Annual Accountability – Almanacs in Action

Have you ever imagined living in another time and place?  Finding out more about daily routines in the course of recorded history through the words of historians who chronicle the story of human experience are invaluable to the present day reader.  Another useful aid is a publication(s) from the actual time period which documents the doings of a person, place, or object first hand.  With this in mind, and more specifically, materials that allow for personal reference from an annual perspective such as directories, yearbooks, and most notably almanacs provide the researcher with useful data to learn from by word and number alike.

An “almanac” (or “almanack” or “almanach” as they are sometimes referred to) by definition is an annual publication that provides weather forecasts, tide rates, astronomical data, and other relevant information in tabular form.  Modern day almanacs have evolved to include various statistical and descriptive information such as economics, government, religion, and political results among other subject areas that touch not only upon local communities, but national and world issues in brief line item and/or summary form.  The earliest known almanac published in the “modern sense” was the Almanac of Azarqueil written in 1088 by Abū Ishāq Ibrāhīm, al-Zarqālī in Toledo, al-Andalus.  There have been several subsequent examples from here as found in different countries, languages, and specializations.

The Gentleman and Citizen's Almanack

One example of an international almanac found in our collection can be located in our rare book collection if you look back 280 years ago at a far different world than the one of today.  This volume entitled:  The Gentleman and Citizen’s Almanack, For the Year of Our Lord (Dublin: S. Powell, for John Watson, Bookseller to be sold at his shop on Merchants Key, near the Old Bridge, 1734) is a tome that provides a look at 18th century life in Ireland.  This book provides a traditional format with the following array of categories found in the index:  “Tide Table, Table of Twilight,” “Table of Coin and Gold Weights,” “Table for a Company Foot,” “Table of the Price of Goods,” “Table fo the Weight of Bread,” “Masters and Wardens Quarterly Assemblies,” “Roads of Ireland,” “Fairs of Ireland,” and others.  The attached illustrations provide further details on how the consumers of that day and contemporary readers can relate alike can relate to the facts and figures found here including postal service and its value for communication links before cell phones and twitter for example.

Almanac page

This particular publication provides an every day look at life in an Ireland that goes beyond the essay  alone.  This and other Irish “almanacks” from 1732-1838 and other books on the Irish experience both reference and beyond can be found here in the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center.

For more information contact Alan Delozier, University Archivist at:, or (973) 275-2378.




From Overseas to Setonia – An Overview of Archival Representation & Student Life at Seton Hall

Seton Hall University Guide for International StudentsOctober is Archives Month in the United States, but it also coincides with International Celebration month observances on campus. In the spirit of documentary preservation and global appeal alike, the presence of cultural diversity at Seton Hall has been a prime part of school history as the institution has hosted numerous students from all corners of the globe from its founding in 1856 to the present day. From a historical perspective, the sons (and later daughters from 1937 onward) of first and second generation Americans comprised the majority of student representation at Setonia especially during the formative years of the school and geographical transition from its first home in Madison to the present site in South Orange. Additionally, adolescents from neighboring countries formed part of this tradition in the making. For example, the first student outside of American borders to make his mark in the registration ledger was Ernesto Regil of Merida, Yucatan, Mexico who enrolled at Seton Hall College in 1856. He was the 20th enrollee overall and he shared the first-hand experience of life on the Setonia campus with those who traced their ancestry back to Ireland, France, England and other European locales. Ernesto was followed the next year by other townsfolk from Merida including Joseph Gutierez, Francisco Plana, Lorenzo Peon, and Miguel Peon with the later two gentlemen being the first brothers from abroad to attend the school simultaneously. These trailblazers were followed by others from Cuba, Spain, France, Venezuela, and “Porto Rico” over the next three years. This success marked a steady trend of student émigrés who continued to attend Seton Hall over the next century and a half.

1856 Seton Hall Registration Ledger

As the twentieth century dawned and progressed with increased enrollment from across the world, the trend of Seton Hall and its international connections went unbroken even as the “Great War” and World War II posed a challenge to institutional stability. Enrollment increased several fold during the 1940s and after the school attained university-status in 1950, Seton Hall established a number of specialized centers shortly thereafter designed to help students and the community at large appreciate the cultural heritage of different national groups with ties to the campus. Counted among entities of this type that have been created over the last several decades include the Far Eastern Institute (now known as the Asia Center), Charles and Joan Alberto Italian Institute, Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute along with the International Institute for Clergy Formation, Institute for International Business, and Institute for Near East Archaeological Research. Many student-administered organizations from the Adelante Club for Hispanic Culture, African Student Association, Asia Student Association, Filipino League Association of Seton Hall, French Club, Italian Student Organization, Slavic Club, South Asian Students Organization, and the West Indian Student Organization to name a few have thrived due to their specific appeal and service focus features that allow students the opportunity to share and explore their roots with their classmates and other interested parties alike.

Beyond individual representation and club membership, cultural exchanges in the classroom were equally felt as classical and modern languages took place from the earliest years onward as part of the curriculum to help share texts and ideas on a closer manner if not geographically, then intellectually. Noted professors from abroad also came to the school and taught a number of classes in their respective specializations. History courses, anthropology, education and other specific class offerings cross-listed with such titles as: “History of Asian Philosophy and Culture,” Europe and the Atlantic Vista, 1500-1800,” and the “Diplomatic History of Latin America,” to name a few have graced our bulletins of information and general catalogues over the last century and a half. All majors and minors alike in their respective fields of study have benefitted from some type of worldview in the course of their schedule selection and ultimate educational path. The heritage of global interaction has increased dramatically especially with the growth of the United Nations and the call for those who want a career that literally explores the world in action. Therefore, those who chose to make global welfare a priority have contributed to the eventual evolution of the John C. Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations formally founded in 1998. Collectively, the planet and Seton Hall remain in sync through these ties to the past along with a future promise of student interest in keeping the tradition of internationalism in all its varied forms alive and well on campus.

McQuaid Hall    Whitehead School of Diplomacy and International Relations: Seton Hall University    Seton Hall Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations cover

At the Archives & Special Collections Center we house various materials that document the international experience at Seton Hall from a number of different perspectives. It is our pleasure to share these resources with those who want to explore the cultural and national diversity of our student, faculty, and admnistraors over the years. For more information regarding collections relating to Seton Hall University history please contact: Alan Delozier, University Archivist –; (973) 275-2378. Thank you and bienvenue!

Better Living Through Chemistry & Setonia – An Exhibit Honoring the 50th Anniversary of the First Ph.D. Program on Campus

Group of people in front of the Science buildingThe history of Chemistry at Seton Hall had its start as a study option from the beginning days of its move to South Orange as part of the early “Mathematical Course” during the mid-nineteenth century.  From here, Chemistry became a very popular attraction from which pupils found a means of scientific expression that would expand greatly after World War II on both the undergraduate and graduate level prior to the introduction of doctoral level offerings by the mid-1960s.  This discipline has subsequently grown and endured as an important major choice of many students into the present day.  With this in mind, a celebration of Chemistry and its place on campus is presently on display at the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center.

Early Seton Hall College catalogueThis exhibit will provide a brief textual and visual overview showcasing the evolution of how the wonder of Chemistry has made its impact on the life of students, faculty, and the world at large.  Included are various early nineteenth century written works and mid-twentieth century primers from our Rare Book and Setonia Text Book Collections that celebrate the development of Chemistry experimentation and have practical applications to pioneering practitioners in the field.

On a more local level, viewers will find lecture notes taken by Seton Hall student Alden A. Freeman during the 1879-80 term, information about pioneering faculty members, and photographic examples that show the evolution of lab space and structures over the years from Alumni Hall to the present day McNulty Science complex.  Of particular note is the dissertation and a biographical sketch acknowledging the contributions of our first Ph.D. recipient Dr. William N. Knopka during the mid-1960s.  Additional textual examples from the University Archives and tools of the trade on loan through the courtesy of Mr. David Edwards from the Science Department show further details regarding the curriculum, public programming, and student life associated with the Chemistry Department over its last five decades of educational outreach to the scientific community.

Early Chemistry Department booklet: Graduate Studies in Chemistry and Biochemistry: Ph.D. and M.S. Degrees

Hopefully your reaction will be a positively charged one while taking in the historical relevance of how Chemistry and Seton Hall evolved successfully over time.

NJCHC Spring 2013 Conference Announcement…

Have You Ever Wanted to Learn More About What Goes into Making a Book and Meet Local Authors in the Process? Then We Have a Program for You!

Please join the New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission and friends on Saturday, April 13th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Motherhouse located on the campus of Caldwell College, located in Caldwell, New Jersey for a conference entitled…

“The Art of the Printed Word – Historical Book Creation, From Prayer to Preparation to Publication.”

This program will serve as a showcase the recent publication of Catholic history oriented books, periodicals, and other print resources, but is also designed to show each the steps that go into making a book from idea, research options, the importance of writing and how to achieve a finished product. Speakers will present short talks on their work and will also welcome questions in relation to their expertise.  Noted authors including Father Augustine Curley, Carl Ganz, Father Michael Krull, Monsignor Raymond Kupke, Sister Margherita Marchione, Tom McCabe, Brian Regan, Greg Tobin, and others will be present to talk about their experiences and tell you more about the publication process. A major portion of this day will also be devoted for those interested in sharing their own research and interact with the speakers in more depth.

Those doing any type of publishing whether it be institutional and/or parish histories, articles, newsletters, and other specialized volumes are encouraged to attend.

Registration is now open. The cost for the day is $20.00 (students $10.00) per person and this includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and conference materials. You can register at the door, but advance notice is appreciated. To reserve a space and/or for more information please contact Alan DeLozier via e-mail:, or by phone at: (973) 275-2378.

Irish Studies, Scrúdaigh & Special Collections…

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

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

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

Catholic Studies: Primary Sources & Special Collections LibGuide

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

Catholic Studies LibGuide

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

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

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

Historic Archdiocesan Artifacts on Exhibit in Archives & Special Collections Center

Two recent acquisitions have provided artifacts currently on public view in the Msgr. William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center, first floor, Walsh Library, Seton Hall University.  The old St. Peter’s German Church, Belmont Avenue, Newark, supplied many items that afford a view of pre-Vatican II worship.  There are two memorial patens, still used in the service of Holy Communion, along with two intinction cups.  Hosts would have been placed in the bowls, and wine in the cup within the bowl, so the priest could dip the host into the wine before placing it on the tongue of the communicant.  There is a stole, worn with priestly vestments during mass and a maniple which would have been worn over the priest’s left arm while serving mass.  Reflecting the placement of the altar at the back wall of the sanctuary before Vatican II moved the altar forward, so the priest would face the congregation during mass, there are two altar cards.  These were framed Latin script which would be hung on the wall beside the altar for the priest to read during the service.  The Sacerdos Infundit vinum would have been read as the wine was poured into the communion vessels.  At the end of mass, the “Last Gospel”, the Initium Sancti Evangelii Secundum Joannem, John I:1-14, would be read.  These two altar cards offer a glimpse of the fine German woodwork throughout St. Peter’s church in these intricately carved frames with running ivy leaf forms.  An example of an illuminated Communion certificate from 1895 complements the German woodwork of the frames.  Completing the items used in serving mass is a silver tray [damaged by water] and one of its two cruets.  The silver handle and top of the cut glass cruet with grape leaf motif show that this one was for wine, where the one for water is missing.  Accompanying these sacramental items are two fine examples of parish life.  The tabernacle crucifix was presented to Rev. A. Stecher on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary Jubilee of the church building in 1897.  The Altar Rosary Society Banner from 1922, handpainted and embroidered on silk, completes the collection.

Altar Rosary Society Banner
Altar Rosary Society Banner

In the other case are the time capsule, a rectangular tin box from the cornerstone of the Chancery building on Mulberry Street, Newark.  Though the time capsule was sealed, moisture was still able to seep into the box as can be seen in the decay of the lining of the box which contained the bronze Immculate Conception Seminary medal fom 1927 with Bishop O’Connor on the reverse, and on the remains of his calling card which was with the medal in the box.  A protrait of Bishop Thomas J. Walsh who became Archbishop in 1937 when the Diocese of Newark was elevated to Archdiocese, also shows some decay.  Two newspapers, The Catholic News and The Paterson Evening News, were folded in an envelope, and weathered quite well to show an illustration and articles about the dedication of the building.  Along with a history of the church, several coins and stamps were placed in the capsule.  They include two Washington stamps, a one cent and a 3 cent, along with a two cent postage due stamp.  Accompanying a silver Pius X medal, are several coins including a1907 quarter, a 1923 Buffalo nickel, a 1925 Liberty dime and a 1901 Liberty nickel.

The Msgr. William Noé Field Archives and Special Collections Center is open Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  Research appointments are available.  Please call 973-761-9476 or 973-275-2378.  The exhibit, curated by Leonard Iannaccone and Kate Dodds, can be viewed from the hallway between the Archives and Walsh Gallery when the Library is open and will be up through May 21, 2012.

Trina Padilla de Sanz Collection Exhibit

Trina Padilla de Sanz Invitation

In honor of Hispanic Heritage month and beyond, the Monsignor William Noe’ Field Archives & Special Collections Center in conjunction with the Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute at Seton Hall University proudly present an introductory view of selections from the Trina Padilla de Sanz Papers,  one of the most prolific writers of the last century.

Trina Padilla de Sanz (1864-1957) was a noted poet, suffragist and composer in her native Puerto Rico, and her influence continues to be felt throughout most of Latin America and beyond.   She is recognized as one of the most important literary figures in Puerto Rican history often writing under the non de plume La Hija del Caribe in honor of her father Dr. Jose Gualberto Padilla (1829-1896).  Padilla was a physician, journalist and political figure within his own lifetime, and like his daughter a compelling figure in the evolution of Puerto Rican identity during the 19th century.

This exhibit will run from September through December of 2011.  These materials can be viewed from the facade of the Monsignor William Noe’ Field Archives & Special Collections Center (located on the first floor of Walsh Library) during regular library hours.

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

Catholic New Jersey History Publication Award

Monsignor William Noe’ Field Award for Catholic New Jersey History. 

This award named in honor of the late Monsignor William Noe’ Field
(1915-2000), a noted rare book librarian and bibliophile is bestowed on
the best publication in the field of New Jersey Catholic history produced
over the past two year period.  This award is open to everyone who has
published anything related to the major theme including general works,
(auto)biographies, diocesan works, institutional, parish, or other topics
related to Catholicism and New Jersey
between January 1, 2009 and December
31, 2010 is acceptable for consideration.

Amount of Award
The best submission will receive an award of $500.00

Formats Accepted
Book (Academic, Popular, Specialty Presses and Self-Published), Journal
(Peer-Reviewed or Non Academic); Thesis, Dissertation, Monograph,
Conference Proceedings, etc.  Other types of media will be considered if
they meet the thematic qualifications outlined above.

Application Criteria
Applicants will be required to submit two copies of their work to the
review committee along with a cover letter outlining their submission in

Materials need to be received by the review committee by July 1, 2011.

Announcement of Award
The awardee will be informed of the review committee decision by September
1, 2011.

Submission Information

Fernanda Perrone, Chair of Awards Committee
New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission
Msgr. William Noe’ Field Archives & Special Collections Center
Walsh Library – First Floor
Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ  07079

Alan De Lozier, Executive Director
(973) 275-2378

Catholic New Jersey History Research Award

Joseph F. Mahoney Research Award in New Jersey Catholic History

This newly established award named in honor of the late Professor Joseph
F. Mahoney (1928-2006), a noted scholar in American Catholicism and
esteemed former Executive Director of the New Jersey Catholic Historical
Commission will be bestowed on an individual planning to conduct research
related to Catholicism in New Jersey over the next year.  This award is
open to everyone who has a project that fits this criteria.

Amount of Award
The top submission will receive an award of $1,000.00

Application Criteria
Applicants will be required to submit a cover letter, a letter describing
their project, a budget, a curriculum vitae and at least one letter of

Materials need to be received by the review committee by July 1, 2011.

Announcement of Award
The recipient will be informed of the review committee decision by
September 1, 2011.

For More Information Please Contact

Submission Information

Fernanda Perrone, Chair of Awards Committee
New Jersey Catholic Historical Commission
Msgr. William Noe’ Field Archives & Special Collections Center
Walsh Library – First Floor
Seton Hall University
400 South Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ  07079

Alan De Lozier, Executive Director
(973) 275-2378