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Map Quest

In my quest for “complex” items from our Distinctive Collections to add to Villanova University’s Digital Library (see: Scanning a Panoramic Sketch) I was drawn to the many beautiful hand-colored maps in The John F. Smith, III, and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection. While a few unframed maps and prints were already added to the Digital Library, the majority of the collection holdings to date are custom framed and previously unscanned (See: The John F. Smith, III and Susan B. Smith Antique Map Collection: A Recent Addition to Special Collections). Making use of past exhibition posters, I was able to utilize the large poster boards to remove or minimize the reflective glare from the framed glass to digitally capture these wonderful and unique images.

Pair of maps depicting the surface of the moon, based upon the models of Johannes Hevelius and Giovanni Battista Riccioli.

There are currently 62 items from the collection now in our Digital Library, 35 items are currently on display at Picotte Hall at Dundale, and we are expecting another installment of items for donation from the Smiths this summer. In addition to the items in the Digital Library, Distinctive Collections Librarian Laura Bang is developing a web exhibit for the collection, featuring Mr. Smith’s personal reflections on each map. We are excited to highlight and provide access in a myriad of ways to these historic documents as part of our academic mission.

This 18th century map of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York features an elaborate cartouche showing William Penn trading with natives, local flora and fauna, and a wild turkey. This Smith map is especially fine with ornate and expert hand-coloring, compared with another example, below, in our Special Collections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selections from this collection were also previously on display in Around the World: Selections from the Smith Antique Map Collection, an exhibit on the first floor of Falvey Memorial Library in Spring 2018. Alongside these selections were other map and cartographic items from Special Collections, including a curious dissected map – an early precursor to the modern jigsaw puzzle! This item had also not yet been digitized, so I enlisted my colleagues to help assemble the pieces in preparation for digitizing.

Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist, and Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian, practice their geography skills.  

Some of the earliest surviving dissected maps were sold in London in the 1760s by mapmaker John Spilsbury. Originally a method of teaching geography to the children of the aristocracy, puzzle maps became more accessible to a broader range of clientele as new methods of manufacturing made the process cheaper. Our example came in a wooden box, with a handwritten inscription on the bottom: “with dear Papa’s best love and wishes, December 31st 1849.”

We did it! After successfully completing the (educational and entertaining!) puzzle, here is the finished product – which you can see dissected and undissected –  in the Digital Library: Map of Asia, by James Wyld.


The Shelf List, June 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

A scrapbook page with an illustration of chickens affixed at the top and two newsclippings affixed below.

A page from the Mary Frances Knighton scrapbook.

Art Curiosa Collection

Bullock, Sam, and W. E. “Paddy” Krepper. Billy-boy: The Kidnapped Child. Cleveland, Ohio: Bee Key Music Co., 1909.

The Bummer Boy: A “spoony” Biography. [New York]: American News Co., 1868.

Carleton, L. C. Hickory Jack, Or, The Wild Man of the Woods. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Fletcher, Samuel. The Blazing Arrow. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Haggard, H. Rider. Allan’s Wife. New York: Hurst & Company, 1889.

Kennedy, A. E. The Three Bears. New York: Sam’l Gabriel Sons & Co., 1911.

Paine, Horace. The Boy’s Best Weekly. Cleveland: Arthur Westbrook Co., 1909.

The Railroad. New York: Charles E. Graham & Co., 1915.

Springer, J. The Forest Lodge: A Romance of Indian Life. New York: George Munro & Co., publishers, 137 William Street, 1864.

Treasure Island: (c)Fox Film Corp. New York: J.S. Ogilvie Publishing Co., 1918.

 

Augustiniana Collection

Tonna-Barthet, Antonino. La Vita Di Gesù Nel Testo Concordato Dei Vangeli Con Riflessioni Di S. Agostino. Firenze: Tipografía Fiorenza, 1939.

 

Early American Imprints

Sherman, George, John Mershon, and Isaiah Thomas. New-Jersey State Gazette. Trenton, N.J.: Printed by Sherman, Mershon & Thomas, 1799. Volume I, Number 45, January 7, 1800.

 

Joseph McGarrity Collection

[Scrapbook, Shelbourne Hotel Dublin]. Dublin: s.n., 1930.

 

Maps, Images, and Graphics Collection

Andrew Jackson. Hartford: D.W. Kellogg & Co., 1830.

The Great American Tanner. New York: Currier & Ives, 1868.

James G. Birney: Nominated By the Liberty Party for Eleventh President of the United States. [New York]: Lith. & Pub. by N. Currier, 2 Spruce St., 1844.

James K. Polk: Eleventh President of the United States. [Boston]: Published by F. Gleason, 1 1/2 Tremont Row, 1845.

John P. Hale: The Champion of Liberty and Free Soil. [New York]: Kellogg & Comstock, 1852.

Martin Van Buren, Eighth President of the United States, Inaugurated March 4th, 1837. [Hartford]: [D.W. Kellogg & Co.], 1837.

National Democratic Banner of Victory, 1868. [New York]: Published by Currier & Ives, 1868.

National Union Republican Banner, 1868. New York: Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St., 1868.

 

Manuscripts Collection

Albert Ritter Scrapbook.

Brown, John. Virginia Manuscript Certificate for Wolf-scalping Bounty. Virginia: s.n., 1804.

James Hazen Hardy, Jr., Papers.

Mary Frances Knighton Scrapbook.

 

If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


Happily Forever After: The Timeless Relevance of Fairy Tales

Distinctive Collections’ new exhibit on the “moral of the story”

From a treacherous trip to grandma’s house, rags to riches, escaping a witch’s oven, a trickster cat that brings good fortune—these are the tales and imagery that shape our happily ever afters and childhood. These tales seem to not fade away but inspire many generations of retellings and adaptions. While we have Charles Perrault, Madam d’Aulnoy, Hans Christian Andersen, and Grimm Brothers to thank for the dissemination of these beloved works, these tales have enduring presence in our society because the morals and lessons continue to have relevance in our culture today. Beyond the imagination of benevolent godmothers and a goose that lays golden eggs, the core conflicts, struggles, and messages of the stories remain reflective of our world. It is why fairy tale imagery is so popular beyond entertainment, but conspicuous in our everyday lives.  

Distinctive Collections invites you to explore the world of fairy tales and examine the importance of morals in the tales with the new exhibit, Happily Forever After: The Timeless Relevance of Fairy Tales. Curated by Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Coordinator, and Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist, the exhibit showcases a selection of fairy tales and fairy tale inspired works from Falvey Memorial Library and Special Collections. The exhibit is located on the first floor of Falvey Memorial Library and open to the public throughout the summer. 


The Shelf List, May 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

Half-length portrait of George Washington seated at a table.

Lithograph, George Washington. First President of the United States, [n.d.]

Art Curiosa Collection

Averill, Charles E. The Secret Service Ship; Or, The Fall of San Juan D’Ulloa: A Tale of the Mexican War. Boston: George W. Studley, 1898.

Continental Library. Baltimore: A.C. Meyer & Co.

Ellis, Edward Sylvester. The Boy Scouts, Or, The Hunt of the Pottawatomies. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Good Reading. New York, N.Y.: A.D. Porter, 1893.

Hamilton, W. J. Hiding Tom, Or, The Fox of the Prairie. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Hamilton, W. J. “Old Kit,” the Scout: A Tale of the Swamps. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Munro, Norman L. Old Cap. Collier Library. New York: Norman L. Munro.

The Nickel Library. Chicago: Novelist Pub.

Philadelphien. Canonizationis Beatae Catharinae Mariae Drexel Fundatricis Congregationis Sororum a SS. Sacramento Pro Indis Et Colorata Gente (1858-1955): Caso Straordinario Di Amanda Jane Wall. [S.l.: s.n.], 1997.

 

Maps, Images, and Graphics Collection

George Washington: First President of the United States. Hartford: Lith. of F.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1840.

Grand, National, American Banner: Millard Fillmore. Andrew J. Donelson. The Americans Choice for President and Vice President From 1857 to 1861. [New York]: Lith. & pub. by N. Currier, 152 Nassau St., 1856.

James Madison: Fourth President of the United States. [Hartford: D.W. Kellogg & Co., between 1830 and 1842.]

James Madison: Fourth President of the United States. [Boston: Pendleton, ca. 1825-1828.]

James Monroe: Fifth President of the United States. [Hartford: E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1840.]

John Quincy Adams: Sixth President of the United States. Hartford, Ct.: Case & Skinner, 1830.

John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States. Hartford, Ct.: D.W. Kellogg & Co., ca. 1830.

A woman and a man sitting at a table with a book between them.

Laura Bang accepting the donation of Canonizationis Beatae Catharinae Mariae Drexel from Alan Miller, MD, FACS.

If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


Scanning a Panoramic Sketch

 

 

 

Recently added to the Digital Library is a unique item from the James D. Reap, Jr. World War II Collection. The item is a 16 ½ foot panorama sketch of Yokosuka Naval Base in Japan, drawn by Reap over the course of two weeks in 1945, while stationed on the USS Proteus in Tokyo Bay after the end of the war.

James Domenico Reap, Jr. was born on February 25, 1923. Originally from Berwick, PA, he attended Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, and the V-12 Navy College Training Program at Villanova University. Reap enlisted in the Navy in November 1943. He was assigned to the USS Proteus, a submarine tender, as a radar and communications technician. The Proteus arrived at Yokosuka Naval Base in August of 1945, where it was anchored near the USS Missouri for the formal signing of Japanese surrender on September 2, 1945.

The sketch consists of 9 separate drawings taped together to form one long panoramic view. Each drawing (except one) is dated in the lower right corner: September 20, 1945 A.M.; September 20, 1945 P.M.; September 28, 1945 P.M.; September 29, 1945 P.M.; September 30, 1945; September 30, 1945; No Date; October 2, 1945; October 4, 1945. The final sketch is signed on the verso.

In order to digitally capture such a large artifact, each section was scanned as a separate file and then manually stitched together in Adobe Photoshop. A few inches of extra overlap on the edges of each image helped to ensure a good match. Pairing the images together at the taped seams further aided in the creation of a cohesive image. Even if the item could be scanned as a single image, the resolution and quality would not be great enough. Scanning multiple images and stitching them together preserves the details and archival quality of the image.

Reap also sketched a view of Mt. Fuji, on August 29, 1945. This sketch is stored with the panoramic image in our Special Collections, but appears to be meant as a separate entity.

View of Fujiyama, Elevation 12390 Feet.

Selected items from this collection have already previously been scanned. As Distinctive Collections Coordinator, part of my job includes daily oversight and supervision of the Digitization Lab, and “complex digitization as needed.” I will be adding more complex items from this collection and others in the future. Stay tuned!


The Shelf List, April 2019

The Shelf List highlights items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog. Follow the links to view the full catalog records.

Cover of Green Fairy Book, bound in green with gilt decorations.

Andrew Lang’s Green Fairy Book.

Art Curiosa Collection

Book of Detective Stories. Boston: A. B. Courtney, 1894.

Buntline, Ned. The Indian Queen’s Revenge. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Buntline, Ned. Tiger-eye. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Fletcher, Samuel. Eagle-eyed Zeke, the Long-armed Trapper. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Hamilton, W. J. Tuscaloosa Sam, Or, Life in the Wilds. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

The Handy Manual: A Veritable Mine of Useful and Interesting Statistics, Information, Etc. Boston, Mass.: A.B. Courtney, 1895.

Lang, Andrew, and H. J. Ford. The Green Fairy Book. Authorized crown ed. London ; New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1929.

Meserve, Arthur L. Trapper Joe, Or, The Outlaw of Lake Huron: A Story of the Northern Lakes. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

Pemmon, Frank. Book of Brief Narratives. Boston: A. B. Courtney, 1894.

Robinson, George W. The Red Star of the Seminoles: A Tale of Wild Life On the Border. Cleveland, Ohio: The Arthur Westbrook Company, 1909.

The Unique Story Book. Boston: A. B. Courtney, 1895.

 

Autographed Books Collection

Bryce, Colette. Selected Poems. London: Picador, 2017.

McCormack, Mike. Solar Bones. New York: Soho Press, 2018.

 

Maps, Images, and Graphics Collection

Gen’l. Franz Sigel: At the Battle of Pea-Ridge, Ark. March 8th, 1862. New York: Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St., 1862.

Grand Banner of the Radical Democracy, for 1864: Genl. John C. Fremont. for President. Genl. John Cochrane, for Vice President. New York: Published by Currier & Ives, 152 Nassau St., 1864.

Grand, National, Democratic Banner: Press Onward. New York: N. Currier, 2 Spruce St. N., 1844.

Grand, National, Democratic Banner: Press Onward. : President and Vice-president. [New York]: Lith. & pub. by N. Currier, 2 Spruce St. N.Y., 1844.

Grand, National, Democratic Banner. Press Onward. [New York]: Lith. & Pub. by N. Currier, 152 Nassau St. cor. of Spruce, 1848.

Grand, National, Democratic Banner – Press Onward. [New York]: Lith. & Pub. by N. Currier, 152 Nassau St. cor. of Spruce, 1852.

Grand, National, Democratic Banner – Press Onward – Portraits From Daguerreotypes By T. Dunlap. [New York]: Lith. & Pub. by N. Currier, 152 Nassau St. cor. of Spruce, 1852.

Grand National Republican Banner: Liberty and Union. New York: Currier & Ives, 125 Nassau St., 1876.

Grand National Union Banner for 1860: The Candidates and Their Platform. New York: Published by Currier & Ives, 1860.

Grand National Whig Banner: “Onward.” : Henry Clay. T. Frelinghuysen. The Nation’s Choice for President & Vice President. [New York]: Lith. & pub. by N. Currier, 2 Spruce St., 1844.

Grand National Whig Banner: “Union for the Sake of Union” : Winfield Scott, William A. Graham. New York: Lith. & pub. by N. Currier, 1852.

Major Gen. Benj. F. Butler, of Massachusetts. Hartford: E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 245 Main St., 1884.

National Democratic Banner. New York: Currier & Ives, 1860.

A Philosopher in Ecstasy. (By George! I’ve Got It!!). New York: Published by Currier & Ives, 125 Nassau St., 1872.

The Presidents of the United States. New York: Lith. & Pub. by N. Currier 2 Spruce, St. N.Y., 1844.

William Henry Harrison: Ninth President of the United States — Born Feb. 9, 1773 — Inaugurated March 4, 1841 — Died April 4, 1841. [Hartford, Conn.]: Lith. of E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1841.

Political poster depicting the 1844 Whig candidates for president and vice-president, Henry Clay and Theodore M. Frelinghuysen.

Lithograph, Grand, National, Whig Banner, 1844. [View in Digital Library.]

Note: Our entire collection of 19th-century political lithographs has been digitized previously and is available in our Digital Library.

 

If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.


A Victorian family history in watercolors and prints

One of our recent acquisitions is a scrapbook compiled by Edith Isabella Good (1849-1922), accompanied by a few loose leaves from a scrapbook begun by her brother Frederick. Their father, Clements Good, served as the Consul General for Denmark in Hull, England for fifty years from 1846 to 1896, and was also the principal partner of a shipping firm.

Edith was a talented artist whose work was included in juried group exhibitions in England and Ireland. Her scrapbook includes some beautiful watercolors, pen & ink drawings, and silhouettes. The art primarily consists of portraits of women and children from her family, but there are also a few landscapes and floral studies.

Landscape showing a cabin near the top of a mountain with a dusting of snow, more mountains visible in the distance and an eagle flying overhead. Two profile portraits of women wearing hats.

Page [4] of Edith’s scrapbook, with a landscape and two portraits.

Among the portraits are three of young women dressed to play lawn tennis, which was just becoming popular at the time. The portraits are noteworthy for depicting the costumes worn for playing tennis, including early tennis shoes with India rubber soles and tennis rackets.

Young woman in a blue calf-length dress with small bustle, wearing a straw sunhat and early tennis shoes, holding a tennis racket in her left hand.

Page [20] of Edith’s scrapbook, with a portrait of a young woman in a tennis outfit.

Also of interest is a watercolor image depicting the family’s two Bengali nannies with a group of six white children.

Watercolor portraits of the heads of 2 white boys and a group portrait, also in watercolor, of 2 Bengali nannies with 6 white children.

Page [24] of Edith’s scrapbook, showing the family’s Bengali nannies.

Edith’s brother Frederick de Coninck Good (1852-1887) was a graphic artist in addition to joining his father in the family businesses. He enjoyed creating print illustrations for family and local occasions. Sadly, Frederick died by suicide at the age of 34. The loose leaves of his scrapbook include Frederick’s own works as well as contributions from his sister, Edith, and their father, Clements.

Line drawing of the Royal Royal Danish Warship Heimdal, with a Danish Navy escort, coming into port in Hull.

Page [8] of Frederick’s scrapbook leaves, with an illustrated printed menu in honor of the July 1884 visit of Prince Carl of Denmark to Hull.

You can browse through these scrapbooks in the Digital Library. Also included is a PDF containing further biographical notes compiled by the seller and included when they sent us the scrapbooks.


A “Friendly” Evening in Photos

On Tuesday, March 26, we celebrated the 248-year history of the Philadelphia Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick for the Relief of Emigrants from Ireland with music, talks, and an exhibit. Founded in Philadelphia in 1771, the Society is the second-oldest, continuously meeting Irish organization in the United States. The Society has made a number of contributions to Villanova University and recently partnered with the Library’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement department to digitize their historical materials, which can be viewed in the Digital Library.

The evening began with a social hour at 5pm, featuring refreshments and live Irish music from the band Irish Mist, featuring featuring Tom McLaughlin on banjo and spoons; Mary Tracy on fiddle, and Paul Harris on bass and guitar.

Photo of two men, one on banjo and one on guitar, and one woman on fiddle.

Live Irish music was provided by the band Irish Mist, featuring (from left to right) Tom McLaughlin, Paul Harris, and Mary Tracy.

A man on a banjo with a crowd of people in the background.

Tom McLaughlin of Irish Mist, looking toward the camera at left, and some of the attendees.

Talks began shortly after 6pm. As the exhibit curator and event organizer, I opened with a brief overview of some of the Irish connections in Falvey’s Distinctive Collections.

A woman speaking at a podium in front of a seated crowd.

Laura Bang giving an overview of Irish collections.

Dr. Joseph Lennon, Associate Dean of International and Interdisciplinary Initiatives and Emily C. Riley Director of Irish Studies, then spoke about the value to scholars of digitizing collections and making them freely available online.

A man speaking at a podium in front of a seated crowd.

Dr. Joseph Lennon speaking about the value of digitized collections.

Finally, our main speaker was Joseph P. Heenan, Past President of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and current Chair of the Scholarship Committee and Chair of the Society’s Historical Records. Heenan gave an overview of the Society’s history and accomplishments.

A man speaking at a podium.

Joseph P. Heenan describing the Society’s history.

Left to right: Michael Foight, Laura Bang, Joseph P. Heenan, Joseph Lennon.

After the talks, people had the opportunity to mingle some more and examine the materials in the exhibit cases. Everyone enjoyed a fun evening in honor of the Friendly Sons!

A group of people talking.

A group of attendees.

A woman stands beside a sign advertising the exhibit and event.

Among the attendees, we were excited to meet Mary Clare Hogan, the daughter of Father Falvey’s (after whom Falvey Memorial Library is named) first cousin. A Falvey celebrity!

A man looking at an exhibit case.

One of the exhibit cases and the exhibit poster. (Photo by Laura Bang.)

The exhibit will be on display through the end of May. If you can’t make it to the library to see the exhibit, Society materials that have been digitized so far are viewable online in the Digital Library with more to come.

All photos courtesy of Regina Duffy, unless otherwise noted.


The Shelf List, March 2019

The Shelf List highlights a few of the most noteworthy (or just my favorite) items added to the catalog in the past month. Some of these are new acquisitions and some are items from our backlog.

Scrapbook page with two graphite illustrations, one of the ruins of a castle on a hill and the other (in color) of a woman bent over some cloth, possibly ironing.

Selection of illustrations from Esther Borough Johnson’s scrapbook.

Johnson, Esther Borough. European Views and Portraits. [s.l.: s.n., 1920?]. [Catalog link]

Esther Borough Johnson (1866-1958) was an English artist and a few of her paintings are in the collections of British museums. This album displays her illustrations, mainly in graphite but with a few watercolors as well, of various European cities in the 1920s. Her husband, Ernest Borough Johnson, was an artist as well, and you can view a portrait he painted of his wife on the ArtUK website.

Illustration by Arthur Rackham of Cinderella fleeing the ball at midnight.

Evans, C. S. and Arthur Rackham. Cinderella. London; Philadelphia: William Heinemann ; J.B. Lippincott Co., 1919. [Catalog link]

There are many, many illustrated versions of Cinderella, but this 1919 edition features striking silhouette illustrations by noted English illustrator Arthur Rackham (read a bio on Wikipedia).

Two-page spread of a scrapbook with watercolors including a profile portrait of a young woman, a house next to a stand of trees, and a young woman with a tennis racquet.

Selection of pages from the Edith Good scrapbook.

Good, Edith Isabella, Frederick de Coninck Good, and Clements Good. A Family History in Watercolors and Prints: Life in Victorian Era Hull, England. [s.l.: s.n., 1880?].[Catalog link]

Edith Good’s scrapbook showcases her watercolor illustrations, including portraits of family members, landscape scenes, and floral depictions. The illustrations likely date to the 1880s, when lawn tennis was just becoming popular in England, and several of the portraits in this album depict Good’s family members in tennis costumes with racquets. This acquisition also included some loose scrapbook pages with further illustrative work by her brother, Frederick, and their father, Clements.

Photo of 3 paper documents in Russian, a calling card (also in Russian), and a Red Cross arm band.

Selection of documents from Sir John Pollock’s Russian Red Cross service.

Russian Red Cross Documentation for Sir John Pollock, Petrograd [St. Petersburg]. [s.l.: s.n., 1916-1918]. [Catalog link]

This collection consists of 7 documents and 1 calling card, all printed in Russian, as well as a Red Cross armband, belonging to Sir John Pollock while he served with the Russian Red Cross on a humanitarian mission at the end of the First World War and through the Russian Revolutions.

Photo of a two-page spread of a travel diary, with handwriting and small drawings of architectural details in blue ink.

Selection of pages from a travel diary of a trip to Spain, author unknown.

Unknown author. A Tour of Spain, 1896. [s.l.: s.n., 1896.] [Catalog link]

This travel diary describes the author’s visit to Spain in 1896, a time of political unrest related to the Cuban War of Independence and subsequent intervention of the United States. The author provides firsthand observations of this interesting time period as well as describing sites visited in France and Spain. Also included are some hand-drawn maps showing the author’s route and a few small drawings of architectural details.

This is only a selection of recently described materials. Search the library’s catalog for more materials (you can limit your search to Special Collections using the toolbar on the right-hand side of the search results). If you are interested in viewing any Special Collections materials, you can schedule an appointment with our staff.

 


WWI Irish POW in Germany: Attempted Escape

The Arthur Evanson Glanville, papers, 1916-1918, a recent addition to the Villanova Digital Library, comprise of wartime letters, written to family members before and during Glanville’s captivity, photo postcards of him as a R. D. F. Officer along sketches like Glanville’s drawing his trench dug out rendered shortly before his capture.

A portion of transcribed text below is from the digitized copy  of Arthur Evanson Glanville’s recollections, a WWI Irish POW, an officer in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, captured by the Germans in France, May, 1918, and held as a prisoner of war for 7 months.

Glanville described the attempt of a POW’s escape from the camp in Rastatt.

POW escapeGlanville's Diary: 1918

******

[p. 50]

day as at night the <insertion: noise> would have attracted too much attention. There was great excitement the night of the escape. There were many willing helpers in the scheme. Their duties were many [158]<insertion: allotted.> Some watched the sentries & reported when they were at the far end of their beats. Others kept a sharp look out for the approach of anyone in the building, while yet others prepared the ropes (from bed-clothes) which were to lower the elopers from the windows to the ground – a distance of 18 feet. The escape took place simultaneously from <insertion: the> two windows. Within one minute from the executive word “go!” from those watching the sentries, both officers were on the road and out of sight – all under the eyes of the sentries in the full glare of the electric-arc lamps of the camp! Further arrangements in the camp were the means by which the escape of these officers was not noticed for 10 days. Every night dummies were placed in the beds.

[p. 51]

But [159] This was simple enough, but was nothing compared to the lucky scheme by th [160] which the missing officers were not remarked [161] on the two daily parades. The day previous to the escape the Roll <insertion: of prisoners> in the German office had been take and “lost” by an accomplice. The result was that a new one was made from the officers on parade next day & the escape was not noticed.  It was <insertion so> a simple a scheme which [162] <insertion: that> we thought <insertion: it> would not have worked. After 10 days the Germans evidently checked the roll with some other record and found their mistake. There was great consternation. It added to their dismay to know it was their own fault. Doubtless they managed to hide their mistake from their superiors, but that did not prevent them from having their revenge on us. All sorts of restrictions were put upon us and life became more unbearable than ever. This was the worst thing they could have done, for it only made others keen to escape. In fact inspite [163] of all the extra precautions,

____________

[158] Author’s strike out.
[159] Author’s strike out.
[160] Author’s strike out.
[161] Best guess.
[162] Author’s strike out.
[163] in spite

 

 


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Last Modified: September 26, 2017