From The Far East to Seton Hall – Exhibits in Honor and Remembrance of Dr. John C.H. Wu

Presently on exhibit in the Archives & Special Collections Center Reading Room, Walsh Library Display Case (First Floor Across from John C.H. Wu
Stairs/Elevator) and within the Window Space of the Walsh Library Gallery are three views of the life and works of Dr. John Ching Hsiung Wu 吴经熊 (1899-1986) who was a former Professor of Asian Studies and Law at Seton Hall during the 1950s-60s along with his wider work in justice studies, inspirational verse, academic promotion, and publishing endeavors. More biographical information can be found via this website which provides some introductory context on his scholarship to go along with the primarily source materials found on campus.  These and other sites can offer further insight on the legacy of Dr. Wu.

In more specific terms, among the accomplishments made during the lifetime of Dr. Wu include his role as lead author of the Zhōnghuá Mínguó Xiànfǎ (中華民國憲法) or Constitution of the Republic of China (present day Taiwan) which was adopted at the National Constituent Assembly of this nation on 25 December 1946 and went into action exactly one year later.  He was there at the foundation of the Seton Hall University Law School in 1951 with its campus in Newark became another specialized educational center that offered courses in juris prudence to its student body.  Dr. John Wu who received his doctorate from the University of Michigan became one of the founding faculty members of the new institution and was active in teaching, scholarship, and promotion of legal education at home and abroad.

In line with the contributions of Dr. Wu, with the successful launch of the Far Eastern Studies Institute during the early 1950s and contributions of a dedicated faculty and supportive administrators led to wider educational and diplomatic initiatives later in the decade.  This culminated with the awarding of honorary doctor of letters degrees to four major Asian leaders that included (in alphabetical order): John Myun Chang (Vice-President of the Republic of Korea), Chang Chi-yu (Minister of Education of the Republic of China [Taiwan]), Ngo Dinh-Diem (President of the Republic of Viet-Nam), and Paul Francis Kotaro Tanaka (Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Japan) in 1957 and was a landmark time as Seton Hall had cemented a solid relationship with the different Asian nations which contributed to international collaboration and good will.  This also led to a period of creating reference guides for the wider linguistic community and those who wanted to publish and led to the creation of the Seton Hall University Press in operation during the 1960s and 70s which was active in producing dictionaries, grammar studies, and other aids to help students locally and across the globe.

The Setonian_Seton Hall inaugurates Far Eastern Studies

The aforementioned components can be represented in these displays and the lasting availability of archival resources based on the life and works of Dr. Wu are based in large measure on the recent Symposium held from April 21-22nd 2016 here on the campus of Seton Hall University.  More information about the speakers and subject areas can be found on the Symposium webpage.  When it comes to specific exhibit themes various books by and about Dr. Wu from our collection and that of the Main Collection, Walsh Library are shown along with a number of information leads that represent the 65th anniversary of the Far Eastern Studies Institute along with the latter day Asia Center, and the contributions of those who have made Asian culture a significant part of the academic and cultural life of Seton Hall over the past six decades plus.

For more information about Dr. John Wu, Seton Hall history, or other queries please feel free to contact us by e-mail:  or via phone at: (973) 275-2378.  Thank you in advance for your interest.

Early Irish Education – Nineteenth Century “How To” Guide Books

classroomA common thread shared by most students enrolled in a formal educational program is the traditional meeting in a classroom space of some type with a teacher to guide lesson plans and discussion regardless of time or place.  For example, in Ireland during the nineteenth century there were some academies that remained largely private, separately governed, tuition driven, and primarily located near, or within well-populated towns and cities. The famed “hedge” schools (or scoil chois claí) conducted in rural areas were usually taught out of doors in between bushes (hence the name) in a more basic setting that served as an alternative option for those who did not have access to a more formal school house in their respective area. Considering the want and need of learning, a more modern approach was had in 1831 as a National School initiative was formally established with the goal of providing an educational bond between Catholic and Protestant children under one system. However, even as administrators sought to: “unite in one system children of different creeds,” the preferred method expressed by ecclesiastical officials was to have each individual school house placed under control of an individual church.  Despite the sponsorship questions that arose, the curricular objective was to offer a more liberal arts (reading, writing, and arithmetic) focus with a heavy “moral” component to the young students of which an estimated 300-400,000 throughout all of Ireland attended during the 1830s after the formal system was set into action.

Plan and elevation of desks


More detailed information about the development of grade school level information in the annals of Irish history can be researched through our collections with a particular emphasis on how educators articulated the proper method of instruction.  In particular there are two volumes – The Schoolmaster’s Manual (1825) and The Handbook of School Management and Methods of Teaching by P.W. Joyce (1864) articulate the goals inherent in formative academic training methodology.  As the first work from the 1820s told readers by way of an introductory observation – “As this work is intended for the assistance of those who are convinced that well-ordered education, suited to their respective stations, should be diffused as extensively as possible amongst all classes in society, and who are desirous of  becoming acquainted with the modern improvements in the manner of imparting instruction to the poor.”  The Handbook would offer an expression of its own philosophy to the reader in the following words – “. . . the site of a school should be dry and cheerful, and easily accessible to the great bulk of the population.”  These words and the guidance provided to instructors and students alike would help to show the development of educational life in Ireland over time and provides a window to past practice in the process.

For more information about accessing these and other works on education and other subject matter please feel free to inquire via e-mail:  or call (973) 275-2378 for more details.

occupation of school hours

The Women of Seton Hall – A Window Into The Past, Present, & Future

On display now through the Spring semester is a special exhibit designed to honor the Women of Setonia from student to administrator to faculty to alumnae and all who have derived benefit of the institution over the last several decades.  Through the design efforts of Katie Wolchko and in anticipation of the 80th anniversary of co-education at Seton Hall we present some images that show the first enrollment at the Urban Division and Summer Session of Seton Hall in 1937 along with the heralding of full equality on the South Orange campus over three decades later.  This ushered in a number of resources on campus including the Women and Gender Studies program and the Women’s Resource Center.  With such founding visionaries as Professors Tracy Gottlieb, Judith Stark, and Gisella Webb to present day leadership under Professors Karen Gevirtz and Vanessa May, the work of this office is vital in keeping the issues and contributions of Women in society alive and visible to all members of our community.  This brings us to the present-day and the Women’s Conference of 2016. Various publication covers by those speaking in accompanied by a listing of all participants along with affiliated faculty and administrators who work directly with the Women and Gender Studies program.  For more information about the Women’s Conference 2016 please consult the Women’s Conference webpage.  The Women and Gender Studies Program site is also accessible here. 

ws-39                    Seton Hall University                   A celebration of women 2006

This exhibit is housed in the Window Display Case that can viewed outside of Walsh Library opposite the Recreation Center.  For more information about the exhibit please contact Katie Wolchko at –

The SPIRIT – An 85 Year Celebration of Catholic Poetry

First published in 1931, the earliest editions of the SPIRIT were published bi-monthly and not included verse, but also articles on the art of expression and about the Catholic Poetry Society of America in some form along with literary book reviews of interest.  This periodical was also well-cross referenced to help readers find past submissions through the Catholic Periodical Index and Catholic Bookman from its founding days forward.  Additionally, the Catholic Poetry Society of America first headquartered in New York City had chapters in many major cities across the United States.  Over its first few decades the SPIRIT was published either in black and white or maroon colored text without illustrations.

spirit, a magazine of poetry                      more than the moment poem

A swell of popularity for the SPIRIT continued onward through the 1950s-60s as shown through anthology works and maintenance of its usual format of title, poem, and author citation.  Lengths varied, but the text in some way always reflected the mission of the society and publication focus.  The editions released in 1968 would turn out to be the last with New York City as its home base.  The SPIRIT would move its operations to the campus of Seton Hall University the following year.

Spirit cover, Summer 1969          Spirit cover, volume 60, 1995Spirit cover, Australian issue

During the course of 1969, the SPIRIT underwent various changes not only with new offices, but the publication also modified its look and aesthetic to reflect the times.  Under the Editorship of David Rogers and James R. Lindroth from the Seton Hall University Department of English, the SPIRIT would continue to publish further works and also artwork related to the Catholic experience.  This also inspired a campus-wide poetic anthology entitled – Puddle Wonderful which lasted for one issue.  Otherwise, latter day changes including more colorful cover art, theme-editions, and changing font types brought a more modern appearance to the SPIRIT through the 1970s and 80s.  Recent editions of the SPIRIT continued to promote artistic writing in verse form.  Full editions were less frequently produced and came out annually by the 1990s.  They content themes remained consistent, but the graphics would go back to more basic and classical representations found in early issues along with a change of logo from the early Eagle to a Spectre to capture the visual and symbolic look of the SPIRIT.

More about the early years and a historical overview along with examples of the poetry and art can be found in the text panels and full display visible from the Archives & Special Collections Center Reading Room and adjacent hallway from January-February, 2016.  For more information please feel free to e-mail us at:, or call: (973) 275-2378.


Christmas Pageants, Pirate Preview, & Jean Shepherd – “A Christmas Story” of Setonia

Seton Hall has long built a tradition of marking the Christmas season in varied ways including observance of Advent, Midnight Mass, a live Nativity Scene and in recent years the ceremonial tree lighting have brought the community together in celebration of the season.  Among the most memorable traditions found in the early days of school history included an annual musical Christmas program(me) which showcased the theatrical talents, voices, and instrumental prowess of the student body.  Included here are examples of the entertainment fare offered to the audiences who were there to share good cheer which did not always offer traditional carols, but rather an eclectic mix of different song titles and themes designed to entertain and inspire those in attendance.

Christmas entertainment by the students of Seton Hall College         Christmas program

Interestingly, it was in 1930 and the yule-time production of “The Late Cap’t Crow” where the first documented appearance of a Pirate on the shores of Setonia came about as shown in the pages of The Setonian around four months prior to the adoption of the legendary school nickname.  Santa Claus would share space on campus with the Pirates from this time forward.

Setonian News

Over subsequent Christmas celebrations more traditional holiday-themed events took place after World War II such as traditional holiday parties, concerts, and the like would become more commonplace.  The true spirit and meaning of Christmas is timeliness for many people.  This not only present in a religious sense, but also in popular culture circles.  For example, how many of us have ever watched the movie “A Christmas Story” and saw Ralphie’s quest for the Red Ryder B-B Gun while being roundly warned – “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out Kid!”  This endearing tale is not only popular among Setonians, but also the wider world through the pen of legendary writer and raconteur Jean Shepherd who not only narrated this movie, but wrote this treatment based on his early life under the original title – “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.”  Shepherd was an author, television, and radio personality who had a popular show on W-O-R radio in New York City for a number of years between the 1950s-70s and made regular appearances on the Seton Hall campus (including a mid-December gig in 1965 as heralded below) during these years in the limelight whose time on campus are still remembered fondly by those who saw him in concert.  Please click here to listen in on Jean Shepherd announce his date at Seton Hall on 12/16/1965.

Jean Shepherd-Dec. 16; WSOU presents talk                  Shepherd to speak                       Jean Shepherd photo

Beyond the stage and regardless of the era and how the season was celebrated, Seton Hall has its own traditions in the art of holiday cheer and commemoration from Cap’t Crow to those who are writing their own “Christmas Story” at Seton Hall.

Christmas Peace wreath

Aphra Behn Conference & A Celebration of Rare Books


Between Wednesday, November 4th-Friday, November 6th, Seton Hall University will serve as host of the biannual Aphra Behn Society Conference.  In the spirit of Aphra Behn herself (c. 1640-1689), a noted British fiction writer, playwright, poet, and translator, members of this organization are actively: “dedicated to encouraging and advancing research that focuses on issues of gender and/or women’s role in the arts of early modern culture, circa 1660-1830. Through its newsletter, website, and biannual meeting, the Aphra Behn Society seeks to promote an exchange of information and ideas among members of the various disciplines engaged in related research.”  Her own works remain a popular source of research among scholars and students alike, but promoting the value of the printed word in its varied forms is a consistent theme that latter day readers often recognize.  In other words, Aphra Behn noted in the pages of her work – The Lucky Chance, Or, the Alderman’s Bargain (1686) a love of books, but more specifically: “That perfect tranquility of life, which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend and a good library.”

instructions for managing bees.             The war in America.             Figure and Fashion: a scuffle in high life

In honor of the example set by Aphra Behn combined with ties to this event, Professors Karen Gevirtz, Ph.D. of the Department of English and Kirsten Schultz, Ph.D. of the Department of History looked through our catalog of Rare Book holdings and have chosen various titles that reflected a growing depth and diversity of scholarship from the 17-19th century.  Some images from the public exhibit (viewable in our Reading Room) are included in this post, but a full list of titles can be found here – Aphra Behn Captions and requested for review by our research community.  Counted among the more interesting finds include an early guide to bee-keeping in Ireland, writings by St. Catherine of Siena, a French look at the history of nature, a British perspective on the American Revolution, and theological writings from a Portuguese perspective to name a few volumes chosen by Professors Gevirtz and Schultz to share with the public.

This conference provides an opportunity for participants to share in the study of different subject themes.  Along with the aforementioned public Rare Book display are a pair conducted jointly with the Walsh Library Gallery featuring books by and about Aphra Behn from our Main Library Collection (found in the exhibit case situated near the stairwell and elevator on the first floor of Walsh Library) and a larger window exhibit showcasing the cover artwork of authors in attendance at the event whose publications are found in the Seton Hall Universities Catalog.  A full listing of titles is available here – Aphra Behn Conference Authors  On Thursday, November 6th from 6-7:00 p.m. Professors Gevirtz and Schultz along with their colleagues Professors Mark Molesky, Ph.D. and Nathaniel Knight, Ph.D. from the Department of History will be discussing books related to their own areas of interest in a broader context for those in attendance at the conference.  More information about their selections can be found in the following flyer – Aphra Behn Event Brochure

autor lectori

For more information about Aphra Behn and Rare Book resources found in our collection please feel free to consult the following Reference Guide for more details –  Thank you in advance for interest and the discovery that rests in our timeless resources.

The First Seton Hall Medical School & Its Roots – A Retrospective Exhibit, 1915-2015

When the announcement of plans to form a new medical school at Seton Hall became public in January of 2015 thoughts of future possibilities joined with remembrances of earlier strides in curative education opportunities on campus.  The original Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry was in operation within the walls of the Jersey City Medical Center between 1956-1965.  As the first formal medical school established in New Jersey, and one of the few Catholic university-sponsored institutions of its kind, this institution has a notable place in the annals of academic and state history.

Setonian_New Jersey welcomes opening of Seton Hall Medical-Dental College

This display traces the evolving popularity of medical inquiry and training over the past century through early course work at Seton Hall during the World War I-era with various natural science class offerings which remained a constant and helped to inspire creation of the School (and later College) of Nursing that evolved between 1937-40 and ultimately led to early attempts at developing a medical school on campus between the 1940s-50s.  Official approval was secured in 1954 and an elevated focus on health care to the community became a top priority through the development of specialized training methods, student support, and practical application which helped to sustain the school through its years of affiliation with Seton Hall.  With the closure of the College of Medicine and Dentistry in 1965 and transfer to the State of New Jersey, Seton Hall has since made additional attempts to promote medical instruction on an advanced level with the creation of a Graduate School of Medical Education in 1987 and the overall School of Health and Medical Sciences which currently sponsors this, and all related programs in the field.  The story of our second medical school remains to be written, but further information about the past and early planning objectives can be found within the article from the Setonian.

           New Jersey's first college of medicine and dentistry Seton Hall college of medicine and dentistry

Featured within this exhibit are documents and artifacts borrowed from our College of Medicine and Dentistry Collection and other materials from our University Archives and affiliated holdings.  Letters of support, operational reports, event programs, promotional publications, study aids, and various other documentation that traces the development of the school are presented chronologically and thematically to show how the first medical school was formed and what its mission entailed.

New Jersey's first medical-dental college, the Seton Hall college of medicine and dentistry

For more information about this exhibit and the research services offered through the Archives & Special Collections Center please feel free to access our homepage, or e-mail us with any specific questions or comments at:  Thank you in advance for your interest and comments.

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

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

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

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

John F. Kennedy photograph

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

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

Exhibit on JFK in Archives Reading Room

Pomp and Circumstance, Graduation Exercises and Setonia

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

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

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

39th Annual Commencement of Seton Hall College

Commencement Program, June 11, 1955

St. Patrick – Study Aids At Seton Hall

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

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

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

Irish Studies Library Guide

St. Patrick

Saints of Ireland

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

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

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

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

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