All posts by Gina Solares

“People at USF could be Diggers if they wanted to –“

With institutions around the city celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, I got to thinking about our own campus’ proximity to the Panhandle and to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. I wonder how the experience of the USF community was touched or shaped by its location during that summer…

Gleeson Library has copies of the St. Ignatius Calendar & Bulletin from 1967. In the May Bulletin of that year, James E. Straukamp, S.J. wrote an article drawing some comparisons between the Diggers of 17th century England and the Diggers of 1967 San Francisco.


He calls these local Diggers “our neighbors” and writes about their efforts related to communal food production, non-violence, and “a society of love and cooperation.” Although Straukamp mentions that he interviewed “Apache” and Art Lisch, unfortunately he doesn’t give much space to describing those contemporary Diggers. Much of the article is focused on those he is most familiar with, the 17th century Diggers who also believed in a non-violent society free from private property. To read the full article from The St. Ignatius Church Bulletin, click here.

The Diggers were also featured in an article in the March 10, 1967 issue of the Foghorn.


News Editor, Tom Sandborn includes a description of one of the Diggers’ food giveaway events in the Panhandle, quotes from Diggers on their philosophy, and remarks on the Diggers from Father Leon Harris of the All Saints Episcopal Church on Waller. You can read the full Foghorn article or browse the full Foghorn digital archive in Gleeson Library’s digital collections.

These articles merely hint at the ways that USF students, staff, faculty, and St. Ignatius parishioners were exposed to what was happening in 1967. There was also the time when Jefferson Airplane performed in the USF gym, and the Vietnam War protests on campus, and well, I have no doubt our alumni have quite a few stories to tell about the Summer of Love at USF.

Update: Take a look at the Summer 2017 USF Magazine where “Dons recount their college years and the Summer of Love” in From USF With Love: Dons Remember the Haight-Ashbury Era, 50 Years Later by Nicole Meldahl MA ’16

For more on the Diggers & the local scene:

McKenna, Kristine, and David Hollander. Notes from a Revolution: Com/co, the Diggers & the Haight, 2012. Print book available at Gleeson Library

See some digitized ephemera, posters, and publications in the Digger Archives

Browse the Foghorn digital archive in Gleeson Library’s digital collections

Coyote, Peter. Sleeping Where I Fall: A Chronicle, 2015. Print book available at Gleeson Library

Stanyan Street Meets Haight & Ashbury (1960–1969). St. Ignatius College Preparatory webpage

The Vida of María de Jesús

Nearly all of the books held by Gleeson Library can be found by searching Ignacio, our library catalog, but did you know that we’re adding information to Ignacio all the time?

Just this week, I cataloged a book from the Donohue Rare Book Room and put the information into Ignacio. The book was published in 1683 and it describes the life and miracles of a Conceptionist nun from Mexico, María de Jesús de Tomelín (1579-1637), also known as The Lily of Puebla.

Lemus, Diego de. Vida, virtudes, trabajos fabores y milagros de la Ven. M. sor Maria de Jesus angelopolitana religiosa. Leon: Anisson y Posuel, 1683.

The book was formerly part of the rare book collection at the San Francisco College for Women, and it bears the bookplate of Monsignor Joseph M. Gleason.

In adding information about this book to our library catalog, I inspected the volume and recorded the author, title, and other publication details. Then I needed to identify the subject, María de Jesús, and briefly get a sense of who she was so that I could classify the book and shelve it near other books on the same topic.

María de Jesús was born into a wealthy family in Puebla, Mexico in 1579, and is said to have had mystical visions from a young age. At 19, she made her profession of faith and joined the Convent of the Immaculate Conception in Puebla. Popular and controversial claims about María de Jesús included her reported visions of the Virgin Mary and of purgatory, as well as her ecstatic experiences that included physical manifestations such as levitation and bilocation. She died in 1637 and is said to have emitted a sweet smelling ‘odor of sanctity’ providing further evidence of her holiness.

Painting of María de Jesús Tomelin from the Museo Nacional del Virreinato

Following her death, there were efforts to have her named as a saint within the Catholic Church, and publications supporting María de Jesús’ beatification asserted that she had performed eleven miracles in life and many more after her death. These idealized biographies, known as “vidas” were accounts of her virtues, works, and miracles which emphasized her sanctified nature and were designed to increase her reputation beyond her home city of Puebla. Three notable publications about María de Jesús would be used to support her candidacy for sainthood. This book in the Gleeson Library special collections is one of those publications. It is written in Spanish, most likely based on manuscripts written by her fellow nun, Agustina de Santa Teresa, and her confessor, an Irish Jesuit missionary named Michael Wadding, who was known in Mexico as Miguel Godínez.

Although Pope Pius VI officially recognized the virtues of María de Jesús, she was never formally canonized as a Saint by the Catholic Church. The reliquary holding her remains is located in the chapel of the Convent of the Immaculate Conception, Puebla, Mexico.

If you would like to view this book about María de Jesús, stop by the Donohue Rare Book Room on the third floor of Gleeson Library.

For more about the life of María de Jesús and the lives of religious women in Colonial Mexico, try these books:

Drago, Margarita. Sor María De Jesús Tomelín (1579–1637), Concepcionista Poblana: La Construcción Fallida De Una Santa. City University of New York, 2002. PDF available to USF Library patrons

Ibsen, Kristine. Women’s Spiritual Autobiography in Colonial Spanish America. University Press of Florida, 1999. Ebook available to USF library patrons

Jaffary, Nora E. False Mystics : Deviant Orthodoxy in Colonial Mexico. University of Nebraska Press, 2004. Ebook available to USF library patrons

Myers, Kathleen Ann. Neither Saints Nor Sinners : Writing the Lives of Women in Spanish America. Oxford University Press, 2003. Ebook available to USF library patrons

Lavrín, Asunción. Brides of Christ: conventual life in colonial Mexico. Stanford University Press, 2008. Print book available via Link+

ARLIS/NA + VRA 2016 conference sessions available

By Gina Solares, Head of Cataloging & Metadata Management

I recently had the opportunity to attend the 3rd joint Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) & Visual Resources Association (VRA) conference in Seattle. Over 800 library and arts information professionals from universities, public libraries, museums, design schools, corporate libraries, & other special libraries gathered to discuss topics such as making arts scholarship visiblesocial justice in libraries, working with artists’ books, and linked open data projects in the arts. [See full list of programs here]

Interior, Seattle Public Library, LMN Architects/OMA
Four ARLIS/NA + VRA 2016 conference sessions were recorded and are now available in the ARLIS/NA Learning Portal.  You’ll need to create an account, but registration is free & content is available to all. You don’t have to be an ARLIS/NA member or even a librarian to enjoy.


Kehinde Wiley’s The Two Sisters at the Seattle Art Museum

A Culture of Service

On October 24th, University Ministry hosted October Outreach, an annual, half-day service opportunity for USF community members to volunteer with several agencies throughout the city.

Good morning, fog.

A post shared by @ librarymail on

Early on that foggy Saturday morning, I joined about 75 other sleepy USF students, staff, and faculty on Gleeson Plaza in preparation for our morning of service.

This intrepid group of Dons would disperse to organizations throughout the Bay Area, including Meals on Wheels, St. Vincent De Paul Center, Root & Rebound, Exploratorium, Ocean Beach, SF Food Bank, SF Botanical Garden Society, and St. Anthony’s.

This was my first time participating in October Outreach, so I chose to volunteer at St. Anthony’s Free Clothing program. Here’s how St. Anthony’s describes their program:

“St. Anthony Foundation’s Free Clothing Program is San Francisco’s largest free clothing program, providing warm clothes, interview or employment apparel, and children’s clothing to homeless and low-income families and individuals. Through nearly $3 million worth of clothing donations from individuals and corporate partners and the dedication of nearly 1,200 volunteer hours each month, the program provides 39,000 sets of free new and like-new clothing to nearly 11,000 guests each year, including over 2,900 children.”

I spent the morning with about 25 of my fellow Dons, sorting clothing donations by type and size and hanging clothes that would be available for St. Anthony’s guests.

Volunteers helped sort clothing from bins to racks
Racks are organized by size and type of clothing, to make it easier for St. Anthony's guests to find clothing in their size and that meets their needs.
Racks are organized by size and type of clothing, to make it easier for St. Anthony’s guests to find clothing in their size and that meets their needs.

It was such a fun and rewarding morning. I was able to meet and talk with USF students that I would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. Together, we learned about the great mission and programs at St. Anthony’s. And our work directly supported St. Anthony’s distribution of free, new and like-new clothing to people in need.

I would encourage all faculty, staff, and students to join in during the next October Outreach. Volunteering as a community is a powerful experience. It only took a morning, but we learned together and served together. It helped me feel like a part of the USF community, a community that has a positive impact and dare I say it, a community that can change the world from here.