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New Finding Aids from the Archives and Special Collections Center: Spring 2013

As part of our efforts to describe all of our collections online, a number of new finding aids have been posted during the spring semester.

Collections from the Archdiocese of Newark that have had new finding aids posted include the papers of three auxiliary bishops, the records of several offices of the Archdiocese, and the records of some related organizations. Collections from University Archives include the papers of a number of past presidents of the University as well as the records of the College of Education and Human Services and the National Defense Language Institute. Manuscript collections include the papers of several important figures in University history as well as documentation on events in the Archdiocese.

The papers of three auxiliary bishops of the Archdiocese, Bishop Justin J. McCarthy, Bishop Martin W. Stanton, and Bishop Joseph A. Francis, now have finding aids and catalog records. The Justin J. McCarthy papers, 1936-1959, ADN 0003.004, include the sermons and lecture notes of Bishop McCarthy, who was a graduate of Seton Hall College, Immaculate Conception Seminary, and the North American College in Rome, was the pastor of Our Lady of Sorrows in South Orange, and was a spiritual director of and professor of theology at Immaculate Conception Seminary in the 1930s-1950s. The Martin W. Stanton papers, 1957-1977 (bulk 1957-1961), ADN 0003.005, are the papers of Bishop Stanton, a New Jersey native who attended the Immaculate Conception Seminary and Fordham University, where he received his doctorate in sacred theology, and who attended all sessions of the Second Vatican Council; the collection includes correspondence from Bishop Stanton’s time in Rome for the first session of Vatican 2 as well as correspondence on his ordination as bishop. The Joseph A. Francis papers, 1934-1997, ADN 0003.011, are the papers of Bishop Francis, the fourth African-American Roman Catholic bishop and the first ordained in the Northeast, and who was an important figure in discussions of race and religion in the United States; the papers include correspondence, writings, sermons and speeches, photographs, and awards.

Bishop Francis and James Earl Jones
Bishop Francis and James Earl Jones, in the Joseph A. Francis papers, 1934-1997, ADN 0003.011.

Several offices or former offices of the Archdiocese of Newark have generated collections which are now described in online finding aids and in the catalog. The Apostolic Nuncio records of the Archdiocese of Newark, 1950-2000 (bulk 1987-2000), ADN 0031 are the records gathered by the Archdiocese of Newark from communication with the Apostolic Nuncio, who is the top diplomatic representative of the Holy See to the United States and is usually the point of contact for American bishops and dioceses to the Vatican. This collection includes a variety of correspondence as well as materials related to the Rome and Vatican City Project Overview. The Mount Carmel Guild of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1929-1974, bulk 1929-1937, ADN 0040, documents the activities of the Mount Carmel Guild, a division of the Associate Catholic Charities providing assistance to individuals and families in need that has since been absorbed into Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark; the collection includes materials related to the soup kitchen, ministry to individuals seeking American citizenship, ministry to the physically and mentally handicapped, and social justice work performed by the Guild. The Office of Research and Planning of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1975-1989, ADN 0063, includes materials related to the work of the Office of Research and Planning, which defines Archdiocesan goals, develops and directs the overall short and long range plans and objectives of the Archdiocese, and develops programs to meet the needs of the Archdiocese. Projects documented in the collection include the merger of Associated Catholic Charities, the office of the Secretariat, Archdiocesan hospitals, ethnic studies, and team ministries. The Vicar for Religious of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1930-1974 (bulk 1950-1960), ADN 0073, contain the records from the office of the Vicar for Religious, now known as the Delegate for Religious, who serves as the liaison between the Archbishop and members of religious orders in the Diocese; this collection primarily consists of correspondence between the Vicar and members of women’s religious communities on topics including contracts for teachers, ceremonies, canonization of Foundresses of orders, and other concerns.

Organizations related to the Archdiocese of Newark also have collections with new finding aids. The Legion of Decency of the Archdiocese of Newark records, 1954-1978, ADN 0055, are the records of the Legion of Decency, an organization dedicated to determining the moral content (objectionable or acceptable) of motion pictures in the United States, which  was later absorbed into the organization that became the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the collection primarily consists of index cards with the titles of films and a rating given by the Legion, as well as some correspondence and documentation related to activities in Essex County. The Fratres in Unum newsletters, 1963-1969, ADN 0057 includes issues of Fratres in Unum, a newsletter created by priests of the Archdiocese for priests discussing social issues as well as local concerns. The à Kempis of New Jersey records, 1984-1997 (bulk 1991-1997), ADN 0082 include records for à Kempis of New Jersey, a women’s charitable organization that hosted speakers and raised money for charity.

The records of the first several Presidents of Seton Hall University have had new finding aids published this semester, including Bernard J. McQuaid, Michael A. Corrigan, James H. Corrigan,  Joseph Synott, John A. Stafford,  James F. Mooney, Thomas H. McLaughlin, Francis J. Monaghan,  James F. Kelley, John L. McNulty, and John Joseph Dougherty. The Office of the President and Chancellor records include the professional papers of these men as well as some personal items, and range in size and scope from the Office of the President of Seton Hall University: James H. Corrigan records, 1877-1888, SHU 0003.004 and the Office of the President of Seton Hall University: Joseph Synott records, 1898-1899, SHU 0003.006, each containing only two items, to the Office of the President of Seton Hall University: John Joseph Dougherty records, 1959-1969, SHU 0003.013, which is 11 linear feet of material from the President who oversaw a large expansion of facilities and the introduction of co-educational classes. The contents of the collections vary somewhat, from the Office of the President of Seton Hall University: Bernard J. McQuaid records, 1865-1866, SHU 0003.001, which consists entirely of correspondence to the first President of the University, to the Office of the President of Seton Hall University: John L. McNulty records, 1931-1970, SHU 0003.012, which includes everything from appointment books to speeches to legal files to personal files. The Office of the President of Seton Hall University: Michael A. Corrigan records, 1869-1873, SHU 0003.003, includes correspondence and bills from the man who left the position of President to become Bishop of New York. The Office of the President of Seton Hall University: Francis J. Monaghan records, 1932-1936, SHU 0003.010, Office of the President of Seton Hall University: James F. Kelley records, 1920-1995, SHU 0003.011, Office of the President of Seton Hall University: Thomas H. McLaughlin records, 1923-1946, SHU 0003.009, Office of the President of Seton Hall University: James F. Mooney records, 1900-1928, SHU 0003.008, and Office of the President of Seton Hall University: John A. Stafford records, 1889-1907, SHU 0003.007 all also document times of change and growth in the University and its community. Functions and policies of the University are also documented in the Office of the Associate Provost of Seton Hall University: Joseph Stetar records, 1984-1990, SHU 0005.007. In addition to records from administrative offices, the University Archives also holds the records for many individual schools, colleges, and departments, three of which had new finding aids published recently. The College of Education and Human Services of Seton Hall University records, 1956-2002 (bulk 1956-1977), SHU 0013, primarily consists of annual reports, curriculum guides, alumni event programs and information, surveys and reports on teacher certification, bulletins, and some photographs. The School of Health & Medical Sciences of Seton Hall University records, 1987-2000, SHU 0017, primarily documents conferences, budgets, development of programs within the department, and correspondence. The National Defense Language Institute at Seton Hall University reports, 1962-1974, SHU 0035, documents a non-current program that was run by the United States Armed Forces, partnered with colleges and universities, to teach military personnel (and later civilians) a variety of foreign languages.

The personal collections of several faculty and benefactors of Seton Hall University have recently been made available via new finding aids and catalog records. The William T. and Marie Henderson family papers, 1930-1989, Mss 0008, are the papers of William and Marie Henderson, who were very involved with the University and South Orange communities and who were generous benefactors of the school; the collection includes correspondence and materials documenting the couples’ involvement with various charitable organizations. The Rose Thering papers, 1944-2005, Mss 0016, are the personal and professional papers of Sr. Rose Thering, a sister of the Order of Saint Dominic,  professor at the Institute for Judeao-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University, outspoken activist in favor of Judeao-Christian relations, and an instrumental figure in the creation of legislation in 1994 mandating that the Holocaust be taught in New Jersey schools; her work was also referenced in deliberations for the Nostra Aetate: Declaration on the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, a document adopted at the Second Vatican Council that reversed the Roman Catholic Church’s official position on relations with the Jewish religion and people. Her legacy is remembered in the Sister Rose Thering Fund, an endowment created to provide assistance to teachers in taking courses in Jewish-Christian Studies. The collection includes research materials, correspondence, photographs, and other materials. The Miriam Rooney papers, 1930-1965, Mss 0039, are the papers of Miriam Rooney, a lawyer, the first dean of the Seton Hall University Law School (making her the first female dean of a law school in the United States), and a professor of law; the collection includes letters from friends, a diary, photographs, and religious papers.

Portrait of Sister Rose
Portrait of Sister Rose, in the Rose Thering papers, 1944-2005, Mss 0016.

Two additional collections related to Catholic subjects in the New Jersey region have had finding aids posted this semester. The Collection on the Cause for Pierre Touissaint, 1991-2000, Mss 0036, was created from two separate donations to the Center regarding the cause for sainthood of Pierre Touissaint, who was born into slavery in 1766 in what is now Haiti and moved with his family and master to New York; the collection primarily consists of newspaper clippings describing the life and cause for sainthood of Pierre Toussaint, as well as photographs, correspondence, and mass cards related to Pierre Toussaint. The Collection on Pope John Paul II’s visits to the United States, 1979-1996 (bulk 1995), Mss 0044, documents the visit of Pope John Paul II to Newark and surrounding areas in 1995 through documents, memorabilia, photographs, and other materials, and refers to previous visits the Pope made to the United States.

All of these collections and many others are available for research at the Monsignor William Noe Field Archives and Special Collections Center Monday through Friday, 9-5. Please call ahead to make an appointment to view materials, or visit our web page for more information. Some materials are available online through our Digital Field Archives and Special Collections Center, and the number of digital items available any time continues to grow. Stay tuned for further developments and more fascinating materials from the Vault!

The Thomas and Margaret Melady papers: a Window to Africa of the ’60s and ’70s.

Thomas and Margaret Melady papers
Thomas and Margaret Melady papers, Mss 0072

Ambassador Thomas P. and Dr. Margaret B. Melady have been involved in diplomatic and international affairs since the 1950s, particularly on the continent of Africa. Ambassador Melady has held multiple diplomatic posts for the United States, including Ambassador to Burundi, Ambassador to Uganda, and Ambassador to the Holy See, and is the new Interim Dean of the Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations here at Seton Hall University. Dr. Melady is an alumnus of Seton Hall, a former President of the American University in Rome, and is now the President of Melady Associates, a firm specializing in public affairs and educational counseling. The couple have written multiple books on politics in Africa, including Ten African Heroes: The Sweep of Independence in Black Africa, published in 2011.

The correspondence and personal papers that formed the core of the research for that book are a part of a new archival collection held at the Archives and Special Collections Center, the Thomas and Margaret Melady papers, 1959-2010 (bulk 1960-1975). The collection is the gift of Ambassador and Dr. Melady, and documents their involvement with many of the individuals responsible for the vast political changes that took place over the whole continent of Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. In addition to the ten men featured in the book, who feature prominently in the collection, there are letters from dozens of other individuals and organizations, photographs, and newsclippings documenting that turbulent time.

Thomas Melady first went to Africa in the 1950s while working for the Foreign Service. He and Margaret Badum married in 1961, and the couple spent a great deal of their time in Africa throughout the 1960s and 1970s, deeply involved in diplomatic and political events all over the continent.  Thomas Melady also started the Africa Service Institute, an organization dedicated to the education and advancement of students and leaders in Africa. The materials in the Thomas and Margaret Melady papers cover 36 nations and areas from Angola to Zimbabwe, and cover a range of topics from the intensely personal to the course of nations. Correspondents include political leaders, such as Léopold Sédar Senghor, William V.S. Tubman, and Kenneth David Kaunda; Catholic officials such as Archbishop Jean Zoa of Yaoundé and Archbishop Luc-Auguste Sangare of Bamako; fellow diplomats from and to the United States or the United Nations; students, academics, priests, and many others. Topics include political events in Africa and the United States, the role of racism in politics of the day, requests for assistance from the Africa Service Institute, personal notes of thanks and updates, and a wide variety of conversational subjects.

This rich collection was described in detail by the Meladys before coming to the Archives, and that original description forms the majority of the finding aid. While no materials from the collection have yet been digitized, the entire original collection is available at the Archives and Special Collections Center, on the first floor of Walsh Library. Please see our Hours page to find Hours and Directions, or Contact Us to make an appointment.

The book Ten African Heroes is also available in the Archives and Special Collections Center.

John M. Oesterreicher Books and Journals

The personal library of Mgsr. John M. Oesterreicher is just one aspect of his extensive collection available in the Archives and Special Collection Center. His personal library contained more than 5300 monographs and over 150 journal titles. As of this month all of Msgr. Oesterriecher’s books are available through the Seton Hall University library catalog and a list of journals is available through the collection’s finding aid. These materials date from the early 20th century through his death in 1993, and focus on Catholicism, Judaeo-Christian Studies and anti-Semitism. It includes works in English, German, French and Hebrew.

John M. Oesterreicher presents The Bridge IV to Pope Paul VI
John M. Oesterreicher presents The Bridge IV to Pope Paul VI, from the John M. Oesterreicher papers, Mss 0053. See this and other images from the Oesterreicher collection at the Digital Field Archives and Special Collections Center.

Mgsr. Oesterreicher was born February 2, 1904 in Stadt-Liebau, Moravia, then a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, into a Jewish family. He studied theology at the Universities of Graz and Vienna, was ordained to the priesthood in 1927, and in 1953 he founded the Institute for Judaeo-Christian Studies at Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ. He served as consultor to the Secretariat for Christian Unity during several sessions of the Second Vatican Council and was named an Honorary Prelate in recognition of his work. Msgr. Oesterreicher was a prolific author, publishing several books, an underground journal in Germany in the 1930s, many pamphlets, and numerous articles. He passed away in 1993.

Contributed by Len Iannaccone.

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: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu, or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.

Irish Studies, Scrúdaigh & Special Collections…

Taighde a thionscnamh.  March is widely recognized as the time when the feast of St. Patrick is celebrated, but it has also been specially designated as Irish history month.  In the spirit of learning not only about the patron saint of Ireland, but more extensively about the history, culture, arts, spirituality, language, literature, and other aspects about, and emanating from Éire we encourage your research curiosity to flow here in the Archives & Special Collections Center.  We welcome you to explore our primary source print materials along with a wide range of book titles from our McManus, Murphy, and Concannon collections among other specialized holdings available for review.

Please consult our Irish Studies LibGuide for more information about the wider value of na Gaeil experience and locating relevant materials through our various resource catalogs.  This site provides a central gateway to further inquiry.

We look forward to working with you and fostering a true “foghlaim” (learning) experience.  Go raibh maith agat!

New Exhibit at Archives, Walsh Library

The Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center has installed a new exhibit in the cases facing the Walsh Gallery. Comprising recent acquisitions of objects in the Archdiocese of Newark collections, varied pieces related to bishops, priests and parishes illustrate the rich and varied history of the Catholic Archdiocese for which Seton Hall is the University.

Cardinal McCarrick box
Glass box with Cardinal McCarrick’s coat of arms

In the bishops’ case there are pogs commemorating Pope John Paul II’s visit to New York and New Jersey in 1995 along with a scarf and medals for the Jubilee year 2000 under Archbishop, now Theodore Cardinal McCarrick. There is also a glass box celebrating his 25th anniversary of episcopal ordination when he became a bishop. Archbishop Emeritus Peter Leo Gerety who this past summer celebrated his 100th birthday making him the oldest bishop in the Western Hemisphere received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Sr. Rose Thering Endowment in 2000 which can be seen along with several pins and buttons from St. Patrick’s Day parades, Cathedral masses and related to the Holy Name Society and the World Trade Center.

The second case contains materials related more to priests and parishes from Rev. J. A. McHale’s police chaplain’s badge and identification to playing cards observing the Sesquicentennial [150th Anniversary] of Holy Trinity Parish, Hackensack and a T-shirt honoring the annual Feast of St. Gerard celebrated by the parish of St. Lucy, Newark.

The exhibit can be seen any time the Walsh Library is open from the hallway between the Walsh Gallery and the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center on the ground floor of the Walsh Library. For hours please visit the Library’s home page.

Catholic Studies: Primary Sources & Special Collections LibGuide

In collaboration with the Department of Catholic Studies and University Libraries, Catholic Studies: Primary Sources and Special Collections, featuring archival resources housed in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, has been created to inform the community about our unique primary source offerings that focus upon Catholicism in its varied forms.  Like other LibGuides that are designed to help individuals navigate their way through a particular subject area, this guide provides students, faculty, and others with research leads through a series of abstracts, site links, and relevant information boxes.

Catholic Studies LibGuide

The major feature of this particular LibGuide is providing detailed lists of finding aids created by Professor Tracy M. Jackson (who also co-edits this site), grouped by subject, that describe unique manuscript collections housed within our Center.  Those related to the Catholic Church can be found under designated heading tabs including: Catholic New Jersey; Catholic Church History, 19th Century; Catholic Church History, 20th Century; Women in the Catholic Church; and Catholic Organizations. Collections belonging to the parent organizations of the Center are listed under University Archives Collections and Archdiocese of Newark Collections.  In addition to these, the personal and professional papers of various Catholic political legislators including former New Jersey Governors Richard Hughes and Brendan Byrne along with notable figures such as Bernard Shanley, Matthew Rinaldo, Marcus Daly and Leonard Dreyfus are also well represented.

This guide also highlights collections and materials held outside of the Center. Special sections highlighting unique bibles found at the Immaculate Conception Seminary, rare book holding descriptions and traditional reference guides such as almanacs, directories, and encyclopedia citations held in Walsh Library are provided for context.  Information leads connecting to local research centers and libraries featuring other Catholic based resource materials can also be found via this site.

A companion guide, Catholic Studies, produced by Professor Anthony E. Lee gives information about general research in Catholic Studies. Or visit our other LibGuides specifically related to Archives & Special Collections.

Archives and Special Collections LibGuides

To help make our collections more accessible, the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center has two LibGuides designed to assist researchers and students in finding materials.

Special Collections LibGuide
Special Collections LibGuide

LibGuides are collections of resources put together by librarians and library staff. A LibGuide is a handy way to gather together information about a particular subject by providing links to library databases, links to outside websites, lists of books or materials, how-to instructions, videos, RSS feeds, and even documents for download. Librarians at Seton Hall have created LibGuides on areas of study, how to conduct research, using the library, and many useful topics for students and members of the SHU community.

The Center’s LibGuides are geared to assist students and researchers in conducting primary source research. The Special Collections at Seton Hall University LibGuide is our newest and most extensive LibGuide. This guide groups our collections by topic and provides a brief description of each one, and includes information on archival collections, rare book collections, and other materials that are not housed in the Archives and Special Collections Center on the first floor of Walsh Library. In order to assist students and other users with finding as much material that may be relevant to their research as possible, this guide also includes descriptions of materials that may not have any other online descriptions yet, such as unprocessed archival collections, and materials at other Seton Hall locations, such as the Rodino Law Library in Newark. To further assist researchers, a tab called Forms and Policies includes information useful to those who wish to conduct research at the Center, or to request services. This guide is still being developed, and more information on materials and collections at Seton Hall will be added, along with information on how to conduct primary source research and how to access digital materials.

The Finding Aids LibGuide includes links to all current online finding aids, and is updated as soon as a new finding aid is posted. This LibGuide is primarily for providing quick access to finding aids and may be most useful for those researchers who are somewhat familiar with our collections or who want to know which finding aids are available online.

150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation: Civil War materials in the Archives and Special Collections Center

150 years ago, the country was deeply embroiled in war. The American Civil War began when seven Southern states (South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas) seceded from the Union. After fighting began in April of 1861, four more Southern states (Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina) joined the Confederate States of America in fighting the United States of America, leading to the bloodiest conflict in American history. The issue of slavery was at the heart of Southern secession, driving questions of states’ rights verses federal rights and the vast economic differences between North and South. Ultimately, the 1860 election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States on a platform that emphasized abolitionist politics literally divided the nation.

On 22 September 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing enslaved people in the Confederate States. This did not officially end slavery by law (the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution did that, in 1865), but it was an important first step that emphasized ending slavery as a goal of the war and freed enslaved people in the Confederacy as the Union Army advanced. After four horrific years of fighting, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on 9 April, 1865. The war ended and the Confederacy dissolved; slavery had ended. But there yet remained a long struggle for economic recovery in the South, and although slavery was now officially over, African Americans were denied equal rights and the protection of the law in most of the country. Issues of civil rights and race relations, as well as how this nation governs itself, continue to be debated, and the events and politics of the Civil War still shape our world today.

In the Monsignor William Noe Field Archives and Special Collections Center, we have several collections that deal directly or indirectly with the history of the Civil War. Highlighted below are Rare Book materials, the Seton Jevons family papers, the Salt family letters, and the Confederate States of America Treasury bond.

Four book collections, totaling almost 2,500 volumes, focus on secondary sources analyzing and interpreting the conflict, its causes, its characters, and its impact. The Reverent Pierce Byrne Civil War collection, the Gerald Murphy Civil War collection, and the Schoch Family Civil War collection include numerous books on a wide variety of Civil War topics, while the Julius C. Landeheim Lincoln collection includes books and print materials on the 16th President.

Several note-worthy books from the period immediately following the war are in these collections, including John Abbott’s The history of the Civil War in America and Joel Headley’s The great rebellion; a history of the civil war in the United States, both published in 1866. The Byrne collection includes multiple issues of Harper’s Weekly, which gave detailed accounts of the battles and events of the war, often accompanied by woodcut illustrations. The Gerald Murphy collection includes a medal bearing the likeness of Ulysses S. Grant and a facsimile of the original document commonly known as the Treaty of Appomattox, written by Ulysses S. Grant on 9 April 1865 and detailing the terms of the surrender of Robert E. Lee. The Landeheim collection includes early Lincoln biographies by Ward Lamon, Life of Abraham Lincoln from 1872, and William Henry Herndon and Jesse William Weik, Herndon’s Lincoln from 1889.

The Seton Jevons family papers is an extensive collection of archival material including family letters discussing the Civil War and its impact. Two Seton brothers, William Seton, Jr. and Henry Seton, both grand-children of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, fought in the Civil War on the Union side. William Seton, Jr. was a captain in the 4th New York Volunteers and Henry was also a captain. The collection includes correspondence between William Seton, Jr. and his parents and sisters during the war, as well as letters between two members of the Jevons family, Thomas and William, who lived in England at the time. Thomas Jevons later married Isabel Seton, sister to William Jr. and Henry and another grandchild of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. In the correspondence of the Seton brothers, William Jr. and Henry, there are notes and letters from enlisted men and fellow officers requesting leave or discussing business, as well as from each other and family members. William Jr. was injured in combat in 1862, and several letters refer to the effects of this injury. The Jevons brothers, William Stanley and Thomas, were living in England but wrote frequently to each other and discussed the events in America as news of the day. They had differing opinions on the possible outcome of the war, and neither seemed to think very highly of the United States government in general: William S. wrote in a letter dated 5 August 1861, possibly reacting to news of the Battle of Bull Run, “I had no doubt and do not now doubt that the North have the physical power sufficient to win ultimately, but it might take ten years or so, something in the style of English wars, and you may judge what chance there is of Yankees remaining of one mind for 10 years.” Six months later, on 12 February 1862, Henry wrote, “… though I think that we have hardly realized what a blow the rebellion is to the Northerners, yet I cannot but believe it is a lesson that will do them immense good, and that instead of one immoral badly governed country, we may within the next fifty years have two tolerably respectable communities.” While they both turned out to be incorrect in the details of their predictions, their opinions offer unique insight into foreign perspectives on the war. Several of these letters are in the process of being digitized, while some images from the collection are already online, including this photograph that includes Thomas E. Jevons and Isabel Seton Jevons.

A newly processed collection of family letters, the Salt family letters, gives a different first-hand look at life during the Civil War. William Salt, Jr. was teaching school in an Army fort in Arkansas at the outbreak of the conflict, and he wrote his sister to describe the events surrounding the transfer of the fort from Union to Confederate control. We know that Salt, a New York native who later became Father William Salt, a teacher and administrator at Seton Hall College, was conscripted into the Confederate Army and served for some time before making his way home to family in New York on foot; the collection of letters does not directly document this period of his life, but the letters describing Arkansas at the start of the war are detailed. Other members of the family, living primarily in New York at the time, discuss life continuing on despite the conflict, and mention in passing history-altering events. A cousin of the Salts, Elinor Gustin, comments at the end of one letter full of family updates, including where several male relatives are stationed: “These are awful times, who of us ever expected to see such a state of affairs in our once glorious country.” She then mentions the “great excitement” caused by the Emancipation Proclamation before calmly reminding her cousin to write back. Several of these letters (but by no means all) have been digitized, and while the majority of the collection dates from the post-war years, these first-hand accounts of life during the war paint sharply different pictures of North and South.

Another unique item dating from the Civil War is the Confederate Treasury bond, discovered at Seton Hall in 2003. The bond was issued by the Confederate Treasury in February 1864, one of the last group of bonds to be issued by the increasingly desperate Confederate government as it attempted everything possible to continue funding a war that was going very badly. Issued for $1,000, the bond was for a period of thirty years and would have allowed the collection of thirty dollars ($30) in interest every six months. Interestingly, the first two interest coupons are missing, suggesting that whoever purchased the bond was living in the South at the time. The exact provenance of the bond is unknown, but was discovered in a safe in the Office of the President; given that it seems extremely unlikely that the President of Seton Hall College (Reverend Bernard J. McQuaid was President from 1859-1868) would or could have purchased the bond, it was most likely stored there for safe-keeping years later, before the Archives were formed, and then forgotten. This item has not yet been digitized.

Of course, even the items listed here have more information to share, and there is plenty of additional material to explore in the Archives. After 150 years, there is still a great deal to learn about and from the Civil War and how it has shaped our nation. To start your exploration, email us, call us, or make an appointment to view materials in person. And don’t forget to check out the ever-growing Digital Archives and Special Collections Center!

Introducing the Digital Field Archives and Special Collections Center

The Monsignor William Noe Field Archives and Special Collections Center is pleased to announce a new digital collection: the Digital Field Archives and Special Collections Center. This broad new collection of digital objects will include representative images from a number of our Manuscript, Seton Hall University, and Archdiocese of Newark collections. As part of the A&SCC’s efforts to provide more digital images and items from a wider range of collections, this digital collection will be added to regularly with diverse items representing many individuals, families, communities, subjects, and historical periods that can be found in the materials here on the first floor of Walsh Library.

Currently included in the Digital Field A&SCC are items from the Seton Jevons family papers (Mss 0005 finding aid), the Salt family letters (Mss 0035 finding aid), and the W. Paul Stillman papers (Mss 0011 finding aid). These materials include family letters, photographs, a telegram, and an envelope advertising Merchant’s Gargling Oil Liniment, a topical treatment “for man or beast” in use during the 19th century. Soon to be added to the Digital Field A&SCC will be business correspondence and early 20th century records of men’s and women’s Catholic organizations, as well as additional materials to be selected as new collections are processed.

From the collection homepage, you can search for specific items or keywords in the search bar at the top of the page, or click Browse All to view all items currently available in the collection. Be sure to bookmark the Digital Field Archives and Special Collections site, or subscribe to the RSS for regular updates as new items are added!