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From the Archives: New Finding Aids Published

The University Archives is excited to announce our Spring release of new finding aids. Finding aids are inventories of our archival holdings and having them published allows researchers to review our holdings before they visit or able request a item to be digitized.

This would not have been possible without the tremendous help, during the pandemic, from our Access Services team members Gerald Dierkes and Mike Sgier. And additional thanks to our Student Assistants Jacob Artz ’23, Thomas Dorrance ’21, Ali Stinchfield ’23, and Emma Poley, ’21 for helping with link digital objects to the finding aids and doing major migration clean-up. A special shout out to our Student Assistant, Kamryn Dow ’22, who has spent over a year working on our database clean-up.

Sherman Thackara collection (OM E467.S53) finding aid now has links to digitized images in the digital library.
Finding Aid webpage

Image of finding aid webpage

 

Newly Published University Archives finding aids:

Centers records

The collection is consists early records of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies, Center for Peace and Justice, and Center for Alcohol and Drugs.

Occasional Outside Groups records

The collection is comprised of programs, planning and research materials, and ephemera related to non-Villanova organizations or people who conducted events and activities on campus. Of particular note, the collection includes research material from Kyle Keiderling’s work on The Perfect Game.

Campus Ministry records

This is a small collection of records of the Campus Ministry. The collection includes letters and announcements sent by the Campus Ministry to students; summaries of the religious affiliation of students (1947-1952); mass and novena cards; posters and flyers; printed prayers; hymn, and remembrance cards; copies of the illustrated weekly bulletin the Mirror (1926-1931); copies of the weekly bulletin ‘Neath the Spires (1939-1941); printed letters to Villanova Students from Father Edward V. Stanford (1931); and retreat brochures. The collection also includes a volume of notes on religious life at Villanova between 1926 and 1943.

And more Presidents’ records:

James A. Donnellon, O.S.A. records, 1955-1959

Laurence Augustine Delurey O.S.A. records, 1903

John M. Driscoll, O.S.A. records, 1964-1988


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Black History Month

Black History Month is a celebration of the contributions of African Americans have made to our history and a time of deep reflection on the continued struggle for racial justice. 2020 has shown our society has fallen short on racial equality and justice. For Villanovans, we were confronted with our own inequalities with stories from @blackvillanova (Black at Villanova) on Instagram. The stories presented are a glaring reminder the work Villanova needs to work harder for better inclusion and equality. For the University Archives, this means continually striving towards the archives as a place that empowers and advocates increased representation in our historical record.

To learn more about the history of the black experience at Villanova and pay tribute to those who have shaped our community, you can explore:

MLK speaking at Villanova

MLK Speaking at Villanova, 1965

 

 

Nova Stories : Campus Life from the 1960s

 

 

 

Black Villanova: An Oral History Banner

Black Villanova: An Oral History Banner

 

 

Black Villanova: An Oral History

 

 

John "Chubby" Cox, 1973

John “Chubby” Cox, 1973

 

Villanova Digital Library

Image can be found in the Villanova Athletics collection.

 

 

 

 

Though these stories only touch the surface of the black experience at Villanova, it’s an starting point to learn more about our history.

For more information on social, political sexual, racial, and gendered issues in today’s world, check out the Diversity and Inclusion Libguide.

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From the Archives: Fall Zine

Zine Cover

Well another crazy semester for the record books!

COVID-19 has upended so much of our lives, yet here you are continuing to going to school and trying to stay connected with friends and family. To decompress from the whirlwind of finals and enjoy a well deserved break, enjoy the new issue of the University Archives Zine. This issue has a special game, created by our own Library Technology Developer, Chris Hallberg. The game is a re-imagined version of the game Manifold.

Download Vol.2 Issue 1 

If you want to contribute the next zine email archives@villanova.edu with your idea 😆


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From the Archives: Digitized Primary Sources on the 1918 Flu Pandemic

By Rebecca Oviedo

Preserved in Villanova University Archives and now available in the Digital Library are dozens of first-hand accounts and records from women religious of Philadelphia who volunteered to nurse the sick during the 1918-1919 “Spanish Influenza.” The accounts were solicited and collected by Rev. Francis E. Tourscher, O.S.A., who quickly took up the timely task to “assemble facts while they are still a living memory” and compiled that research as Work of the Sisters during the epidemic of influenza, October, 1918 / Philadelphia : American Catholic Historical Society, 1919.

Now we are making the original experiences and recollections written by the Sisters available online. Rev. Tourscher served as University Librarian from 1923-1939, and his papers are part of the Falvey Memorial Library records. His aim in gathering these facts was “to record the experiences and impressions of the Sisters, and incidentally to record their personal observations of the symptoms of the disease and conditions existing during the epidemic in private homes and hospitals.”

Senior Elizabeth Lyons works in the library as a Collections & Stewardship Technician in the scan lab and was eager to digitize the papers. “These papers were a crucial part of my research into volunteering efforts during the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic in Philadelphia. They offered a unique insight into what it was like at the hospitals in Philadelphia. There weren’t a lot of personal accounts of what it was like to live through this period of time, so these offered a really unique perspective. I love working in the library and getting to interact with all sorts of historical documents. It’s really exciting to see what sorts of things have been preserved and what life was like back then! A lot of my fellow history majors were jealous that I get to keep working with primary sources like this, since most archives are closed right now.”

Further access to the manuscripts is provided through careful transcription of each handwritten document. Briana Felice is pursuing a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is completing an internship at Falvey Memorial Library. She has been transcribing the Sisters’ recollections into machine-readable format (Microsoft Word document and PDF) where they are available alongside the digitized item in the Digital Library. This added process ensures that the papers are more easily accessible and findable for users when performing keyword searches. She observes, “With everything going on with the looming pandemic, these letters are very timely. It shows that history really does repeat itself. Hopefully, we can learn a little something from the past.”

Just as scholars today are examining these records of the past, we anticipate that future scholars, staff and students may wish to know and understand what it was like for the Villanova community living through the current COVID-19 pandemic. We invite you to submit your own story and be a part of history: https://library.villanova.edu/about-falvey/coronavirus/submit-your-story

 

 

 


Rebecca Oviedo is Distinctive Collections Librarian/Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 

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VOTE! Class of 1959 Villanova Student Elections

With only days away from the presidential election, the University Archives is highlighting a snapshot of what student elections on campus looked like in the 1950s. The online exhibit, VOTE! Class of 1959 Villanova Student Elections, is a display of ephemera from the Spring 1957 class elections for the class of 1959. On display are posters, photographs, campaign cards, and platform letters. All the material was a donation made to the Alumni Office, which in turn have been kind of enough to transfer for preservation to the University Archives.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Remember November 3rd To Go Out And VOTE!


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What Kind of Villanovan are You? Take This Personality Quiz and Find Out

Have you ever wondered what kind of Villanovan you are? Do you prefer the Cinderella story of the 1985 Men’s Basketball Team…or the “mop, dish, swish” from 2016’s championship?

Where do you love to study? And what does that say about you?

Find your “type” with our special personality quiz, designed by Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist! (And while you’re taking the quiz, enjoy Billy Jonas’ hilarious family-friendly song “What Kind of Cat Are You?”)

 

What Type of Villanovan Are You?

Images from the Villanova University Archives


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From the Archives: DCDE Adds New Public User Interface for Finding Aids

By Beaudry Rae Allen

Distinctive Collections & Digital Engagement is proud to announce our finding aids are now publicly available and searchable through our VuFind catalog and a public user interface through ArchivesSpace. ArchivesSpace is discovery portal for archival and other unique materials at Villanova University.

This means greater access to our collections, especially for the University Archives, which has not had any detailed content information made public before. As of today, Special Collections’ finding aids for manuscript collections and all the Villanova Presidents’ papers from 1870s to 1980s are publicly accessible. In addition, some finding aids will have links to digitized content in our digital library.

Over the course of the next year, expect to see more University Archives finding aids from other areas of the University published.

ArchivesSpace, new public user interface

ArchivesSpace, new public user interface

The new public interface for finding aids will allow you to search by repositories, collections, subjects, record type, keywords, and dates. However, it is important to note that once you find what you are looking for, you will need to email archives@villanova.edu to request access or get more information about the collection.

These access points are critical to the library’s mission of discovery and access to resources. Searchable finding aids will allow researchers find more of our primary source material holdings and conduct more thorough research with our materials.

What are Finding Aids?

Finding aids are descriptive tools that provide information about the archival documents held in a collection. Researchers use finding aids to help determine whether a collection of archival materials contains the documents, photographs, etc. that they might need to consult for their research project.

A finding aid typically consists of contextual and structural information about an archival collection. This includes information about the collection, such as acquisition and processing; provenance, including administrative history or biographical note; scope of the collection, including size, subjects, media; organization, and arrangement; and an inventory of the items or folder titles.

Guide to James D. Reap World War II collection

Guide to James D. Reap World War II collection

A long time coming

Getting the finding aids online has been a two-year endeavor. Special Collections had finding aids in HTML and PDF formats on its website, but not integrated with the Library catalog system, and University Archives had some partial inventories in a content management system called Archivist Toolkit or in Microsoft Word documents, but nothing comprehensively organized and described, all of which has made access to our information disjointed and incomplete.

The first step was implementing a new content management system, ArchivesSpace, and migrating inventories from the previous system and converting the HTML, PDF, and Microsoft Word documents into XML to be imported into ArchivesSpace.

The new system allowed description to more nuanced and structured in a way for easier user navigation. Moreover, the migration required a lot of clean up of data and standardizing description. Our student assistants, Kamryn Dow and Emma Poley, assisted in cleaning up our metadata.

We also received help from Access Coordinators Mike Sgier and Gerald Dierkes, who are cleaning up the component unique identifiers and folder locations of the University Archives collections. While metadata clean-up has been in process, Library IT Developer Geoff Scholl helped set up the ArchivesSpace public interface for the finding aids, and Library IT Director Demian Katz integrated ArchivesSpace with Vufind.

Catalog list of finding aids

VuFind catalog list of finding aids

This project is just a step in the continued work of DCDE to enhance access to our collections.

 


Beaudry Rae Allen is Preservation and Digital Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.


 

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From the University Archives: Celebrate History of Villanova Theatre

By Beaudry Rae Allen

Dramatic Hall, circa 1890s

Dramatic Hall, circa 1890s

 

“…but be not afraid of greatness: Some are born great, others achieve greatness. And others have greatness thrust upon them.”—Shakespeare, Twelfth Night, Act 2 Scene 5

 

Distinctive Collections invites you with a backstage pass to celebrate 150 years of Villanova Theatre with the new digital exhibit “Be Not Afraid of Greatness: Celebrating the History of Villanova Theatre.”

Inspired by the prevalence of Shakespeare in the production history of the Theatre Department, the lines are meant to evoke the profound yet humble legacy of Villanova Theatre, from its earliest days to capturing the essence of what the department is all about: enriching the campus culture and striving for greatness one performance at a time.

Very few may know, but the first appearances of theatre on campus started in 1870, and with this exhibit the University Archives seeks to evoke a sense of celebration of Villanova’s rich history and achievements spanning 150 years.

Take a step inside and explore the many different eras of theatre groups on campus and moments that have helped shape what the graduate program is today.  The exhibit includes many programs and posters from early performances as well as photographs of students in rehearsals from the University Archives. In addition, the exhibit includes special photographs taken by Robert LeBlanc, First Year Experience Librarian, of theater students from fall 2019 and images of costumes on loan from the Villanova Theatre Department.

Rehearsals for Piper-Heidsieck '98, 1950

Rehearsals for Piper-Heidsieck ’98, 1950

Curated by Beaudry Rae Allen and Emma Poley ’21, Villanova Theatre Graduate Student, the digital exhibit is just a snapshot of the physical exhibit that opened March 12, 2020.

 

Poster of Turf and Tinsel Club production, circa 1940s

Poster of Turf and Tinsel Club production, circa 1940s

 

When the University reopens, the main physical exhibit will remain on display.

 


Beaudry Rae Allen is Preservation and Digital Archivist at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 

 


 

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From the Archives: 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

In celebration of the 50th anniversary, Distinctive Collections is excited to announce a mini digital exhibit, “Earth Week at Villanova,” describing how Villanova University participated in the first Earth Day and other activities on campus to advocate for environmental changes over the years. Villanova University hosted a week of activities during the first Earth Week celebrations that were held in 1970.

"Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute" Owl Cartoon

“Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute” Owl Cartoon 1971

Villanovan, Vol. 47, No. 12, December 8, 1971.

Of particular note, the exhibit includes a recorded interview with the organizers of the March 2019 Climate Strike on campus. All the material presented are from the University Archives and curated by Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist.

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From the Archives: Work From Home Edition

Work from Home | LoFi Study

University Archives Zine: Download Me!

illustration of office

Illustration of my home office

What’s it like for an archivist to work from home? Just like many Villanovans, I’ve been working from home, which offers unique challenges as a majority of my work requires working with materials from the archives. The separation to resources has been an adjustment, but with my favorite coffee, my dog cuddled up with me, and chilled out Lo Fi music, I can focus a lot my time to making information more accessible to public. That usually entails:

– Data clean-up to publish more information and/or digital images in the digital library

-Respond to reference questions

-Work on digital exhibits

-Work on new projects

Like a million other things that have changed, the Spring zine issue is now digital. Typically, our zine runs a limited print to be disseminated to student groups, visitors, and classes. While the issues normally center around the archives, this issue acknowledges the *gestures around* events around us. This issue includes illustrations by Mike Sgier, Access Services Coordinator, and Shawn Proctor, Communications and Marketing Program Manager.

 

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Last Modified: April 8, 2020