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Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Special Collections and Archives

Tales from the Archives — Speed Skating at St. Thomas


One of my favorite Winter Olympic sports is speed skating.  I love watching the athletes sprint around the oval on their narrow blades where one false move will find them spinning out on the ice.   But it wasn’t until I was exploring the University Archives collection the other day that I realized how many St. Thomas alums were noted speed skaters.

Everett McGowan, 1920

Everett McGowan, 1920

A multitalented athlete, Everett McGowan lettered in football and baseball as a student at St. Thomas from 1919 to 1920. But he is best known for his speed-skating prowess. McGowan won the national and international speed skating championships in 1920 as an amateur. His success continued during a professional career in which he beat veteran speed skaters such as Norval Baptie in the 1921 Northwest Championship.


Leo Freisinger, 1937

Leo Freisinger, 1937

Leo Freisinger attended the College of St. Thomas from 1937 – 1938.  Prior to enrolling at St. Thomas he won a bronze medal in the 500m race at the 1936 Winter Olympic games.  He continued to compete in national and international speed skating events after that, wearing the St. Thomas colors in the 1938 International Speed Skating Championships in Oslo, Norway.


Bob Fitzgerald, 1946

Bob Fitzgerald, 1946


Bobby Fitzgerald won several indoor, outdoor and North American speed skating championships as a teenager.  But, his skating career was interrupted by World War II and a injury he suffered while in the Army.  After returning to civilian life,  he finished his college degree (graduating from the College of St. Thomas in 1946) and resumed his speed skating career.  He later won the silver medal in 500m the 1948 Winter Olympics and was a member of the 1952 Olympic speed skating team.

To explore more of the history of the University of St. Thomas, visit the University Archives webpage.

(This post was first published on February 3, 2014. )


Nexis Uni vs. Westlaw Campus Research

We at the library work to keep up with new products and resources that make your research more productive.  Lexis Nexis had been a staple of our electronic collection seemingly since the dawn of databases.  Even though they changed their name to Nexis Uni, and gave themselves a completely new look, the same extensive legal, news, and company information remains in tact.


Now there is a new product from another well known and well respected company that piqued our curiosity.  Westlaw is a staple of the UST Law library, and law libraries across the country. Their new product is Westlaw Campus Research, a database that covers the same topic areas as Nexis Uni.  The primary strength of Westlaw Campus Research is its collection of legal materials, cases, statutes, regulations and articles from legal journals.  It also contains detailed company and financial data, as well as state, national, and international journals and newspapers.



For the next few weeks the libraries are running a free trial of Westlaw that is open to everyone in the UST community.  The link to Westlaw is here.  During the trial we encourage comparisons and critiques of content, ease of searching, or any other feedback you have about one or both products.  You may give any UST librarian your comments or you may send them directly to Andrea Koeppe


Archbishop Ireland Library, Database Highlights & Trials, Faculty News, New Materials, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Theology

“America; the Jesuit Review of Faith and Culture” is now available via Flipster.

The University of St. Thomas Libraries are pleased to announce that we recently added America; the Jesuit Review of Faith and Culture to the list of the periodicals the University of St. Thomas students, faculty, and staff may read online via Flipster.

The University of St. Thomas’ students, faculty, and staff may read a number of popular periodicals we make available on this digital newsstand, which may be accessed anytime on computers or mobile devices. Periodicals in Flipster have true-to-life layouts with all the full-color images and advertisements one finds in the print version of the same periodical.

Suggested reading: “A Christian Funeral Classic” by Colleen Dulle, in the January 8, 2018, issue of America. The article tells of the work of the University of St. Thomas’ Artist in Residence, Fr. Michael Joncas, whose hymn, “On Eagle’s Wings” achieved global popularity 38 years ago.

Fr. Michael Joncas, Theology Department, October 2004, Classroom images

Libraries, Media/Music Collections, News & Events

Interactive Media on National Film Board of Canada

National Film Board of Canada features many different interactive games and learning tools that are a great way to help better understand a lesson or concept. This type of interactive media engages students and can be an impactful way for a lesson to stick around long after the final quiz is turned in.

Here are a few examples of innovative and engaging interactive learning tools available from NFB:

Bias – test your bias via this quick word association exercise; this tool can be used to test one’s potential bias against varying groups of people or test your bias against sexist or racist stereotypes.

Hungry Month of March – explore a multimedia tale of “The Hungry Month of March”: the month during which families on islands in the easternmost Canadian territories of Newfoundland and Labrador would make due with whatever food remained from winter through the month of March. This beautifully crafted media includes 16 short films, images, and excerpts as you “scroll” through the seasons of these unforgiving landscapes.

Bread – learn the stories of six different women and their recipes for bread and how this simple food is intertwined their lives, families, cultures, and experiences.

By Sophia Wolf

Database Highlights & Trials, Libraries, News & Events

Database Trials: Two SAGE Video Collections

The Libraries are trialing two SAGE video collections through the month of February, SAGE Research Methods Video and SAGE Video Counseling & Psychotherapy Collection. The Research Methods videos explain the nuances of conducting various research methodologies, while the Counseling & Psychotherapy videos show a broad range of interviews, tutorials, and demonstrations within the field of counseling psychology. Overview videos and further details are available for SAGE Research Methods Video and SAGE Video Counseling & Psychotherapy Collection.

SAGE Research Methods Video is an add-on collection of almost 500 videos that complements the book and journal content that the library already subscribes to in the SAGE Research Methods Online database.  These videos provide a new way to engage with research methods content from the respected publisher.

A sample search results screen from Sage Research Methods Video

SAGE Video Counseling & Psychotherapy Collection is a set of 130+ hours of video aimed at students and practitioners of counseling psychology.  While there are some overlap areas with the libraries’ other psychology video databases, this collection does provide some unique content, including videos about working with aging populations.

A sample search results screen from Sage Video Counseling & Psychotherapy Collection

Please try out either or both of the video collections and fill out this short feedback form.

Thank you!

Database Highlights & Trials, Libraries, Media/Music Collections, News & Events

National Film Board of Canada Films

Though only a few hundred miles to the north of St. Paul, Canadian film and animation offer a unique perspective that is daring and innovative, with global impact. Of the many streaming services available from the Music & Media Collections at OSF Library, the extensive collection of animations, documentaries, shorts, experimental works, and feature-length films found on the National Film Board of Canada database is a great source for an international perspective with films in both French and English.National Film Board of Canada features over 3,000 pieces to peak viewers interest in a variety of subjects: the environment, human rights, indigenous peoples, international conflict, the arts, and many more. Discover new releases, old favorites, and classic Canadian films with works by Canada’s most talented directors with films for all ages and all interests.

The current National Film Board of Canada subjects featured include World War II, hockey, vignettes, cultural diversity, land claims and rights, and endangered species. These are just some examples of the many forms of media and subject matter found on the NFB website, with topics relevant globally.

By Sophia Wolf

Database Highlights & Trials, Libraries, News & Events

Database Trial: Statista

The Libraries are trialing a database called Statista through the month of February. Statista contains statistical data, graphics, and reports from many global sources. You can view an overview video and see other tutorials here.

Statista is organized into individual data series, which are then tagged into categories under the “Statistics” tab. Each individual data series displays a graphic, and users can toggle between line chart, bar graph, and data table displays. Graphics and data can be downloaded in .png, .pdf, .xls, and .ppt file formats. Each series includes a brief source citation and link out to a source document. Statista allows users to switch language displays among English, German, Spanish, and French.

The Reports section might be Statista’s richest. These items pull together a series of related statistics in useful ways, often providing PDF and PowerPoint downloads of the entire topical collection. Categories of reports include:

  • Dossiers (topical summaries of issues, e.g. Crime in the U.S., Global Health, Oil and Gasoline Prices, dossiers on major companies, etc.)
  • Industry Reports
  • Country Reports
  • Toplists (Rankings of companies and financial data in Excel reports, e.g. Top 50 Global Car Makes)
  • Outlook Reports (“All essential data on a given market in the digital and consumer goods sector;” e.g. Hot Drinks; eTravel–Online Booking)
  • Surveys
  • Market Studies

The Libraries have other sources of statistical data like Statistical Abstract of the United States, Data-Planet Statistical Datasets, and Simply Analytics. Users may find Statista’s user interface simple and attractive, and it’s emphasis on attractive graphics and grouping together related statistics useful, as well as its extensive commercial data. Many of the statistics provided are single-year or for a small span of years. While some time series are provided, I wouldn’t consider it a strength.

Please try out the database and send comments to John Heintz,, 651-962-4646.

Sample graphic from Statista

Libraries, News & Events, Special Collections and Archives

Tales from the Archives — The 1918 Spanish Influenza Epidemic at St. Thomas

“Have you gotten your flu shot yet?” has been a common refrain as people have struggled with this year’s flu season.  All of this talk about the flu outbreak brings back memories of the 1918 Spanish Influenza Epidemic.

The first diagnosed case of Spanish Influenza appeared in Minnesota in late September 1918.  Classes had already started for the college and high school students enrolled at St. Thomas.  A unit of the Student Army Training Corps (SATC) – a contingent of soldiers preparing to fight in World War I –  were also posted on campus.

Unlike our neighbors in Minneapolis, Saint Paul did not immediately close schools and public gathering places when the epidemic became widespread.  Instead, authorities recommended that people with flu remain isolated to prevent the spread of the illness.  One consequence of the closure of “places of amusement” in Minneapolis was the relocation of the October 26th football game between the University of Minnesota’s SATC unit to the College of St. Thomas.

Purple and Gray, December 1918, p. 40

Students who contracted the flu and lived on campus were nursed in the College Infirmary ; commuter students were cared for at home.


College of St. Thomas Infirmary, 1920

While no records exist which tell us how many of the approximately 1200 students at the College contracted the Spanish influenza during this outbreak, at least three St. Thomas students and one member of the SATC corps died from the flu.


Alumni Bulletin, February 1919, p. 13


Levang’s Weekly, November 7, 1918 p. 1 

The influenza outbreak reappeared in the winter of 1919 – 1920 claiming at least one student at the College.   This second outbreak hit the Saint Paul Seminary particularly hard, claiming the life of one seminarian and laying a number of them low.

St. Paul Seminary Register, 1920


To explore more of the history of the University of St. Thomas, visit the University Archives webpage.

Database Highlights & Trials, Libraries, Media/Music Collections, News & Events

Films from the National Film Board of Canada: Fast Facts

Name: National Film Board of Canada
Numbers: over 3,000 works currently available for streaming
Types of Media: animations, documentaries, shorts, experimental works, feature-length films, independent films, interactive digital content
Featured Subjects:  the environment, human rights, indigenous peoples, education, politics, literature, music, international conflict, the arts, and many more
Award-Winning: NFB has produced over 13,000 works and won over 5,000 awards, including 17 Webbys, 18 Canadian Screen Awards, 12 Oscars, and more than 90 Genies
About Production: NFB works with filmmakers and digital creators from every region of Canada, with Indigenous communities, and with partners from around the globe
Languages: videos and interactive media are available in English & French
How to Access It: National Film Board of Canada or through the Music & Media Collections page on the UST website
Why You Should Check It Out!  National Film Board of Canada features many different forms of interactive or viewing media and offers a unique perspective with global impact. The film producer and distributor tackles topics and features content with greater reaching topics than the country of Canada.

By Sophia Wolf