the South Pole. London: Hurst and Blackett, Limited, 1905.

O’Brien, Jack, Richard Rodgers, and Ben Stahl. By Dog Sled for Byrd: 1600 Miles Across Antarctic Ice. Chicago: Thomas S. Rockwell Company, 1931.

Scholes, William Arthur. Fourteen Men: The Story of the Antarctic Expedition to Heard Island. First edition. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1952.

Scott, Robert Falcon, and Edward Wilson. The Voyage of the ‘Discovery’ By Robert Falcon Scott: With 260 Full-page and Smaller Illustrations By Dr. E.A. Wilson and Other Members of the Expedition, Photogravure Frontispieces, 12 Coloured Plates in Facsimile From Dr. Wilson’s Sketches, Panoramas and Maps. In Two Volumes. London: Smith, Elder, & Co., 15 Waterloo Place, 1905.

 

Lewis Becker Collection

Happiness: Thoughts of Great Minds Concerning True Happiness. London : New York: Ernest Nister ; E.P. Dutton & Co., 1900.

Journal of the American Irish Historical Society. New York, NY: American Irish Historical Society, 1898.

 

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


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Antarctic Adventures

“Antarctica is a world of colour, brilliant and intensely pure. The chaste whiteness of the snow and the velvet blackness of the rocks belong to days of snowy nimbus enshrouding the horizon. When the sky has broken into cloudlets of fleece, their edges are painted pale orange, fading or richly glowing if the sun is low. In the high sun they are rainbow-rimmed.”

—Sir Douglas Mawson, The Home of the Blizzard: Being the Story of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, 1911-1914, vol. 1, p. 172.

“Antarctica is a world of colour…” from Sir Douglas Mawson’s Home of the Blizzard, v. 1.

I recently finished cataloguing a collection of books about Antarctic exploration that were donated by James Wheeler, M.D, at the end of last year. We are excited to receive this collection, both because we have many books and maps about travel and exploration in our existing collections (including a few on Antarctica and more on the Arctic region) and because of the importance of the history of the polar regions as they undergo rapid changes due to climate change.

“The ‘Endurance’ Crushed to Death by the Icepacks of the Weddell Seas” from Argonauts of the South by Captain Frank Hurley.

The collection largely focuses on the “Heroic Age” of Antarctic exploration, a designation for the time period spanning the final years of the 19th century through the first two decades of the 20th century, roughly 1895 to 1922 (exact dates are disputed among scholars). [1] This era includes the expeditions led by Roald Amundsen, Robert Falcon Scott, Ernest Shackleton, and others. John Stewart notes in Antarctica: An Encyclopedia, “It was the Edwardian era, when the gentleman was role model, and nobility and purity of spirit were applied to exploration and captured the attention of the civilized world.” This attitude is certainly evident in the memoirs and early biographies of these expeditions and their leaders, before scholars in the later 20th century began taking a more critical look at some of these heroes. [2]

The James Wheeler Collection contains several signatures of Antarctic explorers, adding a personal touch to these histories. Shown above, top to bottom: Ernest Shackleton, R.F. Scott, R.E. Byrd, and Roald Amundsen.

Other books document the years before and after the Heroic Age. On the earlier end, these include descriptions of James Cook’s second voyage from 1772-1775, in which he was commissioned to find out whether the hypothesized “Terra Australis” (“South Land”) existed, and the voyages of James Weddell in the 1820s. Later explorations include those of Charles Neider, who traveled to Antarctica three times in the 1970s (and also edited numerous editions of Mark Twain’s work), and the 1950s expedition of Vivian Fuchs and Edmund Hillary, the first successful overland crossing of the continent via the South Pole. Also included in the collection are annotated editions of explorers’ journals and scholarly references on the history of Antarctic exploration. You can browse all of the Antarctic titles in the James Wheeler Collection in the library’s catalog.

Polus Antarcticus, a 1645 map of “Terra Australis Incognita” (the then uncertain southern continent) from the Smith Antique Map Collection.

The books on Antarctic exploration represent only the first part of Dr. Wheeler’s donation. He is also donating more books on Arctic exploration, which I will begin cataloguing soon, so stay tuned for more adventures in the cold and icy regions at the top of our planet!

If you would like to see these Antarctic treasures, request an appointment with the Rare Book Room staff. We welcome scholars as well as those who are just curious about history. These materials are not stored in the Rare Book Room, so we do require advance notice in order to have them ready for visitors.

“McMurdo Sound” from Sir Douglas Mawson’s Home of the Blizzard, v. 2.

[1] The term “heroic age” or “heroic era” was not used by contemporaries of that time period, but instead was coined later in the 20th century.
“Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.” Wikipedia. Accessed 12 Feb. 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heroic_Age_of_Antarctic_Exploration

[2] This is especially evident in the legacies of Scott and Shackleton.
“Ernest Shackleton. Legacy.” Wikipedia. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Shackleton#Legacy
“Robert Falcon Scott. Reputation.” Wikipedia. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Falcon_Scott#Reputation


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#ColorOurCollections 2020 Round-Up

Last week was the 2020 round of #ColorOurCollections (hosted by the New York Academy of Medicine Library), when cultural heritage institutions make available coloring pages of their materials for everyone to enjoy. The official #ColorOurCollections week may be over, but of course you can still color whenever the mood strikes you! You’ll find all our coloring books in the Digital Library collection Paper Crafts.

Here are some masterpieces from this year’s #ColorOurCollections week:

 

“New York Family Story Paper” illustration colored by Beaudry Allen (Preservation & Digital Archivist).

 

“Ardmore Chronicle, Special Suffrage Issue (May 1, 1915)” colored by Laura Bang (Distinctive Collections Librarian).

 

“Comfort (October 1910)” colored by Rebecca Oviedo (Distinctive Collections Coordinator).

 

“The Gentlewoman (July 1917)” colored by Liz Alix (Falvey friend).

 

“The People’s Home Journal (July 1899)” colored by Liz Alix (Falvey friend).

 

“The Meadow-Brook Girls Afloat” colored by Liz Alix (Falvey friend).


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#ColorOurCollections 2020!

This year’s #ColorOurCollections campaign runs from February 3 through 7.

This week marks the return of #ColorOurCollections, a social media campaign that presents coloring pages adapted from the collections of cultural heritage institutions from around the world. This year we have a new coloring book featuring images of women and a couple women’s suffrage illustrations in honor of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment. You can find all our coloring pages from years past in the Digital Library.

Coloring pages and colored pencils.

We’re ready to color!

If you color any of our images, be sure to share your masterpieces on social media using the hashtag #ColorOurCollections and tag us so we don’t miss it! You can find us on Twitter @VillanovaDigLib or on Facebook.

Follow the hashtag across social media or check out the website hub (hosted by the New York Academy of Medicine) to find more coloring pages from cultural heritage institutions around the world!

Happy coloring! 🖍️🎨🙂


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Last Modified: February 3, 2020