Object of the Week: “Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and their Show” Poster

Poster – Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and their Show
Seton Hall University, 1966
Student Life Vertical Files – Arts & Music, Music Programs 1949 – 1987
RG#10.3.4.4
Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections

 

APRIL IS JAZZ APPRECIATION MONTH

            On the evening of Saturday October 22, 1966, jazz giants Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington performed at Seton Hall University’s Student Center.[1]  Fitzgerald, one of America’s pre-eminent jazz vocalists, was widely recognized for her versatility, but especially for her scat singing style which she explains as:  “I just tried to do [with my voice] what I heard the horns in the band doing.”[2]  Scatting is an improvised vocal style incorporating exuberant outbursts in play with the musicians.[3]  Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington was a distinguished composer, pianist and band leader whose career, like Fitzgerald’s, spanned more than six decades.  He was noted for his inventive use of the orchestra.[4]   Ellington, a known perfectionist with a theatrical stage presence and flair for fashion, insisted on playing the accompaniments to Fitzgerald flawlessly.  His admiration for Fitzgerald is evinced in his humble quip, “With Ella up-front, you’ve got to play better than your best.”[5]

Ellington and Fitzgerald first met in the mid-1930s when she was performing at Harlem’s legendary Savoy Ballroom.[6]  They began a decades-long friendship that led to numerous collaborations, recording sessions, and performances, including the series of concert dates with a show at Seton Hall University.  In 1956, the duo teamed up in the studio to record Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Duke Ellington Song Book.  These landmark sessions were released on vinyl in 1957 and featured musical back-up by Ellington and jazz stars like Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Ben Webster, Oscar Peterson, Billy Strayhorn and Johnny Hodges.[7]  The video below of Ella and Duke performing was captured in 1965, just one year prior to their engagement at Seton Hall and shows what audiences might have experienced that Saturday evening in 1966.


Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald perform on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1965.

Today, Seton Hall University continues to recognize and support excellence in this uniquely American art form which was created from a fusion of African and European musical and cultural traditions.[8]  Student groups such as The Seton Hall Jazz Ensemble offer opportunities to rehearse and perform in a variety of styles while the Seton Notes, a co-ed a capella group, performs a diverse repertoire which includes jazz and hip-hop, a musical offshoot of jazz.[9]  The University Arts Council and the College of Communication and the Arts also hosts a popular series of concerts known as their Jazz ‘n the Hall.  This year during Jazz Appreciation Month, Lionel Hampton Big Band performed yet again for Seton Hall University by popular demand, though this time virtually.[10]

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

[1] https://books.google.com/books?id=B9b-fWBgzVQC&pg=PA300&lpg=PA300&dq=ella+fitzgerald+at+seton+hall+university&source=bl&ots=-b1vh5Y0V1&sig=ACfU3U0R13fHwcY61hqTSI8UKoN__6nFPA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjegc-a1Y3wAhVBM1kFHSexCB4Q6AEwGnoECA4QAw#v=onepage&q=ella%20fitzgerald%20at%20seton%20hall%20university&f=false\, accessed 4/22/2021.

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella_Fitzgerald#cite_note-cnn-19, accessed 4/22/2021.

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scat_singing, accessed 4/27/2021.

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_Ellington, accessed 4/27/2021.

[5] https://www.jazziz.com/ella-fitzgerald-duke-ellington-story-friendship/, accessed 4/27/2021.

[6] https://www.jazziz.com/ella-fitzgerald-duke-ellington-story-friendship/, accessed 4/22/2021.

[7] https://www.amazon.com/Ella-Fitzgerald-Sings-Ellington-Songbook/dp/B00000HYIC, accessed 4/27/2021.

[8] https://collegian.csufresno.edu/2011/11/jazz-america%E2%80%99s-original-art-form/#.YIhoFLVKhPY, accessed 4/27/2021.

[9] https://jazztimes.com/archives/where-jazz-meets-hip-hop/, accessed 4/27/2021.

[10] https://www.sopacnow.org/events/lionel-hampton-big-band-2021/, accessed 4/27/2021.

Object of the Week: “Animate Creation: Popular Edition of ‘A Living World;’ A Natural History” by The Rev. J.G. Wood

Animate Creation:  Popular Edition of “A Living World;” A Natural History
by The Rev. J.G. Wood
New York:  Selmar Hess
1885

EARTH DAY 2021 – Restore Our Earth

            Earth Day has been observed annually in the United States since April 22, 1970 when organizers sought to draw attention to the need for environmental protections after decades of unfettered industrialization and pollution.  Millions of Americans were mobilized, participating in rallies, marches and programs driven in large part by students from colleges and universities across the country.[1]  Fifty-one years later, Earth Day is now celebrated in almost 200 countries.[2] This year’s theme is Restore Our Earth, emphasizing collective action to prevent the effects of climate change and environmental destruction.  Many Earth Day events focus on activism, mobilizing youth and social justice themes.[3]

There are numerous social justice issues related to environmentalism.  Developing countries, while most impacted by climate change, are the least able to afford the consequences which are exacerbated by their limited capacity to prevent and respond to the effects of rising seas, deforestation, wildfires, drought, pollution and the like, leaving millions of peopleImage of the resplendent trogon bird (which is green and orange) in nature vulnerable.  In urban areas and developed countries, green spaces improve mental health and well-being while simultaneously protecting watersheds, biodiversity and restoring animal and plant life.[4]  The World Health Organization predicts that by the year 2030, approximately 250,000 deaths will result annually from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and heat stress due to environmental causes.  Gender inequalities are also deepened through losses in health, income and access to resources.[5]   As a result, migration will increase and attendant conflicts will rise, resulting in more people competing for fewer available resources.[6]  Conservation works to ensure the preservation of the environment, including and animals and plants, as well as people, cultures, heritage, and livelihoods.

Climate change affects everyone in numerous ways.  Unsurprisingly, there has been an impetus to view the issue through interdisciplinary frameworks including politics, ecology, ethics, justice, cultural studies, biology, diplomacy, anthropology and various other fields of study.[7]  Many scholars and activists view the issue through the lens of interspecies justice and colonialism, like Lia Cheek of the Endangered Species Coalition.  She believes the way we relate to nature is an extension of colonialism – taking what we need from the earth without considering, acknowledging or understanding the impacts on others, including plant and animal life which she believes also have rights.[8]  Cheek argues present environmental policies, rooted in financial concerns, have led to disastrous results.  Consider that three-quarters of the land-based environment and about 66% of the marine environment have been significantly altered by human actions.[9]  When The Rev. J.G. Wood published “Animate Creation:  Popular Edition of “A Living World;” A Natural History” in 1885, roughly 100 years into the Industrial Revolution, the deleterious effects of industrialization were already becoming known.  In response, in 1886, under the administration of President Grover Cleveland, Congress created the Division of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy, validating Lia Cheek’s assertion about the links between conservation and finances from the advent of the movement.[10]  The formation of this government division was preceded by public sentiment in favor of protecting wildlife.  In 1883, the American Ornithologists’ Union was created to bring awareness to the need to protect birds and their habitats, which were at risk due to degradation of the environment and over-hunting. In 1895, the first chapter of the Audubon Society was formed with a mission dedicated to the conservation of birds and their environments.  By 1905, the National Association of Audubon Societies for the Protection of Wild Birds and Animals was formed.[11]

Image of the Lammergeyer bird (which has an orange and brown body) in the snowy mountains.In fin de siècle America, bird watching became a popular past time as people became interested in observing birds in their natural habitats.  Birding as a past time was aided by instruments such as binoculars and books like the one published by The Rev. J.G. Wood, from which these images come.[12] These colorful and accurately detailed bird illustrations stimulated the popular imagination and introduced many to the idea of conservation and ecology.  Wood, a British citizen and parson, was also a prolific and successful natural history writer and lecturer.[13] His drawings vividly illustrated what was at stake if the environment was not protected – spurring activists of his day and beyond to advocate for the environment through rallies, boycotts and legislation.[14]  If you would like to take action this Earth Day, you can find events on the Earthday.org website and their Billion Acts of Green Initiative.  More locally, you can participate in the Earth Day Cleanup sponsored by DOVE, SAB and the South Orange Community Garden on Saturday, April 24th from 9:30am to 1pm.


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

 

[1] https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-first-earth-day, accessed 4/15/2021.

[2] https://isilanguagesolutions.com/2020/04/22/earth-day/, accessed 4/15/2021.

[3] https://www.earthday.org/earth-day-2021/, accessed 4/15/2021.

[4] https://www.endangered.org/a-conversation-on-endangered-species-and-social-justice/, accessed 4/15/2021.

[5] https://www.international.gc.ca/world-monde/issues_development-enjeux_developpement/environmental_protection-protection_environnement/climate-climatiques.aspx?lang=eng, accessed 4/15/2021.

[6] https://en.unesco.org/courier/2019-3/climate-and-social-justice, accessed 4/15/2021.

[7] https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2514848620945310, accessed 4/15/2021.

[8] https://www.endangered.org/a-conversation-on-endangered-species-and-social-justice/, accessed 4/15/2021.

[9] https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/blog/2019/05/nature-decline-unprecedented-report/, accessed 4/15/2021.

[10] https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amrvhtml/cnchron2.html, accessed 4/20/2021.

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Audubon_Society, accessed 4/20/2021.

12 https://www.britannica.com/topic/bird-watching, accessed 4/20/2021.

[13] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_George_Wood, accessed 4/20/2021.

[14] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Audubon_Society, accessed 4/20/2021.

Object of the Week: “The Newark Anniversary Poems”

The Newark Anniversary Poems
Edited by Henry Wellington Wack
Published by Laurence J. Gomme
1917
MSS  0001

APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

In 1916, the City of Newark celebrated its 250th anniversary with a flurry of activities.  Sculptor Gutzon Borglum – known for his monumental projects at Mount Rushmore and Stone Mountain, Georgia – was commissioned to create a bronze sculpture, “The Bridge Memorial,” which was placed outside the Newark Public Library and dedicated on May 10, 1916.[1]  A poster contest was organized, and winning designs were issued as postage

Image of a woman in draping clothes. Green background and black text
1916 Postage Stamp Design from the Semiquincentennial celebration of Newark’s founding https://www.ebay.com/itm/Poster-Stamp-250th-Anniversary-Newark-New-Jersey-NJ-1916-/333547010855

stamps to mark the event.[2]  Another commemoration that took place was a poetry competition which offered $1,000 in prizes for poems selected for inclusion in The Newark Anniversary Poems, a volume celebrating the Brick City’s “historical, industrial, social, aesthetic or civic life.”  The contest solicited many literary formats including odes, epics, sonnets, blank verse, ballads, lyrics, vers libre, songs, satires, limericks and jingles.  The competition opened in January 1916 and closed in December of that same year. More than 900 entries were received and winnowed to roughly 550 submissions for review by the committee of seven judges.  Poets from forty-two states (of the 48 in existence at the time) and six countries submitted work to the competition, demonstrating the wide interest in the city and event.[3]  First prize was won by Clement Wood, of New York City[4] for his poem “The Smithy of God,”[5] a paean to Newark’s bustling streetscapes and industrious citizens.  The poem, “To a City Sending Him Advertisements,” by expatriate modernist poet Ezra Pound, was also featured in the volume.[6]

Seton Hall University’s Department of Archives and Special Collections holds this copy of The Newark Anniversary Poems autographed by editor Henry Wellington Wack to Leonard Dreyfuss.  Leonard Dreyfuss was a well-known business owner, resident and public servant in the city of Newark.  He was awarded “Citizen of the Year in 1942.”  This book is part of the Leonard Dreyfuss papers, a rich repository of varied materials that document Dreyfuss’ life including his time as advertising executive and service in the Civil Defense.[7]  The Newark Anniversary Poems is but one of many connections New Jersey’s largest city has with poetry.

Signature in black ink on white paper on the inside cover page of an open book
Interior page with inscription from editor Henry Wellington Wack to Leonard Dreyfuss. The Newark Anniversary Poems

Many famous poets hail from the City of Newark including native Amiri Baraka, the once Poet-Laureate of New Jersey whose activism on behalf of Black Liberation and support for Fidel Castro, among other things, put him at the center of numerous controversies.  Baraka is the father of current Newark Mayor, Ras Baraka.[8]   Although beat poet Allen Ginsberg is more closely associated with the city of Paterson, he was born in Newark.  Ginsberg is best known for his epic poem “Howl” which railed against conformity and ultimately left him defending his writing in a court of law against charges of obscenity.  Ginsberg prevailed, the judge citing freedom of speech in the poet’s favor.[9]  Writer Judith Viorst, also a native Newarker, earned recognition for her journalism, poetry and children’s literature.[10]  Poet Mwatabu S. Okantah, currently an Associate Professor and Poet in Residence in the Department of Pan-African Studies at Kent State University, hails from Newark.[11] Early 20th century poet Stephen Crane was born in the city in 1871.[12]

Since 2010, Newark has been home to the Dodge Poetry Festival.  The Dodge Foundation’s website notes the city’s long engagement with the arts – and poetry in particular – in substantiation of its choice to host the event in the city.[13]  Outside of the festival, numerous venues present open-mics and poetry readings throughout the city including at libraries, galleries, universities and artist-run spaces in the city’s many wards.  Seton Hall University has its own strong appreciation of and bond with poetry.  Professor John Harrington, a faculty member in the English department from 1956-1995, founded Poetry in the Round in 1982.  The acclaimed series of readings continues into the present day and has brought many notable writers to campus, including Salman Rushdie, Philip Roth, Margaret Atwood, Jamaica Kinkead and Joyce Carol Oates. [14]  Presently, the series is being presented virtually.  You can view the calendar for a listing of upcoming Poetry in the Round events.

Image of a woman (poet Catherine Pierce) speaking at a podium
Image: Poet Catherine Pierce at a Poetry in the Round reading on March 30, 2017. Courtesy of Joey Khan/Photographer and Digital Editor for the Setonian.
https://www.thesetonian.com/2017/03/30/poet-catherine-pierce-shares-her-work-with-aspiring-writers/

The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_and_the_Puritan, accessed 4/6/2021.

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/1915/08/15/archives/prizes-for-posters-offered-in-newark-contest-announced-for.html, accessed 4/6/2021.

[3] Wack, Henry Wellington.  Preface.  The Newark Anniversary Poems.   New York: Laurence J. Gomme, 1917. g. 21-22.

[4] https://archive.org/details/newarkanniversar00newa/page/22/mode/2up, accessed 4/6/2021.

[5] Wack, Henry Wellington.  The Newark Anniversary Poems.   New York: Laurence J. Gomme, 1917. Pg. 63.

[6] https://archive.org/details/newarkanniversar00newa/page/62/mode/2up, accessed 4/6/2021.

[7] https://blogs.shu.edu/archives/tag/dreyfuss/, accessed 4/6/2021.

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amiri_Baraka, accessed 4/6/2021.

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_Ginsberg, accessed 4/6/2021.

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Viorst, accessed 4/6/2021.

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mwatabu_S._Okantah, accessed 4/6/2021.

[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephen_Crane, accessed 4/6/2021.

[13] https://www.dodgepoetry.org/festival-events/newark/, accessed 4/6/2021.

[14] https://www.shu.edu/arts-council/poetry-in-the-round.cfm, accessed 4/6/2021.

Object of the Week: WSOU Theme Music Record

WSOU – Theme Music Record
c. 1954

WSOU 89.5 FM – THE FIRST BROADCAST

            Seventy-three years ago, on April 14, 1948, Seton Hall University’s award-winning radio station, WSOU, aired its inaugural broadcast. It was the first college-owned FM station in New Jersey and one of the first FM stations in the United States.[1] Broadcasting on 89.5 FM, WSOU was founded on a directive by the forward-thinking and indefatigable Monsignor James Kelley, who served as president of the university from 1935 until 1949. Monsignor Kelley is credited with transforming Seton Hall University from a small college into a large and distinctive university with a burgeoning student body.[2]  The student-run station was intended to provide experiential learning opportunities in a professionally managed radio station and continues to do so presently.[3]

Black and white image of Monsignor James Kelley
Monsignor James Kelley, President of Seton Hall University at the time of WSOU’s founding.

The task of starting the station fell to Monsignor Gillhooly, who got WSOU up and running in under three months.  Assisting Monsignor Gillhooly with this monumental task was chief engineer Tom Parnham who would remain at the station until his death in 1994. The radio station was originally located on the first floor of the university’s recreation center.  In 1998, the station moved to a new state-of-the-art facility where it continues to broadcast to an estimated on-air audience of 120,000 listeners each week within an approximate 50-mile radius that extends to all five boroughs of New York City and most of northern and central New Jersey. [4]

Page from a Seton Hall Yearbook
from the 1949 Seton Hall University yearbook, The Galleon, Ed.-in-Chief, Joseph A. Orlando. Pictured at far left are Monsignor Gillhooly and long-time engineer, Tom Parham, who created the WSOU from the ground up. President Kelley founded both the yearbook as well as WSOU during his tenure as President of Seton Hall University.

For over 70 years, WSOU has been nurturing on-air talent and many students have gone on to very successful careers in broadcasting.  Notable WSOU alumni include Anthony Delia, national manager of Atlantic Records[5] which has represented talent like Aretha Franklin and Bruno Mars;[6] television producer Christina Deyo who worked on the Martha Stewart Show and The Rosie O’Donnell Show;[7] Emmy Award winning New York Yankees broadcaster Ed Lucas;[8] and Matt Loughlin, New Jersey Devil’s sportscaster.[9]  The yearbook page below features student disc jockeys (center right) Don Cheek, Jack Ferry and Roy Lamont.  Cheek would go on to teach in the Africana Studies Program at California State University at Fresno,[10] while Lamont would continue in the business as an independent media broadcaster, settling in North Carolina.[11]

2 pages from the Galleon, 1949
two-page spread from the 1949 Galleon, – Ed.-in-Chief, Joseph A. Orlando. Center right: students disc jockeys Don Cheek, Jack Ferry and Roy Lamont.

In 2009, Seton Hall University’s Walsh Gallery hosted “The Loudest Rock:  60 Years of Pirate Radio,” an exhibition commemorating WSOU’s 60th anniversary.  The exhibition was curated by Jake Calvert, Brooke Cheyney and Katherine Fox, then graduate students in the university’s Museum Professions Program. The exhibit featured artifacts including gold records, original technology such mixing boards and tape decks, as well as memorabilia from the university’s collections.  The students worked with station manager Mark Maben and engineer Frank Scafidi to create interactive exhibition components. Maben continues his work as the station’s general manager, while Scafidi continues his work as the chief engineer. [12] The Walsh Gallery’s exhibition catalogue is available for download on their website.

Image from the Loudest Rock exhibition
“The Loudest Rock: 60 Years of Pirate Radio” on view at the Walsh Gallery
March 2 – April 10, 2009.

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

 

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WSOU, accessed 3/30/2021.

[2] https://www.nytimes.com/1996/09/14/nyregion/msgr-james-kelley-94-a-president-of-seton-hall.html, accessed 3/30/2021.

[3] https://wsou.shu.edu/about.cfm#.YGN81q9KhPZ, accessed 3/30/2021.

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WSOU, accessed 3/30/2021.

[5] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WSOU, accessed 3/30/2021.

[6] https://www.atlanticrecords.com/artists, accessed 3/30/2021.

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WSOU, accessed 3/30/2021.

[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Lucas, accessed 3/30/2021.

[9] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Loughlin, accessed 3/30/2021.

[10] http://www.fresnostate.edu/socialsciences/afrs/faculty/cheek.html, accessed 3/30/2021.

[11] https://www.linkedin.com/in/roy-lamont-9011b08/, accessed 3/30/2021.

[12] https://www.shu.edu/profiles/scafidfr.cfm, accessed 3/30/2021.

Object of the Week: “Christ’s Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem”

Image: “Christ’s Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem,” from:
Bible History, Containing the Most Remarkable Events of the Old and New Testaments
By Right Reverend Richard Gilmour, D.D., Bishop of Cleveland, Ohio.
New York: Benzinger Brothers, 1894
Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections

 

HOLY WEEK 2021

The final week before Easter – spanning Palm Sunday through Holy Saturday – is known as Holy Week, a time when Catholics gather to remember and participate in the Passion of Jesus Christ. The Passion is the final period of Christ’s life in Jerusalem, commencing when he arrived in the city until He was crucified.[1]  Holy Week provides an opportunity to reflect upon Jesus’ crucifixion, a sacrifice for all of humanity so that we might be redeemed through his suffering and death.[2]

On Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem. In the image “Christ’s Triumphal Entry to Jerusalem” above, we see Jesus’ humble arrival into the city on the back of a donkey to observe Passover. According to the Gospel account, he was greeted by crowds of people who spread their cloaks and laid palm leaves in his path and proclaimed him the Son of David (Matthew 21:5).[3] The palm branch is an ancient symbol of victory, goodness and well-being and Jesus’ followers welcomed him as their Messiah by waving palm branches and placing them on the ground along the route.[4]

Holy Thursday celebrates the institution of the Eucharist as the true body and blood of Jesus Christ and the establishment of the sacrament of theImage of the Last Supper priesthood.  During the Last Supper, Jesus offers himself as the Passover sacrifice, the sacrificial lamb, and teaches that every ordained priest is to follow the same sacrifice in the exact same way.  The Holy Thursday Liturgy takes place at sundown, marking the end of Lent and the beginning of the sacred “Triduum,” or three days of Holy Week – the three holiest days in the Catholic Church.[5]

Jesus was arrested after the Passover Seder, or Last Supper, during which he gave his final sermon. According to the canonical gospels, his arrest took place in Gethsemane, a garden which scholars believe was an olive grove. Jesus was there with his disciples to pray after the seder when he was arrested by temple guards of the Sanhedrin, a council of elders appointed to preside over legal matters.[6] Jesus’ arrest was due to his teachings, which were opposed by the Romans.[7] Christ’s arrest, trial, conviction and crucifixion are associated with Good Friday – traditionally a day of sorrow, penance, and fasting.

Holy Saturday, also called Easter Vigil, is the traditional end of Lent. It commemorates the day that Jesus Christ’s body was entombed.  This is the day before Easter, which celebrates Jesus’ Resurrection, on the third day after his crucifixion.[8]

Image of Jesus surrounded by many figures, including soldiersOn Holy Saturday evening, a priest or deacon carries a Pascal Candle in procession into a darkened church. A new fire, symbolizing our eternal life in Christ, is kindled to light the candle. The candle, representing Christ himself, is blessed by the priest.[9]

The engraved images accompanying this post are from Bible History, Containing the Most Remarkable Events of the Old and New Testaments published in 1894 by Benzinger Brothers of New York.  This rare book is one of numerous antique volumes available for research in the Department of Archives and Special Collections.

Image of the Burial of Jesus
“The Burial of Jesus” or “The Entombment”

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

[1] https://www.saintpats.org/parish/holy-week/, accessed 3/24/2021.

[2] https://nwcatholic.org/voices/cal-christiansen/why-did-jesus-have-to-die-on-the-cross, accessed 3/29/2021.

[3] https://www.britannica.com/story/holy-week, accessed 3/29/2021.

[4] https://www.learnreligions.com/palm-branches-bible-story-summary-701202, accessed 3/24/2021.

[5] https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/holy-week/holy-thursday/the-significance-of-holy-thursday, accessed 3/29/2021.

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arrest_of_Jesus#:~:text=It%20occurred%20shortly%20after%20the,chief%20priests%20to%20arrest%20Jesus, accessed 3/29/2021.

[8] https://www.britannica.com/story/holy-week, accessed 3/29/2021.

[9] https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/holy-week/holy-saturday/the-paschal-candle, accessed 3/29/2021.

Object of the Week: “Hailstorm Plague” from an Old Testament Bible Manuscript

“Hailstorm Plague”
Page from Old Testament Bible manuscript
hand painted watercolor
Northern Italian, c. 1650
Herbert Kraft Collection – MSS 0029
Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections

 

CHAG PESACH SAMEACH!
(Happy Passover!)

When Passover begins at sundown this coming Saturday, Jewish people around the world will celebrate by retelling the biblical story of the Exodus from Egypt — including the 10 plagues that God inflicted on the Ancient Egyptians.  The Passover story recounts how God sends a series of ten plagues to pressure Pharoah after he refuses Moses’ entreaties to free the enslaved Israelites. Each time, Pharaoh promises to liberate the Israelites, but reverses his decision when the plague is lifted — until the last one.  The plagues are water turning into blood, frogs, lice, flies, livestock pestilence, boils, hail, locusts, darkness and the killing of firstborn children.[1]  The holiday commemorates the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt, and their transition from slavery to freedom.

Hand painted watercolor of Hailstorm Plague from an illustrated manuscript of the "Plague of Locusts"
“Plague of Locusts”
Page from Old Testament Bible manuscript
hand painted watercolor
Northern Italian, c. 1650
Herbert Kraft Collection – MSS029
Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections

Passover is the central story of the Torah (a religious text of the first five books of the Old Testament) and reflects many poignant themes in Jewish history including; foreign oppression and the longing for freedom; the sense that Jews are a protected and resilient people who will survive any adversity; and the contrast between living outside of Israel (the diaspora) and living in the Jewish homeland. Those themes, and their contemporary resonance, are a large part of the Passover holiday.[2]  The main ritual of Passover is the Seder, a feast which occurs on the first one or two nights of the holiday (observances vary).  This meal is accompanied by the re-telling of the Exodus through stories,  song and the consumption of traditional foods, including matzoh and bitter herbs. In northern regions, bitter herbs are usually represented by horseradish.  Another important part of the Seder is charoset, a paste-like mixture of fruits, nuts and sweet wine or honey.  This condiment is symbolic of the mortar used by the Israelite slaves when they laid bricks for Pharaoh’s monuments. The word charoset is derived from cheres, the Hebrew word for clay.[3]  The Seder’s rituals and other readings are outlined in the text known as the Haggadah, though celebrations may vary widely throughout cultures, regions and even families.[4]  The video below describes some of the common traditions of the Passover Seder.

The manuscript pages above, illustrating two of the ten plagues – hail and locusts – are from Seton Hall University’s Herbert Kraft Collection.  The collection contains thousands of artifacts and art objects amassed by Kraft over roughly a half century. Herbert Clemens Kraft graduated from Seton Hall University in 1950 with a degree in Anthropology, becoming a member of the teaching faculty that same year.  Though Kraft is most noted for his scholarship on the Lenni Lenape, the original inhabitants in this area of New Jersey, he had wide-ranging interests which are reflected in his collection which includes manuscripts, liturgical objects and artifacts from a wide variety of world cultures as well as Native American artifacts.  Kraft donated a large part of his collection to Seton Hall University and curated many exhibitions with the objects in the Seton Hall Museum of Anthropology and Archaeology, which was located in Fahy Hall.  After Kraft’s death in 2000, the collection was subsequently transferred to the Department of Archives and Special Collections where it is cared for and interpreted.  The Herbert Kraft Collection is available for research and display by students and scholars.

Old object label for manuscripts. Yellowed card with black typewriter text.
Original typewritten object label by Herb Kraft for the exhibition of the two Bible pages in this post, c. 1960

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

 

[1] https://time.com/5561441/passover-10-plagues-real-history/, accessed 3/11/2021.

[2] https://www.vox.com/2014/8/5/18001980/what-is-the-passover-story, accessed 3/11/2021.

[3] https://www.everydayhealth.com/diet-nutrition/7-symbolic-foods-passover/, accessed 3/18/2021.

[4] https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/passover-2021/, accessed 3/11/2021.

Object of the Week: Engraving of The Holy Family by Sc. Muller

Image: The Holy Family by Sc. Muller from The Holy Bible, The Latin Vulgate Revised with Annotations by The Right Rev. R. Challoner D.D.
New York:  Thomas Kelly, Publisher, 1879.
Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections

 

YEAR OF ST. JOSEPH

“I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of [St. Joseph] which he has failed to grant… To other saints the Lord seems to have given grace to succor us in some of our necessities, but of this glorious saint my experience is that he succors us in them all…”[1]

This year we celebrate the 150th anniversary of Pope Pius IX’s declaration of Saint Joseph as the patron saint of the Universal Church in 1870. To mark this occasion, Pope Francis proclaimed a special “Year of St. Joseph,” which began on the observance of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 2020 and will conclude on this same feast day in 2021.[2]  Additionally, the annual Feast of Saint Joseph is celebrated at this time of year.  Veneration of Saint Joseph began in ancient Egypt, though Pope Sixtus IV officially recognized this custom around 1479.[3]

Saint Joseph is revered as a loving and tender father to Jesus and protector of Mary.  Called by God to serve the mission of Jesus, he “cooperated… in the great mystery of Redemption,” as Saint John Paul II said, “and is truly a minister of salvation.”  He encourages us to accept and welcome others as they are, and to show special concern for the disadvantaged.[4]  Joseph’s compassionate nature is expressed in the above engraving by Sc. Muller in The Holy Bible, published in 1879 by Thomas Kelly Publishers, just nine years after Saint Joseph achieved sainthood. Prior to the 19th century, iconography of the Holy Family would often depict Joseph in the background, shrouded in shadows.  After Joseph’s elevation to sainthood, portrayals of the Holy Family included him as an integral part of the subject and composition – as shown in Muller’s interpretation.[5]  Saint Joseph’s attributes are the lily and spikenard, an aromatic oil.[6]

Engraved image of Pope Pius IX
Engraved image of Pope Pius IX – from The Holy Bible, The Latin Vulgate

Saint Joseph is the patron of tradesmen and workers, travelers and refugees, the persecuted, families and homes, purity and interior life, engaged couples, people in distress due to insecurity related to food, home or clothing, as well as sickness, the poor, aged and dying.[7]  On his feast day, many attend church services in his honor. Cultures throughout the world celebrate Saint Joseph’s feast day in a variety of ways. In Spain and Portugal, the Solemnity of Saint Joseph coincides with Father’s Day, generating visits to fathers and father figures.  In some areas, traditional observances include the wearing of special richly colored outfits which might be worn to a parade in Saint Joseph’s honor. In the coastal city of Valencia, Spain, people make elaborate, publicly displayed papier-mâché scenes which are then burned to the ground in a celebration of creativity, mortality and rebirth known as Las Fallas.[8] Sicily has its own rich traditions for the Saint Joseph’s Feast Day.  In Palermo, people organize huge bonfires known as “Vampa” in the city’s piazzas. Many towns organize moving processions accompanied by the singing of prayers and songs. Sicilians also set a Saint Joseph’s table, an altar with special foods, flowers and devotional objects to praise and give thanks.[9]  Polish families set up a Saint Joseph’s table decorated with red and white to symbolize both their country and Saint Joseph. These tables include holy cards and candles, as well as meatless foods in observance of Lent.  Polish hymns are also recited.[10] Some in the Philippines maintain ritual banquet customs in which community members are chosen as representatives of Saint Joseph, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Child Jesus. The three participants are fed an opulent feast during which hymns are sung.[11]  Contemporaneous celebrations in the Philippines are more overtly altruistic, and include volunteering to feed the poor, homeless and the hungry.[12]

In his recent Apostolic Letter, Patris corde (“with a father’s heart”), Pope

Decorative page from The Holy Bible, The Latin Vulgate
page from The Holy Bible, The Latin Vulgate

Francis characterizes Saint Joseph as “a beloved father, a tender and loving father, an obedient father, an accepting father; a father who is creatively courageous, a working father, a father in the shadows.”  On the occasion of this Saint Joseph Feast Year, Pope Francis urges us to see the importance of “ordinary” people who, though far from the limelight, exercise patience and offer hope every day. In this, they resemble Saint Joseph, “the man who goes unnoticed, a daily, discreet and hidden presence,” who nonetheless played “an incomparable role in the history of salvation.”[13]  Pope Francis’ letter concludes with a prayer to Saint Joseph, which he encourages us to pray together:

Hail, Guardian of the Redeemer,
Spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To you God entrusted his only Son;
in you Mary placed her trust;
with you Christ became man.
Blessed Joseph, to us too,
show yourself a father
and guide us in the path of life.
Obtain for us grace, mercy, and courage,
and defend us from every evil.  Amen.

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

 

[1] Teresa, and E. Allison Peers. Autobiography of St. Teresa of Avila. Mineola, NY: Dover Publications, 2010.

[2] https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-12/pope-francis-proclaims-year-of-st-joseph.html, accessed 3/9/2021.

[3] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Joseph, accessed 3/9/2021.

[4] https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-12/pope-francis-proclaims-year-of-st-joseph.html, accessed 3/9/2021.

[5] https://www.christianiconography.info/holyFamily.html, accessed 3/9/2021.

[6]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Joseph#:~:text=Joseph%20is%20venerated%20as%20Saint,associated%20with%20various%20feast%20days, accessed 3/9/2021.

[7] https://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/activities/view.cfm?id=1050, accessed 3/9/2021.

[8] https://www.worldtravelguide.net/features/feature/las-fallas-burning-valencia-to-the-ground/, accessed 3/9/2021.

[9] https://www.scent-of-sicily.com/news/st-josephs-day-traditions-in-sicily/, accessed 3/9/2021.

[10] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Joseph%27s_Day, accessed 3/9/2021.

[11] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Joseph%27s_Day, accessed 3/9/2021.

[12] http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Manila:-feast-day-of-St-Joseph-for-the-poor-33765.html, accessed 3/9/2021.

[13] https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2020-12/pope-francis-proclaims-year-of-st-joseph.html, accessed 3/9/2021.

Object of the Week: Image from “Mobilizing Woman Power” by Harriot Stanton Blatch

Image from:   Harriot Stanton Blatch
Mobilizing Woman Power.
New York:  The Womans (sic) Press, 1918.

 

CELEBRATING WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH

Since 1995, successive Presidents of the United States have issued annual proclamations to honor women each March for Women’s History Month.[1]  What had begun in 1978 as a local celebration with students in Santa Rosa, California has become a national acknowledgment of the roles, accomplishments and contributions of women in society.[2]  The foundation of these celebrations is rooted in International Women’s Day which has been observed annually on March 8 since the turn of the 20th century.[3]

This year’s theme for Women’s History Month is “Valiant Women of the Vote: Title page from the book "Mobilizing Woman Power"Refusing to be Silenced” in recognition of the centennial anniversary of the Suffrage Movement and the passage of the 19th Amendment which guarantees and protects women’s constitutional right to vote.  On this occasion, women-centered institutions, organizations, and scholars from across the United States work to ensure this anniversary, and the 72-year fight to achieve it, are commemorated and celebrated nationally.[4]

 

Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch played a pivotal role in the fight for women’s voting rights. Page from the book "Mobilizing Women Power" The daughter of famous suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Henry B. Stanton, an abolitionist, politician and journalist, Blatch was uniquely positioned to champion the cause.[5]   Though Blatch dedicated herself to women’s suffrage, she was also concerned with broader related issues of women’s economic power, independence and enfranchisement.[6]  She wrote many books articulating her thoughts on the suffrage movement and the implications of free women in society. Some of the images in this blog post are from her book “Mobilizing Woman Power” published in 1918.  The book emphasizes women’s contributions to World War I, which ended the year Blatch’s book was published.  The volume focuses on women’s sacrifice for the war effort as well as their disenfranchisement.[7]  That same year in the United Kingdom, where Blatch had lived for 20 years previously, women were granted the right to vote in Parliamentary Elections.[8]  Labor strikes and movements made news around the world, and the Bolshevik Revolution spurred further momentum for women’s and labor rights.

These global events did not go unnoticed in the United States.  With more women in the work force due to industrialization and the war effort, Blatch’s ideas gained traction with the larger public.  In another interesting note about her book, the foreword was written by Theodore Roosevelt, a strong ally and visible partner for women’s rights since 1912.  In the New York State Assembly, the trail-blazing Roosevelt introduced a bill to punish perpetrators of domestic violence against women and appointed women to executive positions in the government.[9]

Image of Blatch giving a speech in Union Square, NYC
Harriot Stanton Blatch addressing Union Square suffrage meeting, photomechanical print
Library of Congress, National American Woman Suffrage Association Collection, Rare Book and Special Collections Division (26,530)

Blatch also contributed a 100-page chapter to the book “History of Women’s Suffrage” on the subject of Lucy Stone’s American Woman Suffrage Association[10].  The organization was considered a rival to the National Woman Suffrage Association, founded by her mother and social reformer, Susan B. Anthony[11]. The volume was produced collectively by Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Matilda Joslyn Gage and Ida Husted Harper.[12] Published in six volumes from 1881 to 1922, it is a history of the women’s suffrage movement, primarily in the United States.

Blatch speaking to crowds at Wall Street, NYC
Harriot Stanton Blatch speaking to large crowd of men, Wall Street, New York City.
Image courtesy of the Library of Congress
https://loc.getarchive.net/media/in-the-days-of-old-dobbin-and-derby-hats-mrs-harriot-stanton-blatch-exhorted

The outspoken Harriot Eaton Stanton Blatch was affiliated with both the Women’s Trade Union League and her mother’s National American Woman Suffrage Association. In 1907, she founded the Equality League of Self-Supporting Women. Under her leadership the league enrolled thousands of working women who had never considered themselves political or rebellious.  The burgeoning suffrage movement resulted in large, open-air meetings at which Blatch orated on the cause.  On May 21, 1910, a mass parade down Fifth Avenue in New York City publicized the campaign, the first of many such public demonstrations which brought more visibility and support to the cause of women’s rights.[13]   In her later years Blatch worked tirelessly for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), first drafted in 1923 by Alice Paul and Crystal Eastman and introduced in Congress in December 1923.  Still not ratified into law, The ERA is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution designed to guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It seeks to end the legal distinctions between men and women in matters of divorce, property, employment, and other matters.[14]  Blatch, who lived until November 20, 1940 would not see the passage of this amendment which has yet to be ratified over 80 years after her death.

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

[1] https://www.womenshistory.org/womens-history/womens-history-month, accessed 3/2/2021.

[2] https://www.etonline.com/womens-history-month-how-it-started-and-how-to-celebrate-161258, accessed 3/2/2021.

[3] https://www.internationalwomensday.com/Activity/15586/The-history-of-IWD, accessed 3/2/2021.

[4] https://www.2020centennial.org/, accessed 3/2/2021.

[5] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harriot-Eaton-Stanton-Blatch, accessed 3/2/2021.

[6] https://www.amazon.com/Harriot-Stanton-Blatch-Winning-Suffrage/dp/0300080689, accessed 3/2/2021.

[7] https://www.loc.gov/item/18012004/, accessed 3/2/2021.

[8] https://www.theguardian.com/gnmeducationcentre/2018/feb/05/womens-suffrage-february-1918-first-women-gain-right-to-vote-in-parliamentary-elections, accessed 3/2/2021.

[9] https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/tr-gable/, accessed 3/2/2021.

[10] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harriot-Eaton-Stanton-Blatch, accessed 3/2/2021.

[11] http://www.crusadeforthevote.org/nwsa-organize, accessed 3/3/2021.

[12] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Woman_Suffrage, accessed 3/3/2021.

[13] https://www.britannica.com/biography/Harriot-Eaton-Stanton-Blatch, accessed 3/3/2021.

[14] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Rights_Amendment, accessed 3/3/2021.

Object of the Week: Image from “The Bible and Its Story” by Josephine Pollard

Image from: Josephine Pollard
The Bible and Its Story
New York: Ward and Drummond, 1889

 

LENTEN REFLECTIONS

“My Jesus, I accept all the crosses, all the contradictions, all the adversities that the Father has destined for me. May the unction of Thine grace give me strength to bear these crosses with the submission of which Thou gavest us the example in receiving Thine for us. May I never seek my glory save in the sharing of Thine sufferings!”[1]

Lent is a period of fasting, prayer and giving.  At this time, we remember the importance of opening our hearts to God’s love and one another.  This year, during the Covid-19 pandemic, it is especially important to care for those who are suffering or to reassure those who are fearful.[2]  These practices improve our spiritual well-being.  By stripping away what is unnecessary, we become more mindful of how God is working in our lives.[3]  Against this backdrop of spiritual reflection and acts of care, the natural cycles of life continue, and winter slowly yields to spring. Days are getting longer, songbirds are returning and the trees are showing the first signs of budding.  Nature shows us there is promise and hope amidst the pain. Similarly, Lent invites us into a 40-day journey of renewed faith, hope, love, discovery and recovery on the worldly and spiritual planes.[4]

The cross is perhaps the most powerful and recognizable symbol of Christianity, especially during the Easter season for its significance Image of Jesus carrying a Crosswith Jesus’ crucifixion. For Christians, the cross symbolizes Christ’s victory over sin and death and God’s love.[5] The engraved images in this post are taken from a rare book in the university’s Department of Archives and Special Collections.  Published in 1889 and authored by Josephine Pollard, “The Bible and Its Story” contains many detailed illustrations including these of Jesus bearing the cross.

Pollard was an American author, hymn writer and poet.  She was born in New York City in 1834 and was educated at the Spingler Institute for Girls in New York[6].  The school was founded by Gorham Dummer Abbott, an American clergyman, educator, and author who seemingly had a profound impact on her life.[7]  Both Pollard and Abbott were dedicated to education, as well as their shared Christian faith and writing.  Abbott also influenced Matthew Vassar, founder of the eponymously named college which was the second degree-granting institution of higher education for women in the United States.[8]

Pollard was a founding member of Sorosis, a professional organization of women founded “to promote ‘mental activity and pleasant social intercourse,’ and in spite of a severe fire of hostile criticism and misrepresentation, it has evinced a sturdy vitality, and really demonstrated its right to exist by a large amount of beneficent work. … These ladies pledged themselves to work for the release of women from the disabilities which debar them from a due participation in the rewards of industrial and professional labour … I believe it has been the stepping-stone to useful public careers, and the source of inspiration to many ladies.”[9]

Black and white portrait of Josephine Pollard
Portrait of Josephine Pollard – Buffalo Electrotype and Engraving Co., Buffalo, N.Y, – http://www.librarything.com/pic/147520

Early members of Sorosis were participants in varied professions and political reform movements such as abolitionism, suffrage, prison reform, temperance and peace. The organization expanded into local chapters beyond New York City in the early twentieth century and the various divisions went on to organize war relief efforts during both World Wars. Peacetime activities included philanthropy (such as support for funding the MacDowell Colony), scholarship funds, and social reforms (such as literary training for immigrant women). In later years, Sorosis focused its activities on local projects, raising money for the aid of other women’s clubs, funding scholarships for women, and aiding local rescue missions.

Image of Jesus carrying the crossThough she died at the age of 57, the trailblazing Josephine Pollard left behind an extensive legacy of books, hymns and poems, as well as a history of activism that reverberates today through educational and professional opportunities for students and women in the form of scholarships and residencies.  Pollard’s hymns remain popular as well and continue to inspire congregants.  One of Pollard’s best-known hymns is “I Stood Outside the Gate.”  Intended for the Lenten season, its words remind us of Jesus’ mercy and his sacrifice for humanity:

“In Mercy’s guise I knew
The Savior long abused,
Who often sought my heart,
And wept when I refused;
Oh, what a blest return
For all my years of sin!
I stood outside the gate,
And Jesus let me in.”[10] 

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

 

[1] Marmion, Dom Columba. Christ in His Mysteries: A Spiritual Guide Through the Liturgical Year. Leominster: Gracewing Publishing, 2016.

[2] https://catholicphilly.com/2021/02/lent2021/pope-francis-lenten-message-a-time-to-renew-faith-hope-love/, accessed 2/24/2021.

[3] https://bustedhalo.com/ministry-resources/25-great-things-you-can-do-for-lent, accessed 2/24/2021.

[4] https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/young-voices/season-renewal-recovery-discovery, accessed 2/25/2021.

[5] https://omaha.com/special_sections/from-lilies-to-lambs-easter-symbols-hold-special-significance-for-christians/article_fe75f253-6966-55c7-958053acdd014f89.html#:~:text=The%20cross%20is%20perhaps%20the,humiliation%20in%20the%20Roman%20Empire, accessed 2/25/2021.

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephine_Pollard, accessed 2/25/2021.

[7] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorham_Dummer_Abbott#Biography, accessed 2/25/2021.

[8] https://www.vassar.edu/about/, accessed 2/25/2021.

[9] Faithfull, Emily (1884). Three Visits to America. New York: Fowler & Wells Co., Publishers. pp. 18–21.

[10] https://hymnary.org/text/i_stood_outside_the_gate, accessed 2/25/2021.

Object of the Week: “Far Away and Long Ago” by William Henry Hudson

William Henry Hudson
“Far Away and Long Ago”
Printed for members of the Limited Editions Club by Guillermo Kraft ltda., Buenos Aires:  1943.


FEBRUARY IS LIBRARY LOVER’S MONTH!

Library Lover’s Month is dedicated to the people who love whole buildings devoted to the reading, housing, organizing, categorizing, finding, studying, preserving and otherwise loving books.[1]  Libraries are sanctuaries, offering safe spaces for study, reflection and enjoyment.  Libraries indulge our desire to acquire knowledge – they are essentially ‘places of information.’[2]  When we think about libraries, we often think about a building brimming with shelves of books on all topics.   However, there is more to libraries than just books.  They are community hubs supported by librarians who fulfill multiple roles as information experts, subject matter specialists, program organizers, educators, community builders and partners in research. Seton Hall University contains a number of libraries across its three campuses including the Walsh Library, Interprofessional Health Sciences Library, Valente Italian Library, Turro Seminary Library and Law Library.  The Walsh Library also houses the Department of Archives and Special Collections and the Walsh Gallery which care for rare books, manuscripts, art and artifacts and hosts spaces for exhibitions, programs and displays.[3]

The book featured in this post, “Far Away and Long Ago” by William Henry Hudson, recollects the author’s early life, between the ages of four and twelve, which were spent in Argentina.  It is part of the Rare Book

Image of William Henry Hudson
Portrait of William Henry Hudson by Raúl Rosarivo from “Far Away and Long Ago”

Collection, housed in the Department of Archives and Special Collections. This limited-edition book had a run of just fifteen hundred copies and was designed by Alberto Kraft.  The volume in the Seton Hall Archives is signed by Kraft and illustrator Raúl Rosarivo.  This edition is bound in cowhide with undressed leather on the lower portion and features laced edges. [4]  The materials used in the binding reflect William Henry Hudson’s childhood, much of which was spent in the rugged pampas of Argentina, where his parents raised sheep, though the region is known for its free-ranging cattle.  These formative experiences in nature would profoundly impact his future.  As an adult, Hudson would achieve recognition as an author, naturalist, and ornithologist.  He was lauded for his exotic romances, especially “Green Mansions” which was published in 1904.  “Far Away and Long Ago” lovingly recounts his childhood — roaming the pampas at liberty, studying the plant and animal life, and observing both natural and human phenomena on the harsh frontier.  At age 15, he suffered an illness which would impact his health adversely for the remainder of his life.  Around this period of infirmity, he read Charles Darwin’s “Origin of Species” which reaffirmed his interest in the natural world.[5]

Illustration of a man by Raúl Rosarivo from “Far Away and Long Ago”
Illustration by Raúl Rosarivo from “Far Away and Long Ago”

Though William Henry Hudson may not be a household name today, he had many admirers in his time.  In 1934, renowned author Ernest Hemingway wrote a list of book recommendations to a young, aspiring writer. It included William Henry Hudson’s “Far Away and Long Ago” in addition to books by celebrated authors such as Stephen Crane, e.e. cummings, Leo Tolstoy, Emily Bronte, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and James Joyce.[6]  Hudson’s book was also among the objects auctioned from The Private Collection of President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan at Christie’s auction house in 2016.[7]  Praise for Hudson’s writing consistently mentions his palpable imagery, as was noted in this thoughtful review on amazon.com:

“This book was like knocking on an old friend’s door, being welcomed in and settling in front of a fire with a glass of something in one’s hand. The author then talks, gently and beautifully, weaving this picture of his early life. He brings his characters to life and describes the birds and other creatures so well, I felt as if I was there with him, every time I picked up the book to read. A gentle lovely story of a young boy’s steps from childhood.” – L.M. Gainsford[8]

 


The images and materials shown here are but a small part of the vast patrimony available to students, faculty and researchers.  For access to this or other objects in our collections, complete a research request form to set up an appointment or contact us at 973-761-9476. 

 

[1] http://www.librarysupport.net/librarylovers/, accessed 2/16/2021.

[2] http://www.ilovelibraries.org/what-libraries-do, accessed 2/16/2021.

[3] https://library.shu.edu/home accessed 2/16/2021, accessed 2/16/2021.

[4] http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/detail/detail?vid=4&sid=b64ff686-5122-4343-b1c9-852f6588dd78%40sessionmgr103&bdata=JkF1dGhUeXBlPXNzbyZzaXRlPWVkcy1saXZl#AN=sth.ocn542094967&db=cat00991a, accessed 2/16/2021.

[5] https://www.britannica.com/biography/W-H-Hudson, accessed 2/16/2021.

[6] https://www.openculture.com/2013/05/ernest_hemingways_reading_list_for_a_young_writer_1934.html, accessed 2/16/2021.

[7] https://www.christies.com/lot/lot-limited-editions-club-hudson-wh-far-6018661/?lid=1&from=relatedlot&intobjectid=6018661, accessed 2/16/2021.

[8] https://www.amazon.com/Far-Away-Long-Ago-Childhood/dp/0907871747, accessed 2/16/2021.