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Commemorating the End of Slavery, Celebrating Juneteenth!

By Jutta Seibert

General Order No. 3, June 19, 1865
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

June 19, 1865 marks the end of slavery in Texas. On this day Major General Gordon Granger of the Union Army occupied Texas on behalf of the federal government and upon arrival on Galveston Island publicly read General Order No. 3 which began with this sentence: “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.”

While slaves in the Confederate states were theoretically freed on January 1, 1863 with President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, solely those in Union-occupied areas and those who fled to the North became de facto free. For most slaves in the South slavery ended only after the Union won and even then, close to six weeks passed before the news reached the outer fringes of the nation. June 19 is commemorated as the day on which the last slaves were freed despite the fact that slavery persisted in some pockets of the country until the Thirteenth Amendment took effect on December 18, 1865.

On the first anniversary of Granger’s reading of General Order No. 3 Texan freedmen began celebrating what was then called Jubilee Day. Early festivities included political rallies besides music and food. Celebrations waxed and waned over the years but the longest-running African American holiday continues to this day. June 19 or Juneteenth evolved over time into America’s second Independence Day. In 1980 Texas, befittingly, became the first state to adopt Juneteenth as a state-wide holiday. Other states followed suite and most states now recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or ceremonial holiday. There are efforts underway to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

Commemorate Juneteenth by exploring African American history. We recommend the following collections:


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Digital Scholarship at Its Finest: Letterpress Editions on the Rotunda Platform

By Jutta Seibert

Some of the largest book sets on the shelves of Falvey Memorial Library are letterpress editions of the papers of the nation’s founding fathers and other influential political figures. Their sheer size and the outsized scholarly effort that it takes to bring together in one place historical documents that are widely dispersed over hundreds of archives, libraries, and private collections are awe-inspiring.

Some of these editorial projects took decades to publish while others have yet to be completed. Among the latter are the papers of Thomas Jefferson. The planning for a comprehensive edition of Jefferson’s papers began in 1944 and the first of sixty originally projected volumes was published in 1950 by Princeton University Press. Over 50 volumes have been completed under the direction of five consecutive general editors at this point.

 

Many of these letterpress editions have been transformed into digital editions in recent years. Editions published by Rotunda, the electronic imprint of The University of Virginia Press, combine “the originality, intellectual rigor, and scholarly value of traditional peer-reviewed university press publishing with thoughtful technological innovation designed for scholars and students.”

For example, all Rotunda projects follow text encoding initiative (TEI) guidelines, thus opening up the individual and collective text corpora to text mining and text analysis projects. Over the years, Falvey Memorial Library acquired many of the Rotunda editions to facilitate new modes of scholarship. For example, scholars need no longer work with a corpus in isolation, but can now query all the Rotunda editions simultaneously.

The University of Virginia Press grants temporarily free access to all collections available through its Rotunda imprint in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which has closed many library buildings and made the letterpress print editions of presidential papers inaccessible. Collections that are only temporarily available are highlighted below.

Note the recently added collection of The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. Links to the collections owned by the Library can be found in the Library’s catalog. The Library’s Databases A-Z list includes a link to the American History Collection on the Rotunda platform.

American Founding Era

Antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction

American Century

  • New at Falvey: The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1966. 69 volumes.
  • Presidential Recordings Digital Edition.
    Features annotated transcripts of the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon White House tapes.
    This collection is not part of the Falvey collection. Rotunda grants temporary access to the digital edition until June 30, 2020.

Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Primary Sources Set in Stone: SEG

By Jutta Seibert

Votive relief for the cure of a bad leg.
Marble. British Museum.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum (SEG), now available online to the Villanova community, is a critical discovery tool for classicists working with ancient Greek inscriptions. The study of inscriptions, commonly known as epigraphy, goes back to the 16th century when travelers and explorers informally began to trace and collect ancient inscriptions. By the early 19th century with the publication of the first systematic collection of ancient Greek inscription, the Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum by August Böckh, epigraphy had matured into an academic discipline.

The historical paper record overshadows inscriptions as primary sources in most areas of specialization outside the field of ancient history, but texts chiseled in stone, etched into metal surfaces, or scratched into clay tablets constitute a historical record for most cultures and time periods. These texts offer a self-conscious portray of events and people intended for posterity. Modern examples of inscriptions include the much-visited Vietnam Veterans and 9/11 memorials, which present a modern-day historical record for generations to come.

While inscriptions are often on the more “stuffy” side, the corpora of ancient inscriptions also include graffiti, which add layers of competing and occasionally irreverent public opinion to the “official” public record. The KILROY WAS HERE etching at the back of the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. is a wonderful example of piggyback messages on public monuments.

P.J. Rhodes’ essay on Epigraphy, published in the Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies (Barbara Graziosi, Phiroze Vasunia, and George Boys-Stones, eds.), offers a clear and succinct introduction to the subject matter.

Selected text corpora and meta sites in the field of ancient Greek epigraphy

     Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum / Brill
An annual survey of newly published ancient Greek inscriptions.

     Bulletin épigraphique published annually in issue 2 of the Revue des Études Grecques
An annual survey of newly published ancient Greek inscriptions.

     Claros: Concordance of Greek Inscriptions
A clearing house for new editions of Greek inscriptions.

     Searchable Greek Inscriptions / (The Packard Humanities Institute)
A clearing house for inscription captured in the major corpora.

     Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum / August Böckh
First systematic collection of Greek inscriptions.

     Inscriptiones Graecae / Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Open access to volumes published since 2001. Older volumes published prior to 1923 can be found in the Internet Archive.

Recommended Reading List

Bodel, John P. Epigraphic Evidence: Ancient History from Inscriptions. London: Routledge, 2001.

Davies, John Kenyon, and J. J. Wilkes. Epigraphy and the Historical Sciences. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

McLean, B. Hudson. An Introduction to Greek Epigraphy of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods from Alexander the Great Down to the Reign of Constantine (323 B.C.-A.D. 337). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2002.

Rhodes, P.J. “Epigraphy.” In The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies, edited by Barbara Graziosi, Phiroze Vasunia, and George Boys-Stones. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Woodhead, A. G. The Study of Greek Inscriptions. 2nd ed. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992.

 

Access to SEG is available via the Library’s Databases A-Z list and the catalog. Consult the SEG Search Tips if you are new to this resource or ask a librarian for assistance.

 


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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New Electronic Resources Explore China Through Western Eyes

By Jutta Seibert

In the past, faculty and students interested in Chinese history depended mostly on Falvey’s book collection for primary sources, unless their research budgets allowed for visits to archives and libraries elsewhere. Now, as a large part of the book collection is temporarily unavailable because of campus access restrictions, the small subset of electronic books with primary sources related to Chinese history, while most welcome, leaves much to be desired.

New digital archives with a focus on relations between China and the West are heaven-sent additions to the Falvey collections. Each collection offers unique Western representations of Chinese life, politics, and culture covering 200 years of economic, cultural, and political relations. Digital surrogates of selected documents, artwork, maps, illustrations, and objects were sourced from originals held by a wide range of libraries, archives, museums, and historical societies. Interested scholars can search all Adam Matthew Digital collections simultaneously via the AM Explorer platform or focus on individual collections that match their distinctive research interests.

China: Trade, Politics & Culture, 1793-1980 features selected primary sources on China’s relationship with the West dating back to the first English embassy and covering most of the 20th century. The collection contains digital copies of official papers, personal accounts, letters, books, and periodicals as well as reproductions of illustrations, maps, artwork, and photographs that depict Chinese people, places, customs, and events. Events covered include the opium wars and the Boxer War, the Nanjing Massacre, the Communist Revolution, and Nixon’s visit to China as seen by British observers. Originals are held at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the British Library among others. Two essays by recognized scholars put the collection in its historical context while short biographies and search directories further facilitate discovery.

China, America and the Pacific: Trade & Cultural Exchange complements China: Trade, Politics & Culture with primary sources from US and Canadian libraries, museums, and historical societies. The collection explores trade and cultural exchange between China, America, and the Pacific region from the 18th to the early 20th century. Primary sources featured in the collection include digital copies of rare books and newspapers, personal accounts, diaries, letters, shipping papers, travel posters, historic maps, artwork, and images of material objects. The sources largely reflect North American viewpoints of China and the Pacific region. Essays such as Behind a Cup of Tea: The Commodities of America’s China Trade, 1784-1839 (John Rogers Haddad, Penn State Harrisburg) contextualize the contents of the collection. Short merchant biographies, a glossary, and subject index offer research assistance.

China: Culture and Society is based exclusively on pamphlets from the Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia at Cornell University Library. This unique collection of pamphlets on Chinese culture and society spans close to 200 years with the earliest pamphlets dating back to the mid-18th century. Also included are tourist guides, lecture notes, magazine articles, diaries, letters, and annual reports mostly written by Western diplomats, missionaries, merchants, scholars, and travelers. The collection was started by Charles W. Wason, a Cleveland based engineer, who developed a deep interest in China after a visit there. While some pamphlets, particularly those published in Britain and the US, can be easily found online in places like the Internet Archive, other pamphlets, especially those published in China, are rare and not available anywhere else in digital format. Contents range from English translations of Chinese poetry by Ezra Pound, to Sun Yat Sen’s “Kidnapped in London,” and tourist guides for Western visitors. Scholarly essays such as The Story of the Wason Pamphlet Collection (Liren Zheng, Cornell University) and a series of mini guides add historical context.

Scholars with an interest in China may also be keen to explore Foreign Office Files for China, 1919-1980, another Adam Matthew Digital collection with British government documents from The National Archives at Kew and Socialism on Film, 1918-1988, a streaming collection of documentaries, feature films, and newsreels archived at the British Film Institute, which includes films produced in China for distribution in the West.

Access to the collections is available via the Library’s Database A-Z list and its catalog.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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US Labor History Up Close: The Archives of the Daily Worker, 1922-1968

By Jutta Seibert

Scholars interested in US labor history will be delighted to learn that the Villanova community now has access to the archives of The Daily Worker Online (1922-1968), the official mouthpiece of the Communist Party of the United States of America from 1924 to 1958. A short history of the paper is available on the website of the Tamiment Institute Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives (New York University), which houses the archives of The Daily Worker, including original photographs and cartoon drawings.

The Daily, as it was commonly referred to, chronicles US labor history from the perspectives of the American worker. Contributing authors include Lester Rodney, Sports Editor of The Daily, John L. Spivak, Richard Wright, and Woody Guthrie. Readers may also be interested in a related collection of internal FBI documents about The Daily Worker, which were digitized through the FOIA program.

Curious to learn more about The Daily Worker? Here are two journal articles that take a closer look at The Daily’s comics and sports coverage:

Fetter, Henry D. “The Party Line and the Color Line: The American Communist Party, the ‘Daily Worker’, and Jackie Robinson.” Journal of Sport History 28, no. 3 (2001): 375-402. www.jstor.org/stable/43610199.

Brunner, Edward. “Red Funnies: The New York Daily Worker’s ‘Popular Front’ Comics, 1936—1945.” American Periodicals 17, no. 2 (2007): 184-207. www.jstor.org/stable/20770985.

 

Access to the archive is available via the catalog or the Journal and Article Finder on the Library’s homepage.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Trial Access to FBIS Daily Reports, 1941-1974

By Jutta Seibert

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports, better known as FBIS Daily Reports, consist of English translations of selected foreign radio and television broadcasts, newspaper and magazine articles, and government statements. FBIS was a branch of the CIA with about 20 offices and a large cohort of independent contractors worldwide. The reports were distributed to US policymakers and security analysts to monitor foreign language news. Because of the public nature of the information that FBIS dealt with, its services are labelled open source intelligence.

Some libraries have chosen to share digitized copies of FBIS reports from their collections, although it is not clear whether this is legal, as the reports consist mostly of translations and transcriptions of copyrighted materials. The Villanova University community has partial access to FBIS reports for 1974–1996 through the Readex collection listed on the Library’s Databases A-Z list.

Expanded access to the complete collection (1941–1996) is now available on a trial basis until May 29. The expanded coverage opens the door to explore international reactions to the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first moon walk, the building of the Berlin Wall, and the Bay of Pigs Invasion, among many other newsworthy events of the twentieth century.

Trial access available until May 29. Let us know if you recommend this collection for permanent access.

 


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 



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Enter the British National Archives from a Distance

By Jutta Seibert

The British National Archives in Kew are currently closed and may remain closed for the foreseeable future. While many unique documents housed there are inaccessible until the doors open again, some high-demand collections have been digitized.

Villanova University’s community gained digital access to twelve collections from the national archives through the Library’s acquisition of the Adam Matthew Digital backfiles. Each collection is self-contained and can be searched individually as well as through the Archives Direct portal.

Let’s take a closer look at the four Confidential Print collections. They feature documents issued or received by the British Foreign and Colonial Offices for distribution to members of the Foreign Office, Cabinet and British diplomatic missions abroad. These documents chronicle British interests in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and North America. Collections typically include reports, correspondence, political summaries, economic analyses, dispatches, descriptions of leading personalities, and maps, as well as one or more companion essays to contextualize the collection at the example of selected sources. These essays are written by leading academics in the field.

The Africa collection spans the modern colonial era (1834-1966), documenting watershed moments, such as the Berlin Conference of 1884 and the scramble for Africa, events in the Congo Free State, and the assertion of independence across the continent, all from the perspective of British government officials.

The Middle East collection (1839-1969 ) includes documents on the countries of the Levant and the Arabian peninsula, Iran, Turkey, Egypt and Sudan. Among the topics covered are the Middle East Conference of 1921, the mandates for Palestine and Mesopotamia, the partition of Palestine, the Suez Crisis, and the Arab-Israel conflict, all from the perspective of British government officials. A separate collection, Foreign Office Files for the Middle East, 1971-1981, sheds light on events from the following ten years.

The Latin America collection (1833-1969) comprises documents on the countries of Central and South America and the French- and Spanish-speaking Caribbean. Documents concerned with the English-speaking Caribbean are included in the North American collection. Slavery and slave trade in Cuba and Brazil, British emigrants, British business and financial interests in Latin America, political developments on the subcontinent, and the building of the Panama Canal are just a few of the subjects covered in this collection.

The North America collection (1824-1961) consists of documents on the United States, Canada, and the English-speaking Caribbean. Sources in the collection chronicle slavery, Prohibition, World War I and II, racial segregation, the League of Nations, McCarthyism, and the nuclear bomb, to name just a few.

Besides the Confidential Print collection, Archives Direct also includes Foreign Office files on the Middle East, China, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Japan, the Macmillan Cabinet papers, government files on South Africa during Apartheid and President Nixon, and sources related to women’s fight for suffrage.

Access to Archives Direct is available via the Library’s Databases A-Z list and the catalog. Curious about other collections available through Adam Matthew Digital? Talk to your librarian and ask for a list of all collections.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services and Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 



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New Resource at Falvey: Brill’s Encyclopedia of Early Modern History

By Jutta Seibert

Scholars interested in the early modern period (1450-1850) will appreciate Brill’s Encyclopedia of Early Modern History for its interdisciplinary approach, focus on global connections, and unique European viewpoints and voices. Translating the Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit into English for a wider audience was a worthwhile but difficult project that is still in progress.

The Villanova community has access to the original German edition and its English translation, most of which is completed at this time. Although much of the scholarship referenced in the articles of the Encyclopedia is in languages other than English, English language scholarship is represented as well. Indeed, one of the strengths of the Encyclopedia is the network of international scholarship it brings together.

Most articles are concise and to the point. They are cross referenced with a core of in-depth key articles that deal with overarching concepts such as knowledge, culture, nationalism, race, colonialism, the environment, the Atlantic world, and the everyday world to name just a few of the themes covered. While most article titles are translated into English, in some cases editors decided to retain German terminology for the sake of clarity (e.g., Bildungsbürgertum and Frauenzimmer).

The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History joins a series of new online reference works published by Brill and now available at Villanova University: The Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture, and the Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online. Access links are available in the catalog (Books & Media) and individual articles can be discovered via Articles & more. Simply use the Reference format filter to refine your search results.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 



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Explore the Global Middle Ages with Bloomsbury Medieval Studies

By Jutta Seibert

Folios from a Qur’an Manuscript
in Floriated “New Style” Script.
Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Bloomsbury Medieval Studies is a unique collection that blends primary sources and interdisciplinary scholarship with a focus on the global Middle Ages. It features the Encyclopedia of the Global Middle Ages, an ongoing publication project sponsored by Arc Humanities Press in collaboration with Bloomsbury Academic.

The Encyclopedia offers thematic overviews, primary source analyses, and core case studies. Currently available content includes regional overviews on medieval Korea, Japan, and Mesoamerica and thematic overviews on global connectivity in the early Middle Ages, early medieval migration and mobility, trade connections between Tang China and the Abbasid Caliphate, and queenship. The thematic overview on queenship includes case studies of empresses and queens.

The primary sources featured in the collection were chosen to appeal to a broad academic audience. They encompass a selection of digitized maps, manuscripts and incunabula, and over one thousand images of medieval objects from the Metropolitan Museum of Art that feature illuminated texts, textiles, jewelry, sculpture, and ceramics. Close to 300 primary texts are available in the collection. The primary texts were selected from carefully edited, translated, and published academic books, such as Classical Writings of the Medieval Islamic World (3 vols.), Primary Sources on Monsters (vol. 2), and the History of the Patriarchs of Alexandria. Arabic and other middle Eastern sources are strongly represented.

The scholarship included in the collection aims to be inclusive and offers analyses of peoples and events from all corners of the medieval world. Noteworthy examples include The Odyssey of Ibn Battuta, The Mongols, and A Companion to Global Queenship. The collection offers access to the medieval history volumes from Bloomsbury’s Cultural History series. One of them, A Cultural History of Western Empires in the Middle Ages, features a chapter on Race in the Middle Ages by Cord J. Whitaker who visited Villanova University last Fall to deliver a lecture titled “Black Metaphors: How Modern Racism Emerged from Medieval Race-Thinking.”

It also includes seven volumes from the I.B. Tauris Short Histories series including those on Anglo-Saxons, Mongols, and Normans. Digital scholarship is addressed in Meeting the Medieval in a Digital World (M.E. Davis, T. Mahoney-Steel, and E. Turnator, eds., Amsterdam University Press, 2018) and Digital Techniques for Documenting and Preserving Cultural Heritage (A. Bentkowska-Kafel and L. MacDonald, eds., Arc Humanities Press, 2017). Last, but not least, the collection features four special issues of the journal The Medieval Globe:

The Medieval Globe: Pandemic Disease in the Medieval World: Rethinking the Black Death
(Monica H. Green, ed., Arc Humanities Press, 2014)

Legal Encounters on the Medieval Globe
(Elizabeth Lambourn, ed., Arc Humanities Press, 2017)

Re-Assessing the Global turn in Medieval Art History: The Medieval Globe
(Christina Normore, ed., Arc Humanities Press, 2018)

Seals—Making and Marking Connections Across the Medieval World
(Brigitte Miriam Bedos-Rezak, ed., Arc Humanities Press, 2018)

Overall, Bloomsbury Medieval Studies is a well-balanced melange of primary sources and scholarship that revisits familiar themes from new angles and probes new themes from a global perspective.

Access to the collection is available through the Library’s Databases A-Z list.

 


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 



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An Appreciation of ACLS Humanities E-Book Collection

By Jutta Seibert

With print collections out of reach, digital books are having a moment right now. Continued off-campus access to part of the Library’s book collection will save many a student project in the coming weeks.

Falvey’s helpful e-book guide introduces the major e-book collections that are available to the Villanova community. One of the many boutique collections not featured on the Library’s e-book guide is ACLS Humanities E-Book. With over 5,500 humanities books, it is one of the smaller collections, but it punches above its weight and deserves a closer look.

The idea to explore digital formats for long-form publishing in the humanities goes back to the late nineties when the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) developed plans for a multi-press online collection of humanities books. The project was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. ACLS managed the project with curatorial assistance from some of its members, among them the Organization of American Historians and the American Historical Association.

The unique strength of ACLS Humanities E-Book collection is its ensemble of books in the humanities from a large group of university presses, among it such well-known names as Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Harvard University Press. The oldest books in the collection date back to the middle of the nineteenth century, but most of the collection represents scholarship from the last fifty years.

The search options on the native platform are limited, and readers are advised to access the collection through the Library’s catalog. An author search for ACLS Humanities E-book can be combined with Library of Congress subjects, classifications, and keywords. Access to the collection is available on the Library’s Databases A-Z list.

Among the many noteworthy and interesting books included in the collection are the timely America’s Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918 by Alfred Crosby (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed., 2003), the seminal The Modern World-system by Immanuel Wallerstein (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2011), the pie in the sky Hotel Dreams: Luxury, Technology, and Urban Ambition in America, 1829-1929 by Molly Berger (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), and the quirky Fresh: A Perishable History by Susanne Freidberg (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2009).

ACLS Humanities E-Book and the many other e-book collections available through Falvey provide unprecedented access to humanities books in these unprecedented times.


Jutta Seibert is Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 



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Last Modified: April 7, 2020