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Photo Friday: Happy National Library Week!

Falvey Library Staff in Zoom Meeting

Happy National Library Week! To celebrate, and to mark National Library Workers Day on April 6, we wanted to show off the many faces that make Falvey the friendly place it is.

Whether remote or in-person, Falvey’s committed staff always goes “the extra aisle” to make sure students and faculty find the right book, journal, or even microfilm needed. So, if you happen by the virtual desk or start a virtual chat with a librarian, remember to tell them “thanks!” (Except for Will D. Cat, who is only an honorary staff member.)

Read more about the amazing Library staff in the new issue of Mosaic, the Library’s news and events publication!



(Row 1) Shawn Proctor, Joanne Quinn, Erica Hayes, Christopher Hallberg, Abigail Cengel, Will D. Cat

(Row 2) Millicent Gaskell, Jeannine Ahern, Merrill Stein, David Burke, Michael Sgier, Gerald Dierkes

(Row 3) Sarah Hughes, Jeehyun Davis, David Uspal, John Banionis, Laura Bang, Geoffrey Scholl

(Row 4) Beaudry Rae Allen, Jesse Flavin, Caroline Sipio, Michael Foight, Laura Hutelmyer, Darren Poley

(Row 5) Marianne Watson, Demian Katz, Roberta Pierce, Jutta Seibert, Robert LeBlanc, Sarah Wipperman

(Row 6) Jacqueline Smith, Regina Duffy, Linda Hauck, Lorraine Holt, Kallie Stahl, Alfred Fry

(Row 7) Deborah Bishov, Rebecca Oviedo, Margaret Duffy, Susan Turkel, Brian Warren, Sarah Wingo


Not pictured: Luisa Cywinski, Nikolaus Fogle

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Read the Spring 2021 Mosaic Newsletter


Want to receive the latest Falvey events and news right in your inbox? Sign up for the Falvey Memorial Library e-newsletter! Click here.

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Photo Friday: Reading, Writing, Relaxing

student Chris Bondoc in a hammock

We caught up with senior College of Engineering Student Chris Bondoc “chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool” (to quote Will Smith) in a hammock near the Library. The Tampa, Fla., native won’t be wanting for sunshine today!

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Interactive Memorial Map Celebrates Veterans’ Service, Sacrifice

By Shawn Proctor



This Veterans Day, Falvey and the Office of Veterans and Military Service Members at Villanova University wanted to share with our Villanova community a part of our project “The Voices of Villanova’s Veterans.” “Honoring the Fallen: An Interactive Memorial Map” displays the names of Villanova veterans killed in service, along with their branch of service, location, and year of death. For those veterans reported missing in action, we have mapped the nearest location of where they were last seen.

This project will honor the life and sacrifice of Villanova veterans who died while serving their country. Reflecting extensive research and collaboration, this interactive map will remember their service. This map allows users anywhere on the globe to access this map, and creates an access point for family members, the community, historians, and anyone else interested in learning about their legacy.

This Veterans Day—and every day—Villanova honors its veterans and pay tribute to their service and sacrifice by ensuring that they are never forgotten.


Shawn Proctor

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







Foto Friday: Celebrate Black History Month on Campus

By Kallie Stahl

Flyer of Black History Month events.

Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. 


FotoFriday: Transforming the Bard’s Work Into Art

Alice Dailey contemplates the art project that will transform Shakespeare books into art mourning the passing of time.

“As a scholar, I recognize the labor and time that goes into the composition of these #books. Each book is a unit of human time. I’m searching for a way to acknowledge what it means for that time to be over.”–Professor Alice Dailey, discussing her art project, which will transform nearly 500 deselected #shakespeare books into #art reflecting the passing of time

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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. 


University Archives Acquisition: The Circus Comes to Town!

🎪Come see feats of wonder, from trick riders to acrobats trapeze through the air, at the Field House🎪

The University Archives has recently acquired a poster announcing a circus event on campus. Not much is known about the event on campus itself or its sponsors but the Hanneford Circus, also known as Royal Hanneford Circus, is considered one of the oldest circuses dating back to possibly 1690 England.  According to legend,  Edwin Hanneford, a foot juggler who performed on London street corners and fairs, was summoned to perform before King George III in a contest to determine who was the best juggler in England.  In the nineteenth century, the family was performing internationally as traveling troupe and attracting acclaim for bareback riding, acrobatics, and juggling. The family was so well-known that while performing in Spain in 1915, the Hannefords were seen by John Ringling who wished to sign the Hannefords to the famed Ringling Brothers-owned Barnum and Bailey Circus. The troupe grew to a full-fledged circus, which continues to tour across the United States.

Hanneford Circus came to Villanova either sponsored by or in support for Women’s Committee for Philadelphia’s Wills Eye Hospital. The hospital was established in 1832 and is the oldest continually operating optometry facility in the United States. After doing more research on other Hanneford Circus posters it can be determined the event happened in the 1960s and was a familiar event across campuses as the Circus would perform at many colleges and universities during that period.

The poster is a fascinating glimpse into campus activities long ago. The archives hopes to continue to acquire these types of treasures that tell the story of our past.


‘Caturday: There’s a chapel in the pines…waiting for us, around the bend…


We suppose we could have gone with These Boots Are Made for Walking as a suitable lyrical caption for this 50-year old photo of a lovesick Wildcat couple gazing across a snowy Mendel Field.

But it’s Valentine’s Weekend and we’re in the mood for love!

So instead, we’re going to imagine that it’s the other #1 hit from February 1966 – Lou Christie’s Lightin’ Strikes – that’s the soundtrack in the heads of these cooing ‘Cats. Admittedly, its lyrics are primarily about a guy not quite ready to settle down, but there really is a chapel there! And it is just around the bend from these two and surrounded by what probably is a dozen pines or so.

We just have to head to the Digital Library’s helpful  Arboreana to make sure.  🙂

Scanned from the 1966 Belle Air.

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Digital Library upgrade provides enhanced discovery

Villanova University’s Digital Library has recently upgraded its discovery interface, introducing a more detailed search experience. This represents the first major upgrade of the application’s existing structure which was introduced a year ago when it was migrated to a Fedora-Commons Repository and debuted a public interface utilizing the Open Source faceted search engine VuFind.

Part 1 – Modeling the Repository

First we will discuss the systems architecture and components. Fedora (Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture) provides the core architecture and services necessary for digital preservation, all accessible through a well-defined Application Programming Interface (API). It also provides numerous support services to facilitate harvesting, fixity, and messaging. It also supports the Resource Description Framework (RDF) by including the Mulgara triple store.


Figure 1

It is through these RDF semantic descriptions that Fedora models the relationships between the objects within the repository. An object’s RDF description contains declarative information regarding what kind of object it is. In our case we created one top-level model (CoreModel) that describes attributes commons among all objects (thumbnails, metadata, licensing information) and two second-level models that represent all basic shapes in the repository (Collections and Data). Collections represent groups of objects and Data objects represent the actual content being stored. (See Figure 1)

Figure 2

Figure 2

From here we further extrapolated these two models into specific types. Collections can be either Folders or Resources and Data objects can be Images, Audio files, Documents, etc. (See Figure 2)

Figure 3

Figure 3

Another important component found within the RDF description is the object’s relationship to other objects. It is this relationship that organizes Resources with their Parent Folder, and book pages within their parent Resource. (See Figure 3)

Look at the following RDF description for our Cuala Press Collection. You can see that it contains two “hasModel” relationships stating that it is both a Collection and Folder (Fedora does not support inheritance in favor of a mixin approach). Note also the one “isMemberOf” relationship referencing vudl:3, the top-level collection of the Digital Library.

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="" xmlns:fedora="info:fedora/fedora-system:def/model#" xmlns:rel="info:fedora/fedora-system:def/relations-external#">
  <rdf:Description rdf:about="info:fedora/vudl:2001">
    <fedora:hasModel rdf:resource="info:fedora/vudl-system:CollectionModel"/>
    <fedora:hasModel rdf:resource="info:fedora/vudl-system:FolderCollection"/>
    <rel:isMemberOf rdf:resource="info:fedora/vudl:3"/>

A more detailed explanation of this data model was presented at Open Repositories 2013. Abstract

Part 2 – The Discovery Layer

Villanova’s Falvey Library is the focal point and lead development partner for VuFind, an Open Source search engine designed specifically around the discovery of bibliographic content. Its recently redesigned core provides a flexible model for searching and displaying our Digital Library, making it the perfect match for the public interface.

The backbone of VuFind is Apache Solr, a Java-based search engine. A simple explanation of how it works is that you put “records” into the Solr search index, each containing predefined fields (title, author, description, etc), and then the application can search through the contents of the index with high speed and efficiency.

Our initial index contained all Resource and Folders from the repository, which allows us to browse through collections by hierarchy, and search receiving both Resources and Folders in the results.

Figure 4

Figure 4

An early enhancement to the browse module made available Collections that reside in multiple locations. For example our Dime Novel collection contains sub-collections whose resources can exist in 2 places. (See Figure 4)
Look at the Buffalo Bill collection and notice how its breadcrumb trail denotes residency in multiple places. This is achieved by adding an additional “is MemberOf” relationship in its RDF description:

<rdf:RDF xmlns:rdf="" xmlns:fedora="info:fedora/fedora-system:def/model#" xmlns:rel="info:fedora/fedora-system:def/relations-external#">
  <rdf:Description rdf:about="info:fedora/vudl:279438">
    <fedora:hasModel rdf:resource="info:fedora/vudl-system:CollectionModel"/>
    <fedora:hasModel rdf:resource="info:fedora/vudl-system:FolderCollection"/>
    <rel:isMemberOf rdf:resource="info:fedora/vudl:280419"/>
    <rel:isMemberOf rdf:resource="info:fedora/vudl:280425"/>

Part 3 – The Upgrade

The existing search interface supports “full text” searching. We routinely perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR) using Google’s Tesseract application, on all scanned Resources, storing this derivative in the accompanying Data object. When the parent Resource is ingested into Solr, a loop is performed over all of the associated child Data objects, grabbing their OCR file and stuffing it into the full text field for the Resource. This works, as it will match searches from that particular page of the book and direct the patron to the parent Resource, but from there it is often difficult to determine what page matched the query.

Figure 5

Figure 5

A solution to this dilemma was achieved by including all Data objects in the Solr index. This would allow specific pages to be searched in the catalog, leading users to the individual pages that match the query. The first obvious problem with this idea is that the search results would then be cluttered with individual pages, and not the more useful Folders and Resources. This was ultimately overcome by taking advantage of a newer feature in Solr called Field Collapsing. This allows the result set to be grouped by a particular field in Solr. (See Figure 5) In our case we group on the parent Resource, which allows us to display the Resource in the result set and the page which was matched. (See Figure 6) A live example of this can be seen here.

Figure 6

Figure 6

We are pleased to make this available to the world, with the hopes that it will be helpful.

Happy searching…

Useful Links

The components of our infrastructure are all Open Source, freely available applications.

Fedora-Commons Repository
The backbone of the system

The public Discovery interface

The admin used to ingest objects into Fedora

File Information Tool Set (FITS)
A file metadata extraction tool

A OCR engine


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Last Modified: February 18, 2014