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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. )

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

News & Events

Children’s and YA Book Award Winners!

Youth Media Awards logo

Image courtesy of the American Library Association

The American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference is usually full of committee meetings and is not necessarily the most exciting conference to attend… That is, until Monday morning when the Youth Media Awards (YMAs) are announced!  The YMAs feature the selections of some of the biggest awards in children’s and Young Adult (YA) literature and non-fiction.

On Monday, February 12, the excitement ensued in Denver as notable awards like the Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz were announced.  There were also a bevy of diverse awards given, such as: the Batchelder Award for the best children’s book from a different country translated into English; the Schneider Family Book Awards that celebrate the best “artistic expression of the disability experience for children and adolescents”; and, the Stonewall Book Awards for “works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience”.

These awards represent some of the best books published for children or teens in the last year.  They also help Trent Brager, St. Thomas’ Education and Social Sciences Librarian, select quality books for the Hubbs Children’s Literature Collection at the Keffer Library.  This collection, found on the Minneapolis campus, is used most often by Education majors who learn to use children’s books for literacy instruction in K-12 classrooms.  Stop by the Keffer Library to read some childhood favorites or to check out some of the new award winners!

Image of 2018 Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz award winning books

Image courtesy of School Library Journal

Winners of selected book awards

John Newbery Medal:  Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly

Randolph Caldecott Medal: Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Michael L. Printz Award: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award: Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride, 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award: Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder

Coretta Scott King Book Award – Author: Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

Coretta Scott King Book Award – Illustrator: Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets illus. by Ekua Holmes

Pura Belpré Award – Author: Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar

Pura Belpré Award – Illustrator: La Princesa and the Pea illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal

A complete list of 2018 Youth Media Awards winners and honors, as well as a recording of the Award selections is available at the American Library Association’s website.

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.

News & Events

Trial for Plunkett Research available throughout the month of February

‘Back in the day’ when I first started as a UST business librarian, Plunkett’s industry profiles in print was a staple of our business reference collection.  It provided a clear and concise snap shot of an industry and was a great resource for students first learning about a specific industry.  Now, just as about everything else that used to be a staple in our print collection, this resource is online.  Just as the print version, the online version of Plunkett provides vital data for Market Research, Business Development and Strategic Planning.

Searching Plunkett’s is very easy from their main page

Users can search industry data either by choosing from a list of industries,  industry codes, or with keywords.  Users can also search by general topics such as “internet of things” or “sharing economy”  Users can also use a company name for information, or create a list of companies by searching with location, industry, or company size.

To try Plunkett’s on your own you may follow this link.

Please get any and all feedback to me, Andrea Koeppe, by the end of this month.

Happy Searching!