Digital Collections, New and Improved

We’ve just put a shiny, new interface on our digital collections, and we’d love for you to take a look!  Some of the new features we’re excited about:

  • A new homepage for Digital Collections
  • A new University History page where you can cross-search all of our University-related collections
  • Improved browsing, searching, and viewing
  • Easier ways to download and print photos and documents from our collections
  • Tagging, commenting, and sharing

Take our new collections for a test drive, and then let us know what you think! There are still a few quirks we’re working out, so if you run into any problems, just let us know at

Preserving Your Family Memories – Workshop

There’s still time to register for our last Technology on Your Own Terms workshop of the semester! All faculty and staff members are welcome, but please let us know you’re coming by signing up at (under Technology On Your Own Terms).

Preserving Your Family Memories: Part II  (Digital)
Thursday, April 5 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm in WML305

Increasingly, we capture moments to remember in digital rather than physical format: we document our lives in digital photographs, videos, social media, email, and websites.  In this workshop, Digital Services Librarian Kristen Yarmey will introduce you to the concept of digital preservation.  We’ll talk about common misconceptions (for example, why digitizing your photos is not the same as preserving them), some of the major challenges involved in maintaining digital files over time, and some basic strategies you can take to help make your digital memories last.  A light lunch will be provided. (Taught by Kristen Yarmey, Weinberg Memorial Library)

(Image courtesy of Flickr user ehpien, under a Creative Commons license)

Mobile access to Library resources

University of Scranton students, faculty, and staff now have two ways to access the Weinberg Memorial Library’s resources from their mobile devices:

Whichever way you go, you’ll find a mobile-friendly version of our Library catalog and quick links to Ask a Librarian, as well as the Library’s hours, location, and latest news.

Try it out and let us know what you think! And let us know what other mobile features you’d like to see – we’re working right now on providing mobile-friendly access to our databases, and we’re daydreaming about a Java City webcam.

Preserving Your Family Memories – Workshop

Next week is our spring break, and even though our students will be gone, the rest of the University will still be open and working. This year, we decided to take advantage of the  break as a good time to host one of our Technology on Your Own Terms series workshops.  While we usually focus on forward-looking emerging technologies and how we can create and explore new information, we thought it would be interesting to take a different view this time and learn about how we can preserve existing information.   In a two-part workshop, we’ll examine how to preserve physical records (Part I) and digital records (Part II) of your personal and family history.

Preserving Your Family Memories: Part I (Physical)
Tuesday, March 13 from 12:00pm – 1:00pm in WML305

Special Collections Librarian Michael Knies will discuss the basic preservation problems relating to personal collections of books, photographs, negatives, personal papers, audio/visual recordings, and other paper-based collectibles.  Limited attention will be paid to three dimensional objects. Proper storage and handling will be emphasized. A light lunch will be provided. (Taught by Michael Knies, Weinberg Memorial Library)

All faculty and staff members are welcome, but seats are limited, so please register for sessions you plan to attend at (under Technology On Your Own Terms).

Lackawanna Valley Digital Archives

There’s a great new resource available for anyone interested in local history.  The Lackawanna Valley Digital Archives, hosted by the Scranton Public Library and funded by a grant from the Willary Foundation, contains digitized photographs, manuscripts, maps, paintings, letters, and videos related to the history of the Valley and its surrounding areas.

While the Digital Archives will continue to grow, there are already three great collections available to the public:

We’re partial to the Out of the Wilderness collection since it contains Civil War era materials found, described, digitized, and transcribed last spring by University of Scranton history students in Dr. Kathryn Shively Meier’s Civil War class.

The Lackawanna Valley Digital Archives is a collaborative effort involving many of our local cultural heritage institutions, including the Scranton Public Library, the Lackawanna Historical Society, the Steamtown National Historic Site, the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper library, the Anthracite Heritage Museum, and our own Weinberg Memorial Library.  In addition to the Willary Foundation, other funding partners include the Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority and the Scranton Area Foundation. We’re looking forward to working together with all of our colleagues on more digital projects in the future!

For more information, see About LVDA or take a look at Go Lackawanna‘s 500 Vine column from November 20th, “New Digital Service Preserves History.”  You can also subscribe to the Digital Archives’ Facebook page for updates.

Loyola, Old and New

Yesterday’s naming ceremony for the beautiful new Loyola Science Center had us thinking about its older counterpart across the street – Loyola Hall.  At the time of its 1956 dedication, Loyola Hall was considered a model of modernity, a “wonderland of science.” Costing just over $1.1 million, it brought together the University’s four science departments – engineering, physics, biology, and chemistry – under one roof, and even provided a penthouse suite for the University’s radio station.

At yesterday’s ceremony, speakers stressed how the glass walls in the new Loyola Science Center would make the process of science visible and open to all. But in 1956, different materials excited the community’s attention: an Aquinas article highlighted Loyola Hall’s Italian terrazzo floors and stairways, vinyl laboratory floors, and green porcelain and steel chalkboards.  Lockers and bulletin boards lined the halls, and best of all, the University’s scientists could enjoy the luxury of air conditioning as they studied and experimented.

Loyola Hall was the first step in an ambitious plan to construct a true campus for the University on the site of the Scranton Estate.  Then, in 1956, it was a symbol of things to come, a visible testimony to the brightness of the University’s future. Today, it is a vestige of another time, a reminder of how much the University has grown.

The University plans to raze Loyola Hall sometime in the next few years, when Loyola Science Center is complete and fully occupied.  For us, though we’re excited about the new building and look forward to a better view of the Estate, there will always be something special about that plot of land behind the Monroe Avenue wall.


Work Study position available

Looking for work this summer?

The Weinberg Memorial Library is looking for a Local /Commuter University of Scranton student who is eligible for work study year round through Financial Aid. Applicant must have available Summer hours to work anytime between from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday to perform clerical work for the Library Administrative Assistant. Lunch coverage (12:00-1:00) is desirable. Job position will be for the balance of the summer months and continuing on subsequent semesters. Position will normally be available to the chosen candidate throughout his/her Academic years or until his/her graduation. Applicant should have experience in Excel, Word, answering of phones (have strong communication skills) and filing.

Interested inquiries only! Please contact Kym Fetsko, Assistant to the Dean of the Library, at or call the Library Dean’s Office at 570-941-7816.

Hands on Civil War History

We’re in the Scranton Times-Tribune today!  Many thanks to reporter Josh McAuliffe and photographer Michael Mullen for sharing the story of our exciting Civil War project.  Here’s what it’s all about:

This semester, students from Dr. Kathryn Shively Meier‘s Civil War and Reconstruction class (HIST314) partnered up with the Weinberg Memorial Library, the Lackawanna Historical Society, and the Everhart Museum to get a hands-on feel for local Civil War history.  Dr. Meier designed the class project in collaboration with Digital Services Librarian Kristen Yarmey to give the students a taste of what life as a historian, curator, or archivist is like while they simultaneously learned about the experience of the common man during the Civil War.

The class project kicked off with a visit to the Everhart’s exhibit “With bullets singing all around me”: Regional Stories of the Civil War, where the students got to chat with curator Nezka Pfeifer about how the exhibit came together.  The class of 33 students, most of whom are history majors, then split up into five groups, each with a specific task.  The first group worked at the Historical Society with executive director Mary Ann Moran-Savakinus and Pennsylvania Conservation Corps member Sara Strain, going through genealogical files to search for original, Civil-War era correspondence.  A second group of students focused on preserving those found letters in appropriate archival storage and prepared them to be lent to the Weinberg Library.

A third group of students spent time here at the Weinberg, digitizing the found letters and describing them.  The fourth group of students got a primer in 19th century handwriting from Dr. Meier and is currently working on transcribing the documents.  A final, fifth group of students will design a web page layout to interpret the digitized letters for the public.

The end result of the project will be a set of fully searchable, digitized, Scranton-related Civil War documents.  These documents will all be made freely available to the public as part of a local collaborative digital history collection called “Out of the Wilderness,” hosted by the Albright Memorial Library.

New: Electronic Masters and Honors Theses Collection

Each year at the University of Scranton, graduating masters and honors students demonstrate their research prowess by writing and defending a scholarly thesis.  Since 1955, the University Library has preserved these works in print form in our Special Collections.

Now, the Weinberg Memorial Library is proud to introduce the new Electronic Masters and Honors Theses Collection, a new digital home for University of Scranton masters and honors student scholarship.

The collection currently includes 359 graduate and undergraduate theses written by University of Scranton students from 1955 to the present.  While the digital collection does not yet include all of the theses the Library holds in print, we are continually adding newly digitized and newly submitted works.  With the permission of their respective authors, these theses are either available to the public or restricted to on-campus users only.

If you’re an alumnus who wrote an honors or masters thesis as part of your University of Scranton coursework and would like to include your thesis in the collection, please visit our Thesis Permission page to find out how you can request that your thesis be digitized.  As in the past, your original printed thesis will still be preserved in the Library’s Special Collections.

Questions or comments about the Electronic Masters and Honors Theses collection may be directed to the Digital Services department at or 570-941-7003.

Student Work featured in Photography Club Gallery

If you’re either a student here at the  U or a regular reader of Infospot, you know all about our new 1st floor 24-hour study space.  Starting today, that new space has one less blank wall.

This fall, the Weinberg Memorial Library partnered with the University’s Photography Club on a collaborative project to market our text messaging reference service.  Members of the Club took photographs of fellow University of Scranton students text messaging and then submitted them to us for review.  We chose our five favorite photographs to use for our marketing campaign – but since there were so many other great photographs, we decided to host a Photography Club gallery here at the Library.

So the next time you’re in the building, stop by the 1st floor group study rooms to find 9 gorgeous photographs celebrating text messaging, all thanks to our Photography Club contributors: James Benfante, Anna Heckman, Sarah Prandy, Aimee Miller, Gillian Naro, and Jon Danforth.  We’d also like to extend an extra thank you to Jon, who is both the Vice President of the Photography Club and one of our Library TechCons, for coordinating the gallery.

Student photographs, like this one by James Benfante, will be used to market the Library’s text messaging reference service