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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.


Service Alert: EZBorrow Unavailable on Tuesday, May 9

Due to a scheduled upgrade, EZBorrow will be unavailable on Tuesday, May 9 from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Questions? Please email



Peek at the Week: May 8


In Up, Ellie said, “Adventure is out there.”

Happy Monday, Wildcats! Right now, you’re likely bogged down with finals and end-of-the-semester work. It’s necessary, but it’s not exactly a time of great joy. But, adventure is out there. In a little over a week, when summer break begins, you’ll be free to enjoy some time outside of the stress of academia. Enjoy it! Go find your adventure.

To students, Falvey wishes you a manageable finals week and a happy break! To our Senior Wildcats, happy graduation! We’re confident you’ll do great things.


Monday, May 8

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | The Math Center in the Learners’ Studio, Falvey Room 204 | Free

Tuesday, May 9

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | The Math Center in the Learners’ Studio, Falvey Room 204 | Free

Wednesday, May 10

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | The Math Center in the Learners’ Studio, Falvey Room 204 | Free

Thursday, May 11

The Learners’ Studio/Center for Speaking and Presentation | 4-9 p.m. | The Math Center in the Learners’ Studio, Falvey Room 204 | Free


Photo by Nik on Unsplash

Today, May 8, is Reward Yourself Day. With finals upon us, I don’t doubt that we’re all working hard. Today, perhaps after you’re done studying or done with work, treat yourself to something that makes you happy, whether it’s a tasty treat, a new pair of shoes, or a walk in the park. You deserve it!

Fittingly, National Mental Health Awareness Day is Wednesday, May 10. Feelings of stress and being burnt out are certainly common during finals, and if it’s your last year here, you might be feeling sad to leave or anxious to start the next chapter in your life. Take some time today (or even just this week) to prioritize your mental health. If you’re struggling, talk to someone in your support system and utilize Villanova’s health and well-being resources.

Saturday, May 13, is Brunch for Lunch Day. If you’re looking for something to do with your friends or family for the end of the semester, enjoy some avocado toast, crepes, bottomless mimosas (if you’re of age), or any one of your go-to brunch staples. Personally, I’m partial to french toast.

This Sunday, May 14, is Mother’s Day. If you’re feeling grateful, celebrate your maternal figure, whether that’s your mom or another positive female role model in your life. On a personal note, I’m endlessly grateful to my mom and all of the women who helped raise me. If you’re a mother or a maternal figure to someone, we at Falvey thank you.

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


Caturday: Churchill Downs

Image courtesy of Kallie Stahl.

It’s the first Saturday in May and the Kentucky Derby is set to begin at 6:57 p.m. ET on NBC. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the race, the fanfare surrounding some of the derby’s traditions have found their way into popular culture (big hats and mint juleps anyone)!

In honor of “The Run for the Roses” check out some fun facts and explore Falvey Library resources below. Visit the Kentucky Derby website for updates on the race and viewing information.

Fun Facts:

  • The Kentucky Derby is the longest running sporting event in the United States (the first race took place on May 17, 1875).
  • The Kentucky Derby is a Grade I stakes race for three-year-old Thoroughbred horses.
  • 20 horses compete in the race.
  • The race distance is one and one-quarter miles long (which usually takes horses a little over two minutes to complete from start to finish).
  • The race is run on a dirt racetrack at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
  • Crowds can top 155,000 people.
  • The Kentucky Derby is the first race within the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing (it is followed by the Preakness Stakes race and the Belmont Stakes race).

Falvey Library Resources:

Works Cited: The Race. (2019). Retrieved May 2, 2023, from

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. She visited Churchill Downs in 2019 (unfortunately, not on derby day). 





Foto Friday: Stress Busting is Popping!





Falvey Library wants students to put their worries in a bubble and blow them away. Today, our semesterly, pre-finals stress buster welcomed students to chillax with Taffy, Villanova’s community dog, and visit with Pals for Life’s therapy animals. In addition, they blew bubbles and snacked on caramel popcorn as ’90s throwback jams played their worries away.


The Social Media Archive (SOMAR) now available!

By Nicole Daly 

Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) has done it again! With the guiding force of University of Michigan professor Libby Hemphill and in collaboration with Meta, Facebook’s parent company, they have expanded their many data collections to include SOMAR, a social media archive for researchers to find and investigate data dealing with social media. 

As of May 1, 2023, the repository only holds 5 datasets, but it is growing and will be updated frequently to add more resources. For more information on using or adding to this resource go to the Social Media Archive (SOMAR) @ ICPSR.

Similar to its hosting site, ICPSR, SOMAR allows researchers to browse for datasets by collection or keyword. Users are able to narrow their search results by social media platform, allowing them to browse for data on or about specific sites, such as Facebook. Once a user has found a study and dataset of interest they will be able open the item record to read about the study details to determine if they would like to login and download the dataset.

A reminder, Villanova is a member institution of ICPSR, allowing faculty, staff, and students access to a vast collection of datasets in the social science realm. To begin using ICPSR, a free account must be created while on campus to gain access to the full collection. Once you have created your account you will be able to use this resource, and its linked collections like SOMAR, off campus. 

For any questions, contact Social Science Librarian Nicole Daly.

This resource is available from the Falvey Library homepage, Databases A-Z list.


Headshot of Nicole Daly, Social Science Librarian. Nicole Daly is Communication Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library. 


Dig Deeper: The Coronation of King Charles III

Image of King Charles and Queen Camilla.

King Charles and Queen Camilla. PHOTO: CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY

The Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla will take place Saturday, May 6, at 11 a.m. London time (6 a.m. ET). Most major networks in the U.S. are expected to broadcast the coronation live. Viewers can also live stream the event for free on and BBC News Channel. Coverage on BBC will begin at 7:30 a.m. London time (2:30 a.m. ET).

The first ceremonial crowning of a British monarch in 70 years, the Coronation of King Charles III will be the second-ever to be broadcast (the first being Queen Elizabeth II on June 2, 1953). The ceremonial traditions dating back 1,000 years are mostly for theatre as King Charles III immediately ascended to the throne upon the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8, 2022. “A coronation is both the symbolic religious ceremony during which a sovereign is crowned and the physical act of placing a crown on a monarch’s head. It formalizes the monarch’s role as the head of the Church of England and marks the transfer of their title and powers” (BBC).

King Charles III and Queen Camilla will process from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey (Britain’s coronation church since 1066) before the coronation. The coronation will be conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. “While there have been efforts to modernize, the core elements of the historic coronation rite — the recognition, oath, anointing, investiture and crowning, enthronement and homage — all still remain. It is during some of these key moments that the coronation regalia — powerful symbols of the monarchy amassed by Kings and Queens throughout history — will be presented to Charles” (CNN) [For a full breakdown of coronation rituals click here]. After the completion of the ceremony, King Charles III and Queen Camilla will process from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace. Later in the day they will wave to crowds from the palace balcony during a scheduled flyover.

Saturday’s crowds will be filled with cheers and protests, as the coronation provides both an opportunity to “celebrate being British,” and to “question the legitimacy of the Monarchy” (PBS). King Charles III, while more progressive and modern than prior monarchs, must navigate a new era…one in which British support for the monarchy is dwindling. “There are more questions hanging over the new monarch and indeed the Windsor family itself than at any point in living memory” (PBS). Time will tell what this reign will bring.

Dig deeper and explore the links curated by Merrill Stein, Political Science Librarian.

The previous coronation:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. She studied abroad in London in 2012 (the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II). 





Weekend Recs: ’90s Throwback

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

Whether they were your formative years or simply a blip in your life, the ’90s are a decade wrapped up in nostalgia, even if you weren’t born yet. Personally, I only spent a few months in the ’90s, obviously none of which I remember, but I still find the 90s to be influential today (even if the early 00s are replacing their vintage fashion status).

With finals approaching and burnout rearing its ugly head, these ’90s themed recs will hopefully give you a healthy dose of nostalgia without the pressing weight and anxieties about current events. So, (temporarily) forget about your stressors and turn off your brain for a short-while and enjoy some lighthearted nostalgia.

If you have 3 minutes and 48 seconds…and love pop anthems, watch the music video for “…Baby One More Time” by Britney Spears. Although it’s nearly impossible to narrow the ’90s down into one rec, as there are so many amazing choices, Britney has stayed relevant for nearly three decades, and this video is incredibly iconic.

Bonus: check out the ’90s genre on Spotify for playlists to fit your tastes. Personally, I think the All Out ’90s playlist has a pretty solid mix, and I’d totally recommend the ’90s Rock Anthems playlist (or simply any ’90s album from No Doubt, Nirvana, and Hole).

If you have 22 minutes…and are a fan of Friends, watch “The One with the Embryos.” It has the perfect balance between plotline and comedy to make it an overall enjoyable watch, even when you’re stressed out. (If you haven’t seen Friends, start from the beginning).

If you have 26 minutes…and miss the time when learning was fun, watch an episode of The Magic School Bus. My personal favorite was (the very unhinged) “The Magic School for Lunch.”

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels

If you have 1 hour and 37 minutes…and want to watch the quintessential ’90s rom-com, watch Clueless, available online through Falvey. This quotable classic is a perfect watch if you want to de-stress and enjoy a lighthearted movie (or if you just like Alicia Silverstone and Paul Rudd).

Bonus: if you like more serious romances, watch Titanic, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection.

If you have 1 hour and 52 minutes…and hate Sea World, watch Free Willy, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. This movie tells the story of Jesse, a troubled child in foster care, as he forms a bond with a lonely captive orca whale and sets out to release him back into the ocean. Fun fact: it was also one of my favorite movies as a kid.

If you have 2 hours and 6 minutes…and want to shed some tears, watch Good Will Hunting, available in Falvey’s DVD Collection. As opposed to some of the film bro movies, this film is a beautiful depiction of a man coming to terms with his emotions and trauma with the help of a dedicated therapist. The platonic chemistry between Robin Williams and Matt Damon is enough to leave you (or me, at least) teary eyed.

If you have 5 hours…and want to read a 1990s and 2010s hit, read The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Yes, the movie that had a monopoly on semi-inspirational quotes for nearly a decade is based on a novel by Stephen Chbosky. Following Charlie as he navigates high school as a grief-stricken wallflower trying to find his place, this late 90s book is filled with friendship, trauma, and healing.

Bonus: for more ’90s book recs, check out this list.

If you have 10 hours…and like eerie horror-thrillers, watch the first season of Yellowjackets. Set between two time periods in 1996 and 2021, this show follows a soccer team that crash lands and ends up stranded for months in the Canadian wilderness and the aftermath of their gruesome ordeal. Not for the squeamish, the show contains some horror staples, such as gore, cannibalism, and cult rituals. Yet, it leans into ’90s nostalgia and features some recognizable faces from the 90s, including Christina Ricci, Melanie Lynskey, and Juliette Lewis. If you end up enjoying it, the second season is currently airing, with its 6th episode airing this Sunday.

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


Curious Cat: Study Snacks

By Anna Jankowski, Ethan Shea, and Annie Stockmal

"Curious Cat Banner"

Happy Thursday, Wildcats! It’s finals season, so for this semester’s final installment of the Curious Cat, we asked some Falvey patrons to tell us their favorite study snacks. Which foods keep you energized and ready for the next exam? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to watch the accompanying Reel on Instagram!

"Curious Cat 5/3 (1)"

“Microwave popcorn, always.”

— Bronwyn Mogck ’23

“Iced Coffee.”

— Christina Aron ’23

"Curious Cat 5/3 (2)"

“The Rice Krispies Treat marshmallow from Holy Grounds over there.”

— Cameron Hall ’23

“A bowl of popcorn with chocolate chips.”

— Hannah Rice ’23

“A corn muffin from Holy Grounds.”

— Keely Likosky ’23

"Curious Cat 5/3 (3)"

“It has to be the cinnamon buns from ‘Sparket’.”

— Kai Coster ’26

“I would have to say it’s bacon. Going back to the apartment after a long day of studying, making some quick bacon, and then going back to study some more is obviously my favorite thing to do.”

— George Russon ’24

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. 


TBT: Star Wars Day

Darth Vader stopped by Falvey Library’s Stress-Busting Open House on Dec. 10, 2015.

Happy Star Wars Day, Wildcats. May the 4th be with you!

In honor of today’s holiday, check out a few resources available at Falvey Library:

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Library. Her favorite Star Wars droid is C-3PO “Goodness gracious me!” (and more recently) K-2SO. 




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Last Modified: May 4, 2023

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