Our Online Finding Aids Get a Face Lift

Here at the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center we have many wonderful archival collections containing a vast assemblage of historical artifacts, images, documents, and information. As part of our continuing efforts to make these resources more easily and readily available, we are working hard on making the descriptions of these materials easier to find and use. Finding aids for archival collections, the basic descriptions of and guides to the materials in collections, are now available as standalone web pages, available from our Online Finding Aids page.

The Online Finding Aids page will have a continually updated list of all the collection finding aids currently available as webpages, listed by the collection number and grouped by Manuscript Collections, Seton Hall University Collections, and Archdiocese of Newark Collections. To view the finding aid for a given collection, simply click on the link in the collection title. The finding aid for that collection will include information about the creator(s) of the collection, the types of materials the collection includes, and subjects covered by the collection. Use the navigation menu on the left side of the page for easier use of the finding aid, or use the command Control F to search for keywords.

Previously, our online finding aids were available through our Digital Collections site, via the Archives and Special Collections Finding Aids page. These finding aids will continue to be available, until they too can be updated.

Because finding aids are descriptions of the materials, they do not include digitized materials; to view the collections and materials described on this site, come visit the Archives and Special Collections Center in person (see our homepage for more information), or explore our Digital Collections. And keep an eye on this site for further developments!

Immaculate Conception Seminary History Presentation

wisterPlease join us on Wednesday, April 13th 2011 at 3:00 p.m. in the Dean’s Suite of Walsh Library to celebrate the  publication of the sesquicentennial history of the Immaculate Conception Seminary entitled:  Stewards of the Mysteries of God: Immaculate Conception Seminary, 1860 – 2010.  Author Monsignor Robert James Wister has provided a detailed and well-written historical treatment of the events, individuals and spirituality that has marked the growth and marvel that is the Immaculate Conception Seminary.

Monsignor Wister will deliver a slide presentation with images and excerpts from this volume and books will be available for purchase and to be signed personally by the author.

This event is Free of Charge and Open to the Public.  Light refreshments will be served.

For more information contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist at (973) 275-2378, or via e-mail at:  Alan.Delozier@shu.edu

BOOK DETAILS SESQUICENTENNIAL HISTORY OF UNIVERSITY’S IMMACUALTE CONCEPTION SEMINARY

Author captures events, individuals and spirituality that have marked the growth

(South Orange, NJ) – On Wednesday, April 13, 2011, Monsignor Robert James Wister will mark the publication of his new book, Stewards of the Mysteries of God: Immaculate Conception Seminary, 1860 – 2010, with a signing in the Dean’s Suite of Walsh Library at 3 p.m.

With this new narrative, Wister has provided a detailed, scrupulously researched and well-written historical treatment of the University’s Immaculate Conception Seminary.

“The story of the Seminary is a fascinating study of the religious, political, social, and ethnic history of New Jersey,” says Wister. “No aspect of regional or local history has failed to have an impact on the Seminary, and through its graduates, the Seminary has had a great and positive effect on society in general.”

The major seminary of the Archdiocese of Newark is currently in the midst of celebrating 150 years of forming priests for God’s people, with Sesquicentennial festivities continuing through December 2011. For a complete list of dates and events, visit theology.shu.edu.

“We are approaching a great time in the history of Immaculate Conception Seminary,” says Monsignor Robert Coleman, Rector and Dean. “As one of the very few seminaries founded before the Civil War which continues to serve the Church’s mission today, we rejoice in the great history of these 150 years and are filled with hope and confidence for a future of continued growth and service.”

Founded in 1860 by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley, Immaculate Conception Seminary was first known by many as the “Diocesan Seminary” and the “Ecclesiastical Seminary.” A staple of Seton Hall College, its first class consisted of nine enrolled seminarians. Today, its rich and diverse student body represents such countries as Nigeria, Poland, Nicaragua and the United States. Its various academic offerings include a Master of Arts in Theology and a Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry, in addition to its Master of Divinity. In 2007, the Seminary also added a Bachelor of Arts in Catholic Theology to its repertoire, which enrolled 95 students as of last fall.

Though Immaculate Conception Seminary continues to evolve over the passing years, its core focus remains unchanged: to provide the human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation needed for priests to serve the Catholic Church.

“It is important to recognize that in the midst of so many challenges in the life of the Church, that the Seminary is a strong and healthy institution that will contribute to moving the Church forward, and bringing God’s Kingdom into the hearts of more people,” says Wister.

During the event, Wister will deliver a slide presentation with images and excerpts from this volume, and copies of the book will be available for purchase and autographs. Light refreshments will be served.

The event is free, and is open to the University community, as well as the general public. For more information, please contact

About Seton Hall University

For 154 years, Seton Hall University has been a catalyst for leadership, developing the whole student, mind, heart and spirit. Seton Hall combines the resources of a large university with the personal attention of a small liberal arts college. Its attractive suburban campus is only 14 miles by train, bus or car to New York City, with the wealth of employment, internship, cultural and entertainment opportunities the city offers. Seton Hall is a Catholic university that embraces students of all races and religions, challenging each other to better the world through integrity, compassion, and a commitment to serving others. For more information, visit the University’s website.

Salt Letters Home To Setonia

Father William SaltHandwritten letter from the Salt collectionHandwritten letter from the Salt collection

The Seton Hall University Libraries is proud to announce the acquisition of the Father William Salt Letters.  This large collection of approximately 500 original letters (along with a small amount of ephemera) from the estate of Father William Salt (1837-1890), Catholic priest and renowned figure at Seton Hall University will be housed in the Archives & Special Collections Center and made available to researchers upon request.  The letters date from 1808-1901, with the majority from 1840-1880. Approximately 140 of the letters were written by Father Salt with the balance written by members of his family. These letters were consolidated into a single collection by Mr. Jim Martin, a history expert and resident of Bath, New York, which coincidentally is where Father Salt was raised during the mid-nineteenth century.

William Salt was born in Brooklyn, New York, the eldest of nine children.  His parents were Baptists, but Father Salt joined the Protestant Episcopal Church in 1859, when he also decided to enter the ministry. He later taught at a parish school in Van Buren, Arkansas, and letters from the 1860-61 period provide details of the many events during this important period in American history.  One of these letters is an illuminating narrative of the Confederate occupation of Ft. Smith during the early days of the Civil War. These Arkansas-era letters show that the Reverend Salt’s sympathies rested with the Confederate cause. Additional Civil War-era letters exist from his family members, including one from his sister Elinor discussing the Emancipation Proclamation.  On the advice of his Bishop he entered the Theological Seminary at Camden, South Carolina, in 1861 from which he was drafted into the Confederate army, and served for nearly three years. He eventually made the journey home to Bath on foot, where he was ordained a deacon and assigned to a local church in Sodus Point, New York.

Later letters include Father Salt’s time in Sodus Point, a letter to his father announcing his conversion to Catholicism, descriptions of his studies in Rome, Italy, and a great many letters from Seton Hall University, with early stationery and envelopes dating from shortly after the school was founded in 1856.  Father Salt studied philosophy at Seton Hall, and was sent to study at American College in Rome, until his health failed and he was obliged to return to New Jersey before completing his theological studies. He returned to Seton Hall, continued his course of studies and was ordained a priest on June 3, 1871.  Soon after ordination he was appointed Professor of Logic at the school and held various positions at the school throughout his career until he retired in 1889.  He passed away on Oct. 7, 1890, and was buried from Seton Hall Chapel.  Father Salt’s remains were laid to rest, as he had requested, in the Cemetery of the Holy Sepulchre in East Orange.

Overall this collection provides a rare and detailed perspective on the life of an important Seton Hall pioneer.

For more information please contact:

Alan Delozier
University Archivist
Alan.Delozier@shu.edu
(973) 275-2378

News from Archives & Special Collections

*  The first set of cataloged books from the recently acquired John Concannon Irish Collection are available for research request via the Archives & Special Collections Center.  Mr. Concannon previously served as the National Historian for the Ancient Order of Hibernians and a freelance writer for various newspapers and magazines including the Irish Echo, Newsweek and others.  More information on individual titles is available via our library catalog.

*  The New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission which is headquartered in the Archives & Special Collections Center has a new Facebook page for view and posting of ideas related to Church History in the Garden State.

*  Updates have been made to the display cases in the hallway adjacent to the Walsh Gymnasium within the Seton Hall Recreation Center which features historical memorabilia, images and text from the Archives & Special Collections.  These exhibits can be viewed during operational hours for the Recreation Center located across from Walsh Library.

*  Starting Tuesday, September 7th, the Archives & Special Collections Center will go back to its traditional semester hours of operation:  Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00-5:00 p.m.  We welcome the chance to help you with your research projects throughout the fall semester and beyond.