The Presidency & Memory of John F. Kennedy, An Exhibit by Alexandra Jousset

Within the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center are a variety of valuable resources available to students and scholars alike. As a recent graduate of Seton Hall University with a major in history and minor in art history, interning in the archives proved to be one of the most engaging and educational experiences in my academic career. This experience resulted in my researching and organizing materials on President John F. Kennedy as well as his connection to Newark and more specifically Seton Hall in this exhibit.

White House invitation card, Mr. and Mrs. Seiji Ozawa

The exhibit on display this summer represents many materials pertaining to John F. Kennedy, including photographs, correspondence, books and campaign buttons. The first case illustrates President Kennedy’s career as a Senator as well as his campaign to Presidency. Some of the highlights in the first case include a replica of Kennedy’s Knights of Columbus application dated April 26, 1946. There are also a variety of rare campaign buttons and facsimile documents of invitations to the White House during Kennedy’s presidency. The exhibit also displays two rare photographs of President Kennedy with New Jersey Governor Richard J. Hughes.

John F. Kennedy photograph

The second case of the exhibit displays items that commemorate the assassination of John F Kennedy and its aftermath. Highlights in the second case include a Western Union Telegram and a record from January 19, 1964 of the service held at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston by the Boston Symphony Orchestra in honor of President Kennedy. Another key item is a book that includes the addresses from the United States Senate and House of Representatives titled Memorial Addresses in the Senate of the United States in Eulogy of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Overall the exhibit is meant to represent the variety of materials and sources on John F. Kennedy that can be found in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center. It is important for students and the public alike to be aware of the rich resources available here.

The exhibit can be viewed on the ground floor of the Walsh Library and is open all hours the library is open. For more information on this exhibit and questions about John F. Kennedy that I discovered please feel free to e-mail me:

Exhibit on JFK in Archives Reading Room

Pomp and Circumstance, Graduation Exercises and Setonia

With the month of May comes the much awaited graduation for college seniors and the commencement ceremonies that signal the end of their Seton Hall degree earning journey.  Along with the memories of diploma receiving achievements past, the University Archives has a large number of commencement programs, photographs, and other documentation that shows the activities centering around this celebration from the inaugural exercises in 1856, the first official graduate Louis Edward Firth, AB in 1862 to the ladies and gentlemen representing the Class of 2015.  Below are a few examples of these informative program guides. Additional perspective on graduation can be found through the listing of honorary degree recipients through the years as compiled by our student volunteer Mr. Matthew Peters.

We look forward to working with you on your own commencement research exercises.  In the meantime, congratulations to all the graduates present and future!

Seton Hall College Thirteenth Annual Commencement, Wednesday June 23d, 1869.

39th Annual Commencement of Seton Hall College

Commencement Program, June 11, 1955

St. Patrick – Study Aids At Seton Hall

March is a month closely associated with Irish history by way of honoring the patron saint (who shares this designation with Brigit/Brigid and Columba) and apostle of Ireland Patrick (Pádraig), the first bishop of Armagh and Primate of Éire who lived during the 5th century A.D.  In popular and latter-day culture, the legacy of Patrick is often drawn to oft-repeated tales of his driving snakes out of Ireland, teaching the symbolism of the Holy Trinity through use of a shamrock, his walking stick growing into a tree, and the plethora of parades staged throughout the world in his honor.  By extension, Irish culture and heritage is widely recognized with the feast day of March 17th for Patrick being a source of celebration “with the wearing of the green” each year.  His popularity is secure and icons dedicated to his memory abound to the present day.

St. PatrickDelving beneath iconic depictions (many of which are modern enhancements, i.e. the wearing of a miter, holding of a crosier and the robes of high ecclesiastical office, etc.) which are most familiar, the life story of Patrick was actually one of hardship and dedication when reading various accounts of his adventures.  In brief terms, Patrick was born into poverty and enslaved as a youth.  He was able to escape his master as a young adult, make his way back to his native Britain, adopt Christianity, and migrate to the Europe continent for further study.  Patrick ultimately made his way to Ireland as a missionary where he achieved success in his work with, and on behalf of, the people he befriended and administered to during his lifetime.                 St. Patrick portrait   patrick-text

Researching the life, words, and example of Patrick has been made easier and more accessible through the works of a number of scholars from historians, theologians, philosophers, poets, artists, and others who have an interest in his legacy.  Please feel free to follow the link to learn more about Patrick (and other Saints of Ireland from Abbán moccu Corbmaic to Tigernach of Clones and many others of note) through the Archives & Special Collections Center and University Libraries information resource links.  Here are some introductory works to help you on your journey of discovery…

Irish Studies Library Guide

St. Patrick

Saints of Ireland

Homage to Patrick also exists on a hometown basis as numerous statues and structures exist in many places around the globe.  Included are those on the campus of Seton Hall University and the Archdiocese of Newark.  Most notably is the Pro-Cathedral of St. Patrick located in Newark which has a long and notable history as documented by Seton Hall faculty member Monsignor Robert Wister, Hist.Eccl.D. who wrote a detailed account of this parish and its place in local and national religious history…

St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral, Newark, New Jersey: An Historical Reflection, 1850-2000

St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral…An Artistic and Symbolic Description

St. Patrick's Pro Cathedral      St. Patrick's Cathedral, Newark NJ

Whether searching for memorials dedicated to Patrick, or for materials on the man himself, we are happy to assist with your project needs and offer additional leads alike.  In the meantime, continued success on your respective searches and Lá Fhéile Pádraig faoi mhaise duit!

Seton Hall & Women’s History Exhibit

“What does it mean socially to be a woman?”
Throughout Seton Hall’s history, women took steps to better themselves and their communities through teaching, studying, promoting university development, and participating in organizations and sports teams. Those women’s actions have defined them according to their achievements and skills. Their leadership has continued to inspire others to take initiative.
Between February and April, a series of window exhibits created by Brittany Venturella, Graduate Student in the Department of Museum Studies will explore how the social definition of women evolved in Seton Hall’s history.
The first in the series will focus on the history of Women’s Organizations at Seton Hall during the month of February.  Before women were allowed on the South Orange campus, Seton Hall University partnered with organizations dominated by female members to promote student and developmental advancement. Members of those organizations, such as The Bayley-Seton League, the Women’s Guild and Seton Junior League, worked relentlessly to provide opportunities for students through funding scholarships, to promote “good citizenship,” and to better the general community. The three organizations raised money to aid Seton Hall and its students through social events, such as card parties and balls. They also impacted society through social dialogue.
All exhibits can be viewed from the front of the Walsh Library building in the window galleries located adjacent to the Walsh Gallery.
The Seton Junior Leaguegroup photo   Communion breakfast of the Seton Junior League
For more information contact University Archives at: (973) 275-2378, or


Rare Books Reference Guide – An Introduction

The Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center has sponsored the work of information professionals who maintain a number of specialized Library Reference Guides (LibGuides) for the benefit of our research community.  These LibGuides are designed to provide an introductory navigation site to help with project leads, identify collections, and connect to related themes through the linked resources found on each site.

The latest example created outlines specific Rare Book Collections with different connections to the World Wide Web and designed to help the user learn more about the history of publishing craft and to expand their reference options connected to the Center and beyond.  This site focuses upon our major holdings which include the American Civil War, Ireland and Irish-America, Monsignor John Oesterreicher Judaeo-Christian titles along with our overall and more specialized collecting areas that await discovery.

rare book libguide

The Internet link to the Rare Book site can be found here and our full range of LibGuides can be accessed here.

Thank you in advance for your interest and usage of our LibGuides!

We Want Willkie!!!

This was the refrain heard from the floor to rafters of Convention Hall, Philadelphia during the summer of 1940 and echoed through that autumn when the Republican Party nominated corporate lawyer and long time political booster Wendell Lewis Willkie of Indiana as their standard bearer for the upcoming presidential election of that year. Willkie (1892-1944), who never held public office was an outspoken internationalist who later became an informal ambassador-at-large for important causes including global welfare programs and civil rights most notably as outlined in his seminal work: One World(located in the Walsh Library Main Collection, Call Number: D811.5 .W495) which heralded the need for a “world government” to aid society at-large which would later come to fruition in part through the establishment of the United Nations a few years after its publication in 1944. 

Twenty-second Republican National Convention, Philadelphia 1940           Wendell Willkie photo         This man Willkie

Willkie focused his run for the White House on three primary themes which included the lack of military readiness in case of war, streamlining the “New Deal” programs of incumbent Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the never before attempted third term candidacy of a sitting president.  In the end, Willkie lost the race, but registered 22.3 million votes nationwide (more than any previous Republican candidate at this point) and won 82 electoral votes (plurality in ten states) total. 

Willkie presidential campaign

Although defeated, the successful legacy of Wendell Willkie is celebrated in the Seton Hall Archives & Special Collections Center through the availability of varied resources regarding the candidacy of this icon in American political history.  Included are a unique set of scrapbooks donated by Maplewood resident, Mr. Jack Chance who followed this election closely and documented the 1940 race through a collected series of local and national press clippings.  Famed funeral director Mr. Gerald Spatola of Newark served as a delegate from New Jersey to the 1940 G.O.P. convention and in turn left a convention book as a reminder of civic activity on a national stage.  Additionally, our political science department has collected various campaign buttons over the years and Wendell Willkie figures prominent among them and serves a tangible reminder of his candidacy seven decades ago. We Want Willkie buttonA further point of connections was made more valid and vivid during that fall of 1940 when Willkie in the midst of a national spotlight was invited to visit campus by former College President, James Kelley, but in an October 15th letter from the candidate to the chief executive of Seton Hall he wrote regrets for being unable to make his way to South Orange, but praised the work of the school in a larger context inside the following passage…

“As a mid-Westerner, I am of course not intimately familiar with Seton Hall, but I am fully aware of the splendid educational work done by the Catholic clergy at many institutions throughout the land…the College was founded by and named for collateral ancestors of President Roosevelt.  I was extremely interested to hear of the pioneer work of Bishop Bayley and Mother Seton in New Jersey.  The State and the Nation are profiting greatly from the untiring efforts of these inspired people and others like them…It is hope that the college may long be able to continue its educational and character-building endeavors, that it may never have to encounter the hatreds and oppressions which have perverted or destroyed so many similar institutions in other lands.”

Just like 1940, if you want Willkie and learn more about his life and times please feel free to make an appointment with us to explore in further depth and detail.   We can be reached by e-mail:, or by phone:  (973) 275-2378.  Thank you in advance for your interest.


Annual Accountability – Almanacs in Action

Have you ever imagined living in another time and place?  Finding out more about daily routines in the course of recorded history through the words of historians who chronicle the story of human experience are invaluable to the present day reader.  Another useful aid is a publication(s) from the actual time period which documents the doings of a person, place, or object first hand.  With this in mind, and more specifically, materials that allow for personal reference from an annual perspective such as directories, yearbooks, and most notably almanacs provide the researcher with useful data to learn from by word and number alike.

An “almanac” (or “almanack” or “almanach” as they are sometimes referred to) by definition is an annual publication that provides weather forecasts, tide rates, astronomical data, and other relevant information in tabular form.  Modern day almanacs have evolved to include various statistical and descriptive information such as economics, government, religion, and political results among other subject areas that touch not only upon local communities, but national and world issues in brief line item and/or summary form.  The earliest known almanac published in the “modern sense” was the Almanac of Azarqueil written in 1088 by Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm, al-Zarqālī in Toledo, al-Andalus.  There have been several subsequent examples from here as found in different countries, languages, and specializations.

The Gentleman and Citizen's Almanack

One example of an international almanac found in our collection can be located in our rare book collection if you look back 280 years ago at a far different world than the one of today.  This volume entitled:  The Gentleman and Citizen’s Almanack, For the Year of Our Lord (Dublin: S. Powell, for John Watson, Bookseller to be sold at his shop on Merchants Key, near the Old Bridge, 1734) is a tome that provides a look at 18th century life in Ireland.  This book provides a traditional format with the following array of categories found in the index:  “Tide Table, Table of Twilight,” “Table of Coin and Gold Weights,” “Table for a Company Foot,” “Table of the Price of Goods,” “Table fo the Weight of Bread,” “Masters and Wardens Quarterly Assemblies,” “Roads of Ireland,” “Fairs of Ireland,” and others.  The attached illustrations provide further details on how the consumers of that day and contemporary readers can relate alike can relate to the facts and figures found here including postal service and its value for communication links before cell phones and twitter for example.

Almanac page

This particular publication provides an every day look at life in an Ireland that goes beyond the essay  alone.  This and other Irish “almanacks” from 1732-1838 and other books on the Irish experience both reference and beyond can be found here in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center.

For more information contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist at:, or (973) 275-2378.




From Overseas to Setonia – An Overview of Archival Representation & Student Life at Seton Hall

Seton Hall University Guide for International StudentsOctober is Archives Month in the United States, but it also coincides with International Celebration month observances on campus. In the spirit of documentary preservation and global appeal alike, the presence of cultural diversity at Seton Hall has been a prime part of school history as the institution has hosted numerous students from all corners of the globe from its founding in 1856 to the present day. From a historical perspective, the sons (and later daughters from 1937 onward) of first and second generation Americans comprised the majority of student representation at Setonia especially during the formative years of the school and geographical transition from its first home in Madison to the present site in South Orange. Additionally, adolescents from neighboring countries formed part of this tradition in the making. For example, the first student outside of American borders to make his mark in the registration ledger was Ernesto Regil of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico who enrolled at Seton Hall College in 1856. He was the 20th enrollee overall and he shared the first-hand experience of life on the Setonia campus with those who traced their ancestry back to Ireland, France, England and other European locales. Ernesto was followed the next year by other townsfolk from Merida including Joseph Gutierez, Francisco Plana, Lorenzo Peon, and Miguel Peon with the later two gentlemen being the first brothers from abroad to attend the school simultaneously. These trailblazers were followed by others from Cuba, Spain, France, Venezuela, and “Porto Rico” over the next three years. This success marked a steady trend of student émigrés who continued to attend Seton Hall over the next century and a half.

1856 Seton Hall Registration Ledger

As the twentieth century dawned and progressed with increased enrollment from across the world, the trend of Seton Hall and its international connections went unbroken even as the “Great War” and World War II posed a challenge to institutional stability. Enrollment increased several fold during the 1940s and after the school attained university-status in 1950, Seton Hall established a number of specialized centers shortly thereafter designed to help students and the community at large appreciate the cultural heritage of different national groups with ties to the campus. Counted among entities of this type that have been created over the last several decades include the Far Eastern Institute (now known as the Asia Center), Charles and Joan Alberto Italian Institute, Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute along with the International Institute for Clergy Formation, Institute for International Business, and Institute for Near East Archaeological Research. Many student-administered organizations from the Adelante Club for Hispanic Culture, African Student Association, Asia Student Association, Filipino League Association of Seton Hall, French Club, Italian Student Organization, Slavic Club, South Asian Students Organization, and the West Indian Student Organization to name a few have thrived due to their specific appeal and service focus features that allow students the opportunity to share and explore their roots with their classmates and other interested parties alike.

Beyond individual representation and club membership, cultural exchanges in the classroom were equally felt as classical and modern languages took place from the earliest years onward as part of the curriculum to help share texts and ideas on a closer manner if not geographically, then intellectually. Noted professors from abroad also came to the school and taught a number of classes in their respective specializations. History courses, anthropology, education and other specific class offerings cross-listed with such titles as: “History of Asian Philosophy and Culture,” Europe and the Atlantic Vista, 1500-1800,” and the “Diplomatic History of Latin America,” to name a few have graced our bulletins of information and general catalogues over the last century and a half. All majors and minors alike in their respective fields of study have benefitted from some type of worldview in the course of their schedule selection and ultimate educational path. The heritage of global interaction has increased dramatically especially with the growth of the United Nations and the call for those who want a career that literally explores the world in action. Therefore, those who chose to make global welfare a priority have contributed to the eventual evolution of the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations formally founded in 1998. Collectively, the planet and Seton Hall remain in sync through these ties to the past along with a future promise of student interest in keeping the tradition of internationalism in all its varied forms alive and well on campus.

McQuaid Hall    Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations: Seton Hall University    Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations cover

At the Archives & Special Collections Center we house various materials that document the international experience at Seton Hall from a number of different perspectives. It is our pleasure to share these resources with those who want to explore the cultural and national diversity of our student, faculty, and admnistraors over the years. For more information regarding collections relating to Seton Hall University history please contact: Alan Delozier, University Archivist –; (973) 275-2378. Thank you and bienvenue!

Better Living Through Chemistry & Setonia – An Exhibit Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the First Ph.D. Program on Campus

Group of people in front of the Science buildingThe history of Chemistry at Seton Hall had its start as a study option from the beginning days of its move to South Orange as part of the early “Mathematical Course” during the mid-nineteenth century.  From here, Chemistry became a very popular attraction from which pupils found a means of scientific expression that would expand greatly after World War II on both the undergraduate and graduate level prior to the introduction of doctoral level offerings by the mid-1960s.  This discipline has subsequently grown and endured as an important major choice of many students into the present day.  With this in mind, a celebration of Chemistry and its place on campus is presently on display at the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center.

Early Seton Hall College catalogueThis exhibit will provide a brief textual and visual overview showcasing the evolution of how the wonder of Chemistry has made its impact on the life of students, faculty, and the world at large.  Included are various early nineteenth century written works and mid-twentieth century primers from our Rare Book and Setonia Text Book Collections that celebrate the development of Chemistry experimentation and have practical applications to pioneering practitioners in the field.

On a more local level, viewers will find lecture notes taken by Seton Hall student Alden A. Freeman during the 1879-80 term, information about pioneering faculty members, and photographic examples that show the evolution of lab space and structures over the years from Alumni Hall to the present day McNulty Science complex.  Of particular note is the dissertation and a biographical sketch acknowledging the contributions of our first Ph.D. recipient Dr. William N. Knopka during the mid-1960s.  Additional textual examples from the University Archives and tools of the trade on loan through the courtesy of Mr. David Edwards from the Science Department show further details regarding the curriculum, public programming, and student life associated with the Chemistry Department over its last five decades of educational outreach to the scientific community.

Early Chemistry Department booklet: Graduate Studies in Chemistry and Biochemistry: Ph.D. and M.S. Degrees

Hopefully your reaction will be a positively charged one while taking in the historical relevance of how Chemistry and Seton Hall evolved successfully over time.

NJCHC Spring 2013 Conference Announcement…

Have You Ever Wanted to Learn More About What Goes into Making a Book and Meet Local Authors in the Process? Then We Have a Program for You!

Please join the New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission and friends on Saturday, April 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Motherhouse located on the campus of Caldwell College, located in Caldwell, New Jersey for a conference entitled…

“The Art of the Printed Word – Historical Book Creation, From Prayer to Preparation to Publication.”

This program will serve as a showcase the recent publication of Catholic history oriented books, periodicals, and other print resources, but is also designed to show each the steps that go into making a book from idea, research options, the importance of writing and how to achieve a finished product. Speakers will present short talks on their work and will also welcome questions in relation to their expertise.  Noted authors including Father Augustine Curley, Carl Ganz, Father Michael Krull, Monsignor Raymond Kupke, Sister Margherita Marchione, Tom McCabe, Brian Regan, Greg Tobin, and others will be present to talk about their experiences and tell you more about the publication process. A major portion of this day will also be devoted for those interested in sharing their own research and interact with the speakers in more depth.

Those doing any type of publishing whether it be institutional and/or parish histories, articles, newsletters, and other specialized volumes are encouraged to attend.

Registration is now open. The cost for the day is $20.00 (students $10.00) per person and this includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and conference materials. You can register at the door, but advance notice is appreciated. To reserve a space and/or for more information please contact Alan DeLozier via e-mail:, or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.