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!

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

Media/Music Collections, Music, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Past UST Christmas Concerts at the Music and Media Collections

By Sophia Wolf

A beloved tradition in the St. Thomas community is the annual Christmas concert.  Each year this concert takes place in Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The concert has performances by the Chamber Singers, Concert Choir, Liturgical Choir, Donne Unite, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, Brass Ensemble and the Guitar Ensemble. In recent years, the event has become so popular that the concert has been expanded to two performances, though it oftentimes still sells out.

If you missed this year’s concert, you still have an opportunity to listen to wonderful holiday music by the musicians of St. Thomas! Recordings of past concerts are available at the Music & Media Collections in O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library. These recording are a great way to get in the Christmas spirit!

Below you can find selected recordings of past UST Christmas concerts. Recordings from many other years are also available in the Music & Media Collections.

O Come Let us Adore Him : University of St. Thomas Christmas
M 2065 .U55 V465 2012

Love Came Down at Christmas: University of St. Thomas
M 2065 .U55 L68 2011

Christ is Born Today: University of St. Thomas Christmas
M 2065 .U55 H63 2008

Libraries, Media/Music Collections, Music, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Musicals at the Music and Media Collections

As much as I dream of traveling to New York City and catching a show on Broadway, as a busy college student it does not seem to be in the cards (at least for the next few years). However, I can still satisfy my musical cravings with CDs of original cast recordings for all of my favorite shows. The Music & Media Collection has a wide variety of music genres available for check out or streaming, meaning there is something for everyone’s interest. For a musical geek like me, here are a few of my favorite Broadway picks from the collection:

By Sophia Wolf

Anything Goes
Call Number: M1500 .P67 A5
Anything Goes is set aboard the ocean liner S. S. American, where nightclub singer and evangelist Reno Sweeney is en route from New York to England. Her pal Billy Crocker has stowed away to be near his love, Hope Harcourt, but to his dismay, Hope is engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

Once Upon a Mattress
Call Number: M1505 .R621 O5 1993
Due to an unhappy curse, King Sextimus is unable to speak. Meanwhile, his terror-of-a-wife, Queen Aggravain, has taken over control of the kingdom. Most importantly, in an attempt to keep her son Prince Dauntless single, she has decreed that only a true princess that can pass her impossible test may marry him. Will the unrefined princess Winnifred the Woebegone finally be the one to pass the queen’s test?

The Unsinkable Molly Brown
Call Number: M1505 m.W54 U57 1993
Molly Brown is determined to rise from her country roots and marry a rich man. She finds one in Johnny Brown, who has just sold off his lucrative claim on a Colorado silver mine. Johnny again strikes it rich, this time in gold, making the pair Denver royalty. However, money does not ensure happiness and, with their union on the rocks, Molly travels to Europe — before making an eventful return trip on the Titanic.

Libraries, Media/Music Collections, Music, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Christmas music at St. Thomas Music and Media Collections

By Sophia Wolf

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, I believe that no one can rightfully say that it is too early to listen to Christmas music. The St. Thomas Music & Media Collections are a great place to access CDs or streaming audio for all of your festive favorites. As a self-proclaimed expert, who has been listening to Christmas music since November 1st, here is one of my top picks from the Collections:

American Folk Songs for Christmas
Call Number: M1629.S44 .A54 1989

This compilation of less-commonly known Christmas songs represent a variety of folksongs that find their origins in European and British Isles Ballads, several African-American spirituals that express a deeply spiritual celebration of Christmas, as well as several classic, better-known Christmas favorites. This lively recording is sung & played by sisters Peggy, Barbara, and Penny Seeger, assisted by a group of children from the South Boston Music School.

Selected songs from this CD can also be accessed through:

Music Online: Smithsonian Global Sound: American Folk Songs for Christmas (streaming audio)

Libraries, Media/Music Collections, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Something to be Thankful For

By Sophia Wolf

The classic Thanksgiving tale is that of collaboration and friendship between the Pilgrim settlers and the Wampanoag tribe. However, there is much more to the history of this iconic American holiday than simply this, so take the opportunity to learn more and explore the multiple perspectives of those who took part in the first Thanksgiving. As students, faculty, and staff take a well-deserved break from courses, be sure to check out the resources available at the Music & Media Collections to find the perfect film to enjoy with your Thanksgiving leftovers!

The Pilgrims
Call Number: F 68 .P55 2015
Commemorated each year at Thanksgiving, no chapter in American history has been more clouded in myth, legend, and venerable cliché than the story of the Pilgrims. This film explores the story of a small group of English Separatists whose determination to worship God as they saw fit planted the seeds of the American dream.

We Still Live Here
Call Number: PM 2544 .A86 2010
The Wampanoag are celebrated at Thanksgiving as the Indians who saved the Pilgrims from starvation, but their linguistic heritage remained largely forgotten until Jessie Little Doe Baird discovered hundreds of documents written in their ancient language. Her efforts, which led to the reclamation of the Wampanoag language and culture, are explored in this documentary film.

We Shall Remain: America Through Native Eyes
Call Number: E 77 .W47 2009
When Europeans arrived in North America, they encountered the Native people. Throughout history, Native peoples resisted expulsion from their lands and fought the extinction of their culture. Follow Native American history from the Wampanoags of New England in the 1600s, to the bold new leaders of the 1970s who harnessed the momentum of the Civil Rights movement. Spanning almost four hundred years, this three-part documentary series tells the story of pivotal moments in U.S. history from the Native American perspective.

Media/Music Collections, Music, News & Events

Music Resources at the Library

As students, faculty, and staff visit the Music & Media Collections at OSF to browse, they often limit themselves to only the DVD collection. However, there are also many music resources available for your use. A wide range of genres are found both in the physical CD collection and the multiple music streaming services accessible through the library website. Music streaming services have both audio and visual recordings, music documentaries, dance performances, and more. Many of the streaming services also offer the option to create music playlists for personal or classroom use. Check out some of the great resources for music, as well as learn how to find them yourself!

Naxos Music Library
Naxos Music Library streaming audio database offers hundreds of thousands of tracks of classical, jazz, world, and folk music. Search for music by composer, artist, period, year of composition, instrument, label, duration, mood, or genre. Added features include composer biographies, musical terms glossaries, and work analyses.

Music Online: Smithsonian Global Sound
Smithsonian Global Sound streaming audio database has more than 40,000 individual tracks of music, spoken word, and natural and human-made sounds. Included are readings of literary and dramatic works, historic speeches, language instruction, natural sounds, environmental and mechanical sounds, sound effects, children’s music, and traditional music from virtually everywhere in the world.

A streaming music video database covering over 1,500 films in high definition with the best of classical music from Baroque to Contemporary music, including: concerts, operas, ballets, archival documents, portraits of artists and composers, master classes, conductors in rehearsals. There are over 100 live broadcasts every year from leading concert halls and classical music festivals.

By Sofia Wolf

Libraries, Media/Music Collections, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

Native American Heritage Month Videos

By Sofia Wolf

Did you know that November is Native American Heritage Month? This month provides an opportunity to celebrate Native American culture and traditions. We can also use it to raise awareness about the unique challenges facing Native American communities, both in the past and present. There are many resources offered by the Music & Media Collections to learn more and appreciate the rich Native American history in the state of Minnesota.

Ojibwe Music from Minnesota: A Century of Song for Voice and Drum
Call Number: M 1669 .O45 1997

Hear traditional Ojibwe music, sung in both English and Ojibwa, with early recordings as dating from 1899-1910, as well as more recent field recordings.

Manoomin: A Minnesota Way of Life
Call Number: E99.C6 M3 2005

This documentary is a part of the campaign to prohibit the introduction of genetically-engineered wild rice in the State of Minnesota. A group of Ojibwe people voice their opinions, providing contrast between scientific progress and the rights of indigenous people to protect their food source, biodiversity, and way of life.

The Woodlands: The Story of the Mille Lacs Ojibwe
Call Number: E99.C6 W6 2000

This film explores the 400-year history and culture of Minnesota’s Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Native Americans through narration, historical footage, music, and personal interviews with tribal elders.

Libraries, News & Events, O'Shaughnessy-Frey Library

“The Smoke of London” author reading and book signing

Author Will Cavert

Reading and Book Signing  

William Cavert

Monday, November 13, 2017

7:00 pm  O’Shaughnessy-Frey Library, Room 108

London in the early modern period was one of the world’s most polluted cities impacting everything from the health of its citizens to how the politics and culture developed during this time.

Dr. Will Cavert, assistant history professor at the University of St. Thomas, will speak about his recently published work: The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City which takes a closer look at how the people who lived and traveled to London adapted to London’s “smoky air.”  London in the early modern period was one of the world’s most polluted cities impacting everything from the health of its citizens to how the politics and culture developed during this time.

Awards Received:

  • The John Ben Snow Prize from the American Conference on British Studies
  • The Whitfield Prize from the Royal Historical Society
  • The Turku Prize from the European Society for Environmental History and the Rachel Carson Center of the University of Munich.

About the Author:

Dr. Cavert is a historian of Britain during the early modern period, c. 1500-1800, with research interests in urban and environmental history. He is the author of The Smoke of London: Energy and Environment in the Early Modern City, published in 2016 by Cambridge University Press, as well as studies in The Journal of British StudiesUrban History, and The Global Environment.

He came to the University of St. Thomas in 2014 from The University of Cambridge where he was a post-doctoral fellow at Clare College, having taken a Ph.D. at Northwestern University in 2011 and an M.A. at Loyola University Chicago. Before that he completed his undergraduate studies at Carleton College, and is a native Minnesotan. He teaches classes on The Modern World Since 1550 (HIST 112), British social and political history, early modern European history, the history of science, and the history of climate, environmentalism, and natural disasters.

Reading is free and open to all – books will be available for purchase – refreshments provided!