The Jacob I. Fass papers now available for research!

The Archives and Special Collections center recently acquired the Jacob. I Fass papers, a small collection of the WWII-era correspondence, notes, and photographs of chemical scientist Jacob I. Fass.

Passport photograph of Jacob I. Fass
Passport photograph of Jacob I. Fass

Fass was a chemical engineer who worked at National Oil Products Co. (NOPCO) during World War II. The collection includes the secret notes that he took while employed there, documenting his work processes as well as office politics and conversations between employees. The fact that these notes were kept in secret—folded up into tiny squares so that Fass could smuggle them out of the building—speaks to his unease and even paranoia surrounding his work, his co-workers, and his fear of being drafted for the war.

One of Fass's "secret" notes (front)
One of Fass’s “secret” notes (front)


One of Fass's secret notes (back)


The majority of the collection consists of his correspondence with family and friends. The letters cover a wide variety of topics including politics, philosophy, music, photography, and the war. While much of the correspondence is serious, there are also many letters from close friends with a lighthearted, affectionate tone. Fass received one letter from a friend in Washington that was hand-written in miniscule print, joking that the full letter of 3,210 words could be found on the head of a pin stuck through the middle of the page.

A joking letter from one of Fass's friends. The pin in the center of the page gives perspective to the tiny size of the text. (Click to expand.)
A joking letter from one of Fass’s friends. The pin in the center of the page gives perspective to the tiny size of the text. (Click to expand.)

This collection will be of interest to researchers investigating World War II, the history of chemistry, and American communism. The finding aid for this collection can be viewed here. The Jacob I. Fass papers may be viewed by appointment in the Archives and Special Collections Center Reading Room. To make an appointment, please contact 973-761-9476 or

The Women of Seton Hall – A Window Into The Past, Present, & Future

On display now through the Spring semester is a special exhibit designed to honor the Women of Setonia from student to administrator to faculty to alumnae and all who have derived benefit of the institution over the last several decades.  Through the design efforts of Katie Wolchko and in anticipation of the 80th anniversary of co-education at Seton Hall we present some images that show the first enrollment at the Urban Division and Summer Session of Seton Hall in 1937 along with the heralding of full equality on the South Orange campus over three decades later.  This ushered in a number of resources on campus including the Women and Gender Studies program and the Women’s Resource Center.  With such founding visionaries as Professors Tracy Gottlieb, Judith Stark, and Gisella Webb to present day leadership under Professors Karen Gevirtz and Vanessa May, the work of this office is vital in keeping the issues and contributions of Women in society alive and visible to all members of our community.  This brings us to the present-day and the Women’s Conference of 2016. Various publication covers by those speaking in accompanied by a listing of all participants along with affiliated faculty and administrators who work directly with the Women and Gender Studies program.  For more information about the Women’s Conference 2016 please consult the Women’s Conference webpage.  The Women and Gender Studies Program site is also accessible here. 

ws-39                    Seton Hall University                   A celebration of women 2006

This exhibit is housed in the Window Display Case that can viewed outside of Walsh Library opposite the Recreation Center.  For more information about the exhibit please contact Katie Wolchko at –