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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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A mini-podcast of Halloween treats!

Happy Halloween! We have a short podcast of Halloween treats, featuring poems and a story from our Digital Library.

“All-Hallowe’en” by Thomas Dickson Finletter, in Pennsylvania’s Verse, p. 109.

“Under the Trysting Tree” in The New York family story paper, v. XXIII, no. 1151, Saturday, October 26, 1895, p. 8.

“The Uninvited Hallowe’en Guest: A Mysterious Fatality” by Lydia M. Dunham O’Neil, in Comfort, v. XXIV, no. 12, October 1912, p. 2,4.

This podcast featured the voice talents of Emma Poley, Demian Katz, and Caroline Sipio. The audio was edited and produced by Gabriella Bernocco, and executive produced by Laura Bang.


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When the stars are right: H.P. Lovecraft’s astronomical manuscript added to Distinctive Collections

Front cover

The latest manuscript added to Villanova University’s Distinctive Collections is the rare astronomical observation notebook by the noted horror author H.P. Lovecraft from the years 1909-1915. Observing from his Providence, Rhode Island home, Lovecraft noted, and then drew, various celestial phenomena including passing comets.

The notable Lovecraft story, The Colour Out of Space, published in September 1927 in Amazing Stories features a malevolent entity from space, and perhaps influenced from a comet or meteorite Lovecraft observed and depicted in his own hand in this manuscript; a film adaption of this story, Color out of Space, staring the prolific Nicolas Cage is currently in theaters.

Lovecraft’s stories were most notably featured in his lifetime in the pulp magazine Weird Tales, along with other authors such as Robert Howard (author of the Conan stories) and Clark Ashton Smith.

The October 1949 issue of the rare publication The Lovecraft Collector featured a partial transcription of the manuscript, by the then-owner David Keller, but this merely whetted the appetite of scholars eager to fully examine the manuscript which had been in private collections and unavailable for access.

The manuscript is currently on display in the Rare Book Room of Falvey Memorial Library along with supplemental materials through October. Slated for digitization in November and full transcription by a notable Lovecraft scholar soon after, this manuscript will bring added attention to astronomy on campus by documenting a notable American amateur astronomer’s work observing the heavens, especially given the significance of Villanova University’s Department of Astrophysics & Planetary Science and their open public observatory.

Rare Book Room, Falvey Memorial Library, Villanova University


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Spine-chilling thrillers at Falvey

I’m Daniella Snyder, a second-year graduate student at Villanova University, and your ‘Cat in Falvey Library’s Stacks. I’ll be posting about academics– from research to study habits and everything in between– and how the Falvey Library can play a large role in your success here on campus!

The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing colors, and everyone is drinking a pumpkin spice latte.

That’s right, Wildcats…it’s spooky season.

While I love a good corn maze or apple picking adventure, my favorite fall tradition is curling up with a comfy blanket, some hot apple cider, and a pile of spine-chilling thrillers to read and watch. Nothing gets me in the Halloween spirit more.

You should plan your own fall movie marathon or binge-reading day with the help of Falvey. We have a wide variety of books and movies that you can check out and enjoy with your fellow Halloween lovers. Here are some of my personal favorites.

BOOKS: 

Christine – Stephen King

Stephen King’s tale of a possessed 1958 Plymouth Fury. Arnie buys an old Plymouth that has mystical powers to possess and destroy. She purrs like a kitten…but watch out when she roars.

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Is a description really needed? Nonetheless, the novel centers around a “young English solicitor who finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents during a business visit to Count Dracula’s castle in Transylvania.”

American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis

The novel, recounted by the main character, Patrick Bateman, tells readers of his days spent on Wall Street and evenings torturing and killing his murder victims.

The Exorcist – William Peter Blatty

This novel remains one of the most “controversial ever written” and went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one (Amazon). Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.

The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson

Four “seekers” look for haunting evidence at the abandoned old mansion called Hill House. Their stay begins as a spooky encounter, but the house is gathering its powers and will choose one of them to make its own. After you read the book, watch the Netflix series.

Coraline – Neil Gaiman

Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

 

 

 

FILMS:

The Birds

Melanie Daniels meets Mitch Brenner in a San Francisco pet store and decides to follow him home. She brings with her the gift of two love birds and they strike up a romance. One day birds start attacking children at Mitch’s sisters party. A huge assault starts on the town by attacking birds.

The Silence of the Lambs

A psychopath is murdering young women across the Midwest. Believing that it takes one to know one, the FBI sends Agent Clarice Starling to interview a demented prisoner, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Lecter is willing to provide clues to the killer’s actions if Clarice will feed his morbid curiosity by telling him about her own complicated life.

Get Out

A young black man meets his white girlfriend’s parents at their estate, only to find out that the situation is much more sinister than it appears.

Cujo 

Vic and Donna Trenton struggle to repair their crumbling marriage. Their young son, Tad, befriends a hulking, lovable, 200-pound St. Bernard named Cujo. With Vic away on business, Donna and Tad take their rundown car to be fixed at the remote farm of their mechanic. As their Pinto dies, Cujo appears. But the once docile dog has undergone a hideous transformation, and becomes a slavering, demonic, implacable killer possessed by almost supernatural strength, not to mention cunning.


Daniella Snyder dressed as “Robin” from Season 3 of Stranger Things for Halloween this year. She also wants to thank Kallie Stahl, Communication and Marketing Specialist, for her valuable contributions to this blog post!


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Foto Friday: Spine-Tingling Thrillers

Less than a week until Halloween! Celebrate spooky season and pick up a spine-tingling read at Falvey Memorial Library. Display by Allie Reczek, CLAS ’22.

Stop by the library for a Halloween Open House on 10/31 from 12-2 p.m. View spooky highlights from the collections in the Rare Book Room on the second floor and enjoy ghostly activities and treats!

 

 

 


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


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Halloween Special: Manuale Exorcismorum

ManualeExorcismorumSpine

With it being the Halloween season, now is a good time to highlight one on the unique items in our digital collections.

Pictured to the right is the spine for the Manuale Exorcismorum with a hand-drawn demon embellishing the binding. This book is a how-to guide to exorcisms, written in Antwerp, Spanish Netherlands (modern-day Belgium) by R. D. Maximilien de Eynatten and published in London in 1619. Its entire title is as follows:

Manuale exorcismorum: continens instructiones, & exorcismos ad eiiciendos e corporibus obsessis spiritus malignos, & ad quaeuis maleficia depellenda, & ad quascumque infestationes daemonum reprimendas

This translates to:

Exorcism manual: containing instructions & exorcisms to cast out evil spirits from the bodies of the possessed, & to seek to repel witchcraft, & to repress demonic infestations by whatsoever means

ManualeExorismorumTiltePageThe work itself is broken up into three sections. The first part contains general instructions and preparations for exorcisms: things like how to determine if a person is suffering from demonic possession and not from natural diseases, learning about various symbols and their effects, proper time and place for an exorcism, and various precautions to take against demons. The second part details the methods and practices used in an exorcism, including many different prayers, invocations, and solemn oaths, with selected prayers and exorcism methods included from respected authors. Finally, the third part contains methods and practices to expel various kinds of witchcraft or enchantments from both bodies and other objects, including chapters on exorcising dairy products, cereals and other foods (with specific chapters on milk and butter); exorcising a spirit from a home; exorcising witchcraft from your own body and exorcising witchcraft from the bodies of others; remedies against pests, fevers and other natural diseases; and remedies against love potions, amongst others.

Though old and written in Latin, the text reads very much like a modern-day field guide, written in a no-nonsense referential manner so that it could be easily used during field work.

The Digital Library team (more specifically, this author) is currently in the middle of creating an amateur translation of this work, which on completion will be offered as a companion document in the Digital Library (author’s note: who knew those two semesters of Latin in college would pay real world dividends? Then again, two semesters of Latin from over ten years ago makes translation work on this manual slow going, so publication of the translation may be awhile…)

The manual in its entirety can be seen here:

http://digital.library.villanova.edu/Item/vudl:230357

 


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“Hallowe’en was in the air”

Here is a timely snippet from the Joseph McGarrity personal papers collection. One of McGarrity’s daughters, Catherine Meave, sent her father Hallowe’en greetings on October 22, 1925 from Atlantic City. The letter and poem are transcribed below.

Halloween poem

Dear Papa,
    I made this poem up, and drew and painted this card for you for Hallowe’en.

    “Halloween.”
It was Halloween night
And there was a pretty sight,
For the moon shown bright,
And witches were aflight.
Hallowe’en was in the air,
There were ghost here and there
Always giving you a stare.
And pretty costumes everywhere.
Music was playing happily,
People were rushing hurridly.
And thus came and went,
    “Hallowe’en.”

      Your loving daughter,
        Catherine Meave

Catherine also included a card with drawings of jack-o’-lanterns and fruit.

Halloween greetings

Unfortunately, we have no dates associated with Catherine, so we do not know how old she was when she sent these. We do, however, have McGarrity’s reply to Catherine, in which he praises her “gift of Poetry” and expresses his delight at receiving her card and poem. It is always a pleasure to find such connections among papers.

Halloween reply

Happy Hallowe’en from the Digital Library!


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Last Modified: October 29, 2010