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Listening to the World: Open-Source Intelligence, 1941-1996

By Jutta Seibert

Today’s technology drives the rapid dissemination of international news through countless social networks and other news channels, but less than two decades ago US students looking for in-depth international news coverage were generally limited to one or two major newspapers from a few foreign countries. A few international newspapers arrived per mail and made it onto library shelves a week or two after they were printed, but most took months to arrive because libraries subscribed to them on microfilm only. Thus, awareness of current international news was mostly limited to natural disasters and major political events as disseminated through US media channels.

News in the twentieth century was generally aimed at and limited to national audiences, although shortwave broadcasting and satellite technology allowed those with access to the necessary technology to listen in on “open” news channels in other countries. Consequently, the general population knew remarkably little about daily news covering events in other countries. US policy makers realized during World War II that they could no longer afford to ignore what is often referred to as open-source intelligence, that is to say the monitoring of international news channels.

Founded in 1941, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was tasked with monitoring, recording, transcribing, and translating broadcast and print news globally to increase US awareness of international events and sentiments. FBIS reports were intended for a government audience, but since 1974 selected reports were made available to the broader public through the National Technical Information Service’s World News Connection. The reports were published in print, but back archives were soon microfilmed and later digitized as well.

Today, FBIS reports are one of a few library resources that offer global news and opinions in translation. FBIS translated news from more than 70 languages, ranging from Afrikaans to Zulu. The digital FBIS archive, available to the Villanova community, spans the years 1941 to 1996 and includes a wide selection of daily news from newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts, and TV channels.

In 2005, FBIS was succeeded by the Open Source Center under the umbrella of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and, in 2015, the Open Source Center became the Open Source Enterprise. The main mission of the service remains open-source intelligence gathering. In 2014, the CIA decided to cut off public access to its translated news reports justifying the decision with rising costs, widely available internet-based news channels, and machine translation capabilities. Journalists and scholars alike where thus deprived of access to this valuable resource. While much of the news that FBIS monitored was indeed freely available online, machine translation does not compare to the expert services provided by human translators.

Anyone interested in international news in the period from 1941 to 1996 should take a closer look at FBIS Daily Reports. The archive includes selected translations from most of the major news sources such as TASS, Izvestiya, and the Pravda for Russia and Le Monde, Le Figaro, and Le Nouvel Observateur for France. The contents of the archives span the gamut from transcripts of radio broadcasts to translated news articles and transcripts of political speeches. Coverage varies by region and can be determined by navigating to the Publication Series Title page. The purchase of this collection was made possible with a gift from Allen Cellar, class of 1969.

For more news in translation explore MideastWire.com, which offers news in translation from 22 countries in the Middle East, and the Current Digest of the Russian Press, which consists of translated Russian news from 1949 to the present. Contact us if you have any questions.


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

 

 



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Falvey Focuses on Scholarship: Kaylan Purisima Researches Cause of Violence Against Indigenous Women in the U.S.

Kaylan Purisima

 

BY SHAWN PROCTOR

Welcome to part 5 of a 7-part series featuring the 2021 Falvey Scholars. Read more about them every Monday and in the upcoming issue of Mosaic: the Library’s bi-annual publication.

Falvey Memorial Library is honored to announce the 2021 Falvey Scholar award winners. We will showcase the research of our eight young alumni on the blog and in the fall issue of Mosaic.

Sponsored by the Library and the Center for Research and Fellowships, the Falvey Scholars program recognizes outstanding undergraduate research at Villanova University. Award winners are selected from a pool of candidates generated by applications submitted by a senior Villanova University student or a group of students working on a senior project together with the recommendation of the advisor to the senior thesis or capstone project completed for academic credit.

View the 2021 Falvey Scholars Awards virtual booklet.


 

Researcher Brief

Falvey Scholar: Kaylan Purisima 

Hometown: Lodi, N.J.

Other Honors: Connelly-Delouvrier International Scholar, Villanova Scholarship, Joseph Betz Solidarity Award

Project Title: “Examining Violence Against Indigenous Women in the United States through a Settler Colonialist Framework” 

Faculty Mentor: Brianna Remster, PhD, Associate Professor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences 


 

Learn about Kaylan’s research in her own words:

 

Tell me about your Falvey Scholar Award-winning research project.

I seek to answer the question of how the U.S. contributes to violence against indigenous women. My main goal was to understand why the violence level is so high today. To do that I had to look back, starting with the settler arrival in 1492, and show many factors that began more than a century ago continue in some form today.

How did Falvey Memorial Library support your research?

The Library’s staff was integral to my research experience! I met with Jutta Seibert, Director of Research Services & Scholarly Engagement, in the beginning of my research process, and she went through very clearly how to navigate the Falvey website. She showed me all the tips and tricks to find a range of useful sources, without which I would have been lost as someone new to research.

Falvey’s resources and databases were the rock of my research. I did essentially all my research on the Falvey website, and I found almost all of my sources through Falvey. Only when I looked at nonacademic sources such as news articles did I turn to Google.

What impact did this project have on you?

I will certainly continue in this research direction because if this research has taught me anything, it is that I have a lot more to learn. The general lack of education regarding Native peoples and histories and our part to play in the erasure of this is something that I will spend my whole life rectifying.

What’s next for you?

I will be working with Teach for America, teaching special education in Charlotte, N.C.

 


Shawn Proctor

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

 


 


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When Time Is of the Essence: Very Short Introductions

By Jutta Seibert

Faculty looking for short texts to introduce students to a new subject value the Very Short Introductions (VSI) series from Oxford University Press for their clarity and brevity. The complete VSI series with close to 700 individual titles is now available to the Villanova community via a dedicated VSI gateway. The series has broad interdisciplinary appeal with a sizeable number of STEM titles in addition to arts and humanities and social science topics.

Take a closer look at VSI the next time you are looking for concise and authoritative information about a complex topic. Each volume is written by a specialist for a general audience with little or no previous knowledge of the subject. The scope of this series is impressive: it includes a suite of basic business subjects such as accounting, taxation, and marketing; STEM topics range from engineering and physics to medicine and mathematics; arts and humanities subjects come from a wide variety of disciplines as is to be expected.

Individual volumes rarely exceed 160 pages in keeping with the series title. Readers can expect concise overviews, brief outlines of current research directions and references to seminal texts. The VSI platform makes it easy to discover suitable volumes and chapters. Readers may set up personal accounts to manage a list of favorite chapters. Alternatively, they can also download citations containing persistent URLs. Those who would like to download individual chapters will need to use the print function to create a pdf document first.

You can find a link to the complete collection on the Library’s Databases A-Z list. Records for individual volumes can be found in the Library’s catalog. Note that the catalog includes records for selected VSI volumes available through ProQuest as well as for print volumes. Readers who prefer to browse and search all published VSI volumes simultaneously should use the link on the A-Z list.

Interesting subjects abound in a series this large: for example, anyone seeking to gain a better understanding of the current global health crisis will find the volumes covering the history of pandemics, epidemiology, viruses, and public health particularly interesting. The sheer scope of the series can be overwhelming at first: aesthetics, art theory, artificial intelligence, Augustine, Catholicism, climate, critical theory, biometrics, citizenship, environmental politics, evolution, feminism, free speech, globalization, the Harlem Renaissance, human rights, the Koran, literary theory, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the periodic table, privacy, number theory, and the Silk Road. And this is just a small sample of the topics covered!

Visit the VSI database to discover subjects that you are interested in, and let us know how you feel about this latest addition to the Library’s ever-growing collection.


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

 

 



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Littman E-Library of Jewish Civilization Trial

By Jutta Seibert

Explore the ensemble of Jewish studies books published in the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization (LLJC) series. The books published in this series cover a range of subject areas including history, religious studies, philosophy, literature, and cultural studies including classical and modern works. Online access to LLJC is available on trial basis until Nov. 22 through the Databases A-Z list on the Library’s website.


The series was established in 1965 by Louis Littman in memory of his father with the intent to explore, explain, and perpetuate Jewish heritage. Louis Littman described his motivation for the project and the challenges involved in publishing high-quality Jewish studies books in English in a posthumously published article in the journal of Jewish Historical Studies.

Littman, Louis. “The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization.” Jewish Historical Studies 29 (1982): 311-25. http://www.jstor.org/stable/29779823.

Founder and editors of the series initially focused on publishing translations of seminal Jewish works written in Hebrew as expressed on the dust jacket of the first book in the series: “The aim of the Littman Library of Jewish Civilization is to present to the English-speaking public a selection of some of the finest products of the Jewish religious and literary genius.” The first volume published in 1965 was the poetry collection Hebrew Poems from Spain, selected and translated by David Goldstein. Most of the works published in LLJC in the last decades were written in English. Among the recently added titles are Hasidism Beyond Modernity, Cities of Splendour in the Shaping of Sephardi History, and Final Judgment and the Dead in Medieval Jewish Thought.

Today, LLJC books can be found on various online platforms, such as JSTOR, Liverpool University Press, and ACLS Humanities E-Book. The current trial gives the Villanova community access to a subset of 50 titles on the Liverpool University Press e-book platform. Part of the collection is also available in print. Contact us if you have questions or if you would like to recommend this series for the permanent collection.


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

 

 



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Trial access to Bloomsbury Fashion Central

By Jutta Seibert

Bloomsbury Fashion Central (BFC) is a platform that features a range of interdisciplinary research resources on dress and textile culture. Available through BFC are the Berg Fashion Library, the Fairchild Books Library, Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases, and archives of fashion photography and video. Campus-wide access to BFC is available on trial basis until Oct. 23 through the Databases A-Z list on the Library’s website.

While BFC was clearly created with fashion professionals in mind, books in the Berg Fashion Library have a broad multi-disciplinary appeal and cover all aspects of dress and fashion worldwide. The Library’s collection already includes a small selection of print books from the Berg Fashion Library among them the Berg Companion to Fashion and The Dictionary of Fashion History.

Another noteworthy title in this award-winning library is a new edition of Peter McNeil’s collection of essays on fashion by a wide swath of critical thinkers among them Roland Barthes, Pierre Bourdieu, Fernand Braudel, Johan Huizinga, Georg Simmel, and Thorstein Veblen. Originally published as Fashion: Critical and Primary Sources, the new edition is called Classic and Modern Writings on Fashion. Michelle Maskiell’s “Consuming Kashmir: Shawls and Empires, 1500–2000” is one of the essays in this collection that reveals the intricate connections between fashion and daily life, politics, and economics. Also included is the multi-volume Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion which explores all aspects of dress and fashion on a global level.

Take a closer look at some of the works featured in this collection and let us know what you think. Here are a few titles to get you started:

BFC also includes lesson plans and bibliographic subject guides on a range of topics such as fashion and art, the social psychology of dress, and fashion and gender contributed by subject experts. Each object has its own doi to facilitate content sharing and integration in the online classroom. Contact us if you have questions.


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

 

 



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Trial access to the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism

By Jutta Seibert

Students and scholars interested in the modernist era will welcome the chance to take a closer look at The Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (REM) in the coming weeks. Trial access will be available until October 23 through the Databases A-Z list on the Library’s website.

REM distinguishes itself through global interdisciplinary coverage of its subject matter. The ideas of modernism were explored and embraced by artists, writers, and thinkers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Well known schools and movements such as expressionism, social realism, dadaism, cubism, and Bauhaus emerged during the modernist era. Modernist thinking and ideas influenced architecture, dance, theater, film, literature, music, philosophy, and the visual arts.

The REM platform offers both keyword searching and browsing by subject, movement, and place. All articles are written by subject specialists and include recommended reading lists as well as cross-references to related resources. For example, the article about Russian Modernism proffers links to articles about representative Russian artists and works as well as to overview articles on Social Realism and Symbolism. While REM content is heavily weighted in favor of artists and movements in the visual arts and literature, there are some unexpected contributions, such as an article about Physical Culture, which traces today’s interest in physical fitness back to the modernist era.

Take the online tour to learn more about REM, and contact us if you would like to recommend REM for the permanent collection.


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

 

 



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Missing the Book Shelves in Falvey? Give Virtual Browsing a Try!

Carl Spitzweg, Der Buchwurm,
ca. 1850, oil on canvas, 49.5×26.8 cm,
Museum Georg Schäfer.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

By Jutta Seibert

This is a year like no other. The Villanova community grew to meet every new challenge. When the Library building closed in March, for example, we had to rely exclusively on electronic sources. The dedicated folks at Falvey brought back access to the print collection in July with contactless pickup. However, the book stacks need to remain closed for the foreseeable future.

We know many of you miss direct access to the shelves and the ability to browse their contents at your leisure. Scholars often wax nostalgic about shelf-browsing and fondly remember serendipitous discoveries made in the stacks. They encourage their students to do the same and gently nudge them by telling them where to start.

Shelf-browsing has unique qualities that are not easily defined. What is it that drives us to reach for an unknown book? Is it its title or the fact that we are familiar with its author? Is it the color or material of its binding? Is it its size or its condition?

Every spine along the shelves contains worlds and new knowledge.

It is easy to forget that shelf-browsing has its disadvantages too: books that are missing or checked out escape our notice unless we take note of the empty space on the shelf. These “missing” books are often the most influential or “popular” titles. But the biggest drawback to shelf-browsing is the absence of electronic books, which continue to grow in popularity.

Did you know that you can browse the Library’s collection virtually? Virtual shelf-browsing is in many ways a superior alternative to in person shelf-browsing. It is one of the most overlooked search features in today’s library catalogs. It may lack some of the meditative, relaxing aspects of getting lost in the stacks, but it certainly will lead to more serendipitous discoveries than a stroll in the stacks. Virtual shelf-browsing shows the complete collection: the virtual shelf presents digital records of electronic books and print books. Print books are represented regardless of whether they are checked out.

Learn How to Browse the Shelves Virtually! It is easy enough once you get the hang of it, and maybe you will even keep doing it in post-pandemic times.

Contact us if you have questions.

 


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

 

 



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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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Last Modified: May 26, 2020