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Foto Friday: Georeferencing Historic Maps

Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian; Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Librarian Archivist; and Jennifer Santoro, Department of Geography and the Environment, examine maps from the John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection with Villanova students.

Jennifer Santoro, Department of Geography and the Environment, talks with a student about historic maps.

Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian, shows students Falvey’s online exhibit, “Projecting the World: An Audio Tour of the John F. Smith, III & Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection,” and georeferencing tools.

Students focus on maps from the John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection.

Learning about georeferencing historic maps, students in Jennifer Santoro’s Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) course had the opportunity to examine maps from the John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection on Thursday, Feb. 23, in Falvey Library. Collaborating with Santoro, Erica Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian, showed students georeferencing tools and Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Librarian Archivist, shared more information about historic maps in the collection.

View the John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection here. Contact Rebecca Oviedo for more information.

Interested in integrating digital tools and methods into your research? Contact Erica Hayes.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. Photos courtesy of Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager.







Communication Professor Partners with Falvey to Launch “Kensington Remembers” Digital Project

By Shawn Proctor

Philadelphia is a haunted city. Not by ghosts, necessarily, but by unresolved tragedies echoing through the culture, haunting the people who must live on.

In the Kensington neighborhood of the city, Gordon Coonfield, PhD, Professor of Communication and Media Studies, happened upon vernacular memorials, created by ordinary Philadelphians to remember people who died, often violently. Flowers. Candles. Graffiti. A cardboard sign scrawled in marker. Each element is an important (if temporary) gesture to make a tribute that says to anyone who sees it: this person lived and died here.

Vernacular memorials have appeared in many places around the world. But they have a special meaning in Philadelphia, the city that originated graffiti art.

“This is home for people in a city with a very, very long history. And these memorials are a part of that history,” he says. “There is a desire to express loss that is not being met in current society.”

Dr. Coonfield, who lives in the area, began photographing and making notes about each memorial, including its location. As his entries grew, his digital scholarship project “Kensington Remembers” took shape. With the expertise of Erica Hayes, Falvey Memorial Library’s Digital Scholarship Librarian, and Professor James Parente, MFA, Communication and Media, these ever-changing, temporary memorials will be preserved, placed on an interactive digital map, and studied.

In fall 2019, Dr. Coonfield discussed with Hayes his vision for the website and, together, they reviewed and selected the website platform and Geographic Information System (GIS) best suited to his project. They continued to meet and refine the project over the next several months–memorial by memorial–with Parente contributing to the project’s web design and the custom logo.

“This digital scholarship project examines these public memorials created throughout a historic neighborhood in northern Philadelphia. Mapping technology connects these disparate locations, making them easy to navigate and understand, thanks to Dr. Coonfield’s photographs and textual explanations,” Hayes says.

“The Library staff has been enormously helpful, and are a great resource for faculty with projects like this. The Digital Scholarship Program at Falvey and the Library Technology Development department, including David Uspal, are experts in the ethics and methods of digital preservation. And Erica provided insight about the technology as well as an understanding of how best to develop this project. Without her, ‘Kensington Remembers’ would not exist,” Dr. Coonfield says.

In the future, Dr. Coonfield plans to continue expanding the project, publish articles in communication studies journals, and present on his findings at academic conferences.

If you have an idea for a digital scholarship project and would like to collaborate with Falvey Memorial Library, contact Erica Hayes or visit the new Digital Scholarship Lab online, which is scheduled to  open in Fall 2021.

Shawn ProctorShawn Proctor, MFA, is a Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.



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Digital Scholarship Lab Open for Virtual Consultations



Scheduled to open Spring 2021, the Digital Scholarship Lab will support the exploration and use of digital methods and tools. The lab will provide consultation space, software and hardware designed to cultivate experimentation and inspire researchers to investigate new opportunities for engaging in digital scholarship. Want to learn how to get started? Visit the Digital Scholarship Lab.

Due to COVID-19, digital scholarship consultations are currently being held remotely Monday through Friday, over the phone or Zoom. To arrange an appointment, contact Erica Hayes, digital scholarship librarian.


Coming to Falvey: Digital Scholarship Lab

By Shawn Proctor

The University will soon have access to a new Digital Scholarship Lab at Falvey Memorial Library, which will promote the use of digital technology and cultivate experimentation, collaboration, and discovery of digital tools and methods to enhance Villanova’s research community.

Located on the second floor of the Library near the Learning Commons, the Digital Scholarship Lab will provide consultation space, workshops, training, and technical equipment and software for a variety of activities, including but not limited to GIS mapping, text and data mining, data visualization, digital publishing, and creating digital exhibits.

“We are committed to learning digital tools in collaboration with faculty, students, and staff through trial, error, and experimentation. Acting as a connector, this new lab will bring together community members interested in learning these new technologies, so they can apply them to their teaching and research,” says Erica Y. Hayes, Digital Scholarship Librarian.

The Digital Scholarship Lab is expected to be completed by mid-April.

For more information about the lab or digital scholarship, contact Erica Hayes at or call 610-519-5391.


Shawn Proctor

Shawn Proctor, MFA, is a Communication and Marketing Program Manager at Falvey Memorial Library.




Welcome To Falvey: Erica Hayes Joins Research Services and Scholarly Engagement

Erica Hayes recently joined Research Services and Scholarly Engagement (RSSE) as Digital Scholarship Librarian. RSSE works to support research, teaching, and learning at Villanova University; enabling the discovery of, access to, and stewardship of a vast array of scholarly resources.

Hayes earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Chapman University in Orange, CA; a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, specializing in poetics from California State University, Long Beach; and a Master of Library Science and Master of Information Science from Indiana University, Bloomington.

She is passionate about scholarship and was an Adjunct Professor teaching English Literature and Composition courses when a colleague’s spouse, who was a Digital Humanities Librarian, introduced her to the world of digital scholarship. Encompassing a variety of subjects, digital scholarship lies at the intersection between technology and research. She is excited to collaborate with Villanova faculty and students to help bring their research to life.

“Integrating digital tools into research methods can extend traditional methods of scholarship, sharing knowledge and pedagogy beyond the page,” she says.

While at IU Bloomington, Hayes worked on several projects including the Petrarchive Project, an open access “rich-text” digital edition of Francesco Petrarca’s songbook Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta. “The project proposes a new digital way of visualizing, studying, and investigating Petrarch’s work by offering a more ‘authentic’ text as well as multiple indices and tools to access the diverse strata of the work’s composition and cultural contextualization.”

Exhibit: Bird by Bird
She also worked at the Lilly Library, IU Bloomington’s Rare Books and Special Collections Library, as the Web Development Assistant, managing digital collections, Omeka online exhibits, and their website. Collaborating with faculty, Hayes assisted in developing touchscreen exhibits for the library’s special collection exhibits: One of which accompanied the permanent exhibition of John James Audubon’s double elephant folio, Birds of America. “The touchscreen exhibit featured 50 plates of North American bird species from the collection and was created to make the volumes more accessible to library visitors. The touchscreen helped make the collection more interactive while offering an opportunity for patrons to learn more about Audubon and his life,” she explains.

Before starting at Falvey Memorial Library, Hayes completed a two-year fellowship at the NC State University Libraries working in the Copyright and Digital Scholarship Center and the User Experience Department. She led a variety of Digital Scholarship workshops including storytelling with GIS, georeferencing historical maps, and text and data mining.

As the Project Manager on the Immersive Scholar Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant at the NC State University Libraries, Hayes also worked with a group of scholars to create large-scale visualizations and extensible models for the James B. Hunt Jr. Library’s visualization walls. She says, “managing the grant’s workflows, I worked closely with creative residents we hosted at the NC State University Libraries on developing open source visualization projects to be shared across institutions.”

Mapping African Coinage
In her free time, Hayes enjoys traveling, experiencing new cultures, and is looking forward to exploring Philadelphia. Currently, she is also collaborating with her friend, Dr. Kacie Wills, on a digital humanities project, entitled “Exploring the Collections of Sarah Sophia Banks,” which was recently awarded a research grant from the Keats-Shelley Association of America. Sarah Sophia Banks was the sister to Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society and famed botanist on the Cook Voyages. “While her life has often been overshadowed by her brother, Sarah Sophia was an avid collector of coins, medals, and tokens from around the world. It was most unusual for a woman to study numismatics during the eighteenth century and some of her coins are incredibly rare.  For our project, we are mapping the African coins detailed in her coin catalogues that are housed at the British Museum and the Royal Mint,” she says. “Our GIS map features coins from her catalogues, which connects the coin’s location of authority to their places of issue in order to display these unique coins, tokens, and medals while showing how money was being distributed during the growing British Empire.”

As she works to build a digital scholarship program at Villanova, Hayes invites the campus community to reach out and set up an appointment with her: “I can help students incorporate digital tools into their scholarship and assist faculty with developing digital pedagogy assignments in the classroom.”

Hayes’ office is in the Learning Commons of Falvey Memorial Library, room 229. Email:

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


Feels Like Fall Already: Falvey Welcomes New Faculty at Orientation 

Falvey’s librarians, including Erica Hayes, the Digital Scholarship Librarian, welcomed new faculty to Villanova Thursday, Aug. 21.

Falvey’s librarians, including Erica Hayes, the Digital Scholarship Librarian, welcomed new faculty to Villanova Thursday, Aug. 21.

Each year, before the fall semester begins, the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning (VITAL) sponsors a new faculty orientation program that supports faculty new to Villanova University. Partnering with VITAL, Falvey Memorial Library co-sponsored a continental breakfast on Wednesday, Aug. 21, in Falvey’s Speakers’ Corner.

Library Director Millicent Gaskell welcomed new faculty, highlighted library services, and discussed library initiatives, including the Affordable Materials Project (AMP) and the Scholarship Open Access Reserve (SOAR) Fund. The assemblage provided new faculty members the opportunity to gather according to discipline for informal discussions with liaison librarians.



Last Modified: August 27, 2019

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