Reconnecting with Each Other in the Current Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life at Seton Hall as it has for millions of others around the country and the world.  In the name of saving lives by practicing social distancing, it has scattered us into our homes around the region and the country.  Although we are now physically distant from one another, we remain united as Pirates through our connection to Seton Hall.

Seton Hall commencement, 1885
Seton Hall Commencement, 1885

To reconnect as a community, we seek your stories of what this time has been like for you.  We have established a website to submit short personal narratives.  We hope that sharing these stories with one another will bring us back together in a new way, through sharing our personal experiences of this moment.  When we move forward, because there will be a time when we move forward, we plan to listen to these stories together as a community, reflect on what we have learned, and let them guide us into the future.

To participate, please record a 1-3 minute narrative about your experience, using any video or audio equipment available to you, and submit the file to our e-Repository.  Please also submit an image that represents your narrative, which will appear next to your recording in the published archive.

Questions to guide your response:

  • What is your day to day life like?  What would you want people in the future to know about what things are like for us now?
  • What has been most challenging about this time?  What do you miss about your life before the pandemic?  Are there specific places or things on campus that you miss?
  • Essential is a word we are hearing a lot right now.  What does essential mean to you?  Who is essential?  What are we learning about what is essential?
  • What is COVID-19 making possible that never existed before?  What good do you see coming out of this moment? How can we re-frame this moment as an opportunity?
  • What is it you want to remember about this time?  What have you learned?
  • After this pandemic ends, will things go back to the way they were?  What kinds of changes would you like to see? How will you contribute to rebuilding the world?  What will you do differently?

Choose the one that speaks to you, or address more than one if you wish.

With thanks to the scholars and librarians who came together to create this project: Professors Angela Kariotis Kotsonis, Sharon Ince, Marta Deyrup, Lisa DeLuca, and Alan Delozier, Technical Services Archivist Sheridan Sayles and Assistant Deans Elizabeth Leonard and Sarah Ponichtera.

Irish New Testament and the First President of Seton Hall

The connection between Seton Hall and its tradition of Irish influences is a relationship that has been strong from the beginning and has been intertwined in various ways into the present day.  Counted among the most tangible examples can be found in the Archives & Special Collections Center and specifically within our Irish Book holdings collection. Found is a unique text that features a 19th century Irish language version of the New Testament (Tiomna Nuadh) which has specific ties to Bernard J. McQuaid, the first President of Seton Hall College.

Title Page of Tiomna Nuadh, 1830

To provide context, this volume entitled: An Tiomna Nuadh ar dTíghearna agus ar Slánuightheora Iosa Criosd : air na tharruing go firinneach as an nGréigis ughdarach (English Variation: Holy Bible, New Testament) was published in 1830.  The work is presented in Irish Gaelic script typeface and this leather bound volume with panel stamping and tooling for this 386 tome separated in two column text was formally released by P.D. Hardy of Dublin.

This detailed version is actually a centuries old translation that received proof reading treatment by the Hibernian Bible Society prior to mass production. This society (originally known as the Dublin Bible Society was founded in Dublin in 1806 with a mission to promote the circulation and access to religious tracts.  It was founded by Rev. Benjamin Williams Mathias (1772-1841) who was part of the missionary evangelical movement in the Church of Ireland.  The original intent was to circulate scriptural texts in their original form without any commentary as evident when looking through the pages of this manuscript.

Example of text page from Tiomna Nuadh, 1830

The Tiomna Nuadh proper was translated by Uilliam O’Domhnuill (William Daniel O’Donnell) and edited by Earpug Thuam (Edward O’Reilly).  The lead on this project, O’Domhnuill whose life predated this work was a native of Kilkenny who was a clergyman and made history as the first appointed scholar and later one of the original elected fellows of Trinity College, Dublin during the 17th century.  His work here led to the creation of the translation above which was preceded by an earlier and less prolific published version from 1602.  O’Domhnuill followed this up with an Irish version of the Book of Common Prayer.  Along with his translation works, the most enduring legacy for O’Domhnuill came during his tenure as Archbishop of Tuam for the Church of Ireland (Anglican) from 1609 until his death in 1628.

In addition to the content, the 1830 tome is particularly special as it features a bookplate that our copy was originally donated by Bishop Bernard J. McQuaid (1823-1909) to the now defunct St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester, New York which he had founded in 1893. The circuitous route of this book has found its way to our collection with strong connections to the original donor who was noted as a solid advocate of Catholic educational endeavors.  Upon ordination in 1848, McQuaid whose parents came from Tyrone and raised in nearby Powel’s Hook (now known as Jersey City) was a young priest who was first assigned a parish in Madison (the original home of Seton Hall) and later the first rector of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Newark for the Diocese of Newark of Newark when the See was established in 1853.

Father McQuaid was then assigned by Bishop James Roosevelt Bayley as the first president of Seton Hall College upon its founding in 1856, and he also became the inaugural rector of the Seminary from 1860-62.  He left the school for two years, but came back for a second stint as chief executive at the college from 1859-67.  More introductory information on McQuaid can be found via the following link –  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09507b.htm or through various resources in our collection including his Presidential Papers – https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/273

The Tiomna Nuadh is unique from many standpoints including its being in a vernacular aside from Latin so it could be read by those especially those who were literate in Irish. Today there appears to be under 30 library copies worldwide that possess this particular print volume along with our institution.  This book (Call Number BS2151 1830) can be referenced in our reading room upon request during business hours.  In addition, more information about more of our Irish-oriented resources can be found via our Irish Library Guide – https://library.shu.edu/Irish-studies

For more information about this topic or related subject matter please contact University Archivist and Irish Studies liaison Alan Delozier via e-mail: Alan.Delozier@shu.edu

Breviarium Romanum and the Origin of Seton Hall’s Rare Book Collection

By Monsignor Robert Wister

front cover of the Stuart Breviary
The Stuart Breviary, featuring the Cardinal Duke of York’s distinct coat of arms.

The Roman Breviary (Latin: Breviarium Romanum) is the book containing the public or canonical prayers, hymns, psalms, and readings for everyday use, especially by bishops, priests, and deacons of the Catholic Church. Currently, it is known as the Divine Office or The Liturgy of the Hours.

After the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the popes tried to impose a single standard version of the Breviary throughout the Church. They had some success, but many dioceses and religious orders retained their local customs.

Seton Hall’s Breviary is an unusual one. As its title indicates Breviarium Romanum ad usum Cleri Basilicae Vaticanae, it is the Breviary for the Basilica of Saint Peter, the Vatican Basilica. Many cathedral churches and great basilicas especially in Europe, have a “Chapter of Canons.” This group of priests have the responsibility to daily pray the Divine Office. This Breviary contains the ritual they would use, including prayers and hymns unique to the Basilica.

As indicated by the inscription “Joan. Nolin sculp.” at the base of the column on the left of the title page, the title page was engraved by Jean-Baptiste Nolin (c. 1657–1708), who was a French cartographer and engraver. The page pictures Saint Peter’s Basilica and Square, framed by large statues of Saints Peter (left) and Saint Paul (right). Above in the center is the coat of arms of Pope Clement X (1670-1676).

Among his many offices, Cardinal Stuart was Archpriest of Saint Peter’s Basilica from 1751 to 1807. This post included the responsibility to pray with the canons on specific occasions. Its well-worn condition attests to the Cardinal’s fidelity to these responsibilities.

The spine of the Stuart Breviary
The spine of the Stuart Breviary

As noted on the second title page, our Breviary was printed in Paris by Sebastian Mabre-Cramoisy (1637? -1687), Printer to the King, in 1674. In the introduction, the editor notes that it contains certain prayers and scripture readings that are particular to the clergy of Saint Peter’s Basilica. And that the last printing was more than eighty years before and few copies remain. Therefore, it is surprising that Cardinal Stuart would be using a book that is more than a century old since there is record of a 1740 printing. Of course, this version was printed by the renowned Mabre-Cramoisy and the cardinal had it rebound in magnificent red leather and adorned with his coat of arms.

At the bottom of the page, in very small cursive script is the following:

This Breviary was purchased at Rome from a lot of Books which had belonged to Henry Stuart, Cardinal of York. It bears his arms on the cover and probably was the one used by himself as Arch Priest of S. Peter’s. It was brought from Rome to New York, and came into the possession of The Rt. Revd. Bp. Hughes from whom I obtained it.             St. John’s Coll. Fordham May 6th MDCCCXLV
Inscription by Bishop Bayley, describing the circumstances of its purchase. The inscription reads: “This Breviary was purchased at Rome from a lot of Books which had belonged to Henry Stuart, Cardinal of York. It bears his arms on the cover and probably was the one used by himself as Arch Priest of S. Peter’s. It was brought from Rome to New York, and came into the possession of The Rt. Revd. Bp. Hughes from whom I obtained it.             St. John’s Coll. Fordham May 6th MDCCCXLV”

 This short note by Father Bayley, later Bishop Bayley, the founder of Seton Hall University, gives an insight into the manner in which fledgling colleges in the United States would stock their libraries. In later letters and diary entries after he became bishop of Newark, Bayley refers to purchasing large lots of books in Europe, often from shuttered colleges, convents, and monasteries. These volumes formed the core of the libraries of new American colleges. There are numerous examples of centuries-old books with the stamp Collegium Setoniense in the Walsh Library collections.

See the Stuart Breviary itself and learn more about the Cardinal Duke of York who owned it at the exhibit in the Monsignor William Noe Field Special Collections Center on the first floor of Walsh Library, through March 31.

African American Studies – 50th Anniversary of Distinction

The legacy and importance of formal African American Studies curricular development on campus goes back five decades.  Originally known as the Center for Black Studies, its founding date of August 1, 1970 heralded the start of a unique and valuable learning opportunity for the Seton Hall University academic community which continues to this day.

Student Artist from the African-American Studies program, c. early 1980s

From its adoption, the early vision of Dr. George Jackson who was appointed the first Director of Black Studies combined with strong administrative support from Msgr. Thomas Fahy, University President and Bishop John Dougherty, President Emeritus, the program had a successful launch and solid foundation from which to build further recognition.  The Center for Black Studies offered students the choice of a certificate, or degree-bearing option of study which included a Bachelor of Arts in Black Culture or Black Community Studies upon successful completion of coursework.  This program has continued to evolve over time and from the 1980s forward changed its operating title and is now focused on offering diplomas centered on both African American and Africana Studies in particular.

The ongoing mission of the Center for African American Studies has been well-documented throughout its history via the existence of various writings produced by the institute from its planning days during the late 1960s forward.  The following passage captures the philosophical approach created by the founders and developed upon over time: “The Black Studies Center seeks to encourage Black scholars to develop vital skills in the interest of the Black community . . . It also recognizes that part of its mission must be to operate in a manner which will promote humane application of contemporary knowledge and skills to the Black community and to society in general.  If scholarship is to be one of the tools by which total freedom is to be obtained then the Black scholar and those who guide his development must accept no compromise for excellence.”  This all tied into the prime objective of training individuals who would continue to promote research and create publications related to African American themes for present and future generations to explore in more depth.

The archival records that correspond to the Center for African American Studies contain materials documenting the operation of the institute from 1970 until the late 1980s.  Included within our holdings connected to this area are examples of budget data, office memoranda, course offering overviews, meeting minutes, newsletters, notices, and various operational files that show the inner-workings of the Center.  More details about this collection can be found by consulting the following finding aid:  https://archivesspace-library.shu.edu/repositories/2/resources/316

In addition to the Center for African American Studies proper, the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center holds a number of other resources related to the African American experience.  More details on specific collections and relevant holdings can be found via the following site:  https://library.shu.edu/collections-guide/african-american-studies

For more information on any aspect of African-American or University History you can contact us by phone: (973) 275-2378, or via e-mail at: <Alan.Delozier@shu.edu>

Xmas and The Setonian During the Late 1920s and Early 1930s

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!

Illustration from The Setonian, December 1928

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

Thanksgiving at Seton Hall During the 19th Century

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.

Object of the Month – #37 Wool Baseball Uniform

#37 Wool Baseball Uniform
wool flannel
mid-20th century
2019.04.0001, 2019.04.0002
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.

‘The Jewel of the Campus’: Walsh Library Celebrates 25 Years

by Matthew Minor

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.view of Walsh Library

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.”

Invitation to Dedication of Walsh Library, University Day 1994
Invitation to Dedication of Walsh Library, University Day 1994

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.

model of Walsh library
Architectural model, or maquette, of Walsh Library

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.”

View the library’s online exhibit, Walsh Libraries: 25 Years of Learning.

The Latino Experience & Seton Hall University – From Pioneering Students to the Unanue Institute

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.

First Page of the 1856-57 Student Register

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: delozier@shu.edu or by phone: (973) 275-2378.

Student Perspective on Junot Diaz and “Poetry in the Round”

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.