Spotlight on Student Workers: Rebecca Edwards

BeccaWe can hardly believe that it has been two and a half years since Rebecca Edwards began working in the University Archives and McHugh Special Collections department! Time has flown by, and we will miss Becca greatly after she graduates this spring!  Before she leaves us, we would like to recognize all of her hard work and leadership in the department.

Becca began in the Library in the fall of 2012 and has worked on several ongoing projects, including accessioning files from the Office of the Provost into the University Archives.  She has also spent a great deal of time processing and accessioning negatives from the Terry and Paula Connors Collection.  A crucial role that she has filled this semester is helping to train three freshman student workers who are new to the department.  What Becca enjoys most about her Library position is working with the other student workers, and it certainly shows! She always maintains a friendly and articulate demeanor while collaborating on projects with other students and library staff.  Becca has been an asset to the department, and it has always been a pleasure to work with her.

Becca, who hails from Long Valley, New Jersey, is a senior Biology major and is currently on the hunt for a job for after graduation. Wherever she may find herself in the future, we know she will thrive and develop into a positive and confident leader! Throughout her time at Scranton, she enjoyed competing for the University’s equestrian team. Her favorite books and movies are the Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series, and a little known fact about Becca is that she was originally born in Brazil.

Thank you, Becca! And congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

Exhibit: Cornerstone of Victory

Cornerstone of Victory Exhibit

Millions of young Americans served in the armed forces from 1941 to 1945, including many students and alumni of The University of Scranton.  To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the formal conclusion of World War II, the Heritage Room is featuring an exhibit as a tribute to all of the men and women, particularly our veteran alumni, who went into harm’s way to serve their nation.  The exhibit will be based on materials from the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections and the University Archives. Although the McHugh Special Collections does not specifically collect material on World War II, a number of collections have relevant material that highlight the impact that this tragic event had on the University, our nation, and the world.

The Abe L. Plotkin Collection is focused on the end of World War II and immediately thereafter. Plotkin, a 1935 graduate, served in the United States military and was a witness to the liberation of the Ohdruf concentration camp. After the war ended, Plotkin assisted survivors of the concentration camp in getting in touch with American relatives. The exhibit will feature photographs and correspondence from his collection.

The recently acquired Passionist Congregation Archives contains Military Chaplain Reports. The Passionists, like other Catholic Church orders and congregations, provided chaplains to perform sacraments and provide counseling to soldiers. The collection contains photographs and reports from the chaplains detailing their day-to-day life and activities.

Gold Star Veterans of WWII
A memorial to alumni and students who were Gold Star Veterans of World War II, which is permanently on display in the foyer of Madonna della Strada Chapel. There is also a second plaque commemorating those who died in Vietnam

The Joseph Polakoff Collection primarily features his editorial writing on Middle Eastern affairs; however, during the 1940s Polakoff, a 1932 graduate, worked for the United States Information Agency, and some of his correspondence relates to World War II activities.

The exhibit will also feature assorted publications collected over the years that relate to the war. The University of Scranton underwent a transition from Christian brothers to Jesuit stewardship in 1942. Besides the change from the Christian brothers to the Jesuits, the University was significantly affected by the war, as were all other institutions of higher learning as young men went to war instead of University.

This exhibit reflects a period of great transition for The University of Scranton and an experience that shaped the character of many of our alumni, the institution, our nation, and the world. Seventy years ago, America rejoiced in the hope for enduring world peace. Through this exhibit, we aim to honor the bravery, honor, strength, and sacrifices of all veterans and those impacted by war.

This exhibit will be on display in the Heritage Room until Sunday, April 26, 2015. For more information, please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, (570) 941-6341.


Library Exhibit: “Through the Lens: A Compassionate Look Back at Our Future”

Through the Lens Library Digital Signage

Now through November 26, the Library’s fifth floor Heritage Room is hosting a traveling exhibit showcasing the social justice photography of Linda Panetta. The images and stories presented by Photojournalist Linda Panetta will take audiences on a moving journey, challenging their own reality of the world as they experience the joy, beauty, hope and sorrow of people affected by violence, sanctions, and misguided foreign policy.

Over the past 25 years, Panetta has traveled throughout Latin America and the Middle East using her firsthand knowledge and experiences in impoverished – war torn areas of the world, including Guatemala, Colombia, Nicaragua, (Chiapas) Mexico, El Salvador, Haití, Argentina, Chile, Perú, Uruguay, Ecuador, Panamá, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine, to advocate for environmental, economic and social justice. In her work, she captures the daily realities of life of the people she advocates for with the goal of raising public awareness about world events and the cost of war and its “collateral damage”.

“When looking through the lens of a camera, you’re ever so present to the details of one’s face: the smirks, smiles and frowns; the wisdom and age that accompany the sun baked wrinkles, a depth of sorrow, joy, uncertainty,  curiosity and oneness in the eyes.” – Panetta

Panetta’s vivid photographs speak volumes and inspire others to act. Throughout the exhibit and talk (slide presentation), you will see and hear the prevailing sense of hope for a better tomorrow as inspired by the individuals in her photographs. Catch a glimpse of the world around you and its very soul in photojournalist’s Linda Panetta’s rousing stories and images.

Along with the exhibit held in the Heritage Room there are other events scheduled. Last Friday Ms. Panetta also hosted a First Friday Scranton event at the Connell Building where she exhibited a different set of photographs.

Tonight, October 6, Ms. Panetta will do a public presentation titled: Latin America Through the Lens: A Compassionate Look Back at Our Future. The lecture will be held at 7pm in theMcIlhenny Ballroom on the fourth floor of the DeNaples Center. The event is free and open to the public.

The exhibit and lecture are made possible by a grant from The University of Scranton Office of Equity and Diversity, Diversity Initiatives and the generous support of the Latin American and Women’s Studies, the Weinberg Memorial Library, University Ministries, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Office of Community Relations and the Office of Equity and Diversity

To view a collection of Panetta’s photography visit:

Contact Michael Knies 570-941-6341 for more information on the exhibit.

Contact Karl Kretsch 570- 941-4729 for more information on the lecture.

Dedication of the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections

Unveiling the Plaque
Brian McHugh ’59 and Librarian Michael Knies unveil the plaque


On Tuesday, September 2nd, the Weinberg Memorial Library hosted the dedication of the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. The dedication ceremony included comments by Dean Charles Kratz, an invocation by Rev. Ronald McKinney, S.J., and remarks by Vice-President for University Advancement Gary Olsen, followed by the unveiling of the dedicatory plaque by donor Brian McHugh ’59 and Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies.



Dedication Plaque
Dedication Plaque

Mr. McHugh provided remarks about his mother, for whom the department has been named. Mrs. McHugh was born in Kingston and resided in Plymouth.






Brian McHugh '59 providing remarks
Brian McHugh ’59 providing remarks

Mr. McHugh is a graduate of Kingston High School. He attended the University of Havana, Cuba, and earned a master’s degree in psychology from The University of Scranton in 1959. A resident of Kingston, Mr. McHugh is a Korean War Veteran who served in U.S.A.F. as a member of an aircrew. His background includes positions in instruction, banking, construction and development. Mr. McHugh is a field consultant for business development at present. He is a member of the the Schemel Forum, serves on the Advisory Board of the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, and is an active member of the Luzerne County Historical Society.



Fr. Ron McKinney, S.J., Charles Kratz, Brian McHugh, Don Boomgaarden, Ph.D., and Gary Olsen
Fr. Ron McKinney, S.J., Charles Kratz, Brian McHugh, Don Boomgaarden, Ph.D., and Gary Olsen

The ceremony concluded with remarks by Provost Donald Boomgaarden, Ph.D., which included a brief musical interlude when he sang from the Library’s 14th century illuminated Italian choral book.







Reception and Exhibit
Reception and Exhibit

Following the dedication, there was a reception in the Heritage Room, where there is an exhibit on display of  “Highlights from the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections.” The exhibit runs through September 25th.


Library Exhibit: Highlights from the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections

Highlights Exhibit

Brian E. McHugh ’59 recently announced a planned estate gift to the Weinberg Memorial Library in memory of his mother, Helen Gallagher McHugh. In memory of Mr. McHugh’s mother, the Weinberg Memorial Library’s Special Collections were named the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. Mrs. McHugh was born in Kingston and resided in Plymouth.

In honor of the naming and dedication, the Library is currently hosting an exhibit with a small and selective sample of the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. Most of this material has been assembled since 1996, starting with the acquisition of the Joseph Polakoff Papers followed by the Joseph McDade Congressional Papers Collection. Although the Library had a small rare book collection, including four mostly complete medieval manuscripts and a handful of books printed prior to 1500, the collection has been significantly expanded through the creation of the Hill-Davis Jesuit Collection with initial funding from the Rousseau Memorial Fund and subsequent funding from the Jesuit Community. Other items have been acquired through the generosity of the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library, as well as through donations and purchases.

This exhibit is concentrating on the Helen Gallagher McHugh Special Collections. The department also contains the University Archives, which are not featured in this exhibit. Material from the University Archives was featured last year in an exhibit celebrating the 125th anniversary of the University. Archival material is regularly featured in Heritage Room exhibits and a significant amount is available online in the Library’s Digital Collections.

The exhibit is on display in the Library’s fifth floor Heritage Room until September 25. For more information about the exhibit, please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies.    (570) 941-6341

Alumni Authors Exhibit

Alumni Authors Exhibit

Throughout the month of June, The University of Scranton Alumni Authors Exhibit is on display in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. The exhibit showcases books by more than a hundred alumni authors and includes many signed copies.

The range of subjects varies greatly, encompassing alumni who became authors in their academic fields, nonfiction writers, novelists, children’s literature writers, and historians. The earliest former student featured is Clarence Walton, ’37, 10th president of The Catholic University of America and the first layman to hold the position. The youngest graduate featured in the exhibit is Sarah M. Piccini, ’07, G’10, whose local history book, Framing Faith, provides a pictorial history of former churches in the Diocese of Scranton.

Also included in the exhibit is Jason Miller, ’61, H’73, who received the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play That Championship Season.  Two of our very own Librarians, Bonnie Strohl, G’90, and Kristen Yarmey, G’12, are also alumnae and have books on display in the exhibit.

We also have numerous books by alumna and children’s literature writer, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, G’82, who has written a Newberry Honor Book and a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal winner.  She is also the recipient of 2013 Friends of the Weinberg Library Royden B. Davis, S.J., Distinguished Author Award.

We encourage you to explore this wonderful exhibit and celebrate our alumni and their important contributions in the publishing world. The exhibit is on display during normal library hours.  For more information, please contact Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian, (570) 941-6341.

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month: Art Exhibit

Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month Exhibit_001

To celebrate the national Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month of May, Asian Studies in collaboration of Weinberg Memorial Library is hosting an art exhibit in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. These art posters from Smithsonian Museums are both educational and visual-stunning. They give a historical account of the journeys of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans–their struggles, contribution, and challenges.


About Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month:

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States. A rather broad term, Asian-Pacific encompasses all of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia (New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands), Micronesia (Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia) and Polynesia (New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island).

Like most commemorative months, Asian-Pacific Heritage Month originated in a congressional bill. In June 1977, Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution that called upon the president to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage Week. The following month, senators Daniel Inouye and Spark Matsunaga introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed. On October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration. Twelve years later, President George H.W. Bush signed an extension making the week-long celebration into a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

Co-sponsors: Asian Studies Program and Weinberg Memorial Library. Special thanks to Professor Michael Knies, Dr. Linda Ledford-Miller, and Ms. Julee Modzelewski.

May 1-31 Library Art Exhibit. Heritage Room, 5th fl., Weinberg Memorial Library.

Free during library hours. For more information, call 570-941-7643.


Ann Pang-White
Phone: 570-941-7643
Website: Click to Visit

Faculty Scholarship Exhibit

Faculty Scholarship ExhibitDuring the month of May, the Weinberg Memorial Library is hosting its annual Faculty Scholarship Exhibit in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room. The exhibit features books and articles produced by University of Scranton faculty members since 2011. The exhibit, organized by academic department, provides an overview of the diversity and quality of scholarly accomplishments by the University’s faculty. Please take a few minutes to visit the exhibit.  For further information please contact Michael Knies, Special Collections Librarian, 570-941-6341.

Student Volunteers Requested for the 2014 Book Sale

The annual Friends of the Library Book Sale will be held during the weekend of April 26th.  As always, proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Library endowment fund in support of the Weinberg Memorial Library’s collections and services.

The Library is seeking student volunteers to work at the Book Sale. We will need help setting up, pricing, organizing, and selling the books.  We’ll guide you through the various tasks.  Shifts are flexible, and we have availability for mornings, afternoons, and evenings.  You can volunteer for a couple of hours or for multiple days.

For more information or to sign up, please contact Barb Evans, (570) 941-4078, or stop by the Circulation Desk on the first floor of the Library. Student clubs should follow the Student Government guidelines for community service.

Media Attention for the Mutiny on the Bounty Exhibit

Mutiny on the Bounty Exhibit Blog PostAlthough the mutiny on the Bounty will always stand as a signal event in maritime history, the circumstances surrounding the mutiny have been clouded by early attacks on Lieutenant William Bligh and by motion pictures, which portrayed him as a tyrant.

In celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Mutiny on the Bounty, the Weinberg Memorial Library is presenting an exhibit on the topic drawn from the collection of University benefactor and alumnus Edward R. Leahy.

The exhibit is on display in the 5th Floor Heritage Room until April 17th and has already received positive media attention.

WVIA ArtScene




On March 18th, Erika Funke interviewed Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies about the exhibit for WVIA’s ArtScene. Ms. Funke also provides an overview of the Mutiny on the Bounty as it’s been depicted in film. You can listen to the interview on the WVIA website.




Fine Books & Collections 5



The  exhibit is also featured in a blog post by Rebecca Rego Barry for Fine Books & Collections magazine.  She highlights a couple of the rare books from Mr. Leahy’s collection that are currently on display as part of the exhibit.


On April 9th at 5:30pm, Edward Leahy will speak on The Mutiny on the Bounty: Myth and Fact in the Library’s 5th floor Heritage Room with a reception to follow. The talk is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested. The event is cosponsored by the Schemel Forum and the Friends of the Weinberg Memorial Library.

We invite everyone to explore the exhibit, which is on display until Thursday, April 17th in the 5th floor Heritage Room during regular Library hours.  For more information, please contact Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies, 570-941-6341.