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Villanova's Falvey Memorial Library to Sign Historic Agreement with American Catholic Historical Society

Falvey Memorial Library to digitize the American Catholic Historical Society’s collection of rare Catholic documents and records.

The signing of this limited partnership takes place on Oct. 17 at 10:30 a.m. in Falvey Memorial Library, on the campus of Villanova University.


VILLANOVA, PA., October 15 – Villanova University’s Falvey Memorial Library and the American Catholic Historical Society (ACHS) will forge a historic association Oct. 17 when the two organizations meet to sign an agreement which authorizes the library to digitize and post on the internet its collection of rare Catholic documents and records.

The digitization archival project will make available a wealth of print Catholica that would otherwise be inaccessible or lost to scholars, researchers and the public. It will also enhance Falvey Memorial’s growing digital library, which already includes 81 collections containing 2,073 records, archives a range of irreplaceable volumes and documents from original 15th-century illuminated Augustinian manuscripts to 3,000 monographs on Irish and Irish-American history. Villanova University’s digital library can be accessed by logging on to (click on “Special Collections” or Digital Library”).

Joseph Lucia, MA, MS, University Librarian and Director of Falvey Memorial Library, and ACHS president Louis N. Ferrero, PE will sign the legal documents forming a limited partnership at a 10:30 a.m. ceremony in the Special Collections Room on the second floor of the library. ACHS Executive Director Monsignor James P. McCoy and Rodger Van Allen, Ph.D., ACHS vice-president, Villanova University professor and co-editor of “American Catholic Studies,” the ACHS journal published at the University, are scheduled to attend. The ACHS board of managers and other University officials may also be present.

As part of its agreement with the ACHS the University will first digitize “The Records of the ACHS” in their entirety, moving on to issues of the society’s journal, “American Catholic Studies.” The journal, published at Villanova University is the oldest American Catholic periodical in continuous publication.

The ceremony will have special historical significance for both Villanova University and the ACHS since the Rev. Thomas C. Middleton, O.S.A., the University’s first librarian and 10th president was a founding member and the first president of the ACHS.

Villanova University is a co-educational Roman Catholic institution founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. The University offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs through four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova Law School. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. For more information see