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Dig Deeper: Women, Climate Change, Law and Data

By Merrill Stein 

As we approach the end of March, Women’s History Month and look towards Earth Day in April, consider listening to this recent podcast from the OECD, Women, climate change and data: Why we need to better understand the environment-gender nexus.

Take a moment to consider these research guides and YouTube videos from the Library of Congress, Smithsonian and U.S. National Archives.

Examine the Woman in the Law (Peggy) resource in the HeinOnline database, a  subscription courtesy of the Charles Widger School of Law Library. The “Peggy” collection features more than one million pages of contemporary and historical works related to women’s roles in society and the law.

Give thought to any possible gender gaps in common resources to which we interact with frequently, as indicated by this recent study from the University of Pennsylvania. Read about women in the digital world in the special issue of Information, Communication & Society, Volume 24, Issue 14 (2021).

 

Dig Deeper resources:


""Merrill Stein is Political Science Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.


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Women’s History Month – Transcribing 19th-Century Friendship Letters

By Anamartha Hinojosa 

Letter, To: “My Dear Sarah,” June 29, 1818.

Transcribing letters from archives can transport you to the not-so-distant past. Although society inevitably changes, the continuity of human experiences remains. I learned this while working with Spanish letters from the Barry-Hayes papers in Villanova’s Digital Library. As a native Spanish speaker, I jumped at the opportunity to translate nineteenth-century letters that had gone unnoticed. Together with Rebecca Oviedo, Distinctive Collections Librarian/ Archivist, and Micaela Miralles-Bianconi, a history graduate from the class of 2021, we were able to transcribe and translate letters received by Philadelphian Sarah Barry Hayes (1798-1821), who was the great-niece of Commodore John Barry (1745-1803). Most of the Spanish letters Sarah received were love letters written by Joseph Moran, who was from Cuba. The letters contained remarks of youthful affection, yearning caused by long distance, and even jealousy at times; all of which sound so relatable. This project shed light on both the Latinx presence in the Northeast and the development of an intercultural relationship, as well as the ordinary life of a young socialite in the 1800s.

Once the Spanish letters were finished, I was introduced to another important person in Sarah’s life, her dearest friend Harriet Cottringer (1799-1865). It appears that Harriet and Sarah became close friends in Philadelphia and remained friends after Harriet moved to Alexandria, Virginia. Bridget Cullen Cottringer (Harriet’s mother) decided to open a boarding school in Alexandria with her five daughters (Caroline, Harriet, Ann, Cornelia, and Betsy) after her husband, Garrett Cottringer (1759-1816), passed away. It was truly incredible to see these women take matters into their own hands and succeed on their own. In a letter to Sarah, Harriet wrote, “I would not exchange situations with the happiest bride in the world, and I am convinced I am happier than many of them although I labour for my daily bread” (vudl:161670).

The letters Harriet wrote to Sarah were my favorite to transcribe because it was like opening a chat between two best friends frozen in time. Although we only have one side of the conversation, its vivid content nevertheless provides a descriptive account of their friendship. Harriet and Sarah discuss what any twenty-year-old would with their best friend: their day-to-day, fun activities, meeting up with friends, attending parties, boys, gossip, and of course, how much they mean to each other.

My favorite part of transcribing letters is researching the people mentioned in them. Thankfully, Harriet talks about a lot of people in her letters to Sarah. Sometimes it is easy to identify the person – through a Google search or websites like Find a Grave – when Harriet writes details such as their full name, where they are from, or who are their acquaintances. It is also helpful that Harriet and Sarah associate with well-known families like the Lee’s (as in Robert E. Lee). Notably, Harriet and her sisters are mentioned several times in the diary of Charles Francis Adams, the son of President John Quincy Adams. However, sometimes we are not as lucky and cannot identify the individual when only a first name or last name is given; even more so when Harriet and Sarah began writing names in code. It seems that they came up with code names while they were visiting each other. The code names appear to be for men because they say, “Wax came to Exeter…we have seen him several times, he looks quite well,” “Chicken is also a constant visitor, he inquires constantly if we have heard from our friends in Philadelphia,” and “Sponge joined us…he has his right arm in a sling” (vudl:161775). Although it is frustrating that we may never know who they were talking about, I find it so amusing to visualize Harriet and Sarah laughing while using these code names.

It is evident through Harriet’s letters that Harriet and Sarah had a beautiful friendship. Their constant letters attest that they were each other’s best friend and confidant. In one letter Harriet wrote, “I cherish you in my heart and look forward to a happier day when we shall again be united in that friendship which has subsisted between us so long and which I hope will continue to the end of our lives. In your next letter I shall expect a minute detail of every thing relating to you and your family” (vudl:161540). They also deeply cared for one another. On one occasion there was a rumor going around in Philadelphia that Harriet was engaged to a Mr. Morgan, so Harriet wrote to Sarah, “I must employ you as a friend to contradict it most positively whenever you hear it mentioned, for I assure it is entirely false” (vudl:161660). Sadly, this friendship was cut short because Sarah died at the age of 23 in 1821. But her memory lived on because Harriet was married in 1824 and named one of her daughters Sarah Hayes Brent (1830-1862) in honor of her dear friend.

For more on the Spanish love letters, check out Rebecca Oviedo’s Archival Outlook article: https://mydigitalpublication.com/publication/?i=715946. The letters referenced above can all be found in Series VII: Sarah Barry Hayes in the Digital Library.

 


Anamartha Hinojosa is an M.A. student in History at Villanova University. 

 

 


 


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Curious Cat: Women’s History Month

By Elijah McDow and Ethan Shea

"Curious Cat Banner"

After a two-year hiatus, Falvey’s Curious Cat blog has returned! March is Women’s History Month, so Falvey’s Curious Cats, Elijah McDow and Ethan Shea, decided to ask some Falvey patrons to name a woman who inspires them. Ethan and Elijah received a total of eight responses from students around the Library. Here are their responses:

"Joe Evans"

“My sister.”
—Joe Evans ’25

 

"Emily Cavenagh"

“My grandma.”
—Emily Cavenagh ’24

 

"Group of students interviewed for Curious Cat"

“My high school teacher Diane Haleas.”
—Nicolette LaHood ’25

“Mother Teresa.”
—Alyson Ludden ’25

“Blake Lively.”
—Eden Fernandez ’25

"Students interviewed for Curious Cat in Falvey"

“My mom.”
—Liam Maher ’25

“Rosa Parks.”
—Harrison Farrell ’25

“My grandmother.”
—Thomas Principe ’25


Elijah McDow is a College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Student.

 

 

 

 

 

Ethan Shea is a first-year English Graduate Student and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Memorial Library.

Headshot of Ethan Shea

 


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Women’s History Month: National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman

Image of Amanda Gorman provided by Kelia Anne (Sun Literary Arts) via AP.

Amanda Gorman is making history.

She became the youngest poet to perform at a presidential inauguration when she recited her poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at President Joe Biden’s Inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021. Born and raised in Los Angeles, the Harvard University graduate was named the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States in 2017 by Urban Word. The youth poet laureate of Los Angeles, Gorman also became the first poet commissioned to write a poem for the Super Bowl, which she performed at Super Bowl LV on Feb. 2, 2021.

Celebrating Women’s History Month, dig deeper and explore these resources highlighting Poet Amanda Gorman.

Links:

Books:

Explore more Women’s History Month resources in this blog by Susan Turkel, Social Sciences Librarian, and this resource list by Merrill Stein, Political Science Librarian.

For help with your research, please contact the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian Jutta Seibert.

Looking for poems by a particular author? Visit the English subject guide.


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

 

 


 


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Women’s History Month—The Civil War Diaries of Emilie Davis

Image courtesy of Memorable Days: The Emilie Davis Diaries.

Celebrate Women’s History Month by exploring transcripts of Emilie Davis’ diaries. Davis was an African American woman living in Philadelphia during the U.S. Civil War. In three of her pocket diaries (1863, 1864, and 1865) she “recounts black Philadelphians’ celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation, nervous excitement during the battle of Gettysburg, and their collective mourning of President Lincoln.” Her diaries provide readers the opportunity to “experience the Civil War in real time as events unfolded for Americans.”

The original diaries, part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania’s (HSP) collections, were transcribed by Villanova students for The People’s Contest: A Civil War Era Digital Archiving Project. Working to advance scholarship on Pennsylvania during the Civil War era, the Richards Civil War Era Center, The Pennsylvania State University Libraries, Senator John Heinz History Center, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania curated The People’s Contest to highlight archives and special collections throughout the commonwealth.

Led by Judith Giesberg, PhD, Robert M. Birmingham Chair in the Humanities, Professor of History at Villanova University, Memorable Days: The Emilie Davis Diaries project features scans and transcriptions from Emilie’s pocket diaries. Support for the website project was provided by Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library, The Department of History, Department of Communication, and the Villanova Institute for Teaching and Learning. Transcriptions and annotations were conduction by Villanova students. View the full list of contributors on the project webpage. Website development was provided by Michael Mafodda, MBA, and Samantha Viani ’14 CLAS.

Read Davis’ diaries here. For additional resources visit the links below:

Explore more Women’s History Month resources in this blog by Susan Turkel, Social Sciences Librarian, and this resource list by Merrill Stein, Political Science Librarian. For help with your research, please contact the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian Jutta Seibert.


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

 

 


 


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It’s Women’s History Month! Read, Watch, Learn

In 1987, the U.S. Congress declared March to be National Women’s History Month. Coordinated by the National Women’s History Alliance, this annual celebration seeks to recognize “the diverse and significant historical accomplishments of women.”

This year’s theme is Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced in recognition of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment to the Constitution, which gave women the right to vote.

Want to read about women’s suffrage? Historian Susan Ware recommends these five books:

1. The Myth of Seneca Falls by Lisa Tetrault (e-book or print book at Falvey)

2. The Concise History of Woman Suffrage by Mari Jo Buhle & Paul Buhle (order via Interlibrary Loan)

3. All Bound Up Together: The Woman Question in African American Public Culture, 1830-1900 by Martha S. Jones (e-book or print book at Falvey)

4. The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine Weiss (order via Interlibrary Loan)

5. The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States by Alexander Keyssar (e-book or print book at Falvey)

 


Are you doing research on a gender-related topic? Falvey has you covered! We have everything you need: journals, books, search engines for finding resources, and databases containing primary source materials to answer all of your gender and women’s studies questions! Visit the our Subject Guide on Gender & Women’s Studies, and be sure to check out these resources:

We subscribe to all of the top journals in the field, including:

Great interdisciplinary databases to help you find journal articles, books, news, and more:

GenderWatch

GenderWatch includes indexing, abstracts, and full text of scholarly journals, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, books, conference proceedings, dissertations, and reports in many disciplines on topics relevant to gender studies. This database is particularly strong in its coverage of dissertations and non-mainstream magazines and newspapers.

Gender Studies Database

Gender Studies Database provides indexing and abstracts for academic and professional journals, conference papers, books, book chapters, government reports, discussion and working papers, theses & dissertations and other sources. GSD combines Women’s Studies International and Men’s Studies databases with the coverage of sexual diversity issues, and is very strong in its coverage of health sciences journals as well as other academic journals.

 

Primary sources and historical documents:

Source: Digital Transgender Archive

Digital Transgender Archive (Free to all users)

This resource provides “an online hub for digitized historical materials, born-digital materials, and information on archival holdings throughout the world” related to transgender history. The project is based at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., and is searchable and browsable by map, institution, collection, topic, and genre. The contents of the collection focus on materials created before 2000.

 

Source: Adam Matthew Digital

Gender: Identity and Social Change

This database provides access to primary sources documenting the changing representations and lived experiences of gender roles and relations from the nineteenth century to the present. Offers sources for the study of women’s suffrage, the feminist movement, the men’s movement, employment, education, the body, the family, and government and politics. Falvey licenses this resource from Adam Matthew Digital.

The Gerritsen Collection of Aletta H. Jacobs

The Gerritsen Collection features digital copies of more than 4000 books and pamphlets and complete runs of more than 200 periodicals related to women’s history in general and the movement for women’s rights in particular. It includes materials addressing both the pro-feminist and anti-feminist case, as well as other materials that provide an objective look at the condition of women in a given time of place. Its coverage is international, and extends from the middle of the 15th century to the middle of the 20th century. Each of the books, pamphlets, and periodical titles has its own listing in Falvey’s library catalog.

 

E-Book Collections:

Duke Gender Studies e-book Collection

The Duke Gender Studies e-book collection includes “essential titles and field-defining scholarship in queer theory, gay and lesbian studies, transgender studies, feminist theory, and women’s studies.” This collection is comprised of more than 500 titles published between 1990 and the present. Each book is fully downloadable and printable (chapter by chapter), and is accessible by an unlimited number of VU community members at once.

Perdita Manuscripts

Offers digital copies of writings by early modern women (1500-1700). The name of the collection, derived from the Latin word for “lost,” alludes to the ephemeral nature of women’s writings which were rarely published and widely shared. Genres represented in the collection range from poetry and religious writings to letters, recipes, and account books. Includes manuscript descriptions with partial transcriptions and detailed annotations where available. The collection is part of the Perdita Project. The manuscripts are held by libraries and archives in the US and UK. Includes pdf files for all manuscripts. Licensed from Adam Matthew Digital.

 

Film and Video:

Academic Video Online

Academic Video Online, or AVON, offers more than 70,000 films and documentary TV episodes from distributors including PBS, the BBC, Bullfrog Films, Ro*Co Films, California Newsreel, and many others. Most films include searchable full text transcripts. Here are some subcollections focused on women’s history:

Women’s and Gender Studies Video Online

– Women’s History Month: Celebrating Artists Who are Women

Films on Women’s Suffrage

 

Data and statistics:

Source: WomanStats Project

WomanStats Project (Free to all users)

The WomanStats Project is the most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of women in the world with qualitative and quantitative information on over 260 indicators of women’s status in 174 countries. To view the data, you first need to create a free account.

 Women, Peace and Security Index (Free to all users)

Measures women’s well-being in 167 countries around the world. It examines three dimensions of women’s lives: inclusion (political, social, economic); justice (formal laws and informal discrimination); and security (at the family, community, and societal levels). A score between 0 (worst possible) and 1 (best possible) is generated for each country, ultimately determining their rank. Begun in 2017/18, the index was created by the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security in partnership with the Peace Research Institute Oslo.

Statista

Statista is a user-friendly data portal offering tables, graphs, reports, and more on over 80,000 topics from more than 18,000 sources. Women- and gender-related data points covered include information on health, employment and career, consumer behavior, women’s portrayal in media, political behavior, demographics, and public opinion.

For help with your research in Gender and Women’s Studies, please contact the GWS Librarian Jutta Seibert.


Susan Turkel, MA, MLS is a Social Sciences Librarian at Falvey Memorial Library.

 

 


 


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New digital mini exhibit highlighting women’s suffrage materials

Header for a special supplement on women’s suffrage in the May 1, 1915 issue of the Ardmore Chronicle.

In honor of Women’s History Month and the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, we’ve created a digital mini exhibit featuring some of our women’s suffrage materials from Falvey’s Distinctive Collections.

We have two items from the National American Woman Suffrage Association — the published proceedings of their 25th annual convention in 1893 and a program for the 48th annual convention in 1916.

Program, Forty-eighth Annual Convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, New Nixon Theatre, Thursday, Sept. 7, 1916.

Beyond that, we have several articles and advertisements from national and local print media outlets from the early 20th century.

Anderson, James. “The Forty-Year Fight for Suffrage.” Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Newspaper, 20 Jul. 1918, pp. 87, 89.

 

Advertisement for Shredded Wheat. The Fra: A Journal of Affirmation, Jul. 1913, rear cover.

These materials were originally pulled for a pop-up exhibit to complement the Lepage Center’s “Revising History: Women’s Suffrage” panel discussion that had to be canceled this month. We are thrilled that we can still share these materials digitally.

View our women’s suffrage mini exhibit online here.


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How many great women have you read?

By Daniella Snyder

Cat in the Stacks Logo

As Women’s History Month comes to a close, I’m curious to know: how many women authors have you read? I scoured the Library’s (online) stacks and compiled a list of some of my favorite women authors and their most famous works. Let us know how many you’ve read on social media (@villanovalibrary on Instagram and @FalveyLibrary on Twitter), and let us know what authors you would have had on your list!

The cover of "Beloved"

 

Toni Morrison, Beloved

Morrison tells a harrowing tale of slavery and its lasting impact through fragments and flashbacks. Beloved is based on the true story of Margaret Garner. This novel, like the rest of Morrison’s work, is known for its beautiful language and intense imagery.

 

 

 

The cover of "To The Lighthouse"

 

Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse

Written by Woolf in 1927, To The Lighthouse centers on the Ramsay family between the years 1910 and 1920. Woolf, a mother figure of Modernism, focuses on philosophical introspection, thoughts and observations, subjectivity, the nature of art, and the concept of perception in this novel.

 

 

The cover of "Pride and Prejudice"

 

Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen’s famous romantic novel of manners, written in 1813. Austen’s novel has consistently appeared near the top lists of “most-loved books” among literary scholars and the reading public for decades and is one of the most popular novels in English literature.

 

 

The cover of "The Color Purple"

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

The Color Purple is a 1982 epistolary novel by Alice Walker, which won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the National Book Award for Fiction. The story focuses on the life of black women in the southern United States in the 1930s. The novel has been a consistent target of censorship and sits on the American Library Association’s list of the 100 most frequently challenged books because of the explicit content.

 

 

The cover of "Jane Eyre"

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre was written in 1847 and follows the experiences of the titular heroine throughout her growth to adulthood and budding romance. The novel revolutionized prose fiction by being the first to focus on its protagonist’s moral and spiritual development through a first-person perspective.

 

 

The cover of "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

 

Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

Zora Neale Hurston wrote Their Eyes Were Watching God in 1937. The novel is considered a classic Harlem Renaissance work. Hurston explores protagonist Janie Crawford’s life as she develops from a teenager to a full-grown woman in Florida in the early twentieth century. The novel was initially poorly received but is now considered one of the most influential works of African-American and women’s literature, and TIME included the novel in its list of the 100 best English language novels since 1923.

 

The cover of "The Bell Jar"

 

Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

The Bell Jar is the only novel Sylvia Plath wrote in her short life. It’s considered semi-autobiographical, because the protagonist’s descent into mental illness parallels Plath’s own experiences. Plath committed suicide only a month after the novel’s publication.

 

 

The cover of "all about love"

 

bell hooks, All About Love: New Visions

I added this book to the list because 1) I love bell hooks, and 2) I think this is a book that every woman (and human!) should read. Combining personal anecdotes, psychology, and philosophical ideas, hooks discusses a different aspect of romantic love in each chapter, with the ultimate goal of making us more open to giving and receiving love. In All About Love: New Visions, hooks presents a view of love in modern society that goes unmatched by any other writer.

 


Daniella Snyder Headshot

Daniella Snyder is a graduate student in the English department and a graduate assistant in the Communication & Marketing department at Falvey Memorial Library. This week, she’s been catching up on movies, TV, and books, including the book Followers by Megan Angelo, the Hulu adaptation of Little Fires Everywhere, and the movie Troop Zero.

 


 


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Last Modified: March 25, 2020