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In Memoriam: The Rev. George F. Riley, OSA

The Rev. George F. Riley, OSA, PhD, ’58 CLAS (second row). Image courtesy of the Villanova University Digital Library (Belle Air 1963).


Image courtesy of the Province of Saint Thomas of Villanova.

The Rev. George F. Riley, OSA, PhD, ’58 CLAS, ’61 MA, passed away on Friday, Sept. 16, at the age of 87. A beloved member of the Villanova community for 65 years, Fr. Riley was assigned to Saint Thomas Monastery and Villanova University in 1962. “He taught religious studies and ethics at Villanova; served as the Province’s Vocation Director (where he also served as Secretary and Archivist); was the University’s liaison for the Peace Corps; served as the Special Assistant to the President of Villanova University; and also worked as Vice President for University Relations.” In addition to serving on numerous boards and authoring many publications and sermons, Fr. Riley began the Villanova Magazine in 1984.

Assisting with the University’s first two capital campaigns, Covenant I & II, Fr. Riley helped raise more than $83 million for Villanova. Riley Hall, which houses University Advancement, is named in his honor. The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, expressed the community’s admiration for Fr. Riley in his message to Villanova faculty, staff, students, and alumni on Sept. 16:

“Villanova is a better place for Fr. Riley being a part of it. His knowledge has brought wisdom, his humor has brought joy and his dedication has brought inspiration to so many of those around him. His legacy and lasting impact on Villanova are evident in the stories and recollections of the generations of Villanovans, who speak so fondly of Fr. Riley and recall the significant role he played in their lives.”

View Fr. Riley’s full obituary here. A viewing will be held Monday, Sept. 26, at St. Thomas of Villanova Church from 3–7 p.m., followed by the funeral mass at 7 p.m. A livestream link of the viewing and funeral mass will be available on this webpage.

Support the Fr. George F. Riley, OSA Fund for Augustinian HealthCare here.

Fr. Riley’s personal papers were transferred to the University Archives last year. His personal papers are from his time working at Villanova and include his writings, sermons, homilies, speeches, research material, Villanova event materials, and personal photographs. The collection was processed by Jessie Pagan, Theology and Religious Studies doctorial student, and will be publicly available for research soon.


 


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DH in the Classroom: Aurelius Digital Humanities Launches Second Project

During the spring semester, the Aurelius Digital Humanities Initiative launched its second project, a digital edition of El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte. The project was commandeered by Visiting Assistant Professor of Spanish Chad Leahy, PhD, who worked with his special-topics Spanish class to digitize and transcribe the text. Guidance was also provided by Laura Bang, digital and Special Collections curatorial assistant, and David Uspal, senior web specialist for library services and scholarly applications. Dr. Leahy explains that the materiality of text as object, the smell and feel of the item itself, has a story to tell us and digital humanities as a new technology has a way of opening this aspect of the text to the world.

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  El Peru en sus tradiciones en su historia, en su arte is a 133 page multimedia scrapbook that contains postcards, newspaper clippings, drawings—more than 160 distinct visual objects in all. In many cases, these entries are copied without original sources, raising difficult questions regarding authorship, provenance and purpose. There is no way to prove authorship, but Dr. Leahy speculates that the text may have originated through the Augustinian missions in Peru and was probably a gift. The latest internal date, 1924, suggests that the scrapbook was produced in the latter half of the 1920s. In addition to studying the Peruvian text, Dr. Leahy’s class had the opportunity to develop hands-on digitizing skills while scanning the text Los dramas de la Guerra, a serialized account of the First World War published in Barcelona during the war years.

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Participants loved the way the website reformatted for easy reading on hand held devices.

David Uspal wrapped up the event by explaining the development behind the website. Uspal said, “in addition to the transcription work by the undergraduate students, technical support for the project was provided by Falvey [Memorial] Library’s Technology Development Team, with a large contribution by technology graduate assistant Pragya Singhvi.  Pragya’s work on importing transcription documents and automatically producing TEI and HTML versions of these documents will both help reduce the work necessary on future translation projects (and thus, more likely to get more and varies projects approved) and allow these projects to adopt open standards which will allow for greater use in the academic community.”


Laura Hutelmyer is the photography coordinator for the Communication and Publications Team and special acquisitions coordinator in Resource Management


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Last Modified: May 20, 2014

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