Design for Renovation for Existing Tester at Seton Hall Chapel architectural drawing
11 1/8” x 16 ¼”
Department of Archives and Special Collections, Seton Hall University
This design for the renovation of the tester (canopy) in Seton Hall University’s Chapel of the Immaculate Conception was created by Robert Robbins. It is rendered in gold and red with accents of white and blue. The letters “IHS” set into a sun shape are a Christogram, or an abbreviation of Jesus’ name in Greek. The Robert Robbins Studio designed church interiors, mainly in Anglo-Catholic churches. Robbins sketched the actual designs while his brother, Toby, took care of practical matters. A third brother, Bill Robbins, was Rector of Saint Thomas’ Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
During the second and third decade of the 20th century, the student press became the primary herald of written news, information, and creative expression to the wider college community. The first issue of The Setonian was founded in 1924 and had been growing in terms of size, publishing schedule, quality, and other factors since that time. Gracing its pages were many pieces that dealt with theological and philosophy-centered prose, but also included varied accounts of club life, concerts, sporting news, and other memorable events of note along with regularly featured columns, editorials, and creative caricatures that celebrated cultural and societal trends of the day.
With the onset of the Great Depression-era of the early 1930s, the scale of The Setonian became more modest in presentation with only a few issues published per academic year between 1931-32. Additionally, the size and content resembles more of a literary journal approach than a straight news organ. This was especially evident with the presence of the “Christmas Number” issues which would become a semi-fixture in latter editions of The Setonian over time
The Yuletide season provided added extra inspiration especially during the December publishing cycle which signaled a natural Christmas and year ending theme found in the pages of editions produced during the late 1920s and 1930s in particular. This resulted in scores of poems, short stories, and messages from the administration that captured the spirit of the season in various ways. Included here are some examples that exhibit the thoughts and feelings of the student body written by students of yore . . .
These and other examples are found not only during the earliest days of The Setonian, but in later editions and other expressions around campus even through the latest edition of the paper and as we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the memorable Tree Lighting this year, the spirit of this time of year and meaning of the season are documented for the ages. Happy Holidays everyone!
For more information about Seton Hall history please feel free to contact the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center via e-mail at: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378
The Thanksgiving holiday has traditionally been a time of celebration and remembrance within the American experience. The modern observance of Thanksgiving Day began in 1863 during the Civil War and promoted by President Abraham Lincoln as a means of spiritual reflection and call for national harmony.
Seton Hall was no exception in this regard as the school formally celebrated this commemoration in various ways during the 19th century. Honoring the day typically resulted in a release from classes during the morning and afternoon on Thanksgiving Thursday. After a special repast for those remaining on campus a musical program that featured vocalists and instrumental solos typically completed the day. Other offerings depending on the year included lectures or theatrical presentations that typically centered on classical themes were presented by students, faculty, and others connected with the college. Those in attendance often included the few boarding students on campus, clergy, and local citizens the night of Thanksgiving, or on a special date close to the holiday.
During late November, the school also celebrated the feast day of St. Cecilia who was the patroness of music and musicians on November 22nd. Seton Hall held various events to celebrate this art form and the importance of melodic expression especially choral groups that served as an important extra-curricular option for the student body. This was one of the primary activities that distinguished student life during the earliest days of Setonia with the emergence of choral groups and popular student programming that became a regular feature not only for Thanksgiving or St. Cecilia day, but throughout the academic year.
For more information about holiday observances and any aspect of Seton Hall University History please feel free to contact us via e-mail at: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
With the calendar pointing to late October, reading trends this time of year often focus on tales of mystery and mayhem connected with the observance of Halloween. Counted among the most famous authors who represent this time of year so vividly is Edgar Allan Poe (1809-49). Among his varied literary accomplishments, Poe is often credited with being the first to create and popularize the genre of science fiction. Many of his stories touched on the darker side of human nature, but his writing style was unique and captured the public imagination. Within an academic context, the short stories penned by Poe are still assigned by many professors as required reading for their students to study and learn from in turn.
Inside the Archives & Special Collections are different historical anthologies and special edition volumes that capture the written legacy of Poe in greater detail. Included are the following titles under his authorship: Eurkea, Marginalia; A Chapter on Autobiography (Boston: L.C. Page, 1884); Poetical Works With Original Memoir (New York: J.S. Redfield, 1858); Poems and Essays (Boston: L.C. Page, 1884); Prose Tales (Boston: L.C. Page, 1884); and Tales of Mystery and Imagination (New York: Brentano’s, 1923) among other works of scholarship that have endured the test of time.
These and other works by Poe and different authors who specialize in suspense and other genres can be found through within our collection. For more information about Edgar Allan Poe, Rare Book holdings, and research opportunities please feel free to contact us to arrange an appointment via e-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org> or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.
#37 Wool Baseball Uniform wool flannel
Gift of the Smith Family
This wool flannel, short-sleeved Seton Hall University baseball uniform was in use in the 1950s. It was purchased locally from Crelin’s Sport Shops, located at 491 Valley Street in Maplewood, New Jersey. The shop was known for having “Anything in Sports.” While the school colors remain the same, uniforms are now made of polyester. Uniforms today are similar in style, though pants are not cinched at the ankle and knee-length pants are sometimes worn. The baseball program at Seton Hall has had an active presence on campus since its establishment in 1853 and twenty-nine of its players have gone on to play in the major leagues.
Maria Gillan is a poet who writes about her experience as an Italian-American woman, navigating between the Italian language and culture of her youth and the English language of her adult self. She writes with great attention to detail, in poems such as “Public School No. 18, Paterson, New Jersey,” where she speaks about the alienation she felt in an English language school as a native speaker of Italian. But she also speaks to universal themes, such as her sadness about the growing distance between herself and her son as her son grows up and starts a family of his own in “What I Can’t Face About Someone I Love.” Her work has been translated into Italian, and she now leads workshops in creative writing based in Italy, in addition to branching out into art as well as poetry, with works such as Redhead with Flying Fish and Cat. In addition, she maintains an active blog and website documenting her work.
Gillan will be speaking at Seton Hall, in the Theater in the Round on the evening of September 24 at 6pm. Her translator, Professor Carla Francellini, from University of Siena, will speak as well. This event honors the 2019 scholarship winners in Italian Studies.
While she is here, Professor Francellini will also be working in the Monsignor William Noe Field Archives, researching in Gillan’s collection here, where not only her physical papers but also Gillan’s blog and website are archived. Explore the finding aid for the collection, and also stop by and see the window featuring Gillan’s work on the bottom floor of Walsh Library, outside Walsh Gallery.
Under the dome of Walsh Library hangs a quote from St. John Paul: “Faith and reason are the two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth.” For 25 years, Walsh Library has stood as the cornerstone of Seton Hall’s pursuit of reason within our Catholic values.
In 1990, the University’s leadership noted the need for a new library. The Very Reverend Thomas Peterson, O.P., former university chancellor, said, “Seton Hall needs a new library and she needs it now. It must be her star, the jewel of her campus.”
Four years later, Walsh Library opened. In the April 28, 1994 edition of the University’s student-run newspaper, The Setonian, then-Dean of Libraries Robert Jones called the library dome “‘the outstanding architectural feature of the building.’ [Jones] said the dome is the library’s crowning feature and compared it to the dome of the Library of Congress.”
In 25 years, the library has seen much change. Richard Stern, acting dean of University Libraries from 2002-2004, said, “a jewel never changes. But as humans learn, they change the buildings they inhabit to suit their needs.” And so Walsh Library has changed from a place of quiet study to a place of lively academic discussion and socialization. In 2012, Dunkin’ opened on the library’s second floor. In March 2019, an after-hours study space opened for students’ use 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Daniela Gloor, BA ’14/MPA ’15, and her classmates in the University Honors took advantage of the library to blend their studies with this “lively academic discussion and socialization.” Walsh Library “was a place where you bonded with one another while studying, completing assignments, or writing your papers,” Gloor said. “My Honors Program classmates and I anxiously sought to study in the Library Rotunda when it was available, which has a picture-perfect view of campus and is one of the most unique places at Seton Hall. While we likely cannot remember all the works we read and studied, I can certainly recall the environment of the library, many of the memories made there, and the sleepless nights we spent working toward graduation.”
Seton Hall’s community continues to seek out the Library’s resources. In 2019, 66,000 items were borrowed, loaned and/or used, more than 44,000 books were circulated, 20,000 interlibrary loan transactions were fulfilled for books and articles and keys for the group study rooms were used more than 13,000 times.
Walsh Library has been a witness to the digital revolution that redefined research and study. Former Acting Dean Stern said the library “has grown from an institution where researchers came to find materials to an institution where researchers increasingly conduct all stages of their research in the digital sphere.”
Elizabeth Leonard, assistant dean of information technologies and collection services, said, “When Walsh Library opened in 1994, library technology, like all technology, was in its infancy…we did (yes, really) hand stamp all books going out on loan to patrons.” When the library opened, The Setonian wrote study rooms were “equipped with windows and outlets [which] are designed so students can bring their own computers and plug them into the University system.” Now, wireless laptops and a plethora of new Macs and PCs allow students to study wherever they like.
25 years later, technology touches almost every aspect of the library. In 2019 alone, roughly 427,000 full-text articles were downloaded, users viewed subject guides more than 64,000 times, the library website received 400,000 views and 1.4 million theses and dissertations were downloaded from the library’s collection. The library’s institutional repository, an online database comprising scholarly pieces such as dissertations and theses written by Seton Hall students and faculty, surpassed three million downloads in June 2019. Thanks to technology, Leonard said the library’s “resources are available to authorized users anywhere in the world, whenever they need them. We digitize lectures, books and other materials for virtual use.”
Walsh Library is looking toward the next 25 years of service to the University community. Leonard said, “We are looking forward by preserving born digital materials in a repository that will ensure they are accessible to future generations of librarians and researchers.”
In honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month and the 45th Anniversary of the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute, the Archives & Special Collections Center is proud to present an exhibit that honors the contributions of this Center and its varied accomplishments.
The historical course of Seton Hall has been enhanced with the presence of Latino students from its foundation years to the present day. Within the earliest college registers it has been discovered that Mr. Ernesto Regil, a native of the Yucatan Mexico was the 20th student ever enrolled at the school on October 20, 1856. This milestone led the way to a number of other students from across Mexico along with future classmates from the Latin American countries of Cuba, Ecuador, and Panama among other lands who would consistently fill class rosters during the mid-late 19th century. Their example led the path, but over time countless students, faculty, administrators, and friends of the Latino experience have also contributed to the positive growth of Seton Hall in their own respective ways.
More formal recognition of the contributions made by the Latino community came about in 1974 with the creation of the Puerto Rican Institute (which would later come to be known as the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute) at Seton Hall University. Their objective has been to promote scholarship, culture, history, and build further recognition of the value connected with this unique area of study as shown in part through various examples found within this exhibit and within our collective research holdings.
Various reproductions from original texts found within the Archives & Special Collections Center have been included to highlight the early days of the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute in order to show in part the educational mission, cultural support, and overall vibrancy and value of this organization across campus and to the wider community.
Examples from our collection will be on exhibit from September through December of 2019 in the First Floor foyer of Walsh Library located across from the stairs and elevator.
For additional background and more information on this topic and other aspects of Seton Hall please feel free to contact University Archivist, Alan Delozier at: email@example.com or by phone: (973) 275-2378.
This week we highlight the reflections of Rutgers University student Julia Bonavitacola on her internship in Special Collections this summer . . .
One thing that I have learned from my time in the Walsh Library archives is how close twenty-six miles really is. It has amazed me how often Seton Hall University and Rutgers University have overlapped in the past, not just on the basketball court but in the people that have frequented both places.
The past few weeks of diving through Seton Hall University’s archives has presented an interesting perspective on how Seton Hall has thrived the past twenty-five years as well as provided me with interesting posters and programs to pore over. But I’m an English major at Rutgers University, my heart has always been in finding anything pertaining to literature and the campus on the banks of the Raritan. I have not been disappointed.
While sorting through archival papers, a program caught my eye. The annual “Poetry in the Round” was held at the Bishop Dougherty Student Center on April 29, 1996. And who should be the featured author but Rutgers alum Junot Diaz, come to read from his then newly released book of short stories Drown and snippets from works in progress.
Junot Diaz was often talked about in my creative writing classes. A story of someone from New Jersey becoming a writer, who took the same classes as we did and, perhaps, even sat in the same seats. When Creative Writing students felt like they couldn’t make it, we could always look to Junot Diaz. His Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is always stocked in the bookstore and English majors around campus recommend it any time you need a new book. The mentions of Rutgers, the EE bus, Demarest Hall and College Ave sprinkled throughout the novel gave us Rutgers students a chance to relate. A chance to relate to a man whose career started just the same as ours.
Given the inexplicable relationship Rutgers English and Creative Writing majors have with Junot Diaz, it was astounding to me to see he had come to read at Seton Hall. Of course, Rutgers doesn’t have exclusive rights to Diaz; his work is out in the world for all to read. But the idea that Diaz could be championed by New Jersey natives from all walks of life, whether they were born in New Jersey or in another country like Diaz, made me realize that we can all relate to the themes of Diaz’s work. The feelings of not knowing our identity, trying to fit in, the fear of dying before we’ve really lived. These themes aren’t exclusive to the creative writing classrooms in the basement of Murray Hall, these are themes that run across all of the United States, a whole generation of students currently sitting in classrooms just like the ones that Diaz himself sat in.
Yes, twenty-six miles isn’t all that big. So, in 1996, when Junot Diaz was reading his short stories, the distance between Rutgers and Seton Hall became insignificant. Literature connects us like no other medium, bringing age groups from across vast distances together like no other. That night in 1996, Diaz was shrinking the cultural gap, the language barrier and the twenty-six-mile gap between Seton Hall and Rutgers, until everyone was boiled down to their simplest form: human beings experiencing the same world that Diaz encountered. And at the end of the day, that’s what matters more than any distance.
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the first successful Moon Landing by humankind, this month has been a time of reflection in regard to the wonders of inter-galactic exploration that have made history. The American space program was very active during the 1960s as a number of different astronauts and support staff completed memorable missions beyond the borders of Earth made it possible for scores of individuals to learn more about our solar system as a result of their collective efforts. Those connected with Seton Hall were no different in its fascination with astronomological studies through the sharing of news updates, course content, and seeing what would come next in the evolution of space travel and discovery.
In light of the popularity of the cosmos created through the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and its successful work made those associated with the program not only trailblazers, but also heroes and role models. This led Seton Hall to bestow an honorary degree of science on James Alton McDivitt (b. 1929), a United States Air Force Brigadier General (Ret.), Aeronautical Engineer, and Astronaut whose work with various programs between 1962-72 as part of NASA led to command of the Gemini 4 mission which included the first U.S. spacewalk and the Apollo 9 mission of April, 1969. This latter endeavor encompassed the testing of Lunar Modules and hardware that would be used a few months later on the famed mission to the Moon that achieved success and renown two months later.
McDivitt himself made history as the first Roman Catholic to soar into space. Along with this milestone, his accomplishments on the whole were recognized by University President, the Most Reverend John Dougherty in his last official act before retirement when he introduced then Colonel McDivitt at the morning commencement ceremony of June 7, 1969 with the following words . . .
“Mother Earth is a Jealous Guardian, and Few are the Men who have been privileged to free themselves completely from her embrace. Yet he whom we honor here has done so twice . . . Were it not for the knowledge gleaned from the experiments with Apollo 9, of which he was the command pilot, we would not now – – actually and vicariously – – be standing on the threshold of the moon and, perhaps, beyond. Stalwart in honor, upright in integrity, steadfast in bravery, devoted to his family and his country and his God, he was but a natural choice to become an adopted son of Seton Hall. For he is of the stuff of heroes.”
Before a graduating class of 1,887, Colonel McDivitt noted to those in attendance that: “You are entering into another form of life, and there is a lot to be done . . . With luck, skill and hard work I am confident we will land on the moon this year. I am also confident that in your lifetime you will see men on Venus and Mars. Landing on the moon is only the first step in space exploration. Perhaps in your lifetime you will be called upon to solve problems on Mars and Venus along with those on Earth and the knowledge we gain will help the lot of people all over the world.” He also urged the graduates to keep both their standards and ideals high as they made their way in the world. Another revelation came when Colonel McDivitt mentioned that he carried a relic of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton on his Apollo 9 flight that was sent to him by a nun who prayed for his success and in the process made the bond closer between the honoree and his fellow alumni.
With his words as a prelude to the Moon landing and the exploration of Mars that is currently being undertaken, the words of Colonel McDivitt live on and have provided the Seton Hall community and others who heard his message with a hopeful note moving into the future of time and space discoveries yet to ensue.
For more information on Seton Hall history please feel free to contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist by e-mail: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu or phone: (973) 275-2378.